I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to the anticipated level squish the game is headed towards. What will the new cap be? How will the already grouped zones be re-leveled, in some cases again already. 60 is the most likely level. So I could see all of the existing content cut in half, save for the BfA & next expansion content. But here’s the question: will a level squish result in an XP squish?
If the levels drop but the amount of XP in a relative sense does not change, then what’s the point other than to make gear numbers smaller? If the amount of experience needed to level does decrease, what’s the best way to do it? Well, rather than do that, let me propose an alternative.
On my private server, there is an XP boost and it can be set as high as 12x. 12 times the experience to level. Think about that for a moment and consider your heirlooms and such still stack on top of that. When all is said and done you could be looking at close to 20 times the norm. No doubt you’re either thinking what a great idea that is for alts, or that it’s so fast you would burn through any content without really encountering any of it. Both are quite true, but also cater to different people.
There are a good portion of players who are casual these days. Even more than ever as many of the hardcore folk are all over Classic. But whether they are or are not does not change the benefits of the experience boost. Players who just want to hit that end game can burn past the content they don’t care about, so that they may get there. And let’s face it, each expansion’s content has more than served its purpose at this point. Nothing is being lost.
Now, if you would rather experience the content at level, then notice that I said it could be set “as high as.” That’s right, you can adjust it to a level you want it to be, if at all. If you want to drudge your way through certain zones the way they are meant to be played, nothing is stopping you. Want to bounce around low level, but then speed up the stretch from 25-40? Turn the experience reward as high as you’d like to make it happen. There is literally no downfall to this approach for you as a player.
Some might be concerned or believe it might dilute the quality of player at end game because they haven’t played their class enough to know what they’re doing. Well, you could still say that about players in the game’s current state. The key to said leveling experience is that it would need to be capped at the entry point to the game’s previous expansion. So if it was brought into action tomorrow, the experience boost would cease to work at level 100. Or if we’re being realistic and it came as some “amazing feature” in the new expansion, then level 110. You could do as much or as little as you wanted to until you hit the Battle For Azeroth content. Then you have 20 (current) levels to hone your abilities and given the way WoW does their talents and skills these days, that’s probably 15 levels more than you realistically need.
This system would likely maintain players more than the current means does. Off and on I know plenty of people who get burned out, or want to level an alt but not go through the rigmarole and tedious time to do so (even if the current system is still faster than any of its predecessors). New players see level 120 and find that daunting. Yes, Blizzard offers one free character boost to the cap of the previous expansion, but ten levels for a game isn’t necessarily the best approach either.
I doubt we will ever see such a system come into play. Even with the much mentioned level squish that is coming, I still don’t see the first 80% of the game going any quicker. It’s unfortunate, because I think with each expansion World of Warcraft is probably pulling in a less than 30% new player base. The experience boost helps both sides of that. You make it a bit more appealing for new players to consider signing up, possibly to level with a friend. And, you recognize the other side is a massive player base that tends to drop their subscription within six to twelve months of the new hotness coming out because they’re already done.
I don’t own a video game company. I don’t pretend to know the ins and outs of one. I only go by what I see and experience. Blizzard is still making money off of Warcraft nearly hand over fist. It has been their bread and butter for well over a decade. They’ve become the masters of taking something someone does and applying it even better in their own game. It would go a long way if they did something like this.