Is it Time for Blizzard to Sell Levels?
With max level growing to 90, that is a lot of levels and a lot of content to get through if you already have several toons at max level. If you wanted to start over and get a new toon to max level its a lot of redundant content to get through, especially 90 levels worth even with heirloom gear, rested experience and guild perks. So maybe just like with recruit a friend where levels can be granted, is it time for Blizzard to sell levels or a higher level toon to experienced players?
So lets say you are like me, and have 4 level 85s, 1 level 80, 1 level 79, 1 level 46, and a few lowbies. Clearly I have proven that I understand the leveling process, I have 4 toons at max level and working on more, but whenever I look at my lowbies hovering between the 10-30 level mark, I get to that point where I say, “ugh, its a long climb to get to max level”, its usually when I say this that I step away, or go back to one of my higher level toons. Its just that after doing the climb multiple times, when faced with doing it again, it feels more like a chore to get to the content that I consider fun.
Don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed the leveling experience, but after leveling 4 toons to max level, there is no excitement in it for me anymore, it just feel like work, a chore. Now there are probably plenty of folks out there who love leveling, a fellow blogger Psynister is one of those folks who loves the leveling experience and spends most of his time doing just that. But there is a large majority of players out there, myself included who find true enjoyment of the game after we hit max level and get to tackle all that max level content.
Right now, the cost of a re-roll for a raiding player can be quite steep. Level from 1-max level, then start running end-game heroics and dailies in order to get gear just to tackle entry raids. Lets not forget about your rep grinds to get the right helm and shoulder enchants. Its one of the big reasons I think some raiders burn out, is they are ready for a change but after investing so much, the thought of the leveling grind on a fresh toon just sounds exhausting and not a task they wish to undertake. However increasing the experience you gain from questing will appease some folks, but when newer folks go through a zone, and are only halfway through and the quests turn gray they will be a bit disappointed that the zone is completable at the expense of gaining no more experience.
So what can Blizzard do? The notion of selling levels is something those with disposable income I know would jump at, especially a legit way of doing it at least. First off there is already a mechanism in the game with the recruit a friend to grant levels, but if you are one of the folks who can’t benefit from this system what then? So the code is there in the game for granting levels and can be leveraged. Now I am not advocating that a brand new player can buy the game and buy their way to the level cap. I still think its important for new players to level up, learn their character, some of the story, learn to interact with the world, etc. But a seasoned player, one who has leveled multiple toons, maybe to the tune of 2 to 3 characters to max level, should be allowed to purchase “grantable levels” to speed their climb to the level cap.
Sure there are some flaws with this idea, in that people do not learn their class as they level, but I would say a seasoned player understands the game enough to do the research and understand where to go to find out what rotations, specs, etc. Though I also contend that someone who say wants to try out druid healing, doesn’t typically level as resto, they level as boomkin or feral, then once they hit max level, they spec change. Its essentially the same thing as purchasing grantable levels up to the level cap, they would still need to relearn their class all over. Many will even say that the game fundamentally changes once you are at max level, leveling specs are many times no longer valid (though this will change in Mists of Pandaria), and for a veteran of World of Warcraft I can see this being a valid option to reduce burn out but allow them to get into playing a new toon.
I do think that the system should be disabled upon the release of a new expansion for a period of time, and make a player level at least 2-3 toons back up to max level before allowing the system of buying grantable levels again.
In the end there isn’t much incentive for folks to go out and grind out levels 1 to max level unless they are die hard leveling fanatics, seeing the same content over and over, other than maybe the starting zones I contend is not compelling gameplay. So in an interest of providing more options to veteran players who have already invested in leveling up multiple toons, allow them to spend some disposable income and buy grantable levels for a 3rd or 4th alt depending on the threshold that is set of (2-3 or more max level toons).
What are your thoughts?