Level Squish

“If the director says you can do better, particularly in a love scene, then it is rather embarrassing.”
Julie Andrews

Level Squish

Here at Coffee Cakes and Crits, our spidey-senses are tingling. In the last Dev Q&A, Ion expressed frustration at our current leveling system. This is mostly in regards to the current cap at 120 that is very high (or seems very far away) for a beginning player.

He also briefly discussed the distance between earning new things like spells and talents when leveling up as if that distance were too long for a leveling player.

Our blogging experts agree that we will very likely see a Level Squish in the next expansion. Supported by this is the power squish we just experienced with BfA, now described as a dial that can be turned; in other words, they invested into a lot of programming to make the power squish work across all levels.

Candidly, I don’t see it the same way as our Devs. This usually means that I’m missing the basic problem.

As I see it, the World of Warcraft is a huge game. If the argument is that players want to zip to max to raid with their friends, then I agree that 120 can seem daunting. And, I’d offer a toggle if that is the motive and let them either zip up to 120 or arrive brand new at 110.

If, by chance, a player wants to see the story in each zone and each expansion, the current system is very good and maybe speeded up too much. With such a big game, I’d hate to see new players miss all the good stuff. When I did the Loremaster bit for the zone that Theramore is in, I was totally into the story and that was my motive to play and I was very happy playing.

With the exception of Burning Crusade, all of the zones have good storylines and you can work your way through the areas to follow the signals. My last experience in BC had me looking up every quest on Wowhead, they were not intuitive and very confusing. I’d fix that if this is what we are discussing.

Would you have a problem in the next expansion going from 120 to 50? It seems jarring but we have already seen the ilevels and damage levels drop in BfA.

Personally, I don’t think that it is too spread out for new spells and talents. By the time my new stuff arrives when I’m now level 40, I’m ready for a new thing having used my skills to play.

The only exception is if I’m in a hurry. Then I want every XP boost and to nurture my rested and do silly stuff that is anti-gaming because of that desire. If Blizzard could address that part of it, I don’t think we really need a Level Squish.

8 thoughts on “Level Squish

  1. I think they can stop adding levels with every expansion, they can learn from Guilds War 2, no more levels after reaching 80 and you start to level the account, both ideas could work with WoW.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I would suggest having an account wide option; The more characters at max level one has, the higher xq gain on new alts, which can be toggled on and off. This feature is unlocked through doing Pathfinder.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I think a level squish is inevitable.. From the perspective of a new player the current system is untenable. We as players start out in Cataclysm then choose to travel to Burning Crusade or Wrath then chose between more Cataclysm or………… and so on.

    It is a long slog through a history lesson a new player might not care for when they start the game with visions of the newest expansion being marketed to them. Couple that with the feeling of a long drawn out progression system with few rewards at each level or even every few levels and you have a game no one would truly care to start in.

    I really feel they need to stream line the level system, remove all expansions to the Caverns of Time, have a generic leveling story line that utilizes all of Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor that ultimately blends the new player into the newest expansion. make that generic level system teach the class and reward players as they progress towards the newest content in a reasonable time with meaningful impact and story.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Interesting counter-points! I think leveling as it currently is isn’t awful on its own merits, but more because of the pacing of progression. Leveling used to reward a lot of new gameplay as you went, but between pruning, the MoP talent system revamp, and the removal of the WoD leveling perks, there are too many stretches where you don’t get anything new at all short of the stat boosts, which makes it feel like busywork.

    There’s definitely also a mental component to it for new players. 120 levels is a LOT. If I was trying to sucker someone into playing the game with me from scratch, even if we both rolled new characters and I took no heirlooms or boosts, it would feel like too much, given that you can spend a few weeks and barely hit 40 or 50. Even if the experience requirement is also squished, requiring an identical amount of XP to hit 60 instead of 120, that journey feels shorter, and with more frequent ability/talent acquisition, I think there’s an opportunity for that to feel more interesting and meaningful.

    They could, of course, fix these things into the current leveling flow, but the scale of things just means there is naturally more progression between abilities, even if you perfectly balance it.

    I’d also be onboard with no levels and using story progression or a rank system, in which case a squish would be perfect to start such a system.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I have watched Blizzard shoot themselves in the foot so many times in this expansion that I am beginning to wonder if they are just trying their level best to just destroy the whole thing. Seems odd that all of the previous expansions were moving along quite well with the exception of WoD and then Legion came along with some new concepts – well, Blizz dumped what they learned from Legion and BfA has been a crap shoot since it dropped.

    I wish I knew which direction Blizzard was going before I get too involved in the game again, I hate having my heart broken too often.

    Liked by 1 person

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