WoW Discussion

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?

14 Comments on Is it Time for Blizzard to Sell Levels?

  1. I really don’t see why this should be necessary, they gave us heirlooms already…. doesn’t that solve the problem and show that Blizzard did consider that leveling needed a short cut?
    Besides, leveling with full heirlooms is very fast and they up old areas (Outland fx) with more xp for faster leveling.
    You point to all the grinds that set in once you hit max level, rep grinds fx, and I see them as a bigger issue than leveling with regards to this.
    Ironyca´s last blog post ..Virtual Public Life – Solo Play pt. 6

    • Ceraphus

      I have a druid with full heirloom at level 46, and honestly I have no motivation to go through the same content a 7th time with him, but I want to try resto at max level, so honestly don’t see why it would be a problem if someone already showed they had X amount of toons already at 85. while leveling has been made easier, adding more experience from quests or less experience needed to go from level to level, only makes you go through half of the zones, which if you haven’t leveled yet or new to the game I think that gives the player a disservice

      • “adding more experience from quests or less experience needed to go from level to level, only makes you go through half of the zones, which if you haven’t leveled yet or new to the game I think that gives the player a disservice”

        I think they are operating with a max amount of time it can take a new player to max, so my guess is that Blizzard does not want it to take longer to get to 85 than it was back then to get to 60, as an attempt to not overwhelm new players with a huuuuge exponential grind.
        Ironyca´s last blog post ..Virtual Public Life – Solo Play pt. 6

    • Wowopa

      While this is true (re: heirlooms), this does not help when you roll on a new server — unless you xfer a mule loaded with heirlooms. The trick would be to make the cost less than a server transfer… say a certain $ for a bracket of levels.

      I do agree that the Rep grinds are more annoying that the level grinds.

      • Ceraphus

        well rep grinds are harsh, but sound like they will be better in MoP. Though leveling 85 levels currently is quite tedious even with heirlooms, and perks, in MoP its going up another 5 levels its quite a climb for a re-roll.

  2. Percy

    Sure why not. Blizz is already merrily dumbing everything down to extremes in the name of accessibilty. Leveling is already a tremendous joke (out-leveling zones is a tremendous imbalance that is overlooked, imagine if you were a new player?). Especially for prepared players with heirloom gear and guild perks. Simply selling levels (or pre-mades) would be just another step down the ladder to oblivion. For now you can come close by buying another count and going all Recruit-A-Friend double exp happy.

    But why stop at levels then? May as well just keep on going, sell those levels, sell that gold, start selling gear. Then as subs mysteriously decline WoW can transition to f2p as they merge servers for their shrinking population.

    • (out-leveling zones is a tremendous imbalance that is overlooked, imagine if you were a new player?)

      A new player would not have the heirlooms and guild perks that make out-leveling zones happen to begin with, hope that helps.

      You come off as a whiny, petulant, elitist asshole.

      • Percy

        I leveled a character without any heirlooms (orc warlock). Without any guild.

        You can not level through Azshara and then Ashenvale without leveling past the current content. Quests turn grey in your logs, its stupid that they decided to leave it like this.

        If you don’t believe me then try it yourself. Make a new character, do all the quests in the zones as you level, don’t do any PVP or Dungeons (That would make things worse!). You will outlevel stuff constantly.

        Also I am an elitist and I have every right to be whiny after what has happened to this game the past few years. /disenfranchised =(

        But yeah, they’ll let you buy levels soon, probably during the lifespan of MoP or the next expac. It’d probably be an option to just skip to level 85 or something for $20.

    • Ceraphus

      I want to point out that while at Blizzcon and talking to some of the raiders in the live raid, they mentioned how some would love to re-roll but after having 5 toons at cap, leveling another is just boring, they would like a way to just say look I earned my stripes let me buy some free levels to help the process out.

      I don’t disagree, while I am not an elite raider, I feel that I have put in my time with 4 toons at 85, another one on the way, another about to hit 80, I mean let me buy these last 5 levels or something, I am sick of the leveling content. I have disposable income, I would gladly legitimately pay to level a toon only AFTER I proved I have done it many times before, thats the stipulation I really want to point out. I don’t think anyone should be able to do this, someone has to show they leveled a few toons to max before allowing this type of service.

      • Percy

        It just feels fundamentally wrong to me from a video game standpoint. Paying money to skip the less exciting portions of the game to get to the more exciting portions.

        I can see how it would be appealing, it’d be like using cheat codes on single player games to give you god mode. This is fine in single-player settings.. but in a multiplayer game I feel that letting people skip portions of the game just cheapens the experience for everybody. The sense of accomplishment or pride that might be attained by reaching the top level.

        Heirlooms are a good compromise for now, and they’ve been constantly adding to them for years. I do believe it is just a matter of time before they start selling the levels outright, unfortunately.

      • Wowopa

        I wouldn’t like to see raiding as the “gate” to getting this service. Perhaps a minimum of two max level characters, as you proposed at the end of your post… but I’ll add that only one can be a Death Knight.

        I currently have seven 85’s, three sitting at 80 and a few between 50s -70s. While I don’t necessarily hate leveling, I would just like the option to skip some content I’ve done repeatedly. For instance; I recently rolled a new character (tank) on another server (my main server slots are full) with a good RL friend, I don’t want to move my main tank, so… here I go with the grind.

        Anyway, I like your idea Ceraphus… but what ever Blizz does or does not do, there will people that love it and hate it.

  3. Ryan

    I would be satisfied if I could skip levels up to the most recent content. Maybe make you do the last ten levels before max. That would still give you time to practice whatever new abilities and spec you want. You would still have all the random dungeons or battlegrounds to get good at it. I don’t care if other people did this. If they were horrible players I wouldn’t group with them again and definitely would raid with them. The multiplayer aspect of this doesn’t really matter to me with all the cross-realm and RealID grouping that happens.

  4. Hm… I’m not sure if selling levels is the best choice. I’m sure it would polarize people, and there would have to be lots of restrictions that would change each expansion (no level granting for the most recent expansion). I’m not sure if the WoW community is ready for this particular microtransaction.

    Plus, I personally don’t think it’s necessary at the moment. Even going up to 90, there are multiple ways to level a toon; through questing, dungeons, pvp, gathering, exploring… Sure, doing just one may not get you all the way there, but it’s a varied experience that’s much more streamlined now. I don’t enjoy questing too much, but I can still leveling through dungeons or pvping.

    Of course, for people who have leveled more toons than me, the content may be getting a little old. The 1-60 should be a little more varied, since you level through zones fast enough now that you can skip by ones you’ve done more recently a pick a different one. Outlands and WotLK are probably the more ‘boring’ ones since it’s the same quests, and if you don’t like the dungeons or pvp, it’ll definitely be more of grind. Those are the places that I’d think level buying would be most appreciated, but even then, you can certainly level through those areas faster.

    I think this will be more of a concern if they get to level 100… hitting a three digit number is definitely a more challenging mental barrier to pass.
    Mishaweha´s last blog post ..A Blog Post In Which Misha Takes Over Her Guild And A GM Tells A Joke

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