Alt progression in WotLK and after
His reasoning goes that given the announcement that Death Knights will start at a “higher level”, generally reported to be somewhere in the range of 60 give-or-take, why should a player then have to level existing alts, or new alts, through 70 levels to also take part in the expansion.
I do think he has a point. I’m currently leveling three alts, and while zones aren’t as desolated as I had expected at the lower levels, there aren’t exactly mobs of players out there either. That being said, the few folks that I’ve seen have largely been willing to help. I think anyone out there trying to level a toon these days understands the length the process takes and most seem to adopt a “we’re all in this together” attitude.
I think the heart of the issue is simply the time it takes to go from 1-60, now 70, and soon to be 80 with a new character. Is there some value in that process as you get to understand the mechanics of a new class you haven’t played before? Absolutely. Does that mean that players will continue to level characters through 80 levels to get a new class into endgame? I think we are into diminishing returns on that one. With the more expansions that come out, the probability that anyone will go through that grind go way down.
I expected the comments for Tobold’s post to be largely in support of faster leveling. Indeed, the first commenter spoke of a system in DAoC, where once you had a character to level 50, then you could start alts at higher levels. This got a lot of positive feedback. Later on in the comments though, others started adding to the conversation in support of leaving the system the way it is.
Personally, I think this is an issue Blizzard will have to address. If there intention is to not upgrade old zones, and 10 levels will be added with each expansion, the barriers to entry for both new players and existing players starting alts will simply get to be too much. As I said I’ve been playing around with some alts until I get Amanna back into a guild. I have three alts into their 20′s. It started as just something to do to try out some different classes. Now that they are in their 20′s, I’m a little bit more serious about leveling them. The experience bonus is helping, but if WotLK came out tomorrow and I was now looking at getting to 80 versus getting them to 58 and being able to get them into Outland, I would probably stop playing them.
A system that allowed for long term players to start alts at higher levels, and new players to accelerate their development, is needed if patches and expansions will continue to be focused on new zones and areas.
Tobold and his commenter’s have some great ideas and thoughts on this topic. If you find this interesting at all, be sure to check out his post.