Do You Care How Long It Takes To Level Up?
When I started playing MMORPGs, all of those many years ago, I was obsessed with progression. If I wasn’t leveling up, I wasn’t going forward and if I wasn’t going forward, I felt like I was having a wasted gaming session. It wasn’t that was I particular keen on the raiding endgame either (I’ve still never really developed a taste for it) or desperate to “complete” the game but I just wanted to feel like my time online was productive and worthwhile. No doubt a lot of this had to do with the fact that I started off playing Everquest in which it took a horrendously long time to do just about anything, let alone hit the level cap. Now things are different though.
Games like EVE aside, leveling in traditional themepark MMOs is evolving and changing partially thanks to games like World of Warcraft. It’s becoming much more of a streamlined and quick process rather than a struggle for survival against overwhelming odds with stacked everything against you. Whether or not that’s a good thing is perfectly debatable. However, regardless of the time and style of progression, my views about that journey towards the level cap have changed significantly in quite a short period of time. I now no longer care about measuring how “successful” my gaming session was or how quickly or not I’m accruing levels. In fact, I barely look at the experience bar at all these days.
So why the change in attitude? I’m not sure really. Perhaps it’s to do with the fact that leveling is pretty easy now in most games and not something you actively need to struggle against. It’s not like we lose experience anymore when we die (a la EQ) and risk the chance of de-leveling. Perhaps it’s also got something to do with the fact that hitting level 85 in World of Warcraft shortly after Cataclysm was released left me feeling quite disillusioned with the whole endgame environment and now no longer feel the rush to try and hit the cap. Or perhaps I’m just mellowing out and taking my time to enjoy the journey more than ever before.
Still I’m curious about how everyone feels about it. Is knocking through those levels a priority to you? Are you in a rush to hit the level cap? Or do you not care about those sorts of things at all?