I was talking today with someone about leveling in online games and I remembered something interesting. Back in old World of Warcraft days, when no one really cared about leveling at all, they did but they thought that was how the game was, and nobody had any idea what “endgame content” is, I was impressed by a player named Joana. I actually found him on Google really fast back then. I bet everyone searched “how to level up” at least once when they played for the first one.
So, let me tell you about this guy, I know, his name, Joana, is of a girl, but he is actually a guy. He was the most well known speed runner in the game. I just checked right now. His old guide is still online out there for 1-60 leveling. It is pretty awesome if you want to read it, and study his route. I remember I found a leaked version of his video guide, on the old Google Videos, where he showed the route on one of his characters while he listened to the radio.
His record back then was 4 days and 21 hours. And now, if we compare this to “normal people”, most people, even me on the second run. It took us two weeks /played. For most people 2 months /played was normal. People would just explore the game because it was new and wonderful and they didn’t care about anything else, they just made friends and spend time online. It was so immersive that it felt you were part of that world.
Now, everyone looks to rush the game. They just want to get to the endgame really fast, so then, they can leave the game after they get bored of the dungeon finder or other new features MMOs have right now. If leveling is too slow they just leave and talk bad about it on Reddit or on the forums.
In my opinion, slow leveling is good. It creates a great community, forces people so they rely on each other, helps them create friendship bonds. It also discourages kids from playing, which is great nowadays. I mean I was a kid once, I know I sound really old now, but my generation was a bit more patient. We took our time to do stuff. The new MMO format just gives everything for free and it has no meaning. I mean look at Revelation Online, endgame stuff starts at level 20.