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Is WoW really on easy mode?

ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member

Recently I had a thought.

How long would it take me to lvl a toon to 90, without any benefits of ask a friend or power leveling or heritage items, etc.

 

So I did it.

 Note: I did take advantage of rest xp and the monk 1 hour per lvl xp bonus, though not regularly. I also joined a guild and got fast track. 

 

Well, it took me 8 days played time (rounding up a couple of hours). 

I play pretty casually, so this is about 2 and a half months. 

Thing is, I'm not really raid ready yet, my highest item lvl is 463; I anticipate it will be another couple of months until I feel I sufficiently have a 'geared' toon. 

So I think it is safe to assume you can start from scratch and gear up a toon in 2 to 4 months.

Now, compare that with vanilla.......

http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/371075/page/1

It seems pretty similar to me. 

So, looking at it from this perspective, 

The adjustments they've made over the years looks to me to be a concerted effort to keep the curve from 1 to max the same as when they started.

So....I contend they didn't make the game easier. They kept the game the same, so as to avoid making the leveling experience prohibitive.

I believe the reason you can solo to max is also to prevent the leveling experience to be prohibitive. 

With x-realm server zones, I believe you could add some group content. But even with those, these newbie leveling areas are ghost towns. I can't imagine starting WoW for the first time and 'needing' to group in those leveling zones. You simply would never find the group you needed.

This would be a retention killer. If you can't get the player to the other players, you don't have an mmo. What would be the alternative for mitigating the levelling ghost town? Under wow's structure, giving 90s a 'reason' to be in Wetlands and group with newbs, well....we all know that isn't going to happen. Mentoring? Has its limits; usually there's little to no incentive for the maxed player. I contend the only way to do it, is how they did it. Make it soloable, but make it take about as long as the original Vanilla crowd.

And if you think about the alternatives, 

What if they hadn't made those adjustments? Meaning, your first 3 or 4 months got you to 60.

How long should TBC take? WotLK? etc.

How long should it take to reach max level in WoW?

What would be the ramifications on new players joining WoW?

How would retention be affected?

How would guilds look at recruiting newbies?

What would it do to expansion sales if only a small percentage was anywhere near the new content?

Would they have to change the way they do xpansions to cater to people throughout lvls, rather than having 90% at the top? 

What would that do to the development cost?

Anyway, these are the questions I raised to myself. 

But I still felt like it was an 'a-ha' moment. The time table hasn't shifted, just the number of lvls you get in that time.

 

 

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Comments

  • gravesworngravesworn charleston, WVPosts: 324Member
    If you played the 40 man raids then and watched all the raids get nerfed over the years then you wouldnt have to ask. When people say wow is easy mode it is because of the lack of effort and cordination needed for raids as compared to then. Downing certain raids was a herlecian achievement then. Hell, It was a pain to get a atttuned for raids then too. Wow has changed a lot depending on whom you ask it is for the better or worse. Leveling has gotten easiier in the sense that there are more soloable conent but it still doesnt take any more signaificant amount of time to level than it use to.
  • ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member
    Originally posted by gravesworn
    If you played the 40 man raids then and watched all the raids get nerfed over the years then you wouldnt have to ask. When people say wow is easy mode it is because of the lack of effort and cordination needed for raids as compared to then. Downing certain raids was a herlecian achievement then. Hell, It was a pain to get a atttuned for raids then too. Wow has changed a lot depending on whom you ask it is for the better or worse. Leveling has gotten easiier in the sense that there are more soloable conent but it still doesnt take any more signaificant amount of time to level than it use to.

    That was really my point. Part of what makes WoW seem 'easier' is that the leveling curve has remained similar throughout the years. If you can get 1-90 in the same time you used to get 1-60, then it 'feels' almost 1/3 easier, because you can get more lvls in the same amount of time.

    The other argument about WoW getting 'easier' has to do with raid nerfing and lack of group content in the leveling zones. I argue that the group content was removed from the leveling zones to maintain the leveling curve. 

    Blizzard has stated the raid nerfing is to make the best raids accessible to more than the 2% who got to see it before. I think, as you said, this point is debatable, but valid. You certainly see more raids and die a lot less in raids than you did in Vanilla - is that easier or more accessible? Or do they go hand in hand?

    Well, personally, as far as 'time invested'; WoW doesn't seem to be any less difficult than it always has been - the rest is debatable.

  • VolkmarVolkmar EspooPosts: 2,496Member Uncommon

    From a purely spectator point of view, I think Blizzard is trying to keep the latest content to be as difficulty as possible and then it gradually nerf it or make it easier as time passes.

    So to compare then and now, you would have an objective recollection of how hard Molten Core was and compare it to the current heroic pandaria raid.

    I do not have such information and I doubt many have, so it is quite difficult to answer, but mostly I feel Blizzard has not made the game easier at the top level, they just introduced easier difficulty levels for those that could not or did not want to reach those hardcore peaks, which is 100% all right for me because I pay the same $$ as everyone else, so why would some content be barred from me just because I do not want or cannot spend 8 hours a day playing?

    The current situation seems quite ideal. Casuals have the easier raids, while hardcore gets the best loot, but both of them will see all the content Blizzard has made.

    "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime"



  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,949Member Uncommon

    Wow have always been considered pretty easy compared to older games like EQ.

    How long it takes to level up is no good example though, how hard it is would be a better question. So counting how many times you died would make more sense if you want to find out if that part of the game is easier now than before.

    Time spend and difficulty never was the same thing.

  • MurlockDanceMurlockDance ParisPosts: 1,223Member
    Originally posted by Loke666

    Wow have always been considered pretty easy compared to older games like EQ.

    How long it takes to level up is no good example though, how hard it is would be a better question. So counting how many times you died would make more sense if you want to find out if that part of the game is easier now than before.

    Time spend and difficulty never was the same thing.

    I don't think that looking at character deaths tells you the whole story about difficulty.

    Sometimes the older games were unintentionally difficult, i.e. they had some major bugs that required players knowing how to bypass them in order to succeed. For example, in DAoC, you had to learn what walls in the dungeons mobs in another room could see through and aggro you through or you had to know how to pull buggy mobs that could aggro the entire spawn.

    I died quite often in EQ and DAoC due to bugs or lag back when high speed internet was still not up to snuff.

    WoW is less buggy in that sense, and therefore those unintended scenarios don't come up. I can count on one hand how many times I have died due to bugs or lag in all of my time playing the game. Since the game has always run more smoothly, it seems easier, but back in WoW vanilla, I died extremely often on my characters especially in Strangethorn Vale when I was doing the quests in the troll ziggurat area.

    I do feel that recently Blizzard has been nerfing the difficulty a lot. Heroics now are not as difficult as they were in TBC. I felt that the heroics at the beginning of Cata were just right: requiring crowd control and intelligent play to get through, but that is not really possible in PuGs. I have not tried the new PvE challenge stuff, so I don't know how difficult it is.

    Playing MUDs and MMOs since 1994.

    image
  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIPosts: 2,601Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by gravesworn
    If you played the 40 man raids then and watched all the raids get nerfed over the years then you wouldnt have to ask. When people say wow is easy mode it is because of the lack of effort and cordination needed for raids as compared to then. Downing certain raids was a herlecian achievement then. Hell, It was a pain to get a atttuned for raids then too. Wow has changed a lot depending on whom you ask it is for the better or worse. Leveling has gotten easiier in the sense that there are more soloable conent but it still doesnt take any more signaificant amount of time to level than it use to.
    The 40 man raids werent hard.


    The 40 man raids were only difficult because of the cat wrangling you had to do to manage 40 people and even then a good portion of the raid were dead weight slackers.

    Also a lot of the bosses were heavily bugged or overtuned or both. Blizzard was not very good at testing instance encounters in Vanilla. Blizzard didnt really start caring about testing raids until tier 6 in TBC.


    People like to go on about how awesome 40 man Naxx was and how hard it was but half the bosses were bugged.


    Ragnaros was mathematically impossible to beat for the first several months. Players complained but Blizzard didnt want to admit it. When it became unavoidable Blizzard did fix Ragnaros and he was beat the same day.

  • ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member
    Originally posted by Xiaoki

     


    Originally posted by gravesworn
    If you played the 40 man raids then and watched all the raids get nerfed over the years then you wouldnt have to ask. When people say wow is easy mode it is because of the lack of effort and cordination needed for raids as compared to then. Downing certain raids was a herlecian achievement then. Hell, It was a pain to get a atttuned for raids then too. Wow has changed a lot depending on whom you ask it is for the better or worse. Leveling has gotten easiier in the sense that there are more soloable conent but it still doesnt take any more signaificant amount of time to level than it use to.

    The 40 man raids werent hard.

     


    The 40 man raids were only difficult because of the cat wrangling you had to do to manage 40 people and even then a good portion of the raid were dead weight slackers.

    Also a lot of the bosses were heavily bugged or overtuned or both. Blizzard was not very good at testing instance encounters in Vanilla. Blizzard didnt really start caring about testing raids until tier 6 in TBC.


    People like to go on about how awesome 40 man Naxx was and how hard it was but half the bosses were bugged.


    Ragnaros was mathematically impossible to beat for the first several months. Players complained but Blizzard didnt want to admit it. When it became unavoidable Blizzard did fix Ragnaros and he was beat the same day.

    I agree. And here's the thing. 

    2% of WoW players actually saw that content

    98% of gamers on the internet claim they were hardcore about it

    My estimation is the same as Blizzards. The raids weren't hard, the difficulty existed in the grind to get access and as you said, the grind to actually get 40 coherent people together at the appointed time. But to add to that; the majority of people who claim, 'I was there, I saw it' ; are simply not telling the truth.

    I played in Vanilla. I didn't come close to raiding or seeing that content until well after. When you walked around Ironforge, there were like 2 to 6 people out of 100s in raid gear. We don't know how hard the raids were, we just know how hard it was to get access to them.

  • Shoko_LiedShoko_Lied -, WAPosts: 2,080Member Uncommon

    In vanilla there were raids that took months to clear the first time for the best guild, and unless you were in one of the top guilds, you would NEVER see the end of the raid. Or possibly, you would never even complete the prerequisite dungeons required to start that raid in the first place.

    There were bosses that took weeks just to get passed. Now the hardest boss in new expansions is downed the first several hours of the first day, and the dungeon within the first 24 hours.

    Yes, its too easy.

  • ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member
    Originally posted by Loke666

    Wow have always been considered pretty easy compared to older games like EQ.

    How long it takes to level up is no good example though, how hard it is would be a better question. So counting how many times you died would make more sense if you want to find out if that part of the game is easier now than before.

    Time spend and difficulty never was the same thing.

    Unfortunately, the almost non-existant death penalty throws this off. People just don't care that much about dying in the game. 

    But you are absolutely right - wow has always been considered pretty easy - it was the main complaint when it came out. So when I see people saying they've 'dumbed' down WoW....I think....from what? 

    The thrust of this game has always been its accessibility and convenience. Make it easy to learn. Make it fun. I believe they have always done a good job of it.

  • Shoko_LiedShoko_Lied -, WAPosts: 2,080Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loke666

    Wow have always been considered pretty easy compared to older games like EQ.

    How long it takes to level up is no good example though, how hard it is would be a better question. So counting how many times you died would make more sense if you want to find out if that part of the game is easier now than before.

    Time spend and difficulty never was the same thing.

    And yet more than 95% of all of WoW's population had never seen the inside of Naxxramas until Blizzard increased the level cap with an expansion.

    There were elements of WoW that topped any other MMO.

  • WicoaWicoa LondonPosts: 1,602Member Uncommon

    No wow is not easy mode. There are elements that are "easier" than others. I would never call heroic raids easy or even medium difficulty.... you need some great players around you and quite a bit of time to achieve those kills.

     

     

  • Johnie-MarzJohnie-Marz La Puente, CAPosts: 865Member

    I noticed that WoW jumps back and forth in difficulty.

    Leveling: They purposely made leveling quicker so new players can get to the new content faster: This make WoW a very top heavy game.

    When heroic dungeons are introduced in each expansion, they are usually very difficult

    A few months later they get overly nerfed.

    In the case of Cataclysm the Troll heroic's were extremely dificult for a pug to complete, I would spend two hours at a time doing them because players would get mad and quit after each wipe. (Then the next set of heroics were rediculously easy)

    Over all Raids have gotten easier. It now takes the top raiding guilds a couple days to become the world first, I believe Black Temple wasn't beaten until the next teir of raids came out. Quite a difference.

    So it's up and down.

  • strangiato2112strangiato2112 Richmond, VAPosts: 1,538Member Common
    Originally posted by Johnie-Marz

     

    Over all Raids have gotten easier. It now takes the top raiding guilds a couple days to become the world first, I believe Black Temple wasn't beaten until the next teir of raids came out. Quite a difference.

    So it's up and down.

    There are a number of factors here.

     

    The biggest one is that top guilds are that much better.  6 extra years of practice will make you that much better.

     

    But yes, the difficulty is inconsistent.  Heroic Ragnaros was very tough.  The trick isnt looking at what the top 50 guilds do, its looking at the next 500.  Last week Blizzard posted that only 26 guilds had cleared the current content, which is about the same percentage as 1 guild clearing content in a game like Rift.

     

    Dungeons have certainly gotten easier though, even when Cata launched the dungeons werent tough, just tough for a below average PuG.  The bigger issue was people being impatient and not doing things like cc and target marking.

  • observerobserver Houston, TXPosts: 3,002Member Uncommon
    It doesn't take much effort anymore, at all.  You can pretty much get all the gear you need without a guild.  Heroics & LFR gear don't count as guild-exclusive content either.  Just about everything can be pugged and solo'd, except the actual guild content.  They got rid of all the elite quests and group quests, which is a shame.  So yes, WoW is easy mode.
  • AyliarAyliar Bartlett, TNPosts: 8Member
    It's easier then it was in 05 for sure. When I say easy I mean it takes less time to do things like level, craft, and raid. It's still entertaining enough to play for a few months at a time. I play for 6-8 months then take a break between expanses.
  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIPosts: 2,601Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Johnie-Marz

    Over all Raids have gotten easier. It now takes the top raiding guilds a couple days to become the world first, I believe Black Temple wasn't beaten until the next teir of raids came out. Quite a difference.

    You're thinking of Kael'thas. Illidan was taken down in 2 weeks.

    Kael'thas was also overtuned like no tomorrow. He wasnt quite mathematically impossible to kill but very close.


    Also "bosses are killed faster by the top guilds" really isnt an indicator as to the difficulty of the recent raids.


    Well, atleast no one has cited C'thun as an example of how hard the old raids were.

  • MarirranyaMarirranya Ortario, OHPosts: 154Member

    imo raiding is hard.

    its fun, challenging and at the same time builds comaraderie.

    it can either make or break a guild :3

     

    There are people who play games and then there are gamers.

    http://alzplz.blogspot.com

  • faxnadufaxnadu HelsinkiPosts: 940Member Uncommon

    " insert name of and old game here " and say its harder than wow cause you want to be cool again.

    wow can be hard aswell like any other mmo outthere, but i have to say yesterday i went back to continue my monk,

    healed 2 dungeons thro and didnt even remember the heals and combos and such so i guess its pretty much easy mode

    in that perspection.

  • MurlockDanceMurlockDance ParisPosts: 1,223Member
    Originally posted by strangiato2112

     (Snip)

    Dungeons have certainly gotten easier though, even when Cata launched the dungeons werent tough, just tough for a below average PuG.  The bigger issue was people being impatient and not doing things like cc and target marking.

    This is what I noticed too and why I preferred the dungeons at Cata launch. I like using all of the tools given to my class since rotations get boring. Requiring crowd control, target marking, etc. is so much more interesting and requires group cooperation. Anymore, groups don't cooperate with each other. It seems it is just to rush through the content as fast as possible. It is hard to even get quests completed because people just rush to the end.

    In that sense, WoW is definitely easy mode anymore. In Vanilla, you had to be careful in dungeons as you did at Cata launch. Now it is just faceroll even on heroic difficulty.

    Playing MUDs and MMOs since 1994.

    image
  • observerobserver Houston, TXPosts: 3,002Member Uncommon
    BC heroics were amazing and challenging.  When Wotlk came though, it was all trivialized, and they became AOE tank fests.
  • Dantae87Dantae87 Camloops, ABPosts: 166Member
    Yup wow is 100% easy mode...any game that used  dungeon/raid finder is easy mode

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  • XxGrimmxXXxGrimmxX texarkana, TXPosts: 223Member
    So the reality of it is, not everyone is in a great guild that can down content pretty regularly. If you want hard (and they are hard) do hard modes. Otherwise you can't really complain. I think that since WoW is popular, it is an easy target to blame for recent MMO's, a scapegoat if you will. They nerf stuff close to when they will release a new raid so everyone has that feeling of satisfaction. It's still the most popular MMO and love it or hate it, their model works for a broad audience, not just a niche.
  • OnomicOnomic TønsbergPosts: 196Member

    Wow normal Bc dungeons was quite challenging, it was when dungeon finder arrived it turned into easy mode. And it wasnt becouse of dungeon finder, i think that tool is quite good but rather what they did to adjust to that system. They removed the need for CC to make the que shorter. Befor dungeon finder a CC was needed ( u might manage without but pug would't), but to shorten the que they decided to ignore cc and add more aoe clearance, this is where wow died for me.

    Another item helpd to destroy wow is talisman items, the level bonus dont hurt the game at all. But the power you get from items make you quite insane if you put an non talisman and someone with talisman beside each other. I can see why they did this and it makes alt better to level and tbh a little fair to give em an bonus. But it ruins dungeon runs as they are to powerfull.

    At end game i think wow atleast when i tried it last is one of the harder mmorpg out there. Its just a wierd curve from easy mode leveling and hard as hell endgame.

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHPosts: 5,205Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by XxGrimmxX
    So the reality of it is, not everyone is in a great guild that can down content pretty regularly.
     
    This does not adress game difficulty. naturally below-average players will find average difficulty to be very challenging.

    image

  • ezpz77ezpz77 Beale, CAPosts: 227Member
    Hardmode raiding in WoW is more competitive than any other game. The encounters are difficult and the race for firsts is insanely competitive. Same goes for PVP; huuuuuuge amounts of competition. What was 2700 rating during BC is now 2200. Starting fresh, you will be forced to farm for mounts, and there is a TON of stuff to get done. These people who call WoW easy mode are probably the same people that die standing in fire 30 seconds into a Looking For Raid group, and have never set foot into a hardmode raid or high rating arena.
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