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Is leveling a waste of time in MMO's anymore?

Is it really worth the hassle anymore, especially in games where the perception (right or wrong) is that things really don't start until max level?  It would almost seem, in the view of many, as if the leveling process is simply a tool so that new players can learn their class so they can be ready to raid.  With the addition of heirlooms and bonus xp in some games, a player levels out of a zone before doing a fraction of the quest lines and max level is reached in a matter of a few short days.

My personal view is that leveling is just as important and should be enjoyed.  For example, my level 37 Templar in Aion just began running the solo-instance Kromede's trial that is only available from level 37-44.  I'm purposely doing other things (crafting/gathering/exploring/participating in RP events) while I wait for the 22 hour cooldown so I can run it again.  It personally doesn't bother me that it may take me months to get to max level.

What do you think? How do you view leveling? Does it server a purpose other than 'noob' training?

 

Edit: because I can't type.

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Comments

  • CorehavenCorehaven Member UncommonPosts: 1,533

    Some do look at it as one big long tutorial.  But mmos were not and are not the first kind of genre to impliment levels. 

     

    This has been done for decades, and for me its always represented my character growing in strength and becoming more skilled as he levels.  For me its always been more about the journey.  Ive never been an end game fan.  Raiding is the opposite of a good time for me. 

     

    So for me at least its hardly pointless, because to me, its the entire meat of the game.  After Im virtually a God and there's no new skills to learn or quests to take, the game is sort of over for me.  Im not a gear nut so running the same raids over and over just to get a pair of decent pauldrons is something I care absolutely nothing about.  Whats the point?  PvP?  Ive found I can do fairly well in PvP without all the fancy super uber gear anyways.  So to me its entirely pointless. 

  • czekoskwigelczekoskwigel Member Posts: 458
    I get all of my joy in MMORPG's from leveling. Endgame is worthless.
  • MMOtoGOMMOtoGO Member Posts: 630

    Originally posted by Corehaven

    Some do look at it as one big long tutorial.  But mmos were not and are not the first kind of genre to impliment levels. 

     

    This has been done for decades, and for me its always represented my character growing in strength and becoming more skilled as he levels.  For me its always been more about the journey.  Ive never been an end game fan.  Raiding is the opposite of a good time for me. 

     

    So for me at least its hardly pointless, because to me, its the entire meat of the game.  After Im virtually a God and there's no new skills to learn or quests to take, the game is sort of over for me.  Im not a gear nut so running the same raids over and over just to get a pair of decent pauldrons is something I care absolutely nothing about.  Whats the point?  PvP?  Ive found I can do fairly well in PvP without all the fancy super uber gear anyways.  So to me its entirely pointless. 

    Good points.  In my case, it's a time factor.  I did the raiding thing for three-years and literally felt like I was chasing my own shadow...as soon as I hit a goal, the target moved 10 feet.  Now that I'm enjoying the lore, art, crafting, playing the economy and a host of other aspects, I'm no longer sitting at the end of the trail waiting for a developer to release new "content" since I'm enjoying more of the game than I was before.  I'm even learning to "RP" ... and I used to make fun of people who did RP LOL!

  • DrSpankyDrSpanky Member Posts: 341

    I'm there with you. I don't mind it taking a long time for me to reach max level, cause it usually does anyway (I usually only play a few hours on weekends). As long as there are other things to do while leveling (deeds and titles and what not) I can spend a year or more leveling and I wouldn't mind. I see max level as the end of the game for me. Don't have the time or patience for raiding.

    It's a proven historical fact that beer saved humankind.

  • CorehavenCorehaven Member UncommonPosts: 1,533

    Originally posted by MMOtoGO

    Good points.  In my case, it's a time factor.  I did the raiding thing for three-years and literally felt like I was chasing my own shadow...as soon as I hit a goal, the target moved 10 feet.  Now that I'm enjoying the lore, art, crafting, playing the economy and a host of other aspects, I'm no longer sitting at the end of the trail waiting for a developer to release new "content" since I'm enjoying more of the game than I was before.  I'm even learning to "RP" ... and I used to make fun of people who did RP LOL!

     

    Oh so you're learning the magic of RP are ya?  Starts to put a whole new depth into the game doesn't it?  RP is sort of a game in itself.   I dont think RP is a total necessity all the time, but it sure is fun to find a group of folk who sits around enjoying each others "characters" while leaving their normal selves back in the real world.  Fun stuff in almost any game. 

  • KelthiusKelthius Member UncommonPosts: 298

    I'm more a fan of skill systems than leveling systems. Seems like a more realistic way of judging character power. In WoW, you can level 1-85 using nothing but 2-handed swords. Then you get to 85 and want to tank so you're magically proficient with 1-hand weapons and a shield? Just seems off to me.

    image
  • MMOtoGOMMOtoGO Member Posts: 630

    Originally posted by Corehaven

    Originally posted by MMOtoGO



    Good points.  In my case, it's a time factor.  I did the raiding thing for three-years and literally felt like I was chasing my own shadow...as soon as I hit a goal, the target moved 10 feet.  Now that I'm enjoying the lore, art, crafting, playing the economy and a host of other aspects, I'm no longer sitting at the end of the trail waiting for a developer to release new "content" since I'm enjoying more of the game than I was before.  I'm even learning to "RP" ... and I used to make fun of people who did RP LOL!

     

    Oh so you're learning the magic of RP are ya?  Starts to put a whole new depth into the game doesn't it?  RP is sort of a game in itself.   I dont think RP is a total necessity all the time, but it sure is fun to find a group of folk who sits around enjoying each others "characters" while leaving their normal selves back in the real world.  Fun stuff in almost any game. 

    Yep...I just joined my first RP legion.  I'm still writing my character's background story and it's more fun than I thought it would be.  It's forced me to read the lore and history of the game, which is much deeper than I ever thought.  

    I think once a player starts to see more than just "epic lewt" as the goal of their game, they really start to find out how much fun an MMORPG can be.

  • MMOtoGOMMOtoGO Member Posts: 630

    Originally posted by Kelthius

    I'm more a fan of skill systems than leveling systems. Seems like a more realistic way of judging character power. In WoW, you can level 1-85 using nothing but 2-handed swords. Then you get to 85 and want to tank so you're magically proficient with 1-hand weapons and a shield? Just seems off to me.

    I get it, Blizz wanted to get rid of the 'tedious' elements, but I think they went too far.  I remember back on my Orc Shaman if I ever re-specced my talents, I had to relearn my 2h Axe/Mace weapons skill from 0.  It was a pain, but seeing a triple Windfury crit on a Night Elf was worth every point! LOL

  • MurashuMurashu Member UncommonPosts: 1,385

    It really depends on the game for me. In EVE I can just in on a brand new character and go participate in the things I love about MMOs, group PvE or group PvP with my friends no matter how old or experienced their characters are. The game allows me to have fun as soon as I step foot into the world with being penalized by a level restriction.. SWG was the same way. On launch day we had 2 groups of 20 working together to kill Krayt dragons and it was a total blast.

     

    Now if I roll a new character in a game with levels, I'm usually restricted from doing the things I love. I'm not allowed to enter certain dungeons until a certain level, I'm not allowed to group with people unless they are within 5-7 levels of my character, I can't queue up for PvP instances until a certain level....restrictions, restrictions, restrictions...

     

    Those are just some of the issues I see with level games. Until you reach max level, you are almost always under some restriction so people just rush to the max level so they can enjoy the entire game.

    www.agonysend.org

  • KenFisherKenFisher Member UncommonPosts: 5,035

    Originally posted by czekoskwigel

    I get all of my joy in MMORPG's from leveling. Endgame is worthless.

    I'm pretty close to this myself.  I'm no raider.  High level for me is someone to make lots of gold so my alts can take it easy and have decent gear from AH.  In WoW I have more fun in Scarlet Monestary and Sunken Temple than any high level dungeons.

     

    On the other hand it does seem like the top-heavy games (a flaw in themepark design) are treating levelling like some sort of extended tutorial.  I guess when 85% of your playerbase is level cap and wearing raid gear, you sort of have to.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  When I don't understand, I ask.  Such is not intended as criticism.
  • MMOtoGOMMOtoGO Member Posts: 630

    Originally posted by ActionMMORPG

    Originally posted by czekoskwigel

    I get all of my joy in MMORPG's from leveling. Endgame is worthless.

    I'm pretty close to this myself.  I'm no raider.  High level for me is someone to make lots of gold so my alts can take it easy and have decent gear from AH.  In WoW I have more fun in Scarlet Monestary and Sunken Temple than any high level dungeons.

     

    On the other hand it does seem like the top-heavy games (a flaw in themepark design) are treating levelling like some sort of extended tutorial.  I guess when 85% of your playerbase is level cap and wearing raid gear, you sort of have to.

    Perhaps this is why some games have added a 'mentoring' system where a max level player can join a group of lower levels to experience certain content with them.  I haven't done this personally, but I've seen others do it.

  • snapfusionsnapfusion Member Posts: 954

    Are you serious?  Are you trolling?  Hmm.  The best part of any WELL DESIGNED mmo is leveling your character which leads to learning to play your class the measured growing of strength and addition of skills and abilities.  End game in MMO's fall flat and descend to nothing more than repeative grind fests.  I am willing to pay for the exploration of the game world and clas development of leveling and take my sweet sweet time at doing just that,  I generally stop giving my money to MMO's at end game where all the creativity and sense of exploration, discovery and class development grinds to a halt.

    edit: And one reason I dont like F2P games is they have taken the best part of an MMO, destroyed it and took the worst parts of an MMO propped them up and make you pay twice as much for it.

    We have so lost our way.

  • MMOtoGOMMOtoGO Member Posts: 630

    Originally posted by snapfusion

    Are you serious?  Are you trolling?  Hmm.  The best part of any WELL DESIGNED mmo is leveling your character which leads to learning to play your class the measured growing of strength and addition of skills and abilities.  End game in MMO's fall flat and descend to nothing more than repeative grind feasts.  I am willing to pay for the exploration of the game world and clas development of leveling and take my sweet sweet time at doing just that,  I generally stop giving my money to MMO's at end game where all the creativity and sense of exploration, discovery and class development grinds to a halt.

    Looks like you probably just read my title if you think I might have been trolling.  The content of my post basically said exacly what you typed. I'm glad to see more agree that leveling is not meaningless and can be the most enjoyable part of the mmo experience.

  • Angier2758Angier2758 Member UncommonPosts: 1,026

    Originally posted by Corehaven

    Originally posted by MMOtoGO



    Good points.  In my case, it's a time factor.  I did the raiding thing for three-years and literally felt like I was chasing my own shadow...as soon as I hit a goal, the target moved 10 feet.  Now that I'm enjoying the lore, art, crafting, playing the economy and a host of other aspects, I'm no longer sitting at the end of the trail waiting for a developer to release new "content" since I'm enjoying more of the game than I was before.  I'm even learning to "RP" ... and I used to make fun of people who did RP LOL!

     

    Oh so you're learning the magic of RP are ya?  Starts to put a whole new depth into the game doesn't it?  RP is sort of a game in itself.   I dont think RP is a total necessity all the time, but it sure is fun to find a group of folk who sits around enjoying each others "characters" while leaving their normal selves back in the real world.  Fun stuff in almost any game. 

     

    Played DAoC and all RP there was mostly just cyber.  Totally ruined my childhood.

  • Cpt_PicardCpt_Picard Member Posts: 300

    It would be interesting to see a game which had no leveling, be that skills or levels, and relied upon player ability and gear. I'm certain the floodwash of incompitent who wanted to slay draconicus maximus the child eater in a raid the day they joined the game would be overwhealming....

    Make it so...

  • just2duhjust2duh Member Posts: 1,290

     Most people I run into seem to think leveling up is a waste of time.. everyone is just too obsessed with the "end-game" these days.

     For me though, leveling and all things that encompasses, that is the game. I ussually quit shortly after reaching the end, maybe even start over if the trip was fun enough.

     But no, i'm playing them wrong and just wasting my time, and that is not how you play them at all anymore (so i've been told). All that matters is pre-teenish attitudes towards eachother and e-peen battles at the end.

  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Member UncommonPosts: 2,341

    Levels, like every other stat, are just arbitrary and measurable representations of the power gained and give you the ability to compare your progress to the progress you made in the past and to the progress others have made. That is all. The weight they have is entirely what you give them. Obviously if you were role-playing, you wouldn't say, 'I'm 3 levels higher than you!', that you're three levels higher just lets you know that in the game world, you've had more combat experience than the other person and thus are stronger.

     

    Back in the day, this isn't something you saw very often in video games. Games like Ninja Gaiden, Demon Stone, Contra, Lolo, etc., didn't have levels and stats. Hell, bosses didn't even have visible Health bars at times. You just dodged their attacks and kept hitting them hoping they would die, without a clue when that would actually happen. That, however, doesn't mean the numbers weren't there; they were just calculations based on your character versus the monster, done with invisible numbers away from the eyes of the player. I point that out because players these days tend to complain about the 'level/stat/gear' grind as if it didn't exist before WoW/EQ/whatever.

     

    It did. You just didn't see it.

    "Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  • SulaaSulaa Member UncommonPosts: 1,329

    1. Levelling is bad

    2. Character advancement is not bad

    3. Character advancement through levelling is bad

    4. Character advancement through means other than level system is not bad

     

    Leveling is bad becasue it create linear progress , where player 'finish' certain areas and never goes back there.

    This mean that alot of content is wasted , alot of world areas are empty unless there is constant big stream of new players and finally there is this 'max level state' where many wants to be.

     

    Level system create so much problems I still don't understand why it is in use.

     

    Skill level system with hard cap on total skill amount is much better.

    Content is not so easily trivialized , there is no race to "max level areas".

     

    Problem is most of mmorpg's devs have not created a game withou level based system. They might not have exerience , but most imortant - skill based system would require not wholly linear world , and would not be so easy to create as level based world.

    That is the reason why many develoers don't attempt to do it ,even though level based system are really getting old :/

  • WulfynWulfyn Member UncommonPosts: 19

    Originally posted by Sulaa

    1. Levelling is bad

    2. Character advancement is not bad

    3. Character advancement through levelling is bad

    4. Character advancement through means other than level system is not bad

     

    Leveling is bad becasue it create linear progress , where player 'finish' certain areas and never goes back there.

    This mean that alot of content is wasted , alot of world areas are empty unless there is constant big stream of new players and finally there is this 'max level state' where many wants to be.

     

    Level system create so much problems I still don't understand why it is in use.

     

    Skill level system with hard cap on total skill amount is much better.

    Content is not so easily trivialized , there is no race to "max level areas".

     

    Problem is most of mmorpg's devs have not created a game withou level based system. They might not have exerience , but most imortant - skill based system would require not wholly linear world , and would not be so easy to create as level based world.

    That is the reason why many develoers don't attempt to do it ,even though level based system are really getting old :/

     I completely agree. The cynic in me thinks that level based games are deliberately designed to restrict content as much as possible from players in order to extend their subscription time with the promise of future rewards at a higher level (which is why many people are so passionate about the end game experience, because it's teh carrot they have been grinding towards).

    But I agree with the OP and others here that it should be more about the ride and less about the destination. I find it funny that WAR has an endless trial that restricts your level cap to 10, because the first 10 levels was the most enjoyable. Even before this started I used to cycle a bright wizard, destroying and recreating him whenever I got to level 12.

    www.ygworlds.net

  • KenFisherKenFisher Member UncommonPosts: 5,035

    Originally posted by MMOtoGO

     

    Perhaps this is why some games have added a 'mentoring' system where a max level player can join a group of lower levels to experience certain content with them.  I haven't done this personally, but I've seen others do it.

     

    My guild in WoW vanilla did this.  I was new to the game so my job was to help guildies get through Barrens.  It was great fun and I made a few online friends in the process.

    I've seen mentoring in action once.  The name escapes me at the moment, but high level players would take on apprentices as part of their progression.  Seems like a clever idea for 2 reasons.  It puts grouping back in MMOs.  It promotes community.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now working in Network Security.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  When I don't understand, I ask.  Such is not intended as criticism.
  • TorgrimTorgrim Member CommonPosts: 2,088

    I don't see the enjoyment of doing the same frikkin raid over and over and over to get those pixel epics that will worthless anyway when the next expantion comes along.

    For me I find the journey more fun, see new zones and regions, follow good quest chains, craftig,exploring, I do raid but mostly just to see the dungeon i refuse to run it 30+ times just to get the epics.

    If it's not broken, you are not innovating.

  • VolkonVolkon Member UncommonPosts: 3,748

    We'll get a good feel for how archaic or not leveling is once Guild Wars 2 comes out. They're trivializing leveling and shifting the focus onto simply playing the game. The leveling curve is flattened... it takes as much time to go from 29 to 30 as it does to go from 79 to 80, if you go to lower level zones you're "side-kicked" down to an appropriate level so the zone remains challenging... it's really going to be interesting to play an MMO with leveling made so less grindy and important.

    Oderint, dum metuant.

  • MMOtoGOMMOtoGO Member Posts: 630

    Originally posted by Angier2758

    Originally posted by Corehaven


    Originally posted by MMOtoGO



    Good points.  In my case, it's a time factor.  I did the raiding thing for three-years and literally felt like I was chasing my own shadow...as soon as I hit a goal, the target moved 10 feet.  Now that I'm enjoying the lore, art, crafting, playing the economy and a host of other aspects, I'm no longer sitting at the end of the trail waiting for a developer to release new "content" since I'm enjoying more of the game than I was before.  I'm even learning to "RP" ... and I used to make fun of people who did RP LOL!

     

    Oh so you're learning the magic of RP are ya?  Starts to put a whole new depth into the game doesn't it?  RP is sort of a game in itself.   I dont think RP is a total necessity all the time, but it sure is fun to find a group of folk who sits around enjoying each others "characters" while leaving their normal selves back in the real world.  Fun stuff in almost any game. 

     

    Played DAoC and all RP there was mostly just cyber.  Totally ruined my childhood.

    I thought the same thing, which is why I avoided role play for so many years.  Turns out, I was wrong.  Most roleplay isn't sexual at all.  Sure, there are some folks that go that way, but most of my experience hasn't been creepy at all.  Well, I didn't play DAoC, so I can't speak for that game, anyway.  

  • MMOtoGOMMOtoGO Member Posts: 630

    Originally posted by Wulfyn

    Originally posted by Sulaa

    1. Levelling is bad

    2. Character advancement is not bad

    3. Character advancement through levelling is bad

    4. Character advancement through means other than level system is not bad

     

    Leveling is bad becasue it create linear progress , where player 'finish' certain areas and never goes back there.

    This mean that alot of content is wasted , alot of world areas are empty unless there is constant big stream of new players and finally there is this 'max level state' where many wants to be.

     

    Level system create so much problems I still don't understand why it is in use.

     

    Skill level system with hard cap on total skill amount is much better.

    Content is not so easily trivialized , there is no race to "max level areas".

     

    Problem is most of mmorpg's devs have not created a game withou level based system. They might not have exerience , but most imortant - skill based system would require not wholly linear world , and would not be so easy to create as level based world.

    That is the reason why many develoers don't attempt to do it ,even though level based system are really getting old :/

     I completely agree. The cynic in me thinks that level based games are deliberately designed to restrict content as much as possible from players in order to extend their subscription time with the promise of future rewards at a higher level (which is why many people are so passionate about the end game experience, because it's teh carrot they have been grinding towards).

    But I agree with the OP and others here that it should be more about the ride and less about the destination. I find it funny that WAR has an endless trial that restricts your level cap to 10, because the first 10 levels was the most enjoyable. Even before this started I used to cycle a bright wizard, destroying and recreating him whenever I got to level 12.

    Good points here, but I might suggest that even skill based leveling is still leveling.  The same mistake, I believe, can be made there as well.  Getting skills leveled up to unlock certain "content" can force a player to miss out on so much of the MMO game.  It's still a number that has to increase to unlock certain content.  Once that content is unlocked, too often players are just looking to get another number leveled up to do some different content.  The principle is the same whether it's a player level, or skill level - whichever you prefer.

  • mgilbrtsnmgilbrtsn Member EpicPosts: 3,311

    I don't think so.  Leveling is one of the goals some people set for themselves when playing MMOs.  Be this stats or actual levels is immaterial.  People want to feel like they are progressing.

    Concentrate on enjoying yourself, and not on why I shouldn't enjoy myself.

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