There are a katrillion ways to fail at MMORPGs, and I’m pretty sure TG and I have perpetrated most of them. This is the start of a series I’ll be updating on a semi-random basis entitled A Million Ways to Suck at MMORPGs*, in which I’ll point out just exactly how not to game in games like World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Sounds delightful, right? Well, let’s jump on in!
With a game as immense as an MMORPG with such a great number of potential failings, it’s hard to even pick a place to start. So, I’m going to do the illogical thing and start at the end.
Getting to max level nowadays isn’t a big deal in some MMOs. Some people even say that, in WoW, the game starts at max level (Of course, those people are presumably raiding fiends who find no joy in leveling). Regardless, I suppose it’s fortunate for us, because WoW is the only MMO we’ve ever reached max level in. For anyone keeping track, that’s one single game out of more than 10 MMOs.
We should have gotten at least one character to max level in LOTRO, what with each of us getting a lifetime subscription, but our predisposition to trying different classes continually got the better of us. We came close in EQOA eventually, but that game is such a grind that we’ve still got five levels to go. We thought FFXIV was a sure thing once our physical levels got 50, but we quit when we were a few levels shy of hitting max level on our highest job ranks.
These aren’t just games that we’ve played for two weeks and discarded (I’m looking at you, Rift). EQOA we’ve played for more than two years. Likewise, we’ve been playing LOTRO now and then since open beta. WoW is the game that we’ve played the most, but it definitely wasn’t time that got us max level in WoW.
TG and I have always joked that a game must hold absolutely no challenge if we can reach that perpetually-elusive max level. But, really, one of the things I used to love most about WoW was the leveling process. It used to be fun and exciting to finally get to a new questing area, and it really did take a while to level. Now that they’ve sped up leveling so much, it seems more like a mandatory, boring obstacle, instead of an enjoyable part of the game.
When you fall in love with something that is part of the formula of the game that the developers then change, there’s a possibility that the new formula just won’t do it for you anymore. That’s definitely the case with WoW for us now. Our new characters no longer go from 1-85. Most of them are discarded after 19, with a few making it as far as 30 or 40, even though we have a solid stockpile of Horde and Alliance 80s from Wrath of the Lich King. Something — or, more accurately many things — about their magic formula has changed, and now it’s just bland.
If WoW leveling is bland and forgettable now, what’s wrong with other games? Why can’t TG and I reach max level in other games? Alt-itis. I’m pretty sure it’s a severe case of Alt-itis.
Can’t get to max level in your favorite game? Don’t worry, at least now you know we suck too.
*Yes, I know I said a katrillion earlier, but that sounds like a lot of writing, so let’s just start with a million.