Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Questing and Levelling

Talking about story quests and the pre-order perk for TOR reminded me about a thought that's been bouncing around my head in the last little while:

I find that story-based quests are the best form of leveling the first time. But they are not as repeatable as a lot of other content.

To put it another way, I prefer (good) story-based quests over dungeon running on my first character. But on my second character, I prefer dungeon running over repeating story quests.

In a lot of ways, I think FFXIV did this quite well. Quests can only be done once. But once you have a class to 50, you get a 50% xp bonus when leveling other classes. So you do the story line on your first class, and then do a variety of more repeatable content on your subsequent classes.

Where TOR originally went wrong is that they underestimated the drop in enjoyment between the first and second playthroughs. The story "pillar" is both stronger and weaker than the other "pillars" in the game.

In a lot of ways, I would argue that original WoW did this better than current WoW. At launch, there were roughly 4 different paths to max level. You usually had a choice between two zones at any given time for each faction. On your first character you could do zone A. On your second character you could do zone B.

Most of the expansions though, have greatly reduced the number of paths. There's usually only two paths, one for each faction. But even both those paths have significant overlap with neutral quest givers. I wonder if this has hurt the replayability of WoW.


  1. I certainly think this is the case for third or fourth playthroughs of SWTOR. Having played a few different characters Republic side through early planets in a relatively short time frame I soon found myself cherry-picking - choosing which quests to skip as they were more grindy/awkward/boring.

    I agree on the WoW point you made at the end also. Vanilla was much less railroaded and thus I ended up with alts stuck at 60ish - after the sixth playthrough of Hellfire I just couldn't bring myself to bother with leveling the others anymore.

    I suspect I may be able to go back and level in SWTOR given enough of a time gap though as I'm not that good at remembering fine details of quests. I would say it's a combination of repetition and timespan that causes this lack of replayability.

    Playing through the high level zones of EQ2 on my level-boosted shadowknight I've found myself questioning whether I'll be happy to repeat all the same text-heavy quests so soon on my inquisitor when he is high enough.

  2. The problem with WoW is that you now have the viability of running random instances and battlegrounds to get to max level as well as questing. So while WoW had originally 4 avenues for questing, they still have 4 avenues, just that only two are questing now.

  3. Not just questing, randoms, and BGs, you can also quest exclusively on pet battles (which I am currently doing with a few characters from 80ish to 90), grinding (which is sometimes actually a decent way to make some gold), and even some more off-the-beaten-path methods like soloing current level 5-mans (I did this a little with my Paladin tank) and the extreme hard core: profession grinding (archaeology, mining, and herbing for xp)