I’ve seen the blogosphere in discussion about some of the Shattering changes – mainly the ease of leveling and the portal removal and felt like giving my own take on a lot of it.
I’m going to clarify first that I’ve played WoW since vanilla, not to beat anyone over the head because I consider myself superior as a result[I don’t], but to give a background of where my opinion is coming from. I played in Vanilla and started raiding in Burning Crusade and am now a raid leader in Lich King. The guild is a very different place from where it started [I’ve been in one guild for most of the time I’ve played] and it’s evolved to become better. I’ve been most glad to be able to have my alts in one place – a medium/large guild with lots of activity. I’ve been happy not to guild hop and to eliminate most of the drama. That is my story – rather unusual to be in one guild so long, but otherwise fairly boring I suppose lol.
Ease of Leveling:
I’m digging this new ease of leveling in the vanilla zones. I love alts. In fact, I MUST have one in the leveling process at ALL times, even if they sit relatively untouched for months… I have to have that toon I can call my “In Progress Project”. Come Cataclysm, I suppose having that project won’t be that big of a deal for months to come, between my army of 80s and the worgen and goblin I plan to roll. I leveled the hard way and to be honest, I rather enjoy this new content where I look up and ‘oh I leveled again, let me keep questing because I love all this new… oh I leveled again”. It’s going to take me 3 toons per faction [presuming I can stick with a horde toon ever] at least to experience it all… and that’s going to take a while given the xpac is about to hit. I have my main to be concerned with first and then any alts I care to fuss with.
To be quite honest, I think half the reason it’s so EASY is because it’s so interesting and new that you don’t sit there and fret about “4 more bars to level”… or well, I don’t. With them adding more and more expansions and more and more levels to traverse, they have to make it easier anyway… especially since they fancy the idea of drawing in new customers. I mean, let’s face it… for a lot of people the end game IS the game and for those who prefer the leveling process? This is a chance to experience new classes and new factions etc rather than plod along on a single toon. You can now easily level solely via instancing or via questing or a combo. You can even turn OFF the experience if you so desire. There are so many options!
I’m going to flat out state in the interest of giving background – the portal removal doesn’t really affect me. I zerg-leveled a nelf mage on a second account to 42 to gain the ability to port my toons and others to the 4 major cities plus Theramore and then had the mage on my main account port her to Dalaran to sit and be my banker etc. Most of my alts are still set with hearthstones to Dalaran, though my main has moved to Stormwind just for the ease of grinding the cooking and fishing dailies.
That said, I see both sides of the portal removal. I know they want people to move to the major cities [which mainly just crowds Stormwind rather than Dalaran tbh… it doesn’t spread it out as much as I suspect they’d like]. I also enjoyed the ease of getting around so quickly and efficiently without having to rely on a second account/random mages/boats/zepplins/flight paths.
Then again, we’ll be taking flight in Azeroth in less than a week… and personally I think all this debate will mostly vanish. It’s going to be a whole lot more efficient to just fly A to B on your mount in most cases than to go find a flight point, hop on it and follow it’s windy inefficient path to the next destination.
Anyway, time will tell 🙂