Thursday, November 19, 2009

Something for everyone

Expansion packs for mmorpgs often seem to focus on giving a lot of stuff to the end game players. Those players who have one or two maximum level characters can look forward to playing in new zones or new raiding instances. Players who have played the game for a few months and quit the game before they got to the maximum level won't have anything new to do. The World of Warcraft expansions have been a mixed bag for lowbies. Let's take a look at what those expansions offer for low level players.
  • The Burning Crusade. There is very little new content for lowbies. Two new starting zones were added (1-20) and one old zone was revamped (35-40). Blizzard tried to trick people into thinking that there was more content by adding two new races. Don't be fooled, once you got your Draenei warrior out of the starting zones you have to do exactly the same content as someone who leveled a human warrior before the expansion. It really does feel like a cheap option to me. You just have to create a new skin and animations for the new race and there, you're done.

  • Wrath of the Lich King. If you have a level 55 character you can level a deathknight which sure is a lot of fun. Beneath level 55? Nothing new.

  • Cataclysm. So I'm quite pleased to see that the next expansion will give some serious new content. There are two new races again which promise to give two new starting zones. But the highlight of the new expansion is of course the revamping of the old world. This looks like it'll add a lot of fun to lower level characters.

I've finished the old content four times now. A hunter, mage, warrior and warlock have all passed through it. World of Warcraft does offer a lot of variety in the leveling zones. You can level two characters to level 60 without doing the same zone twice. But still, if you leveled a few characters leveling one again looses its fun. You've been there before.

So it's a great idea to redo the old zones. I'll happily level a new character through those new zones. On the alliance side I greatly prefer the cuteness of the female so maybe I'll try a Goblin character. Giving the horde a cute side is surely going to convince a few players to try out their side just like adding a sexy side did in the Burning Crusade expansion. I'll gladly try it out but it only works past the starting zones because all the content is new!

Now there's just the wait until Blizzard gets the game to done. Which will be some time next year. Maybe I'll go back and level one of my level 70 characters before that. World of Warcraft still has that magic pull which makes me replay it regularly. And it holds the promise of great things to come.

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