Monday, June 18, 2007

I am Snail

So, according to this writeup at WarcraftPets.com, us paladins level up slower than any of the others, at least according to one person who has played 'em all. This isn't hard data or anything, and the results don't shock me, but it made me a little proud to have made it to level 66. Not suprisingly, the speed to level is essentially the same as the class's ability to grind for cash, since both consist of just killing stuff.

WoW did a very good thing. WoW made it so that any class could solo easily. All of the caster classes can protect themselves in some way or just flat-out bump things off before they take a hit. WoW is not one of the games where playing a priest is onerous because all priests can do is bop people with a staff, heal, buff, and cast one or two inefficient 'smite' spells. Since any class can solo, soloing ability is really not about the ability to take out mobs, but the ability to do it quickly over and over again, which is a function of kill speed and down time. (To some extent, some kill speed can be achieved at the cost of down time by using abilities more aggressively or fighting several guys at once.)

At the heart of it, the vast majority of the solo quests in WoW fall into one category - kill things. Whether it's kill ten things, kill things until they drop ten things, or kill the boss thing who happens to be standing behind ten things, they're about killing things. (FedEx quests can be done comparably easily by just about any class.) The other way to get exp aside from quests, of course, is to kill things. This means that leveling speed is a direct function of soloing speed and not much else. A mage's ability to port or aspect of the cheetah might save you a couple hours on the way up, but it's negligible compared to kill speed.

Let's assume that one of our goals is to make soloing speed comparable for all of the classes. One way to do this is to give everyone comparable DPS, and specialize them in other ways, such as abilty to AoE, CC, Tank, and Heal. To some extent, WoW already does this, since even the classes with the worst DPS can still do it well enough to solo. Increasing the ability of the non-DPSers to DPS (while further specializing and increasing the utility of 'pure DPS' classes) might work a little, but it kind of flattens the game and confuses roles. Let's move on.

Another way to help the lower-DPS classes is to reduce thier downtime or increase the downtime of the higher DPS classes. I don't know much about Shaman, but I suspect that they could get quite a bit out of minor changes that would reduce their down time. Maybe something with Totemic Call. Another thing that could be done is to increase the down time of the classes that currently have very little. (I wouldn't recommend actually doing this, because it would make too many people too angry.) The easiest way to do this would be to either make the skills most effective in grinding cost more of their mana, which has the undesirable side effect of reducing their effectiveness in instances, or reducing their survivability, which isn't fun because dying sucks.

What do you think? Should 'speed to level' be evened out somewhat, as it's really a very meta-ability, or should it be one of those things like DPS or healing that just varies across classes?

2 comments:

Galoheart said...

I played Protection Paladin straight from the get go even when i had barely a idea of the spec.

It was only later i heard people day Protection Paladins were hard to level. Well that was news to me. I never had a problem leveling. Yes it took some time to kill stuff sometimes. But it was not that bad to me. When i got Reknocking and i became a even faster killer of things and leveling because i killed mobs in packs as it was faster. Thats not slow leveling to me. To me it was just my playstyle given the spec talents.

In 5 months i've reached lvl 60+. at least 30% of that time i was just buys in AH working on my Profession time wise. So could of leveled faster and with no guide as its my first toon that high.

It seems to me for most people, any class to them that they are not doing Megga DPS on mob then the class or spec is too slow. Thats how the preception is to me of why that it.

I may not do lots of DPS, but i make up for that in been able to kill 7-10 mobs sometime all at once in one rolling fight as long as its not a caster mob. Now is that really slow leveling or XP or a slow grind. Not to me.

Again Whats perpetuated long enough and believed by the masses will eventually be believed to be true, even if its true or not if enough people believe it and foster the idea.

Keystone said...

I leveled a Paladin & Mage to 60 before BC came out. I'd have to say that I didn't realize how slow a Paladin leveled (my first character) until I worked on my Mage. I don't think anything should be done to balance leveling speeds, I think the slower leveling classes should just hold more inner-pride knowing they worked harder to get there than pure DPS classes did.

That being said... my Paladin will be sitting at 61 for a long time while I PvP on my 70 Mage. I'm a caster at heart, I should have known before starting the Paladin since I always end up with a caster main.