I hope that image didn’t burn your eyes out. I am wearing sunglasses.
As mentioned I am back playing WoW. My year long hiatus from the game (despite a brief respite to check out the DK starting area) while mucking around in various other MMO’s and SP games wasn’t ended because I missed the game all that much – but because I missed the people. We had (have, as I am quickly re-learning) such a great group of adult folk dedicated to each other and the game in WoW – and that was seriously missing from other ventures I tried. I decided to relevel a shaman (so starting fresh) despite having a mini arsenal of existing level 70’s. The Shaman was the class I ended with, and loved the mechanics, but as mentioned the account wasn’t mine. With my Shaman friend still playing it was time for a fresh start. After being away for so long, I noticed a lot of things. After the break.
1) Levelling is a lot faster: Some say they bumped XP increase by 30% – which I would believe at the rate my little bar fills up (heads out of the gutter, you dirty Freudians!). Not to be a whiney-butt, but I still wish it was faster. I have levelled 7ish toons to 70, and have a couple sitting mid 60’s. A great tool would be allow any account to start new characters at Max level minus 10-15 levels. This would increase replayability as an option and be much more fun, and wouldn’t take away the boring 1 – X drive from people who like levelling from the start fresh. You have an 80? New class starts at 65. You have a 70 and have been gone for a while? New class start’s at 55. While I suppose this would hurt the almighty sub fee a bit, I kind of doubt that. Players can get to the real WoW “endgame” faster, enjoy the ride much more, and start the level 2 grind and keep subbing.
2) Levelling is a lot easier: Gone are most of the Elite quest mobs, flight paths have been added all over the place (and graveyards – but seriously, who dies during levelling anymore in WoW?) and you get your mount at level 30 now, which speeds up the huge timesink of just travelling frome one quest area to another. Honestly I can see why people stick with the game, little effort, lots of reward. That wasn’t meant as a slight by any means either. Regardless of what impact WoW has on the MMO sphere, the game is pretty fun to play. Even through old boring levels I had hoped to never revisit.
3) You are still alone: Barely a ship passes by through the night while levelling. I am lucky to see 1 or 2 other people in a one our levelling session out in the wilds. Since instance grouping is non-existant, I have been “swapping spit” with a guild mate who is also levelling – we take turns running the lowbies through instances to get the quests done with our high level, well geared characters, rake in coin, and get shiney gear upgrades to make the levelling even easier.
Because all of my WoW friends are hovering above the max level mark, and because I have done the levelling process so many times I am in a rush. I want to get “there” so I can do “meaningful” things in WoW with friends. Despite all the improvements, it is still a big barrier to overcome and a shame that barrier exists. If I was a complete newbie to WoW I probably would have quit already by now realizing the real game is so far away.
Anyhoo, back to the title of the post, I went through all of my old characters to count how much gold I had sitting around and noticed all the great gear and whatnot that I had “earned” in my years in the game. It dawned on me how much I hate the Bind on Pickup, Bind on Equip mechanic. I understand why it is there (mostly for the sub fee stretch) but really those items should be Bind to Account – meaning when I am done with gear I can pass them off to level appropriate alts – I did “earn” that gear afterall, and should be able to use it among my own characters at my whim. It is a silly mechanic and should be done away with. That alone would greatly increase the pain of doing the levels “one more time”. It has zero impact on anyone else in the game, just my own experience.
An even more interesting experience would be to take away BoE and BoP altogether in the game. Would be neat to see the effects of being able to sell old gear on the AH instead of vendoring it for crap, would go a long way to close the cash gap for the casual player. It would most likely have a positive impact on the economy and even curb gold selling a bit.
Down with BoP. Down with BoE. Long Live WoW! (yes, due to the nature of past posts on WoW on this blog, that was a “joke”).