Blizzard is definitely working to enhance the leveling experience for new players on World of Warcraft. While the massively multiplayer is yet to release its newest expansion, Shadowlands, the alpha-testing phase has already begun.
Lucky players have already been testing the Shadowlands expansion for a week, and their experience reveals Blizzard is making true of their promise last year to streamline the leveling experience of the game. With World of Warcraft’s leveling system as it is now in the Battle for Azeroth expansion, a change is very much welcome.
One of the most prominent problems players face when creating a new character or joining the game for the first time is how grueling the leveling system can be. Some players wanting to join in on the current expansion would first need to reach a certain level and go through all of the game’s previous expansions.
The whole process is tiring, especially for new players, as they go through all the six previous expansions trying to reach the current one. While players familiar with the zones and the gameplay would be able to shorten their leveling time, new players with no prior knowledge could take up to 80 hours to reach the level needed to start the current expansion, Battle for Azeroth. It takes days of grinding before new players can catch up.
During the Blizzcon 2019, Blizzard announced a radical change in the way players would level in World of Warcraft, and the first of these is reducing the maximum level from 120 to 60.
What this means is that when Shadowlands arrives, all level 120 players would see their level go down to 50, which is the level required to begin the new expansion. The decision was made in order to simplify the leveling system and possibly acknowledging how grueling it has become in the last 15 years.
More than that, the alpha tests reveal a quicker leveling time for players. One player even took to Reddit to record just how much faster it is to level up in Shadowlands. According to user DesMephisto, he started at level 10 with a Dark Iron dwarf, and it took him only two hours and 33 minutes to get to level 20.
At around four hours and 57 minutes, he finally reached level 30. Reaching level 40 took him a bit longer around eight hours and 33 minutes since he first started playing. But at 12 hours and 16 minutes, he finally reached level 50. Now, if he started at level one, it would only add an additional hour.
One wouldn’t even need to see the big difference in the previous leveling system and the one introduced in Shadowlands. While there is a chance that Blizzard has inflated the experience gains for the alpha phase of the game, the announcement made last year means that it could be carried over to the actual game when it is released.
In order to make things easier for new players, Blizzard has also introduced a new starting zone called Exile’s Reach. There, new players would be taught more about the race and the class they have chosen, including basic skills that are enough to help players get through the game.
However, older World of Warcraft players that wish to change characters can still choose the original starting zone for the race they choose. By default, the starting zone is the current expansion, Battle for Azeroth, but changing it for another expansion can be done just by going to an NPC.
As of this story’s publishing, Blizzard hasn’t announced a specific launch date for Shadowlands yet.
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