Update: WoW: Warlords of Draenor Pre-Order Bonus is an Instant Level 90

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Update: WoW: Warlords of Draenor Pre-Order Bonus is an Instant Level 90

Warlords of Draenor

Blizzard is also testing a feature that will allow players to purchase additional level 90 character upgrades.

When Warlords of Draenor, the latest expansion pack for World of Warcraft was announced, one of its major selling points was the one-time ability to instantly level any character to level 90. Well, I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that you'll be able to use the level 90 upgrade as soon as you pre-purchase the game, which should give you plenty of time to be acquainted with the class. The bad news is that it looks like the level 90 upgrade will be a pre-purchase bonus exclusive.

If you do miss out on pre-purchasing the game, or you wish to use the instant level 90 upgrade on multiple characters, Blizzard said that it is testing a feature that will allow players to purchase additional upgrades for a fee, similar to how a paid race or faction transfer currently works. It should be ready by the time the expansion comes out.

"We'll have more information to share later-including details on our character-upgrade plans for Asian regions where players don't buy expansion boxes-but you'll start seeing pieces of the process soon on the PTR, so keep an eye out," said Blizzard.

Additionally, if you pre-purchase the digital deluxe version of the game, you'll get your exclusive pet and mount as soon as you payment is processed.

Blizzard said that the Warlords of Draenor closed beta test will start Soon™, although an official release date for the expansion has yet to be announced.

I should note that it may have just been an awkwardly-worded blog post, and we have reached out to Blizzard to confirm whether or not the level 90 bonus will be exclusive to pre-orders.

Source: Blizzard

Update: Good news everyone! Blizzard has confirmed to us via e-mail that the level 90 boost will be available to everyone who purchases the expansion at any time before or after its release, not just those who pre-purchase.

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No, this is good, so instead of having a game that you would want to play, you have a system, that you can pay money, get max level, and then you don't have to play anymore.

Hmm, I don't agree with the reasoning for paid level 90s service. It would cost $95 ($15 Battle-chest, $15 Mists, $40 Warlords, $25 character transfer) for a second account 90 without the service, a high price tag not many people would be willing to pay. You drop it to $40, then you have more people paying, which is not exactly a good thing. I noticed they added a new in-game shop mount today, usually it like every 6 months, but the Fey dragon was only a couple months ago.

As I see it, this system is useful ONLY to skip the boring slog of 85-90. I don't need to be forced to play through every area just to level up, as I'm happy enough to go through those areas, level capped or not, and do the quests regardless. The fact they had tuned the leveling curve to a point where it was excessively obscene in comparison to the quest rewards (something to the tune of 30 million xp needed for 89-90, quests generally gave about 2-250k, maybe a bit more for a major quest arc).

Hell, even before they further nuked experience requirements for low levels and added in heirloom gear, I knew people who could hit damn near the cap in less than five days.

It's nice, I guess, that they are offering this kind of thing. Yet I see no real point to it, as leveling is already far too quick in the game, and adding the easily 50-100% extra xp from heirloom gear just makes it that much easier and quicker.

You mean I can pay money to have the game already finished for me!? Sweet! If there was one thing holding back gaming, it was the fact I had to actually play the game. The fact Blizzard has enabled me to simply throw money at them and have the game finished for me really opens up my schedule.
-Edit-
I thought it was pretty clear I was being facetious but I based on the responses from people quoting me, I guess not. People are so sensitive.

This has to be the stupidest crap I seen from Blizzard to date. It's as though they conveniently forgot what gaming is supposed to be about. What makes a game a game. What's the point of playing a game if you can just toss money at the developer and have them instantly take you to the end of the game?

Imagine if other games did this. Legend of Zelda. What would of happened if you were suddenly given every item, had max hearts and skipped over the journey to fight Ganondorf? Is there any reason to play the game anymore? What about Super Mario Brothers? You jump from the starting stage to the Bowser end fight. What's there left of the game? Something more modern? What would Fallout of been if you exited the vault and was given all the weapons and ammunition you need to kill the master?

Gaming is about the journey, the adventure to the end. Gaming is supposed to be fun and exciting, and even a challenge. All MMO's, save for WoW now, have players still login, and level up and play the game, as far as I know. But wait, for a modest fee, Blizzard will let you turn a freshly rolled level 1, into a level 90 in an instant.

WoW can no longer call itself a game with a straight face. There's nothing game about it anymore. Games should be about getting from point A to point B in order to get to point C, and so on. But Blizzard, no, Activision, seems intent on destroying the MMO market altogether by rewarding the lazy who then filter their views to other games, which begins dragging the other games down. I would not call being given a free ticket to the end of the game from the start, good news. Not even in the slightest. This is setting a bad precedence for MMO's. There is another word for it too. Paying to cheat. When you shorten the game by nerfing xp needed to level up, create some badly written story based on another's work (Come on, CSI... Rambo, Indiana Jones?) and then just saying "Give us money and you can skip all this crap we did", you stop being a game developer, and become a seller of a few minutes of fun, which will be over just as soon as you get it.

Games are about setting goals. And to reach the goals, requires a journey. You cut out the journey, there are no goals. That's like having a race car track, and the moment the cars pass over the start line, you declare the start line is also the finish line. And that is just pure stupidity.

starting a game in which you already have one of the highest possible ranks and a lot of skill points to put into your skill tree and ability tree might end up with you, putting most of your points on skills you thought were good for your playstyle, but turned out to be impractical for you in the end.

so this can go wrong for players who wanted to get into world of warcraft with this expansion as an entry point.

Nilanius:
This has to be the stupidest crap I seen from Blizzard to date. It's as though they conveniently forgot what gaming is supposed to be about. What makes a game a game. What's the point of playing a game if you can just toss money at the developer and have them instantly take you to the end of the game?

Imagine if other games did this. Legend of Zelda. What would of happened if you were suddenly given every item, had max hearts and skipped over the journey to fight Ganondorf? Is there any reason to play the game anymore? What about Super Mario Brothers? You jump from the starting stage to the Bowser end fight. What's there left of the game? Something more modern? What would Fallout of been if you exited the vault and was given all the weapons and ammunition you need to kill the master?

Gaming is about the journey, the adventure to the end. Gaming is supposed to be fun and exciting, and even a challenge. All MMO's, save for WoW now, have players still login, and level up and play the game, as far as I know. But wait, for a modest fee, Blizzard will let you turn a freshly rolled level 1, into a level 90 in an instant.

WoW can no longer call itself a game with a straight face. There's nothing game about it anymore. Games should be about getting from point A to point B in order to get to point C, and so on. But Blizzard, no, Activision, seems intent on destroying the MMO market altogether by rewarding the lazy who then filter their views to other games, which begins dragging the other games down. I would not call being given a free ticket to the end of the game from the start, good news. Not even in the slightest. This is setting a bad precedence for MMO's. There is another word for it too. Paying to cheat. When you shorten the game by nerfing xp needed to level up, create some badly written story based on another's work (Come on, CSI... Rambo, Indiana Jones?) and then just saying "Give us money and you can skip all this crap we did", you stop being a game developer, and become a seller of a few minutes of fun, which will be over just as soon as you get it.

Games are about setting goals. And to reach the goals, requires a journey. You cut out the journey, there are no goals. That's like having a race car track, and the moment the cars pass over the start line, you declare the start line is also the finish line. And that is just pure stupidity.

You're totally not understanding who this is for. This is for people like me for example who quit playing WoW during like Wrath of the Lich King.

Lets say I was really excited about Warlords of Draenor and wanted to pick it up. Back when I was playing WoW, I had about 3 characters that I ran pretty consistently.

Well now that presents a problem because if I want to play those characters in the new expansion, I have to basically level up 2 of them (since you get 1 boosted for free) to level 90 in order to play the new content.

That means I have to play through HOURS of content that nobody is playing anymore.

Or I can toss out however much they're asking for and immediately be at level 90 and be able to do all the new expansion stuff with everyone else without having to grind my way up there.

Whether it's worth it or not depends on Blizzard's price point.

rhizhim:
starting a game in which you already have one of the highest possible ranks and a lot of skill points to put into your skill tree and ability tree might end up with you putting most of your points on skills you thought were good for your playstyle, but turned out to be impractical for you in the end.

so this can go wrong for players who wanted to get into world of warcraft with this expansion as an entry point.

respeccing is trivially easy in WOW

Inc hate train.

I like it, I have always hated leveling and would rather spend my time at end game.
Some people like leveling, that option is still there, then there are people like me who see leveling as a "How many levels till I can actually play?" system, both have a purpose, both are good.

Elamdri:

rhizhim:
starting a game in which you already have one of the highest possible ranks and a lot of skill points to put into your skill tree and ability tree might end up with you putting most of your points on skills you thought were good for your playstyle, but turned out to be impractical for you in the end.

so this can go wrong for players who wanted to get into world of warcraft with this expansion as an entry point.

respeccing is trivially easy in WOW

but may it have "ruined" the experience for an user and thus soured his motivation to continue this game?

Ummm... wasn't letting everyone doing this one of the big selling points of the expansion?
Now it's preorder only?

rhizhim:

Elamdri:

rhizhim:
starting a game in which you already have one of the highest possible ranks and a lot of skill points to put into your skill tree and ability tree might end up with you putting most of your points on skills you thought were good for your playstyle, but turned out to be impractical for you in the end.

so this can go wrong for players who wanted to get into world of warcraft with this expansion as an entry point.

respeccing is trivially easy in WOW

but may it have "ruined" the experience for an user and thus soured his motivation to continue this game?

I mean, I suppose it's possible, but every RPG has a learning curve, and only the most inexperienced of players go into a new RPG not knowing this.

Not to mention that in WoW you can generally get through most content with a cobbled together build and gear, it's only really the 5-man and above content that actually requires you to be able to do more than breathe and push buttons.

Not to mention that they'll still have 10 levels to "Figure out" how their character works anyway.

People are just hating this because it's WoW.

I'm honestly liking the free 90 because here is the thing:

I don't want to level another character all the way to 90

I have:

A Worgen Deathknight
A Human Hunter
A Human Paladin
A Pandaren Monk (Probably not going to play on him again, Alliance)
A Blood Elf Mage
A Pandaren Warrior (Horde)

All at 90. I am fucking done. But this free 90...I could use it on one free class. Or A Pandaren Hunter, because the other classes I don't have are not on my interest right now.

Clive Howlitzer:
You mean I can pay money to have the game already finished for me!? Sweet! If there was one thing holding back gaming, it was the fact I had to actually play the game. The fact Blizzard has enabled me to simply throw money at them and have the game finished for me really opens up my schedule.

Kinda reminds me of some of those Asian browser games where you can just click on the name of the quest and your character will auto-run to the quest location, auto-fight all the mobs needed, auto-pick up the loot till you've acquired the correct number of pelts, then auto-run back to the quest giver and turn it in. The only thing the player has to do is come back to the computer occasionally to click the next quest/npc name.

You're basically just paying to watch a movie of your character playing the game (or for free if f2p).

Elamdri:

rhizhim:

Elamdri:

respeccing is trivially easy in WOW

but may it have "ruined" the experience for an user and thus soured his motivation to continue this game?

I mean, I suppose it's possible, but every RPG has a learning curve, and only the most inexperienced of players go into a new RPG not knowing this.

Not to mention that in WoW you can generally get through most content with a cobbled together build and gear, it's only really the 5-man and above content that actually requires you to be able to do more than breathe and push buttons.

Not to mention that they'll still have 10 levels to "Figure out" how their character works anyway.

but going from level 90 to 100 is a hard bitch to get to, more than just leveling up from 0 to 10.
the sensation of leveling up that reels you into a game would take too long and people would just quit.

on the other hand, this may the most sensible thing to do since wow can be pretty addicting.

rhizhim:
starting a game in which you already have one of the highest possible ranks and a lot of skill points to put into your skill tree and ability tree might end up with you, putting most of your points on skills you thought were good for your playstyle, but turned out to be impractical for you in the end.

so this can go wrong for players who wanted to get into world of warcraft with this expansion as an entry point.

actually started playing the free to level 20 trial a while back:

Skill trees are gone, at certain levels you get to choose one "specialization" and get the associated skills for it.

While this does suck since it essentially forces you into what everyone else does, at the same time it does fix just what you said.

I personally dont see what's wrong with this, sure, Blizzard is letting you skip a good portion of the game. Anyone who has slogged through the last couple of levels to the cap will say how boring it is, and starting a new character on a new server? would you really want to go through that all over again?

Now if Blizzard was forcing people to buy the level boosts, then yes, I would expect people to be mad. But they aren't, they are saying "hey, if you want to get up to this level, this is how much it will cost full stop".

I mean, it will actually be cheaper than the gold farmers who you pay to power level your character, so again, I dont see why people would complain in the first place.

Clive Howlitzer:
You mean I can pay money to have the game already finished for me!?

To be fair, reaching level 90 is not finishing the game. In fact, WoW actually begins at the level cap-- the leveling process is essentially a overly long and poorly designed tutorial. (Poorly designed in that it doesn't teach you what to do at endgame and actually instills a lot of bad habits that you'll have to unlearn.)

rhizhim:

Elamdri:

rhizhim:

but may it have "ruined" the experience for an user and thus soured his motivation to continue this game?

I mean, I suppose it's possible, but every RPG has a learning curve, and only the most inexperienced of players go into a new RPG not knowing this.

Not to mention that in WoW you can generally get through most content with a cobbled together build and gear, it's only really the 5-man and above content that actually requires you to be able to do more than breathe and push buttons.

Not to mention that they'll still have 10 levels to "Figure out" how their character works anyway.

but going from level 90 to 100 is a hard bitch to get to, more than just leveling up from 0 to 10.
the sensation of leveling up that reels you into a game would take too long and people would just quit.

on the other hand, this may the most sensible thing to do since wow can be pretty addicting.

You don't think people would end up burning out going from 0-100 in what is going to probably be a barren wasteland? I'd certainly rather go 90-100 than 0-100

Kalezian:

rhizhim:
starting a game in which you already have one of the highest possible ranks and a lot of skill points to put into your skill tree and ability tree might end up with you, putting most of your points on skills you thought were good for your playstyle, but turned out to be impractical for you in the end.

so this can go wrong for players who wanted to get into world of warcraft with this expansion as an entry point.

actually started playing the free to level 20 trial a while back:

Skill trees are gone, at certain levels you get to choose one "specialization" and get the associated skills for it.

While this does suck since it essentially forces you into what everyone else does, at the same time it does fix just what you said.

I personally dont see what's wrong with this, sure, Blizzard is letting you skip a good portion of the game. Anyone who has slogged through the last couple of levels to the cap will say how boring it is, and starting a new character on a new server? would you really want to go through that all over again?

Now if Blizzard was forcing people to buy the level boosts, then yes, I would expect people to be mad. But they aren't, they are saying "hey, if you want to get up to this level, this is how much it will cost full stop".

I mean, it will actually be cheaper than the gold farmers who you pay to power level your character, so again, I dont see why people would complain in the first place.

but you had 20 levels to determine who you wanted to be.
and that without having to grind as hard as you would have since the first 20-30 levels dont need so much experience points to result in a level up.

i am just saying new players should be cautious with this.
but you are right, they could just download the free demo and find out who they want to be in world of warcraft and then buy the upgrade to save time.

Elamdri:

You don't think people would end up burning out going from 0-100 in what is going to probably be a barren wasteland? I'd certainly rather go 90-100 than 0-100

no, i think that the sensation of leveling up is one of the pillars that keep you playing a game.(becomming better by time by "earning" it)

like a signal in a skinner box.

thats why you quickly improve in games and are more willing to spend more time to be able to get your rewards you got so quickly in the first few levels.
a good skinner box rides the learning curve all way long
image

Nilanius:
Imagine if other games did this. Legend of Zelda. What would of happened if you were suddenly given every item, had max hearts and skipped over the journey to fight Ganondorf? Is there any reason to play the game anymore? What about Super Mario Brothers? You jump from the starting stage to the Bowser end fight. What's there left of the game? Something more modern? What would Fallout of been if you exited the vault and was given all the weapons and ammunition you need to kill the master?

Whilst I wouldn't use this as I tend to enjoy leveling characters, I'm going to assume you haven't maxed an MMO character before.

The games you compared it to have definitive endings with no end game (other than go back and do stuff you missed). MMOs tend to have a fuck ton of content at the end, and the grinding leveling doesn't even really stop at the cap as you still need better gear to get into raids and do all the expert versions of everything else for example.

Also the best PvPs and arenas will unlock at the end usually, but...

Nilanius:
Is there any reason to play the game anymore?

...to answer that. Yes. Most certainly in the case of MMOs.

I see no issue with this. Hell, I've been playing the damn game for 6 years, and this sounds like a godsend to me: You mean I can skip all the boring crap I've already done a dozen times and roll an alt that can instantly get into the action? Sign me the fuck up!

Look's like daddy is finally getting that Hunter he's always wanted.

Small comment on the article itself; I assume that it's based on a misinterpretation of a message Blizzard recently dropped onto the WoW forums: The Instant 90 bonus is included in every copy of the expansion pack, but the people who pre-purchase the digital versions (The Standard version or the Digital Deluxe with fancy exclusive battle pets and a mount)will get the rewards for doing so, including the boost, the moment they pre-purchase said product. BLizzard's essentially letting you skip the wait for the Xpac and get your goodies immediatly.

Umm... what?

As someone who recently came back to the game (like, 2-3 weeks ago) and hasn't played since TBC, I don't really see the point of this. Leveling is obscenely fast now. 1-60 can be done in a few days. 60-70 is also stupidly fast (3 zones and a few instances), same with 70-80. 80-85 I got done in the first Cata zone. The only reason it's taking me a few weeks to get to 90 is that I occasionally stop playing for a few days and I froze my XP at a few points to explore the content.

Yes, leveling is so fast you need to stop XP just to avoid content flashing before you faster than you can see it. And I'm still disappointed I didn't get to see all of WotLK. Through all this, I had nearly instant dungeon queues, even for low level content.

Seriously, leveling has never been faster. Doing 1-60 in the old days took 2-3 times longer than 1-85 takes now. 85-90 (the current expansion) isn't much slower, with me being 89 after clearing 3 zones.

I understand people don't actually want to play the game, but this is getting silly. I can MAYBE see a point to this for longtime players who've been around for every patch ever and might want to roll a fresh class but not go through the same stuff they've seen 10 times already. But with heirlooms and all the various boosts, getting to 90 can be done in a week.

And I shudder to think of all the people with instant level 90 characters in classes they have no idea how to play. It's going to be terrible. As in, really really bad.

All in all, a bad move for the game...

Jandau:
Umm... what?

As someone who recently came back to the game (like, 2-3 weeks ago) and hasn't played since TBC, I don't really see the point of this. Leveling is obscenely fast now. 1-60 can be done in a few days. 60-70 is also stupidly fast (3 zones and a few instances), same with 70-80. 80-85 I got done in the first Cata zone. The only reason it's taking me a few weeks to get to 90 is that I occasionally stop playing for a few days and I froze my XP at a few points to explore the content.

Yes, leveling is so fast you need to stop XP just to avoid content flashing before you faster than you can see it. And I'm still disappointed I didn't get to see all of WotLK. Through all this, I had nearly instant dungeon queues, even for low level content.

Seriously, leveling has never been faster. Doing 1-60 in the old days took 2-3 times longer than 1-85 takes now. 85-90 (the current expansion) isn't much slower, with me being 89 after clearing 3 zones.

I understand people don't actually want to play the game, but this is getting silly. I can MAYBE see a point to this for longtime players who've been around for every patch ever and might want to roll a fresh class but not go through the same stuff they've seen 10 times already. But with heirlooms and all the various boosts, getting to 90 can be done in a week.

And I shudder to think of all the people with instant level 90 characters in classes they have no idea how to play. It's going to be terrible. As in, really really bad.

All in all, a bad move for the game...

You wanna know how many Deathknight tanks I've had to heal with Agility weapons in fucking raids? Or Shadow Priest healers, Fury warriors in defensive stance complaining about their reduced damage output, Druids who use the wrong shapeshift for their gear and just general terrible players I've run with at max level? Far, far too many. If leveling to 90 didn't stop them from being god-awful, being able to jump a class to 90 isn't going to change a damn thing. Bads will be bads, newbies will learn their class in the 10 levels of leveling (and apparent tutorial missions boosted characters get in WoD) and become decent/good players.

Besides, I think people are forgetting that all these Heirlooms and boosts and shit are only available through reputation earned with guilds (and buffs from level 25 guilds) or through Justice Points - the Guild items cost 1000+ gold EACH and Justice points are only earned in max-level dungeons, so no brand-new player working on his first character is going to have any of them save Guild passives. If you don't sit down and dedicate a good few hours to level grinding because... well, you've got other shit to do, leveling actually takes a pretty decent amount of time.

Ultimately, the 'free 90' is designed for people new to the game or are returning to the game that want to hit max level and experience the new, populated content that brought them into the game (when was the last time you saw Burning Crusade advertised?), for people brought into the game who have high level friends that they want to play with and the max level players already who don't want to level-grind anymore (5 90s and counting, could do this shit on auto-pilot now). Funnily enough, it's entirely optional to use as well (judging from what they've said on the matter so far), so those people who want to do the whole 'long questing thing' or don't want to use the free 90 can just grind away.

All in all, this is a good move for the game. Everyone's just having a bitch about it because... well, it's WoW. When don't people bitch about it?

A new sad record in the lifespan of this game and for MMO's in general.

It has come to the point where even the developers don't give a flying frak about leveling, exploration and world content. Instead they give out a token to zap you to the max level so you can get straight to running instances and grinding gear again.

The WoW of days past, where leveling up to the cap was a big journey that took you through a well-crafted open world filled with interesting challenges around every turn is long gone indeed.

Still, I wish them the best of luck. I returned to the game some time ago and quit again soon after, there's a limit to how long a grind with gear rewards can keep people hooked.

rhizhim:

no, i think that the sensation of leveling up is one of the pillars that keep you playing a game.(becomming better by time by "earning" it)

like a signal in a skinner box.

thats why you quickly improve in games and are more willing to spend more time to be able to get your rewards you got so quickly in the first few levels.
a good skinner box rides the learning curve all way long
image

WoW doesn't need the leveling curve as a "skinner box".
It has perfected its gear grind as exactly that and gives out small nibbles at a time when going through instance after instance.

However, in reality, if you keep doing this longer and longer, people DO get tired of going for the same "stimulus" as in receiving more gear again in later tiers.

Which is why WoW's numbers are dropping in my opinion.

Apart from the gear grind, the game has far too little things to actually motivate people to play it.

UltimatheChosen:
To be fair, reaching level 90 is not finishing the game. In fact, WoW actually begins at the level cap-- the leveling process is essentially a overly long and poorly designed tutorial.

The big problem WoW has is that this isn't objectively true. It's how some people view the game. Others actually enjoying playing through the story and slowly leveling up. The problem is that every time new content or a higher level cap is added, the divide between the two groups of players gets bigger. It's got to the point now where it's essentially impossible to cater to both at the same time. Anything added to the earlier parts of the game will be completely ignored by the former group, who just power past everything as quickly as possible. But anything added to the later parts of the game may never be seen at all by the latter group who enjoy the process of getting to the top. Basically, WoW is no longer a game, it's two separate games which, as you say, don't even play in the same way. The early game isn't a bad tutorial for the late game, it's simply a different game.

So I have to say that allowing people to jump straight to the end is probably one of the best things they've done for the game in a long time. Before now, every time they raised the level cap they also forced people to level faster so it would take about the same length of time to get to the top. The problem is that this screws over the people who want to enjoy the lower level content, while failing to do anything for those who just want to skip it all since they still have to spend the same amount of time leveling. By allowing a choice, you cater to both groups equally well. Those who want to play through the whole game can do so, those who don't aren't forced to.

Great news! Devs recognise the leveling system is complete bollocks.

Bad news! They're going to charge you to skip it.

I recall I actually answered a questionnaire from Blizzard about how much I would be willing to pay for a level boost to lvl90.

Twas a silly question.

I reckon every man and their dog all answered "Nothing".

They're getting desperate, aren't they?

captcha: can you see. Yes, I can.

I hardly see who is this gonna exactly hurt (question for all ya haters)?
If veterans wants to pay up to get that 10th alt to the end game without doing all early content they've already done several times, that's their business.

I hardly doubt there would be thousands of completely first timers who just for some reasons wants to skip all that learning experience (which is non-existent, given how fast leveling is now). There's always gonna be totally clueless people in end game, no matter if theres ability skip leveling or not.

This is a great idea.
I for one, hated leveling in TBC content, and Pandaria.
With this system in place I can at least skip those horrible zones with 1 new character.

Oh... Well...

I didn't think I was going to get WoD. I skipped Mists of Pandaria entirely, and had that looming feeling of expansion fatigue. This more or less settles the deal. I'm afraid that my days of playing the game properly is well and truly over.

It's a small grievance, but... Honestly. This is the last thing that you should be nickle and dimed for. It really doesn't do anything but to draw attention to how absurd the leveling length has become over time.

As much as I rather like levelling up now that there's been a few welcome overhauls, I'd rather they sod the whole business, start new characters up at level 90 with some beginner's gear and go from there. Yes, it'd make most of the game world entirely pointless, but it's been like that for most of the expansion dynasties, where everything slightly relevant has been exclusive to the current expansion's theme park area. Might as well just bite it and prune it off entirely. Perhaps keep it around as an optional thing, for little extra rewards, if flushing down years of hard work would suddenly become a consideration to the house of bliss.

But that is just the idle musings of a filthy roleplayer. I can see the logic behind it, and I won't blame anyone who would take the offer. Not at all, I understand very well. It's just that it wouldn't be a problem like this if dear old Blizzard had their heads screwed on properly.

The only feature this expansion adds that I'm the slightest bit interested in by now is the new character models, and they'll probably charge extra for those as well...

Now, I shall mutter and moan about the idiotic lore development to my cat.

They're trying to solve a big problem with the Theme Park MMO genre by trying to ignore the problem entirely? It makes sense to let people start playing at the latest expansion instead of going through all the content long since forgotten by the player base. Unfortunately, it's hard to want to support a company that seems to have officially killed any sense of risk taking they once had and replaced it with virtual cash grabbing. There was a point where I liked Blizzard Entertainment, but I think it died somewhere after Wrath of the Lich King.

FogHornG36:
No, this is good, so instead of having a game that you would want to play, you have a system, that you can pay money, get max level, and then you don't have to play anymore.

Clive Howlitzer:
You mean I can pay money to have the game already finished for me!? Sweet! If there was one thing holding back gaming, it was the fact I had to actually play the game. The fact Blizzard has enabled me to simply throw money at them and have the game finished for me really opens up my schedule.

90 in half-decent blue gear isn't anywhere near "finishing" the game. Arguably it's more like starting the real game, just with a very slight advantage of having blue gear rather than random quest greens.

rhizhim:
starting a game in which you already have one of the highest possible ranks and a lot of skill points to put into your skill tree and ability tree might end up with you, putting most of your points on skills you thought were good for your playstyle, but turned out to be impractical for you in the end.

so this can go wrong for players who wanted to get into world of warcraft with this expansion as an entry point.

If they do this right, the level 90 character you get will have no specialisation selected or talents, and even if they were set, it's very easy to change it in a couple of minutes.

Also Skill Trees haven't been a part of WoW since Cataclysm

What they're doing is making Power Leveling legal within Blizzard's terms of use. Back in my high school days when we played The Burning Crusade (haven't played WoW since) leveling was genuinely a very long ordeal, enjoyable but very long, just to get to 60, let alone 70. A few of my friends paid a company to use their accounts to power level a character up so that they wouldn't need to slog through the low level quests on their second or third characters but it was a really risky thing to do since Blizz would often catch that they were power leveling (through their account being online for too long) and ban them. Also power leveling wasn't cheap. I think it was about 50 to get a guy to 70 back then? I was thought it was stupid since the point of buying a game is to, you know, play it, and those that did power level had level 70 characters they couldn't use since without slowly learning their abilities through leveling they had no idea how to play them.

All I'm saying is that there's definitely a market for it, but I think it's just a cheap money making strategy. Have they started to sell gold for real money yet? If not, that's next.

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