On Growing Younger

Cynwine_and_hukrath_in_duskwood

I don’t remember where I saw this, but one of the ideas tossed around for Cataclysm was that you could temporarily reduce your level to allow you to play with your leveling friends.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, about how I would, in a heartbeat, delevel both my 85 and 84 toons and bring them down – WAY down – and either lock them at certain levels, or play leveling brackets in PvP without having to reroll yet another warlock, yet another warrior.

Prima facie this is a great idea. There are challenges, though.

Achievements. I think you should just keep all achievements, so that you can identify if a character has de-leveled or not to get certain items. (The max level achievement would stay, so you can see if someone is an achivement twink or not.) This is likely to ruffle some feathers, but there’s no real fair way to do this otherwise.

Professions. Drop down to the highest skill level allowed at that level, but keep all the patterns/schematics/etc.. Don’t penalize people for having to relearn professions every time.

PvP. This is going to fuck up PvP brackets like you wouldn’t believe. Get yourself a set of gear for each x9 bracket, enchant the heck out of them, and then drop down to level 10. Relevel to 85 via PvP. Always have the best gear waiting for you. Yikes. But you can go back and get those achievements you’ve always wanted! (Just watch out for other people doing the same thing.)

Twinks. Forget the twink brackets, if you want to play in the leveling brackets for a night it’s no sweat! Just beat up people for a bit and then drop back into your twink bracket. Another potential problem.

But think about this from every aspect other than PvP – this would be a great idea.

  • Revisit content at level after hitting endgame.
  • Outlevel a zone? Shed a few levels.
  • Want to try twinking? Drop down to 80 or 70.
  • Want to run Ulduar / ToC at level, at appropriate gear for achieves? Do it.
  • Want to go relearn a class, but don’t want to lose all the stuff you’ve gained? Drop back to 10, start over.
  • Want to go help your friends when they’re leveling? Do it.

I don’t even think this should be something where you can slide a lever and go from 85 to 19 to 85 again – make it one way only, if you’re going back you’re leveling back up. But make it so that it’s something fun for people to do.

The social benefits are strong. The replay benefits are strong. It will probably make leveling brackets in PvP worse than they are now, but… well, they’re already pretty bad.

There are a half dozen characters I would love to roll back to earlier stages, to learn the lessons of the class better. There are others where I’d like to experience the class again, see what it’s like to level, but not have that time spent be on an alt – I like that toon, that’s my warlock/dk/warrior/mage whatever.

I, for one, would love to see the Fountain of Youth come to Azeroth.

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8 Comments

Filed under Cynwise's Field Notes

8 responses to “On Growing Younger

  1. Poneria

    For PvP, they’d probably either have to go into the twink grounds, or if they could lock out enchants on gear in the leveling bracket (e.g., when you trade an enchanted BoA ring to a non-enchanter, it just doesn’t activate, but is still there).I’m solidly agreeing with the one-way aspect; I’d love to relevel things (I do, anyway).

  2. Ttrinity

    It would be fun to delevel at will and play your favorites at any level. It would even be better to that the ability to delevel and level at will for whatever purpose. Want to experience a new area? Delevel and quest. Just think of the possibilities of instant leveling on a PVP server. What if the bullies ganking low levels found themselves surrounded by a group that went from levle 25 to 85 in seconds? Now THAT would be interesting.As for me. I do love certain classes too much. I wrote a blog about my 4 priests, of now I have an even half dozen. Aye, I can’t help it. Good post. Thanks for letting me dream a little.

  3. Ttrinity

    It would be fun to delevel at will and play your favorites at any level. It would even be better to that the ability to delevel and level at will for whatever purpose. Want to experience a new area? Delevel and quest. Just think of the possibilities of instant leveling on a PVP server. What if the bullies ganking low levels found themselves surrounded by a group that went from levle 25 to 85 in seconds? Now THAT would be interesting.As for me. I do love certain classes too much. I wrote a blog about my 4 priests, of now I have an even half dozen. Aye, I can’t help it. Good post. Thanks for letting me dream a little.

  4. Psynister

    Hmm, deleveling with no option other than releveling… I don’t see achievements being a big deal. No reason to wipe them out as having them gives you no benefit at all in-game. It would certainly make it easier for you to get achievements that you missed, particularly PvP achievements which become nearly impossible after level 30′ish.Professions is an interesting subject here. It would definitely suck to lose all of your patterns (particularly non-vendor ones), but it would also suck to have spent all of the gold/mats to level that profession only to turn around and have to do it again. You could just go ahead and leave the skill levels where they’re at and do away with the whole Required Skill Level thing on certain items and replace it with actual character levels. Just switch it from skill level X to the minimum character level required to obtain such a skill level. Otherwise, I see this one being a huge deterrent for a lot of players. I don’t know that I agree 100% with you on the topic of PvP. This option is really no different than someone turning off their experience to farm the gear they want, using an alt to enchant it, and then turning exp back on again (or leaving it off). Whether you grind the gear now or you grind the gear later, either way you’re spending the time to do the grind. Granted, it’s easier to do those grinds on an 85 than a 59, but the potential still exists in the current setting. Twinks is going to be a big deal. The twink brackets exists specifically to prevent this very thing. If this option were available there would be no reason for the twink brackets to exist. I’d say that of everything you mentioned, this becomes the biggest issue and it’s probably one of the reasons why they didn’t put this in action after all. Though in all honesty, the pseudo-twinks wearing enchanted heirlooms in today’s non-twink brackets are still a huge problem that’s not going to be fixed. Enchanted gear and heirlooms already unbalance the crap out of PvP while leveling.On the one hand, this option as you’ve described it wouldn’t bother me all that much. As it stands, I already delete max level toons just so I can reroll them and start over. I don’t know how I’d feel about losing my professions with this method though. I think this would be a case where the old “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” thing is a crock. I’m also not too sure about not being able to flip the switch back to your higher level. It would only bother me a little bit, but I think this would be an even larger deterrent for most players than the professions thing. That’s almost forcing them into my delete/reroll habits with a couple of extra benefits tossed in. I’d wouldn’t mind it a whole lot, but I also would like the option to flip that switch back and jump to my normal level. PvP would definitely be hit the hardest by this going live. Unless they made either a third PvP bracket for deleveled twinks or forced the delevelers into the twink bracket, I think the impact here would be too much for Blizzard to seriously consider doing it. Maybe people won’t mind as much as I’m thinking they will. Maybe Blizzard will bring out the new heirlooms in 4.3 after all, and maybe heirlooms for the other slots will come out soon as well, and then we can level up at twice the normal speed or more even without RAF and then flinging your exp back and forth will be a breeze. I’d definitely like to see the option exist, I’m just not sure that they’ll ever actually do it with the potential drawbacks and the unlikeliness that a significant portion of the player base wouldn’t really want to consider doing it. It’s pretty clear to see that their focus is on end game raiding above all else, because that’s where the majority of players are, and something that removes one of their raiding toons probably isn’t going to be much of a hit with the fan base.

  5. Stormy

    On the subject of raiding at the appropriate level, I think it might be interesting if they did with *all* dungeons and raids what they did with Deadmines and SFK: keep the level-appropriate instance around, but also add in a “heroic” version of every single raid instance. Bored of Firelands? Go run H Black Temple. It won’t be a faceroll, and it’ll instantly add a whole bunch of variety to the game. Otherwise the raid instances Blizz spent so much development time on just sit completely empty once we’ve all leveled past them, which seems kind of sad and wasteful to me.I suppose others will think I’m crazy, but I’m saying this as a WOTLK baby who wouldn’t mind seeing the BC and vanilla raids and thinks soloing Molten Core is awfully droll…

  6. Psynister

    @Ttrinity That sounds like an excellent idea, actually. I haven’t been on a PvP server for a few years now, but I would have loved having the ability to seek vengeance after getting ganked. It could lead to some very interesting fights between two deleveled players as well. You gank me at 25, I level and attack you, you level and attack me back, and round and round we go destroying each other at various level increments until the serious battles of the level cap begin. ;) Sounds like a fantastic ride to me!

  7. Grimmtooth

    City of Heroes had something of a similar nature; it’s been a long time so I am fuzzy on some details. But basically when you wanted to group with someone higher level, you could be their “Sidekick” and have your abilities suitably boosted so you could play with your friends. Conversely, if you wanted to play with someone of lower level, you could be their “Exemplar” and be reduced suitably. This was on an instance by instance basis, which made it very flexible.

  8. Shelly

    I would love to do this for all the reasons you mention but particularly about visiting updated zones at the right level or a dungeon missed the first time round. It’s something I’ve been thinking alot about now that I’m finally going in dungeons & realising what my highest level character has missed out on. I also like the idea of doing it to relearn the class without having to reroll an alt. I have three paladins on the go- tank, healer & ret all at different levelling points, I think of them as three aspects of the same person (me really!) and I could have done it all with just one.