How To Gain Experience in WoW Now vs WoW Classic – World of Warcraft Fundamentals
With WoW Classic coming down the pipes in Blizzard’s typical Soon™ fashion, I thought I’d take the time to discuss some of the fundamental differences between modern Wow and classic WoW.
From one patch to the next, and one expansion to the next, World of Warcraft has gone through a colossal number of changes. Today’s video is the first in a series, in which I will be comparing the fundamentals of WoW, now and then.
At the end of my Battle for Azeroth review, I stated that I prefer the way the game used to be over the current version. That isn’t to say that the modern game is bad, but that I liked the way it used to be better. It doesn’t make me happy to see the subscription count plummeting over time until they stopped telling us the numbers. It doesn’t make me happy to see how quickly people stopped playing after a new patch or expansion was released. It doesn’t make me happy to see a game I used to love so much turn into something so different from made me fall in love with it in the first place.
Amongst the countless changes to the game that have occurred, a great many have been positive. Where I take issue is with many of the changes made to the core of the game, the fundamentals, and I believe many of these changes have changed the game in a negative way. In this series, I will explain how the fundamental systems of the game used to work, how they work now and explain why I believe the changes were for the worse.
The first fundamental I will discuss is the leveling, which will be split into three parts.
Leveling, at its core, is a system of progression for a character in a game. I imagine the vast majority watching this know exactly what leveling is, but I’ll explain it quickly for the uninitiated. Your character gains experience by performing actions in the game such as killing monsters or completing quests, and once enough experience is gained, the character “levels up.” When a character levels up, they gain an instant power boost – more health, more damage output, bigger stats, (use make it better, harder, faster, stronger song clip here) stuff like that. Some games require your character to have leveled up enough times before they can use certain items or equipment, or so they can use better spells and abilities, or to be allowed into some areas.
Or even more simply, you get to watch your character get stronger over time through bigger numbers on the screen.
The fundamentals of leveling in world of warcraft are gaining experience, learning new abilities, and the talent system. Essentially, the fundamentals of how your character progresses as a class. Today’s video will talk about gaining experience.
The Difference in Experience Gains
In earlier versions of WoW, you had 2 ways to level your character. Killing relevant creatures, and completing quests. That was it. Blizzard implemented systems to stop people from slaughtering creatures much weaker than you for experience and made it so having higher level players in your party would take a bigger share of experience. It was in your best interest to fight things, do quests, and group with players at or near your character’s level if you wanted to be efficient.
You also gained a small amount of extra experience for exploring areas on the world map. It helped a bit, but it wasn’t a good idea to try and explore higher leveled areas for a quick boost since the monsters there would murder you. Ask any older forsaken players about the “welcome bears” in Western Plaguelands about why you used to respect zone borders, for example.
In modern WoW you get experience for doing pretty much anything. The same 3 sources from before are still there, and now you gain experience for doing battlegrounds, completing dungeons, pet battles, mining, picking flowers, and I’m probably missing a source or two. Oh, and don’t forget you can now straight up BUY leveling boosts for real-life cash.
Without question, modern WoW has experience gains that are too common and too easily acquired. It is completely possible to get a character to the maximum level without fighting a single creature in the world, or completing a single quest. It is also possible to use the random dungeon finder at level 15, at which point you can literally sit in a city somewhere and never go out into the world again, as the game will teleport you to dungeons and you can get to max level that way – whether you do much to help the group or not.
I feel that the game rewards players too much for activities that are supposed to be their own rewards. If you are out in the world picking herbs, the reward is supposed to be the herbs themselves. You can use the herbs for trade skills, you can sell them on the auction house, heck, you might even vendor them if you are a new player that doesn’t know better. Completing a dungeon used to be an accomplishment unto itself. There is no need for a giant experience boost on top of that.
I liked the old way where if you wanted to level, you went out into the world and you fought for it. You killed those 10 boars for Grandma Betty, you delivered those 8 tiger butts to Eric Von Questgiver(consider multi asses creature from South Park, use Mephisto as Eric), and you might have even skinned them or used their bits and pieces for cooking! Nowadays, you’d be wasting your time skinning those boars and tigers, and the cooking bits are useless. But that’s a subject for another video, coming soon™.
A character’s level is supposed to represent the relative power of a character. A level 60 warrior is stronger than a level 55 warrior. The character should have to go fight things in order to get more battle strength. Picking flowers or mining ore will make the character better at picking flowers or mining ore. When things already have their separate skill level system, they do not need to grant you experience on top of that.
The battlegrounds point is contentious. I believe any kind of combat should grant your player experience, and that means PvP should grant experience. That said, I am fully well aware of the twinking community and their desire to make super powerful versions of low-level characters and have them duke it out as well. Of course, more often than not, those super powerful low-level characters just wound up squashing people who were just there for fun, but I digress. By making a separate battleground system for characters that could now turn off their experience gains, they all but killed the twinking community in the process.
This was a no-win situation for Blizzard, and they were going to anger players no matter what they did. I see both sides on this one. I agree with the decision to make battlegrounds give experience on the principle of consistency with what the game’s rules should have been. The problem is, the game had established the rule before that change that battlegrounds did not give experience. Which means that despite the fact that I think battlegrounds should give experience, I don’t think they should have changed it after it was established to be the way that it was, and had been for many years.