Why Instant Level Boosts Are a Bad Idea
ByDate: Feb 23 2017 Views:
Games love to throw around new and exciting bonuses to things like expansions and buying upgraded versions of their releases. One of the biggest ones that some have chosen to capitalize on more and more is that of level boosts. But that system in itself has a lot of negative effects on both new and existing players alike.
The Premise – Catching Up
The idea behind these is usually pretty simple: they want to make it easier (faster/instant) for players to get caught up with the existing player base. Expansions, especially, are generally based around new end-game content (although there are some outliers here, such as Guild Wars 2, in which case the entire game can be considered end-game). To help make that push to get players involved, then, it is sort of like the carrot on a stick saying “hey, give us money and you’ll be able to jump right to the same point everyone else is at!” And that is where the issue lies.
A Huge Disadvantage to Learning Classes
There are guides out there that teach you how to play your class in pretty much any MMORPG there is. They will walk you through what to use and when, but one thing they don’t do is teach you why you are doing that and helping you actually learn how to play it. When new updates come out, players scramble to learn the new things they should be doing, and this is a direct result of that system. Now, we are excluding the “I don’t have time to read all the changes and work it out” players here, of course – you can spot those that actually understand their class and those who don’t fairly easily, using a cookie cutter build or not.
The leveling process isn’t all about a storyline, exploring, and gearing up. It’s also about learning your class, how it works, and fine tuning your skillset based on your play style. And there is a massive, massive benefit here, as well… you get to inch your way into it. Instead of being given a flurry of information all at once to try and get ingrained, you’re taking it one step at a time, adapting as you go. It’s this style of play that lets you understand not just what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it as well. Whether you are doing PvE or PvP, it is absolutely going to make a difference.
How Does it Affect Existing Players?
When we play these games, we are playing with many others. They rely on us and we rely on them (unless you’re a loner, which is fine, but it’s the exception, rather than the norm). From dungeon groups and raids to team PvP and world bosses, how others are playing is something that does impact our own progress. The simple fact here is that if players have been boosted and don’t really know what they’re doing, they can easily hold you back – especially in game modes where you aren’t able to choose who you’re with. It takes away the ability to say someone has experience based on their level, which some may still be inexperienced regardless, but most know what they’re doing by the time they cap.
What About Alts?
Alts are another reason why some companies allow level boosting, but it goes back to the leveling issue. While you may have a character or two (or many) at the level cap and understand them already, different ones bring completely different styles and things to know. And this isn’t even a secret, as most players will readily tell you that they have no idea how to play x or y class. While you do better understand the game itself by leveling other characters, there are fine details that you are missing. This is very easy to see when someone is changing roles, such as going from a DPS class to tanking or healing. And it’s also one of the reasons why a lot of players are a bit hesitant to switch – the unknown is like learning a whole new game.
A Better Alternative
A much better method than giving straight level boosts is something that is already present in games like Tera and WoW: a temporary boost. In this case, what you are able to do is play an almost maximum level character so you can see how well it meshes with your personal play style. If it happens to be something that you enjoy, you can level one up on your own. The huge benefit here is that you are not just playing low levels, and instead can see what you should be expecting in end-game. And using this method allows you to check out all the classes you want, such that you can even rotate through them to pick the ones you like the most. And the best part? You’re not skipping the game in the process.