Just a quick thought for the day.
The achievement system which is apparently going into place with the next upcoming content patch has in it (at the time of this writing at least) a series of achievements for “first to level 80″ per class on each server.
I am not sure how much thought Blizzard has put into the behavior this achievement is going to promote. The time is not based on an actual played time from 70 to 80 but on who actually makes it first based on what amounts to a stopwatch that starts as soon as WotLK goes live.
What was put in place to encourage a bit of competition in efficient leveling will have a bit of a different real world result I think. It will likely more boil down to who can either organise the best team of people to play in shifts or for a single individual to play continuously with little time for distractions like sleeping and eating.
The first option essentially encourages cheating. The only way I can conceive of it not being in violation of the Eula is to use the clause that allows a parent to allow their minor child to play on their account. The parent could then take the kid(s) out of school for a few days and set up a rotation so one could sleep while the other levels. Somehow I don’t think this is the kind of activity Blizz is thinking about encouraging.
The second option is even worse. I have done a few marathon grinding sessions in my time but this is just way over the top. This would seem to be pointed at rewarding the person who takes vacation/calls in sick/cuts school and does nothing but level their character and (hopefully) sleep. Eating at the computer and possibly using the restroom while in flight (don’t think about laptops, just don’t go there). All this in order to get an achievement and if rumor holds a title.
I really do think the idea of rewarding efficient leveling is a good one, hell it’s one of the things I enjoy most about the game. I do not think the way this is set up encourages good behavior though, if anything it is encouraging the opposite. The only way I can think to implement something like this without the downsides I just mentioned would be to have it based off of a /played time from 70 to 80, weighted for rested XP as well.
- Take a snapshot of a characters /played time when they are both level 70 and have WotLK installed.
- keep a separate counter of played time for achievement purposes, so that rested XP would count double.
- make the achievement instead of “first to 80″ something like “fast to 80″
- set it on a timer so it would award the achievement if you reach 80 within a certain amount of /played time from 70.
I think something like this would go a long way towards rewarding the behavior that I believe they are trying to reward and not promoting behavior that is not really even close to being healthy.