When I played World of WoWcraft two years ago, I got fed up and quit as the mid-30’s slump kicked in. The same thing happened again at about the same level in LOTRO. But now I’m back to WoW and right now Shadowless is about 2 dead spiders away from level 42.
Part of my success is attributable to the changes to the leveling that sped up things in the mid game. Part of it is that the game is a little more polished and fun. Part of it is that I knew the slump was coming, so I didn’t get discouraged when progress slowed. Part of it is that this time around I knew where to go for level-appropriate quests.
By nature, I WANT to stay in one area until I’ve exhausted all of the quests. But you usually can’t do that. The quests will go up in level faster than you do, and you’ll eventually be in over your head. This even applies in the early game. If you do all the quests around Goldshire in the human area, you’ll be two or three levels short of being able to enter Westfall. I don’t think you should have to travel to some other area of the world or level grind that early in the game. (Or ever, but especially then.)
It’s often better to do the 30-35 content in one zone, then hop to another zone and do the 30-35 content, then another, then head back to the first zone and take on the 35-40 content. I dislike this, as there are a few quest lines in these zones that tell a little story. They’re not Shakespeare or anything, but they’re sometimes amusing and often give a new look at the setting. But the zone-hopping breaks them all up. You’ll turn in step 2 of a quest chain and find that step 3 is suddenly five levels above you. (This problem is really bad in Stranglethorn Vale. I’ve been to that zone three times, and I still have a bunch of unfinished quests there.) Maybe next weekend you’ll be back, but by that time you’ll have forgotten what was doing which thing to what dudes because of huh? Ah, screw it. Just hit “accept quest” and let quest helper aim me at my goal. I don’t have time to look this up on the wiki and figure out what was going on.
Still, I have to keep reminding myself that WoW is six years old. I’m sure this system was viewed as very friendly and gentle compared to then-leader Everquest. I’ll bet a lot of this will be smoothed over in the upcoming Cataclysm global revamp. (Which is funny. Hey! The world is beset by disaster and now everything works better!)
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