The False Equality of Leveling Options
As you may remember, I leveled a lot of characters during Cataclysm, and I’m leveling a few more now. I leveled through traditional questing, through dungeons, and through PvP. I had an inkling then about the problems that come from various types of leveling, but it only struck me this past week precisely where the problem lies. It lies in the most common problem in most relationships: money.
We all already knew about the inequality of time in leveling: it’s far, far faster to level in quests or dungeons – or even to some extent PvP (though it slows down a lot at higher levels) than through gathering, archaeology, or pet battling (after the hotfix). That inequality, though, is somewhat of a given; if you’re looking for an “alternative” leveling path, you know you’re going to be sacrificing efficiency for diversity. The money, though, can be a bit of a surprise.
I struggled leveling Palmetto, my rogue, through PvP because I couldn’t afford some of the basic things I needed to stay viable in the bgs. I needed better gear at certain level brackets (BC gear at 68, etc), certain enchantments and gems at higher brackets. I simply did not have the money for even one of those things, let alone the amount I’d need to switch from one pvp set to another. You don’t make money in PvP, so you’re either forced to follow another parallel leveling path or be unable to afford what could be considered the basics of your leveling style. I ended up from Wrath on questing the first few levels of each bracket and PvPing the last few levels. It’s not what I wanted.
Quests and gathering give by far the most money. Dungeon-only leveling isn’t bad, as I could usually afford the basics, but not much more. PvP and pet battling, though, are simply not economically valid ways to level.
Sure, there are a lot of halfway-valid counterarguments. Sure, you can go do a few quests every few levels, or do some gathering every few levels and sell your products. Sure, everyone can play the auction house and make money if you put in enough time and effort. Here’s the thing, though; if I’m looking for alternative leveling options, I really don’t want to sacrifice even more time just trying to get the gear I need to survive (my level 76 Dk still has some starting pieces, even having done dungeons almost exclusively since 60) or have to learn an entire AH metagame just to level an alt.
So I feel there needs to be some more financial equality between the leveling options. I want to level just doing pet battles and exploring; that sounds like a lot of fun to me. However, it won’t make me a cent in a game where you have to maintain a certain gearing level just to survive long enough to find pets to battle against.
So in the end, the genre that grew up around the idea of questing is still pretty heavily reliant on questing for financial gain. There’s no real surprise there, I suppose, but hopefully we’ll see some evolution soon. So how about it? Can we get some financial rewards for alternative leveling options, please?
Stubborn (and broke on his DK)