Leveling Jealousy

This post from Keen asked a question which I desperately clutched upon as a topic for a post.

When a new MMO launches do you ever feel pressed to keep playing to stay at or ahead of the curve? Maybe you have friends playing who all seem to have more time than you do — does that bother you?

I know it shouldn’t bother me and I’d be a much happier person if it didn’t, but unfortunately it does bother me to see other people in my circle of friends leveling faster than I am. I fall victim to thinking that one’s level is a measure of one’s gaming skill, when it is actually just a measure of one’s time investment. (Wouldn’t it be cool if your “level” was derived from the number of hours you’ve played a character? But it wouldn’t represent your character’s “power” level, just your character’s “age.” Of course, then a separate measurement would be required for power.)

Once I start falling “behind” I feel an overwhelming urge to catch up, so I start pushing for maximum experience gain in the shortest possible time, and that usually means skipping quest text and never stopping to look at anything.

So if there’s a game that I want to explore and enjoy the leveling experience, like for example WildStar right now and previously ESO, I tend to stay away from groups and guilds until I have a max level character. Even if I don’t even play with anyone else in the guild, it still irks me to look at the guild roster and see a list of people at a higher level than I am. Curse my natural competitiveness!

2 thoughts on “Leveling Jealousy”

  1. I think it would be interesting if characters age based on the time you play them, but then also deteriorate as they age. So when you’ve played you main for 50 hours and they are max level, your stamina or en durance gets lower the more you play or your wisdom increases because you are older. I am not familiar with any MMO that brings aging into the game world – every one seems to take place in a static timeframe that only ‘advances’ when the next expansion comes out.

  2. Characters aging naturally would be AWESOME. I love my single-player RPGs that do this. I do like to keep up with other players in MMOs, but not because I perceive power differentials. You just cant do much when your friends are too far ahead or below you. So it makes the game less fun. I hate the leveling race, but devs dont make it easy to play together otherwise.

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