It’s always interesting when a well thought-out post discussing the leveling experience sparks an intelligent conversation with other players on the World of Warcraft forums. Especially when blues get involved.
Lylirra responded with a post that really does need to be reproduced in full:
While I wouldn't say that leveling from 1-79 is totally "grindy" (I actually had and continue to have a lot of fun running through those zones), I can definitely see your argument. I mean, a lot of current dungeon mechanics are fun, right? They make you analyze the world around you and adapt changing scenarios, sort of like a puzzle. At first glance, having that kind of gameplay accompany you all the way from lower level quest zones to end-game dungeon content seems like it'd be amazing. But that's just at first glance. There's a lot to be said for keeping the leveling process as seamless and straightforward as possible.
For a lot of players, the goal of World of Warcraft is to meet some benchmark, things like leveling up, getting gear, increasing their character's potency, and/or defeating end-game raid content. While questing may be enjoyable activity in its own right for some (like you!), there's definitely a portion of the population where it's really more of a means to end -- a way of achieving those other goals more quickly or with greater efficiency -- and that's an important fact for us to keep in mind.
It's not that quests aren't important; on the contrary, they're a critical part of the game, and we'll continue to work towards making them even more epic and fun. It's just that if we make quests too challenging or too complicated, especially during the leveling process, we run the risk of creating situations where players might become frustrated and feel like they're being forced into a style of gameplay that isn't exactly their cup of PvE.
Now, that doesn't mean there isn't some sort of balance that can be struck, where we're able to create quests that evoke the fun of dungeon encounters, but never really reach that point where they become tedious or difficult (we totally hear your feedback on that). It's a matter of appealing to as many players as possible and making sure that they're engaged, but not overwhelmed with over-the-top challenge as they level up -- which can be tricky, especially when you have such a wide variety of playstyles and opinions to consider.
Even so, incorporating more dynamic mechanics into questing and using quests as a teaching method is something we'd like to do for future content. Whether or not we should invest the time and resources into revamping existing content, though...well, that's something that we'd have to weigh very carefully, as it would require us to focus our attention away from creating new things.
Leveling is definitely one of those love it or hate it activities. I can’t see to get my alts above level 17. However it also communicates how to play the game and, especially if WoW is your first MMO, this can be very important. Back in vanilla, you only had to get to level sixty and now you have to get up to 85, that’s quite a long grind and can put people off. But it’s nice to see Blizzard are actively looking at ways of making the non-raiding aspect of WoW entertaining. What are your thoughts? Do you love or hate the current levelling experience? Has it improved post-Cataclysm? Let us know in the comments box below!