Leveling… a fun endeavor for some… a necessary and arduous task for others.
If you’re the type who plays very casually, enjoys lore and just likes to stop and smell the roses… well then leveling isn’t such a grind. These people see the journey as half the fun and are in no hurry to reach “end game”.
On the other hand, if you’re the type of player who seeks the thrills and challenges that await you at (or near) max level, then leveling your character can be a real pain. A necessary evil as it were.
Not to mention it can be a huge time sink.
Unfortunately for many, online gaming usually favors those who have the most time to burn. Yet… it stands to reason that the guy who chooses to play 12 hours per day should have more powerful and higher level character(s) than the guy who spends 12 hours per week at it. Gaming is just like many other vocations, hobbies or life pursuits – the more time you spend at it, the greater the experience, rewards, adoration, etc…
However, gaming is just that… a game. It’s not something that one should pour their souls into, nor devote unreasonable amounts of time to in an effort to enjoy themselves or to be the best. Well, unless you’re a tournament gamer with sponsorships and the skill to win mass amounts of coin. 😉
Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand… I’m trailing off a little here. Bear with me.
For those of us who enjoy the thrills, chills and excitement of end game challenges… getting to that point can be a real time investment. While many of us do enjoy questing to some degree, especially the first few run-throughs, the real fun (for me anyway) is getting your character(s) leveled up and clad in beastly gear. That’s when games like Diablo, Diablo II, and the game I’m mainly focusing on here, Diablo 3, really start to become fun. Again… for gamers like myself.
For me, the leveling grind is fun to a degree, but the gear grind and end game PvP are where the real thrills lie.
So, the reason for this post… Should there be some sort of experience bonus mechanic in Diablo 3? In other words, would it be a good idea to implement some sort of method by which more casual gamers could accelerate their leveling experience, thus enabling them to enjoy end game at a quicker pace than before?
This debate is somewhat controversial.
For starters, games like Diablo and Diablo II are mostly all about the leveling. Making the leveling process more expeditious would only serve to burn players out quicker.
In keeping with that ideal, you have to consider how it would affect the ever popular ladder system, by which players compete against one another in an effort to see who can level the fastest. Insanity I call it, but whatever floats your boat. 😉
At any rate, I think there could be some fun and exciting possibilities which would allow the more casual player a chance to “catch up” a little bit, without it interfering with mechanics of hardcore play.
One idea that comes to mind is the system that is currently used in World of Warcraft. This being the very simple system by which players are rewarded with an experience bonus based upon the amount of time they haven’t spent logged on. To me, this seems like something that Blizzard should strongly consider for Diablo 3. Because there’s a reasonable cap in place for the amount of bonus “rested experience” you can amass, this seems like it would be a very practical mechanic to work off of for Diablo 3.
Another idea that was brought up on the Battle.net forums was to maybe add an experience bonus for weekend play. Obviously, this type of system would benefit most everyone, but would definitely favor the “weekend warriors” so to speak (ie: people with jobs, weekly responsibilities of some sort.) However, it could be a drag for players whose weekends dont fall on Saturday and Sunday, or for those who actually like to engage in other activities or just go outside on their days off.
In addition to the debate about whether or not to include some sort of experience bonus system in Diablo 3, there were also posts suggesting some sort of enhanced loot events. For example… designating certain “holidays” or specific dates as enhanced magic find days, or times in which monsters are more likely to cough up the item(s) you’re after. This wouldn’t do much in the way of helping casuals out, but it certainly would be exciting and would probably get the Diablo 3 fan base pumped up to play during those times.
Introducing easter eggs into the game world could be another fun idea, especially if those items were only found at certain times.
Anyhow, that’s almost topic for another post altogether.
As I’d mentioned, I like the idea about adding the World of Warcraft “rested experience” bonus, or some derivative thereof. Even if it’s only a little boost and maybe it only applies to mob kills – that would still be a nice addition to Diablo 3. At least, I think so.
Of course, the old Experience Shrines were always fun and I’m willing to bet they’ll be making a reappearance in Diablo 3.
At any rate, there wasn’t much in the way of a blue response as it pertained to the experience bonus, but Bashiok did add his two cents in regards to the idea about random or scheduled “events”.
Quote from Bashiok
I don’t know I think those kinds of things can be fun, but maybe as more specific bonuses for celebrations. I think it would be cooler though if for like, say an anniversary weekend, monsters are tougher or drop better loot or something. Sounds cool to me, no plans I’m aware of that would support such functionality but you never know.
I think it’s fun to have a reason to log in maybe even if you haven’t played in a while. It’s a good way to keep interest up without having to patch in new content or something. (Source)
I really hope they decide to implement something along these lines. The Diablo clone in Diablo II was one of the most exciting encounters one could hope to… well… encounter. 😉
As for the experience bonus suggestion(s)…we’ll just have to wait and see I suppose. Personally, I don’t really care either way. I’ll get to level 60 at my own pace.