ArenaNet has been on a roll with dropping bombs from MMO heaven. When Tycho from Penny Arcade even calls them out as warriors of sooth and justice on the MMO scene, they’re doing something right. So, last night could have been the same when they announced the level cap for Guild Wars 2 at 80 on the ArenaNet blog. There were two pieces of information: level cap is 80, and level progression is constant vs. time. This could have been a Tweet.
It’s not that this new information isn’t nice to have; it’s that out of context it is nearly meaningless. It’s like if they came on and said “the best sword in the game does 444-555 damage per hit.” Okay, sounds good, I guess. I mean clearly they restate their goal that they don’t want leveling in itself to be the content. However, the more important question that should have been immediately followed up is “how do levels matter?”
So, how do levels matter? We know that there will be some sort of sidekicking/mentor system ala City of Heroes that allow players to play with friends regardless of level, and we know arena PvP will put everybody at the same level. That’s about it.
Are they going to now follow a DIKU-progression where it’s nearly impossible for a level 70 hero to fight a level 80 mob? Or like in Guild Wars 1, can a significantly lower level character take down a much higher level mob? Conversely, if I am a level 70 character will low level mobs be grayed out, still attack me, or provide any challenge? I know in arena PvP, all characters will be the same level, but if I go in to World v. World at level 20, will I just be absolutely useless if I am surrounded by level 80s? Does stat progression and item progression heavily rely on the level? What about zones and character level? Will I have to be level 60 before even realistically setting foot alone on Orr?
These are the questions that will matter to my gaming experience, and I hope we get a follow up on some of these and other community questions next week.
you remind me of a babe