Friday, October 2, 2015

The Great Level-Synch Controversy

BioWare announced that with 4.0 players visiting lower level planets will be 'de-bolstered' (i.e. have their stats lowered) to be appropriate for that planet.  They are not the first game to do this, Guild Wars 2 make a lot of use of it.  As expected, it is causing quite a stir in the community.  It has all the normal MMO hyperbole, ranging from "It will kill the game!" to "It is the greatest thing ever!"  Also many claims of quitting.  You know, normal MMO reactions.

My opinion is that it's a good thing.  I've never liked how high levels pretty much break combat formulas.  Now all of a sudden you can't even get hit by the enemies.  The only thing I like about being a higher level is not aggro'ing pointless enemies.  That's it.  But I don't really have to worry about that much.  I have no reason to go to the low level areas, except for the rare event.

BioWare isn't just adjusting levels.  They also added a scaled reward system.  You can now go do Heroic missions and get level appropriate rewards.  SWTOR features quite a few of those, which are now all relevant again.  That provides the player more variety, which is a good thing.  They also hooked up fast travel to these missions  so you don't have to travel all over the planet to get to them.  That's another good thing.  If they add in the Heroic 4's (they may have), that's more group content.  

There are some great worlds in SWTOR and the leveling system just makes them mostly obsolete.  That's a waste.  Now they can be used more.  This is another good thing.  I hope BioWare goes even further and adds new content to these old areas.  It will make the game feel more like a living galaxy.

A lot of folks think it should be optional.  I really don't have an opinion about that, as I don't know enough. Maybe it's just not feasible?  Maybe it's not how BioWare wants to move forward?  If BW wants it optional, that's fine.  If not?  That's fine too.  

I'm looking forward to taking on all those Heroics again though, it'll be a nice change of pace sometimes.