In just a few months – if not weeks, really – WoW’s leveling structure is going to change forever. The level cap will be reverted back to 60, just like it was in 2004, but this time, players will have the opportunity to choose to play through any individual expansion’s adventures on their journey to max level.
The system is simple. Roll a character, play through one expansion of your choice completely, and then move onwards to Shadowlands content.
And while something like that might be incredibly efficient and a lot less time-consuming than the system we have currently on live BfA servers, the current iteration of the leveling process should be experienced at least one final time before you check out of BfA forever and prepare for the next version of the game coming later this year.
Throughout the course of the past few months, I’ve taken the time to level a few characters on retail with the double experience buff implemented. Playing more WoW than ever, I’m creating new alts out of thin air and bringing them to zones that I might not have ever experienced before, or at the very least, in quite a long while.
Just last week, I took a new warlock of mine into Icecrown to run through the quests there before Shadowlands will undoubtedly change the zone in just a small matter of time. From there, once I was finished, I made my way over to Kun-Lai Summit. Draenor, and eventually, Val’Sharah.
Having a sense of free-flowing, total freedom while leveling is something I’m going to miss once Shadowlands drops and players will be married to a certain leveling experience on a newfound alt. And while it’s going to be nice to be able to play through an entire continent’s leveling content for the first time in years, I’ll definitely miss hopping around the map and experiencing the smorgasbord of different expansions that the game has to offer on the leveling playing field as it currently stands.
And believe me, I’m going to be first in line to run through all of Pandaria at once when Shadowlands drops. Getting to experience the entire continent – or any continent, for that matter – on one singular character will undoubtedly be a welcome change come the next expansion. But, for now, some part of me can’t help but feel a little bit misty-eyed at the prospect of losing the ability to freely explore the open world without any third-party middle-man like Chromie to tell me where I can and cannot go. Just having a full-range leveling experience at my fingertips is something that I’m going to actually be a little bit upset about losing when Shadowlands launches, despite all of that experience’s flaws.
Which is why I’m definitely recommending that if you’re still playing WoW at the back-end of Battle for Azeroth and you’re running out of things to do on your main or max level alts, you should, at the very least, take a few days and run yourself through Azeroth one last time. The way we approach leveling is going to change drastically in just a few months, so if you’re strapped for content, try and make an effort to see the world as it is right now before we’re ushered into a new era when Shadowlands drops later this year.
Featured image via Blizzard Entertainment.