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About leveling in MMORPGs

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It’s not really an idea but more of a question. Why do MMORPGs force the player to level up all over again when he changes his class? Doesn’t the previous class’s level count for anything? I mean, if you change your class and start from Lv1 you will still go through the whole thing again. Fighting the same monsters, and doing the same quests (most of the time). Sure, changing your class using another class’s level won’t be the same as leveling that class from scratch, but at least it’s a head start. Personally (due to some free-time issues) I never played more than 1 class on any MMORPG I played before. I always stick with one class (usually mages, cause they give an ‘action’ feel to the game). The idea of going back to level 1 is not my idea of fun :/ Any ideas on why this happens? What’s the harm that it could do to the players and the game? Wouldn’t it be more fun?

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Usually leveling gives a player a taste of every spell one at a time and lets them practice with different ones. It also gives the player time to specialize if the game has that kind of setup.

Also while I've only played WOW for 2 hours, from what I saw while my brother played was that you'd buy spells. So if you were to switch classes then just shown all the spells up to your level it might be expensive. Not to mention you wouldn't have had the experience you had had with your other class that allowed you to know what spells were good. Also you'd grind to buy them if that's how the mmorpg was setup.

Really depends. I use a classless system in my game, so I guess I never really thought about this kind of thing.

I think an mmo game is supposed to have enough content so that the class you pick doesn't matter in the long run. You just choose it because of your play style. (Like I pick healers/pacifists classes because I'm uncompetitive).

I can see your complaint that replayability in certain MMO's can be completely left out. Sadly supporting so much content creation for each class is too much for most developers. Especially for higher levels where players want to team up and not do class specific stuff.

If the content isn't there then you just quit and go to another game. It's the equivalent of beating the game. I have a buddy at work who got 3 level 70's in WOW and just recently switched to Vanguard because he's seen and done everything. Happens very frequently. Only game I've seen that doesn't have this problem is planetside, but that's a classless FPS/RPG so the replayability is no problem.

Something else to mention not sure if this is true because of my ignorance of MMORPG games, but if you have your level, then you'd have to get new armor and the grind is still there. Might as well start at level 0 again.

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Not the biggest issue in the world, but part of the leveling process teaches you what you can and can't do with a char.
It teaches you what each skill does, and how to best use it. Mind you, the leveling process is much longer than the learning
curve on most the stuff. But the point stands that it is less of a pain to use a char you leveled than it is to use one with
everything already good-2-go.

Same quest thing could probably be avoided. In WoW you can sidestep the entire issue 4 times.
Since there are 2 sides and 2(? could be missing one from BC) start locations. You get to do different quests entirely,
and still get to play the different classes. In Oblivion(i know, not a MMO) you have the issue of soooooo many quests and
things to do that starting over on another char just means that you can level AND play a whole different part of the game
that you didn't see yet. (and you get to redo the stuff you liked)

In EVE you can sidestep the leveling again thing, since any char can learn anything they want.
This means that you can waste time trying out all sorts of stuff, or specialize in one specific area. If you
do spend the time to specialize, you can then fool around and pick up other things anyway. And since everything
builds on everything else, the farther you are along, the less pain in the ass it is to pick up an odd skill here and there.
(you also sidestep quests, cauze there really aren't WoW style quests to provide the major content portion of the game, they
are only side "flavor")

But either way, there is still one benefit to already having a leveled char, in that you can collect items/money
on the high level char, and give them to the low level char. Thus, sidestepping much of the leveling
process anyway, since your low level char never has to hit those annoying platues of "i can't do anything till i can grind enough money."
Or "I have to grind for item X so i can survive.". (ok, WoW's soulbound means you still have to grind for the best
item at any level, BUT there are still tones of non-soulbound items that you can collect to speed your leveling)

Personal note? I never have issue with leveling all the classes. I have issue Starting to level the class i want to play.
I find it harder to find a setup I'm willing to stick with through to the end of the game, so those first few levels
better be entertaining so that I can enjoy trying out each class/race and finding out what I like and don't like
about each one before I have to settle on what I'm going to spend the rest of the month(or life... in the case of EVE) leveling up.

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Horizons sounds noteworthy here. In it, you could change class at any time, so, say.... from Warrior to Spiritualist, but you kept all your old strength. All your new class does it limit what armor you can wear (can't cast spells in big iron armor), but if you were to change with your lvl 30 warrior, you could level up your spiritualist level on lvl 20 enemies (give or take). Once you get both class levels to level 20, you can then take a prestige class which starts at level 1, but you still retain all your old skills/spells.

So you have a level in each class, but also an average, which is your "actual" character level. However, your actual level for someone with 30 levels of warrior & 10 of spiritualist is only 20, so it's not necessarily accurate on how powerful you are (but Horizons had no PvP, so it wasn't an issue).

I really enjoyed that system, because you only ever needed to have one character, and you could play many styles with them because you could multi-class with really no penalty (dragons were, though, pretty much every class, all the time.)

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