Myself and a few friends may be deciding to engage in some madness. The idea spawned out of a discussion about how World of Warcraft would be a more enjoyable leveling experience if it featured the same style of instance level scaling that Final Fantasy XIV does. For those not familiar, in FFXIV you have a set of levels for a given dungeon much the same as you do in World of Warcraft. For example Deadmines is generally thought of as a level 15-16 dungeon… so in this case if it were FFXIV you would zone in and be downscaled to the level of the zone regardless if you are level 25 or level 60. The other feature of the level scaling is that you are limited to using abilities that exist within that level range… which in itself can be slightly annoying because you might need to do some hotbar swapping. The experience feels good however and you get to run the dungeons with your friends without necessarily feeling like you are powering them through the content. For years I have beat the drum of the need for “mentoring” in World of Warcraft, where you can voluntarily drop your level to that of a friend. While we absolutely know that the level scaling tech could do this… thanks to the Legion zones and Invasion event… it seems like the Blizz crew simply doesn’t want to add this feature. So we decided to take things into our own hands.
Years ago they put in a functionality of being able to lock your level and effectively turn off experience gain. For the most part this was entirely intended to be used by the thriving “twink” PVP scene that flourished during Vanilla and the Burning Crusade expansions. However some time ago we also used this for the purpose of raiding and I was a tank in a guild called “Years Behind” that attempted to raid all of the vanilla content with level locked 60s. That derailed a small bit because there was a significant amount of gear that you could equip at 60… but effectively came from the BC expansion, meaning some of those greens straight up wrecked hard fought purples from the raid content. Regardless it was a lot of fun to experience the raid content the way it was meant to be experienced, rather than steamrolling it with a bunch of wildly overleveled characters. The only negative with level locking is that it is a bit cost prohibitive… in that it costs 10 gold every time you want to lock your level… and another 10 gold every time you want to unlock it. As a result in order to complete this project we decided that we would need a benefactor… namely the already well geared characters of myself and Grace. With all of this in mind… last night we set forth to create a brand new set of low level horde characters. I myself am playing Belgwyb… a Female Orc Monk with the bluish skintone… in a slantwise honorific of the best Grand Company leader ever… Meylwyb Bloefhiswyn. Grace created another Monk but I believe she is going healy, whereas I am of course intending to go tanky. Finally Mor rolled an undead rogue, which gives us some semblance of proper dps.
The idea is a simple but also probably a slightly insane one. We level to 15… then lock our level and attempt to run Ragefire Chasm and Deadmines. If we cannot for some reason complete a dungeon during a fixed level range… we unlock and begin leveling again only to lock later and try again. The goal being to get through all of the dungeons in the game… especially the vanilla era ones with appropriately leveled and geared characters. The catch is that we are not using heirlooms at all. That is for a few reasons… firstly the xp gain boost would make like madness in trying to control our levels and secondly… using heirlooms is the equivalent of using blue or purple gear all of the time while leveling greatly reducing the difficulty of all encounters. The other constraint we are placing upon ourselves is that we must run to the dungeon and be able to zone in naturally. This means for Deadmines we are in fact going to have to do the Gromgol run up to Westfall through a bunch of really nasty stuff that can and probably will straight up wreck us. I am going to try and convince my companions to let me stream these adventures because I have a feeling they are going to be memorable. The fact that we are trying things at the right level is increased in difficulty by the fact that there are just three of us doing this, and not a full team of five. Our first step is to hit 15 however we want… and then we begin the dungeon crawl. I of course will be sharing our adventures… good or bad here on the blog. We formed a guild last night for this process… and named it the RoboSquid Armada because that is apparently what happens when you get the three of us together and tell us to name something.