I Choose To Ignore You

Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you little number. Yeah, you, the little one hanging out by my character name. Yes, you, the level marker.

You gave me grief when I talked about Guild Wars Classic to World of Warcraft people. They told me, “Level 20 is max? Well that’s a crappy game. It’s so short!”

I say no, it’s not short. The game doesn’t begin until you reach maximum level. But they just couldn’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that you (the level number) just didn’t matter very much.

Nobody seems to complain that progression in Legend of Zelda means acquiring more weapons and (in some cases) sword skills. I grew up on games where the farther you got was how far you got. Your worth as a player was not based on an arbitrary number. Even in the original pokemon which had levels you were marked on how many you acquired and how well you managed your team to defeat ever more difficult opponents. Anybody could do it at max level, but it takes skill to do it with a lower level team.

I don’t understand why MMO gamers put so much value on levels as a means of character progression. Levels do not make a Massively Multiplayer Game. Massive amounts of players do. I know this might be a concept as radical to some as oh… say… walking three blocks to the store instead of driving. It might take some getting used to, this idea that levels really don’t matter.

To that end, that’s why I believe ArenaNet has chosen a high level cap. Disregarding the (lack of) leveling curve for the moment, the tiny number accompanying a player through their gaming life will be a comfort to many. It’s not going to have as much importance as it does in other games but it’s still there. Like milk in a sippy cup.

Through instant max level and skill PvP and the (not much talked about) sidekicking system new-to-Guild Wars-players are being introduced to solid foods. While you might be very attached to your milk I urge you to try something new. You ain’t tasted nothin’ yet!

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  • Comments (5)
  1. Yeah I’m not sure why gamers in general have such negative attitudes. Who writes off a game over one fact? its level 20. yet i’m sure so many people did. Simply stupid.

    • Ven
    • July 30th, 2010

    Because people are so used to what’s stuffed into their collective fat faces. Everyone looks at WoW and says that’s it’s the benchmark where all MMOs should look to. I have respect for Anet but for a company that’s been so far espousing the virtue of innovation this is a damn typical move. I’m sorry but I can’t be kind about this, WoW is a game that’s not marked by skill, it’s about gear and it’s about choreographed fights that resemble a Justin Bieber dance sequence than an actual fight.

    • Shongaqu
    • July 30th, 2010

    In the level 80 defense they did say at some point the personal storyline should take you all the way to level cap… So I suspect that the levels are split up by story arc… twenty levels for the beginning, thirty or so levels through chapter 2, then another twenty through chapter 3 and finally 10 levels and a dragon fight…

    Still I’m a little disappointed I love a low level cap

      • Tigerfeet
      • July 30th, 2010

      I honestly don’t think reaching the level cap is going to be super important. I have no problem with any level cap, it’s just a number.

  2. When I tell/told people about Guild Wars, I made the low-and-easily-attainable level a perfect example of the game’s whole philosophy: skill > time played.

    The other things I loved to flaunt were the max stats equipment being available cheap and easy, and championships for real money.

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