So I lied, it seems I will be writing about WAR afterall. Well, more in passing than anything else. As I’ve mentioned, I’m deep into levelling two alts in WoW right now, while I wait for the expansion to go live. I’ve levelled so many alts in the nearing four years I’ve been playing WoW, that Its lost much of its alure to me. I don’t enjoy the levelling overly much because I’ve seen almost all of it. Inevitbally I always seem to float back the human quest zone because I’ve found it to be the quickest to run through. Though I have followed the Draeni, Night Elf, and Dwarf/Gnome quest chains to one extent or another. Usually by level 20ish I’ve found myself in Duskwood because ther other racial zones simply require too much running around. And without a mount to get me from point A to point B it’s just too much to ask.
I’m levelling one alt solo in my free time, and one with my wife. Which has lead me to comment to her recently a difference between WAR and WoW. When questing with others in either game, the total XP a creature gives upon its death is divided between the number of members in the party. Questing with my wife, the XP is of course divided in half. However, in WAR the XP is divided as it is in WoW, but they give a 45% XP bonus on top of that for grouping. In WoW you really have no incentive to group up because you take an XP hit, making it take twice as long (for a group of two) to level from one level to another. In WAR, you’re given an incentive to group.
Blizzard has espoused many times that WoW is a social game, and they want people to act accordingly. It’s the reason characters can only have two professions, despite many calls to increase that to three in the expansion. And It’s the reason they have not release solo dungeons. There are many other examples I could cite, but I assume you get the point. Given the social nature of the game, why does it then remove the incentive to group? Obviously grouping makes any given quest easier to do, and you can do more quests in a given amount of time. Unless of course it’s a collection quest, which will then take you twice as long. And we all know how many collection quests we go through from 1-70, don’t we? You actually get more out of doing a given number of quests solo because you got more XP overall, than you do if you group with another person.
So why doesn’t Blizzard change this? Why not adopt a more socially friendly XP modifer that gives incentive to group? Good questions, and I hope Blizzard answers them some time.