An emerging trend in MMOs are the high level characters being handed out in TERA and EverQuest 2. The TERA character offer was a one-time event, but if they did it once then they probably will do it again. The high level character in EverQuest 2 will become purchasable in the future for those who did not take advantage of the original offer. But I am worried for the future of MMOs if the ability to buy high level characters becomes the norm.
I am gonna confess that I took advantage of both the TERA and EverQuest 2 offers, but I have my reasons. TERA kills my laptop and I plan to get into it when I can afford a new gaming rig. When that happens I will be on par with other players in the game. Having a high level character in EQ2 allows me to get into the lore of Norath in preparation of EverQuest Next. The TERA and EQ2 character offer is unique for where these games are at this time, but normally I would never purchase a high level character. Reading comments at various MMO websites, I am disturbed at how willing a majority of the MMO community is embracing these high level characters and wants to see this feature in other games. The most common reason I have seen given is, “I get to skip the level grind.”
In my opinion people who are, “bored with the slog of leveling” are not true MMO gamers. Of course I mean role-playing MMOs based on character statistics and dice rolls. These non-MMO gamers most likely have no need for lore when MMOs are all about being a part of the lore and the hero’s journey. The good news is that there are many types MMOs to play; MOBAs, FPS, RTS, racing, sports…
If you do not like leveling content then perhaps it is the particular game you are playing or maybe it is that you are not a match for MMORPGs. Having limited time to play is a poor excuse these days with so many MMOs offering XP boosts. The “I want to play with my high level friend” argument has also been addressed by MMOs that have level matching.
The inspiration for this rant came from the follow Massively article: Free for All: Why I’d love to buy high-level characters