Wednesday, 18 February 2009


A recent posting in that pleasantly discursive blog, The Middle-Earth Adventurer, was entitled "Post 60 Slump", and I believe it definitely touched on a sore point for many players: "I think that there's a natural incentive to seeing the blue xp go up and up and up as you level. It hits a part of the human psyche that drives us to keep going on whatever path we've set out on. Once that stops... well, you lose something, even if there's everything else in the game still pushing you forward."

I couldn't agree more, even though in my case it hasn't yet stopped me carrying on with the last batch of Moria quests... but it's true that the salt hath lost somewhat of its savour. What's the problem? Basically, that when Turbine released Mines of Moria, they raised the level cap from 50 to 60. In other words, you could now earn experience points and level up as far as the new upper limit of sixty. This was a fine and necessary change, as far it went; unfortunately, in practice it proved all too easy to reach the new upper limit. Dedicated players went from 50 to 60 in a month or less; for the average player, I would guess a time period of around three months is probably about right. That is way too damn fast, given that it probably took an average of nine months or so to go from level 1 to level 50 in Shadows of Angmar. And as the Middle-Earth Adventurer points out, once you reach the cap level, things somehow seem a lot tamer. Particularly if the game as a whole seems to have slightly run out of steam (which is a subject I shall be getting back to very soon).

Now, normally you can't just say, "OK, we'll simply increase the leveling requirements - let's double them", because to do that, you have to build in the extra quests and activities by a similar factor. But in the case of Moria, that wasn't a problem. How do I know? Simply, because when I hit l.60, there still remained at least 45%-50% of total new quests still uncompleted. And though I obviously can't say how many EPs their completion would have given, it should have been substantial, given that many of them, like "Enemies of Lothlorien", are multi-strand quests calling for the completion of several strands of very difficult quests. It would have made more sense to extend leveling from l.50 to l.60 by a factor which have ensured reaching the cap after completion of, say, 80% of the new quests. Let's hope that when Turbine next raise the cap, as they will surely do sooner or later, they will have learned their lesson.


András said...

i agree, although i think the calculation of time needed by a 'dedicated' and 'average' player to hit lvl60 is a bit too "generous".

i saw the dedicated players to reach 60 in a week; no they are not 'hardcore', they don't have the best equipment etc, they just level fast.

As for the average player (i consider one myself), i've reached the cap with my old character and managed to get a rune-keeper to 60, too, just fitting into the 3-months interval from the launch of MoM.

It can be good or bad but i think leveling in Moria is much faster than it used to be - or maybe we just got the 'expertise' to level faster....?

Kairos said...

Yes, the definitions 'hardcore' and 'average' in this context are really very subjective. At the end of the day, I guess it depends on how many hours of play you put in per day or week; I would guess, very much off the top of my head, that the average serious player probably puts in two or three longish sessions per week.

As for Moria, I definitely feel that leveling has been noticeably faster, even allowing for accumulated expertise. I seem to remember that playing fairly regularly each week, it took ages to get from l.47 to l.50...

Jaxom92 said...

I agree with you about the leveling speed in Moria. It seemed like I reached 60 in no time. If I were playing a full day (8 hours) I would be able to almost always gain a level in that amount of time. I took breaks, and didn't play for that long every day, so it took me until early February to get to 60, but if I had a mind to sit down and work it like a traditional 9-5 job, I'd be done in less than a month.

I noticed that the xp dolled out for quests and deeds in Moria was quite generous. Some deeds gave me nearly 10k xp for my trouble - even the exploration deeds that weren't particularly taxing.

On one hand, it's cool that leveling didn't become too grindy, but I agree that the erred on the side of too fast with Moria. I too have half of Moria proper content as well as everything in Lothlorien.

Thanks for the link!

Anonymous said...

Apparantly levelling wasn't fast enough; Book 7 will make it even faster... Why????