The Level 30 Wall

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

This isn't the first time this has been talked about. And it certainly won't be the last. I thought I'd point to a couple of other discussions about the Level 30 Wall, as it's become to be know. First is LOTROCast. If you haven't checked out that podcast yet, I highly recommend it. Second is a post by VanHemlock. He's currently working in Evendim, a zone designed to deal with this wall. By all accounts, the wall still exists to some degree.

Now, I'm a ways away from the wall both in terms of my level 60 captain and my alts (which are at most level 12). It's been a while since I've dealt with the wall. I was reaching the wall when Evendim came out. And yet, between my eastern North Downs, Trollshaws, and Evendim questing, I did feel a bit burned out. When there's content that gets a bit repetative as well as a linear solo progression, you can feel burned. But I got through it. I slowed down, I didn't play as much, but the itch to play never really left. I just stratched it much less. I guess that's something unique to me. Not just me, but to my situation. Many players lose the itch completely. I'm not sure how to avoid that. I avoided it because I love the lore. I love the world. And, despite some holes, such as this wall, the game is overall very well designed and polished. That kept me going. And it's my first MMO. There's an intagible quality about one's first experience in anything that leads them to almost romanticize it. I trie and be objective about this game, but truely, I have a biased love for it, regardless of my critiques or concerns.

So, the best way to avoid the wall is to pace yourself. If you're feeling burned, take a break for a couple days. And when you come back, only do a handful of quests. 2, 3, 4, maybe five. That's it. Go to a different activity next. Like crafting. Or maybe there's a deed you want to finish. Work on that. But don't do any one activity for an extended period of time. This, in my opinion, is what leads to burn out and can lessen the impact of the wall. Basically, instead of speeding full force into it, just stroll on up and give it a tap. It's still there but it didn't hurt nearly as much.

For Turbine's part, I hope to see them give an alternate direction out of Bree. The city acts as a wonderful quest/player hub and I don't think it should lose that functionality. However, instead of the lone-lands/northdowns/evendim/trollshaws progression, let's go say... south. Lots of room down there on the map. Get a duplicate 18 to 48 progression to Eregion and the Mines.

What about Turbine's stated goal to include an epic book in each zone expansion, free or otherwise? Well, I don't think a lower level zone is mutual exclusive to the continuation of the story back in Eriador. There are a lot of creative people over at Turbine that should be able to come up with a legitimate reason to send the players back to the southern areas of Eriador. And that story can be at the level cap or close to it depending on where the epic story terminates when such additions are made. So, there's a little bit of high level content in an otherwise low level zone. There's ways to build the zone that shuts off this part of the content. You can instance it, you can put it in a remote valley/area. Heck, even seeing a couple level 60 (or higher) mobs patrolling an area is enough to deter a level 30 from sticking his nose in. Just make sure these mobs don't count towards deeds that would normally be completed at a lower level.

There are ways around the wall now. Or there are ways to make it hurt less. And in the future, I hope Turbine considers something like what I've said above. I hope they don't get too much tunnel vision to Mordor and forget that there are other parts of the game that can make as much impact to your players as moving east.

0 Responses to "The Level 30 Wall"