Last week the World of Warcraft team released a blog post updating everyone on the status of Warlords of Draenor, and it included this little tidbit:
In addition, when you pre-purchase either digital version [of Warlords of Draenor], we’re going to grant you your level-90 boost at the time of pre-purchase. That’s a little different from the plan we laid out at BlizzCon, but based on the feedback, it’s obvious that many of you would like the chance to get acquainted with a new class before heading into the expansion.
This statement, along with a survey that asked users how much they would be willing to pay for an instant level 90, has caused a lot of consternation in the MMO community. I understand why people might not like the idea, but for myself I’m more bothered by the incorrect comma use in that quotation than its content. (Look, grammar is the true serious business.)
I can’t find a source for this number at the moment, but I’m fairly certain that there are more North Americans who used to play WoW than those who currently play. And I suspect that luring back ex-players is easier and more cost effective than trying to snag new ones.
Level 90 is a huge barrier for returning folks! Even if you wandered off after Wrath, that’s 10 levels before you can join your friends in end-game activities, or more if you want to try a different class. Ideally WoW would create some kind of mentoring or sidekicking system, but barring that I think a paid insta-90 option (along with the free on you get with purchase) is fine.
Yes, it means people will be level 90 without having played their class for the paltry 15 or so hours it takes experienced players to level nowadays, but if you’ve done any LFRs or BGs lately you’ll know that there’s probably not much difference between that and half your group anyway.
But worrying about instant levelling is really beside the point. The important issue here, I think, is what class am I going to level up with the free 90?!
I currently have a 90 priest and an 85 shaman on the Horde side, as well as an 80 Alliance mage. It seems to me my top 3 options are:
Warlock: It is undeniable that warlocks are rad as hell. They’ve always gotten the best looking tier sets, they have cool demon pets, and neat utility spells. I’m not sure where they are right now in the DPS hierarchy, but in the past they’ve been very competitive damage dealers and occasionally even good tanks. While I don’t think levelling up a warlock would be that difficult, they are cool enough (and I am lazy enough) to be an excellent insta-90 candidate.
Rogue: I basically play healers at almost every opportunity, so the appeal of rogues is that they seem to fill the exact opposite role. Rogues are traditionally light on buffs or support mechanisms, and instead have the sole mission of stabbing things as hard and as fast as possible. On the one hand I’m a little iffy on playing melee, but on the other what better opportunity to Learn2Fight than an instant max-level character?
Paladin: As an eternal priest player, I have always been secretly a little jealous of paladins. Not only can they be competent tanks or melee DPS, but as healers they seemed to have such a delightful bag of tricks. Their plate armor makes them probably the best choice for PvP healing, and the old Divine Intervention was not only a great cooldown but also a lot of fun for playing tricks on people. (Semajftw, we miss you!)
However, what I have learned about paladins first hand is that they are sooooo boring to level. So much. The boringest. Right now paladin is my #1 choice for instant levelling, and hopefully in Warlords of Draenor I can become the PvP menace I have always wanted to be.
So what class will you use for your free insta-90?