Unlockable or Purchasable Instant Max Level?

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Minotaur
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cybermitheral wrote:
cybermitheral wrote:

I never really cared that people were offering PLing for real cash.
I never took part of it and people should understand that by doing so they are breaking the Terms/Conditions of playing the game and that anything negative is their own fault. If CoT decided to penalise those caught using those services then so be it. Break the law and suffer the consequences.
Get taken for a ride and have your entire account hijacked and your toons/IO's/INF/Store Currency stolen... for sure tell CoT so they can take your account back but if they cant/wont give you all your stuff back then tough.
The only thing that annoyed me was their blatant Broadcasting of their services, those and the RMT services. Maybe give the players the ability to 'Report - RMT' and 'Report - PL' and if enough are registered in a given time period (say 15 reports from different people in 5 mins) then that account is blocked from Broadcasting for 30 mins. If people get griefed (incorrectly reported) they can submit a request to be unblocked.

This would have very little effect on the spammers, who would get temp banned and then move on to their next account.

We have a slight advantage over the free games in that you have to pay to play, so getting 50 accounts a day permabanned gets expensive.

Question to Segev - can we stop the spammers doing a chargeback on their credit cards after we ban them, and are the credit cards often stolen anyway ?

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Segev
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Stopping a chargeback is very

Stopping a chargeback is very nontrivial and can be expensive to the point of not being worth it. Moreover, my understanding is that a fair portion of spammer accounts are, themselves, stolen accounts. But chargebacks are not something you can stop easily precisely because they're there to protect against fraudulent use of the credit card, or against dishonest businesses which do not deliver what is promised. The detriment to chargebacks to discourage their overuse is fairly straight-forward: each chargeback is a hit to your own credit rating (though the first one or two in a while are not big hits), and they pile up fast if you do it too often.

I do'nt know how identity-theft-protection companies help with this, but I understand they can get it done without the hits to your credit rating. However, that's getting a bit off-topic.

The "passive state" thing wouldn't stop the most dangerous type of "pay me $15 and I'll PL you" transaction: hand the PC-to-be-PLed over to the PLer, and he actually plays it through a PL path of his own design. And it's those types of arrangement we'd most like to nip in the bud if we were to consider cutting out the middle-man that way.

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Radiac
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From what the two of you are

From what the two of you are saying (Segev and Minotaur) it sounds to me like trying to implement an official monetary charge for instant levels is predicated on the only viable alternative being to actually level the toon one's self. Since there will likely be team-ups and sidekicking and even just good old fashioned sandbagging (i.e. going afk while your team clears the mission map, etc) I think that it looks too difficult and very possibly not lucrative enough in the long run to actually try to implement something like this. Certainly from day one, and maybe even moving forward to indefinitely. I mean are the occasional "buy your way to level 50" purchases actually going to be able to pay for all the security and so forth you would need to ensure no PLing for money occurs which would circumvent it? It sounds like you're saying that doesn't look promising.

Since the only "altruistic" driving force behind this idea, as far as I'm concerned, was that MWM would make the money off of the PLing instead of third party jerks, and since that seems unlikely, I think the idea of selling a levelup token of some kind in the store seems bad. Correct me if I'm wrong in there somewhere.

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Segev wrote:
Segev wrote:

The "passive state" thing wouldn't stop the most dangerous type of "pay me $15 and I'll PL you" transaction: hand the PC-to-be-PLed over to the PLer, and he actually plays it through a PL path of his own design. And it's those types of arrangement we'd most like to nip in the bud if we were to consider cutting out the middle-man that way.

When i made the suggestion for the Passive State, i was thinking of a way to Guarantee that the 2nd Account was actually being controlled by a real live person.

Of course, its possible that the PL'er has an accomplice that might just hit powers as he tags along, just to make sure the PL'ed toon doesnt enter the Passive state (stops getting XP).

If two (or more) PL'ers are needed, they might start charging Double? $30 :P
Maybe players would rather buy XP Boosts, since it might turn out to be a bit cheaper? :)

side note: If CoT has the auto execute power feature, even if it hits an enemy, after 1 minute.. if no other powers are activated, the toon enters the Passive state. :D

Even if the Passive State doesnt eliminate every PL'er, we should think about using something to this effect. :<

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What I gather from it, is

What I gather from it, is that it is not an impossibility that it might happen, but rather a high improbability that it might happen. There is still a chance that MWM might find reason to do something like this. It may not be from day one, which I certainly do not want to have, and it might be more towards the end of CoT's lifespan but there is a possibility that MWM might find a good enough reason to use it. Furthermore, who knows what will happen a few years down the road. There just might be a high enough demand for it to be implemented.

I'm just glad that this topic was of some potential use for the developers. That it hopefully brought up some concerns to be addressed and at the same time gave some ideas that might be of use. I realize how polarizing this topic is, but ask that people please keep an open mind about things and discuss the potentials as well as the negatives. If the only answer is, "NO! I DON'T WANT THIS!!!!", that's not helping. I understand that it is something that you might not want, but it might be something other people want. The only way to come to a conclusion is to discuss it like rational adults and not throw tantrums and hissy fits until you get your way.

If this doesn't happen I'm fine with that. I always have been from the start. I just want to explore every option and opportunity to try to make this game a better game for everybody involved. If it does happen and has some heavy restrictions placed upon it, again I'm fine with that. I'd at least know that everybody came together to figure out the best way possible to implement this option in the game. Once again, I'd like to thank everybody that contributed to the discussion of this topic.

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That could be an idea

That could be an idea somewhere down the line maybe buy a Xp chip and you are granted double Xp for a certain amount of time .

Segev
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The "hire a PLer" scenario I

The "hire a PLer" scenario I am seeing in my head when it is brought up looks something like this:

Sam wants to have a high-level PC, but lacks the time or interest to play through the levels to get there.

Dave is a PLer, and is advertising his services as a PLer on one of his PCs in the newbie zone. He charges $15 to get people to "max level," which is the going rate.

Sam gives Dave $15 via PayPal or some other money-transfer service, and sends Dave his login information. Dave logs into Sam's account and plays Sam's character up to max level in as short a time as he can. Sam hopefully changes his login information (mainly his password) once Dave is done, so Sam's account remains sacrosanct.

The obvious dangers here include Dave taking the money and running, or Dave changing Sam's account info, or Dave using Sam's account to buy stuff and "gift" it to Dave's characters, or other forms of malfeasance which allow Dave to steal something from Sam.

The "passive state" situation wouldn't fix this, because Dave isn't leaving Sam's PC on auto-follow; he's playing it through his well-tested level-up structure.

This is the only scenario I can think of which provides a compelling reason to consider having "buy max level" be an item in the c-store. It would cut out Dave as a middle-man, and never give Sam a reason to make the security-stupid decision of sharing his account information with a third party.

Now, the scenarios I think I'm seeing others envisioning involve having Sam tag along with Dave, doing nothing (or setting his PC to auto-follow) while Dave does all the power-leveling "work" on his high-level alt. This form isn't really something we can do anything reasonable about. The "sell levels in the c-store" approach would cut out middle-men, but this sort of "power-leveling" is going to happen when friends want to help friends level up, anyway. Again, it could cut out middle-men, but I am not sure that there will be enough middle-men who can make real money at it that we'd want to cut out the "middle-men" who were friends-helping-friends.

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oOStaticOo wrote:
oOStaticOo wrote:

I'm just glad that this topic was of some potential use for the developers. That it hopefully brought up some concerns to be addressed and at the same time gave some ideas that might be of use. I realize how polarizing this topic is, but ask that people please keep an open mind about things and discuss the potentials as well as the negatives. If the only answer is, "NO! I DON'T WANT THIS!!!!", that's not helping. I understand that it is something that you might not want, but it might be something other people want. The only way to come to a conclusion is to discuss it like rational adults and not throw tantrums and hissy fits until you get your way.

I disagree with the implication here above that all opinions which disagree with the "pay MWM for a PL token" idea are destructive and not useful. The fact that some of us have stated, in response to the original post, that we not only wouldn't use this but actively want to avoid having it in the game is at least something to think about, if you're a developer. It's not just that I personally wouldn't buy a PL token, I'm seriously opposed to the idea of making them in the first place and selling them to anyone, given the effect I feel that might likely have on the game itself. I think it helps the developers to understand the difference there, whether they end up implementing it at some point or not.

Also, the argument that I or anyone else should stop stating our opposition to this idea simply because some other people might like it is preposterous. If those people are here and can read this thread, let them chime in for themselves. My posting against the proposed idea is not preventing anyone from writing their thoughts in favor of it, if those people are actually out there somewhere. I'm not against people making their case in favor of or opposed to this idea, but I'm definitely going to state and defend my opinion on it. I'd like to point out also that there are likely a lot of other people, future CoT players, that might oppose this sort fo thing as much as I do, and we haven't heard from them either. So the "pro-PLing" crown has their phantom supporters and the "against it" crowd has theirs too. The fact is the people who actually speak up are the only ones that will ever be heard.

What's the point of starting a thread about an idea on these forums at all if not to give people something to think about and then give their feedback on the subject? So please don't tell me to shut up just because I'm not in favor of the proposed idea. That's not how it works. The way it works is, you post your idea, you get honest feedback, not all of which will be in favor of the idea, and thus the devs learn something about what everyone thinks about the idea, the pro and the con. As they should.

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Izzy
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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

... That's not how it works. The way it works is, ...

hehe.. that made me think of:

;)

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Please, let's not start

Please, let's not start fighting each other over this.

I do understand both "sides'" points. The potential harm of it becoming even apparently a "pay-to-win" game by selling "max level tokens" or the like is very real. The possibility of cutting out the hazards of the third-party PLer who'll play somebody's PC for them is the only reason I've found to really consider doing it, anyway. And at the moment, we don't plan to do it, because we think the former harm is riskier than the latter. That doesn't mean we won't; it just means that we're leaning strongly against it now, and it therefore almost certainly won't be in the launch or even anytime soon thereafter. Unless we come up with something utterly brilliant. So brilliant and innovative that I haven't a clue what shape it would take, yet.

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Izzy
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Segev wrote:
Segev wrote:

The "passive state" situation wouldn't fix this, because Dave isn't leaving Sam's PC on auto-follow; he's playing it through his well-tested level-up structure.
This is the only scenario I can think of which provides a compelling reason to consider having "buy max level" be an item in the c-store. It would cut out Dave as a middle-man, and never give Sam a reason to make the security-stupid decision of sharing his account information with a third party.

Ohh.. Should/Could you be trying to stop that in the 1st place?
That kind of reminds me of a kid from a TV Show called Suits (video). He takes test for others and gets paid for it, but there is virtually Almost NO Oversight to prevent it. :/
Well, short of requiring Some sort of Bio-metric testing (i.e. voice recognition of a randomly generated sentence) :/ Is Bio-metric testing legal? :<

Segev wrote:

Now, the scenarios I think I'm seeing others envisioning involve having Sam tag along with Dave, doing nothing (or setting his PC to auto-follow) while Dave does all the power-leveling "work" on his high-level alt.

Active/Passive States. ;)

Segev wrote:

Again, it could cut out middle-men, but I am not sure that there will be enough middle-men who can make real money at it that we'd want to cut out the "middle-men" who were friends-helping-friends.

I always envisioned friends helping friends (not drive drunk) ;D ... as going the Leveling Pact route. (post 83) :(

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I never once said I didn't

I never once said I didn't accept constructive criticism of this idea. I simply stated that saying you don't want it "just because" doesn't help the cause of the thread. If there are valid concerns as to why something is a bad idea I'm all ears to hear them. I can then volley back an answer that I think may help to balance that negative idea. That's part of a discussion. Each side states their concerns and tries to balance out the equation. I never once disagreed with anybody that had concerns about the idea that were against mine. I instead tried to compromise and see if we could reach some kind of mutual agreement. If not, that's fine. I understand that sometimes people have to agree to disagree. I believe you misunderstood my statement.

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I can appreciate the range of

I can appreciate the range of opinions being presented. Actually, the breadth of the discussion has ranged wider than I imagined, which is interesting and very useful. It certainly points out the challenge of making the game appealing to many types of players.

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I'm glad this has possibly

I'm glad this has possibly helped in some way. That is one of the things I am trying for. To help bring attention to all types of players and how this game can be made better to help cater to all those players. I feel that is the best way that MWM will keep as many people playing as they can by designing a game that will benefit as many people as they can.

I got chills! They're multiplyin'. And I'm losin' control. Cuz the power, I'm supplyin'. Why it's ELECTRIFYIN'!!

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Maybe I missed something in

Maybe I missed something in this thread but I would hate to see power leveling for real money. But I love pl'n for in game currency, its a nice way to earn money for the auction house. I know that kinda opens the door for spammers and RMT but that's gonna happen regardless keeping them out is a never ending battle in every game.

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Mind-Freeze wrote:
Mind-Freeze wrote:

That could be an idea somewhere down the line maybe buy a Xp chip and you are granted double Xp for a certain amount of time .

I would greatly prefer something like this to a "push a button and insta-50" approach. At least a) MWM might get a bit more cash (depending on comparative prices and multiple purchases) and b) the PL'ers actually get a chance to play their character and learn how to use it.

Granted - I can't see myself using it (and think excessive use of it would ultimately be a detriment to the game) - but due to the amount of PLing present in the previous game I'm certain there WOULD be a market for it.

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Segev wrote:
Segev wrote:

Please, let's not start fighting each other over this.
I do understand both "sides'" points. The potential harm of it becoming even apparently a "pay-to-win" game by selling "max level tokens" or the like is very real. The possibility of cutting out the hazards of the third-party PLer who'll play somebody's PC for them is the only reason I've found to really consider doing it, anyway. And at the moment, we don't plan to do it, because we think the former harm is riskier than the latter. That doesn't mean we won't; it just means that we're leaning strongly against it now, and it therefore almost certainly won't be in the launch or even anytime soon thereafter. Unless we come up with something utterly brilliant. So brilliant and innovative that I haven't a clue what shape it would take, yet.

This is good to hear - thank you.

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That would be a decent way

That would be a decent way for MWM to get extra income is to sell double Xp stars that way they make money and the players that want to level faster would be happy

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I think this would be a

I think this would be a terrible option to offer a "Lvl 50" button for a fresh toon because it would remove any investment the player might have in the character, leaving them disinterested, regardless of weather they understand why they can't get into that character like they thought they would. This means they stop playing. While I hate grinding, CoX's missions were engaging and varied enough that the leveling process didn't bother me like other games, (Dark Age of Camelot, for instance) while still providing enough of an effort from me that I felt like I've earned that character, and I'm familiar with them.

However, so that I'm not just being completely negative. I'll say that if something like this were to be implemented, I would say place some very significant restrictions on it. Examples would be to limit the automatic boost to a limited level, such as 15, or 20, or limit that character to specific types of content, such as a lvl 50 character that can only enter open PvP and Social zones, but not the majority of PvE raids and encounters.

Allowing such access to be bought would encourage new players to join their friends that are already established in game. Something similar to the CoX Sidekick/Lacky mechanic would go a long way, but allowing a new player to start at lvl 15, as long as they have a guide/sponsor already at lvl 30 + (or something similar, numbers given are arbitrary) would help bring in new players.

Allowing such access to be earned would help retain existing players that want to try out new (or new to them) content but not necessarily slog through the very earliest levels. Especially in the potential case of an automatic lvl 50 PvP alt character, this would prevent people from getting too upset about a balance change to a class/powerset that they worked hard to make for PvP, because they can just make a new lvl 50 character for the PvP flavor of the month.

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(sigh) I never said I wanted

(sigh) I never said I wanted this from the get go. I also have said many times that I would be fine in locking it behind certain restrictions. The argument about investment in a toon has been argued and I'll once again disagree with said sentiment as some people still would have plenty of investment in said toon because of different reasons. Opinions are just that, opinions. Everybody has them, and they vary. Not everybody is going to agree, and that is fine. I'm not saying you can't have your opinion, but I was asking for hard factual reasons why this would be a bad idea. Such as showing numbers from a system that has it in play and how it affects player retention, level of content played, monetary loss or gain, etc. Nobody has really given me any of that, so at this point it is all about opinions. Which I could just as easily find just as many people that agree with what I'm asking for as you could find that don't agree. Regardless, a Red Name has come in and said that this will not be an option as of now. There is a possibility that later down the line they might think about using something like this, but it will be highly improbable that that will happen.

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whoa, while i hate the idea,

whoa, while i hate the idea, i must consider it.

about one percent of people who played city of heroes had a lvl 50. and most of the good content, or pvp stuff, was handed out at 50. this missed so many players. most had a toon at lvl 42 and below. many people had lots of toons and not one over lvl 25, even after playing for years.

while it might be important to have alot of content at lvls 1-20, one must think of the long term, and have stuff at lvl 50 to give to players. that said, could players make SO MANY toons as to run out of ways to get to level 20?

perhaps only allowing a player who has spent a year playing/subbing, or already has a lvl 50 should be able to do so. and i think they should have to pay via cash shop to do it.

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masterghostartist wrote:
masterghostartist wrote:

about one percent of people who played city of heroes had a lvl 50.

Wow, is that true? Can you provide a source for this? It certainly wasn't the case for the folks I played with, but maybe they weren't representative of the whole.

I do have to disagree with the idea that the good content was restricted to 50. There were plenty of missions < 50 that I really enjoyed, and -- although I liked it -- I've seen many folks say they hated the Incarnate content.

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Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

masterghostartist wrote:
about one percent of people who played city of heroes had a lvl 50.

Wow, is that true? Can you provide a source for this? It certainly wasn't the case for the folks I played with, but maybe they weren't representative of the whole.
I do have to disagree with the idea that the good content was restricted to 50. There were plenty of missions < 50 that I really enjoyed, and -- although I liked it -- I've seen many folks say they hated the Incarnate content.

I really don't think it's true that only 1% of the player-base had lvl 50 toons, and I agree that there was a lot of pre-50 content that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I think Master might be confusing the idea that probably only 1% of toons ever made it to 50, which I can see as more valid because CoX encouraged a lot of altaholism. I made a lot of toons that I played through the mid levels, but ended up with no particular desire to play 40+, because the content at those levels was actually less interesting to me. A lot of the really great story arcs and task forces were in the 20-35 range, with relatively few lvl 50 task-forces ending up being worth my time.

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Sand_Trout wrote:
Sand_Trout wrote:

Cinnder wrote:
masterghostartist wrote:
about one percent of people who played city of heroes had a lvl 50.

Wow, is that true? Can you provide a source for this? It certainly wasn't the case for the folks I played with, but maybe they weren't representative of the whole.
I do have to disagree with the idea that the good content was restricted to 50. There were plenty of missions < 50 that I really enjoyed, and -- although I liked it -- I've seen many folks say they hated the Incarnate content.

I really don't think it's true that only 1% of the player-base had lvl 50 toons, and I agree that there was a lot of pre-50 content that I thoroughly enjoyed.
I think Master might be confusing the idea that probably only 1% of toons ever made it to 50, which I can see as more valid because CoX encouraged a lot of altaholism. I made a lot of toons that I played through the mid levels, but ended up with no particular desire to play 40+, because the content at those levels was actually less interesting to me. A lot of the really great story arcs and task forces were in the 20-35 range, with relatively few lvl 50 task-forces ending up being worth my time.

I seem to remember a while back (obviously whilst the game was up and running) where the developers said that the majority of accounts didn't have a *single* 50 attached to them. So whilst not the 1% (which I don't believe), I could believe something like 20% of all accounts created made it to level 50 on at least one character[1].

I can believe that, just like we think that the forum population for City of Heroes was active, but in reality it still stuck with the general industry average of about 10% of the accounts posted on the forums at least once in their whole accounts lifespan.

[1] Who was the person who restarted his whole roster of characters *each* and *every* issue release? Because I am fairly certain that he only hit level 50 in the last year of the games life.... and that the percentage of accounts with a 50 on it was before Freedom release.

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I could see the potential

I could see the potential benefit of a level boost to "x"-level at some point down the road. I agree with Static that it would need to be gated behind some requirements, and be priced at a high enough dollar amount to make it a decision with thought behind it.

I had 46 level 50's at the end of the game. 4 of them had some power leveling or farming in the process of their journey. My first was an Emp/Dark Defender that I basically soloed from 24-40 since I had no "friends" in the game at that point. I knew nothing of farming until a group invited me and got me to 50 the next day. I quit doing it, not because it was "wrong", but because it was deadly boring. Shortly after that I found a large coalition that showed me the fun side of teaming, and stacking buffs and I never really needed to do the "boring" again.

Farming and PLing don't bother me as long as it isn't gaining benefit faster than the normal game allows.

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