Level Scaling – Sick of It

I’m sick of playing it and sick of hearing about it. Here’s an example of a 97 Mage in the area near Kahdgar’s hangout in Talador. I’ve played through this area with every class, and taken out No’losh, the Elite swamp walker, every time on Live. But in PTR, he’s a 99 – level scaled up above my 97 mage and he can’t be solo’d even with the Mage helper Serena. And another thing. Notice the fight with the Shambler and Bloodpetals.

They almost got me again since they gang up on you outside the cave. But notice the Bloodpetals give the same XP as the Shamblers? Huh? Those little guys were weaker in Live. Supposed to be since there is a gang of them. But not in PTR and likely not in 7.3.5 either. The level scaling has so many issues you would not believe.

There is a rabid following in the PTR forum that sing the praises of Level Scaling, but there are some sane voices that mention the problems too:

  • Professions have apparently been ignored. And there are multiple schools of thought about how to fix that. Drops and gathering changes based on your profession level? Or not.
  • Most vehicle and other quests with special mechanics have problems. Remember the quest where you lay bombs for invaders to trip over in Stormheim / Northrend? Well under the tested conditions one person mentioned, it takes two bombs rather than one to take a running mob down. So the quest can’t be completed. I noticed that the quest in Westfall where you ride a repaired robot to take out 50 other robots in a field was broken. Action 2 only did 4, yes FOUR, damage to the level scaled robots, so it just pissed them off and they started swarming you. Normally that #2 action ran you through the area and one shot-ed the robots you ran over. That was the mechanic that was added so that it was reasonable to take out 50 rabid robots. Level scaling broke it completely.
  • Many other problems are mentioned. Those signing praises often are leveling, from 1 most likely, either a Warlock or Hunter, both of which are still “over powered” in PTR. But other classes lack any real damage and often mana starvation is cited. So they sing the praises of it “Feeling more dangerous” while complaining that some classes are still overpowered.
  • Some areas make you work harder for no XP or rewards – take a 97 to Pandaria – you are nerfed and get nothing for the work you put in. Townlong Steppes in Pandaria is listed on the map as an 80-90 area. The mobs are scaled up to your level, in this case 97, as you quest here. But the rewards are lowered as in Live. So harder work for way less rewards. So what do the numbers on the map mean? It apparently does not mean that you will be level scaled in this range, and not in other ranges.
  • Some folks mentioned that you could “Just get to max level and come back and one-shot stuff”. Well I’ve not tried that, but I’m skeptical. I think that one will find that being max level will just mean that you will face max level mobs everywhere in the World of Warcraft.

These problems could have been foreseen. Maybe they were foreseen, and we are only seeing the implementation part way through. But these observations indicate that a global change was made to implement level scaling, in essentially all zones, and now they are apparently fixing the issues with bailing wire and duct tape. How many 100’s of quests are going to have issues? Are they going to depend on players in PTR to find these issues? Or have they figured a way to find the quests and mob mechanics that have problems?

I know that the Wow Devs are smart folks. I’m not on their case here. This is a way hard problem. It’s a global redesign / change in philosophy after 13 years into a game design. I watched Guild Wars 2 shortly after release when I joined try to do this general type kind of design from the start of that game and that only went well after a year or more. They had no legacy and they had started with that design philosophy from the beginning. Are we going to suffer through a year or more while Wow is redesigned while we are trying to play it?

Personally, I’m going to stay long enough for 7.3.5 to come out, and then if they have not fixed things, I’m going to bail and look at things again in a year or so after they have settled down. I don’t need the grief, and I’m tired of being 1-Shot shamed every time I bring up a problem. I happen to like to 1-shot things.

Here’s an example. I wanted the “Grand” mounts that you can get at the end of Pandaria. So I camped a version 101 Death Knight in the area, did the starter quests for the chain and then logged into that toon for 10 minutes a day to do the Daily quests for about a month to get the mount[s].

I was able to do the farming of this mount in just 10 minutes a day because I was 1-shotting everything that I came up against. If level scaling had been active, and my experience with the 97 mage indicates that it will be in 7.3.5 an beyond, it might have taken 30-40 minutes per day to kill the mobs required. I’m not clear that I would have done this farming in that case. It’s the same issue with my farming Draenor Pathfinder. If my level 100 Demon Hunter had been no particular advantage over a level 92 DK or Paladin, then what’s the point?


I’m looking for another game to play at this point and Final Fantasy XIV is a strong candidate. I’ve just started a trial.