Login with Patreon
DiscussionMay 8, 2019 8:00 am CT

How do you feel about leveling? Which game does leveling best?

Two of my favorite games — Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft — both have leveling up and gaining XP as core parts of their gameplay. Heck, Diablo 3 never stops — the Paragon system means that even after you hit level 70, you’re essentially always grinding more XP to get more powerful, just in a more focused way. And this has me thinking — do I actually like leveling up? Is this something I enjoy doing?

I have more than a few max level characters in both games and in other games I play as well. It goes back to Dungeons and Dragons, of course — so much of modern gaming does, whether it be computer games or pen-and-paper tabletop, D&D is the Goliath that squats atop a nest brooding its host of familiar game concepts. Gathering XP to level up is one of the oldest ones that pen- and-paper behemoth has bequeathed to us all.

Lately I’m really thinking about whether or not I prefer games where you can hit a plateau and not worry about XP anymore, the way World of Warcraft does every expansion, or the current state of the art in Diablo 3 where once I hit max level XP simply becomes a way to buy more powers and abilities. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has a Mastery system that is superficially similar to Diablo 3, but more flexible and I enjoy it more, but it still does end up meaning that you never really feel done.

Of course, there are games I love that have a rigid stop time — Mass Effect 3, for one example — and other games that don’t use levels at all. So it feels like it’s time to ask you how you feel about leveling in video games — is it a vital and important part of the games it inhabits, or is it a relic, a holdover of the roots of the hobby and its pen and paper ancestry? What do you think of leveling in games?

Blizzard Watch is made possible by people like you.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!


Join the Discussion

Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our  commenting and community guidelines.

Toggle Dark Mode: