Gotta Cap ‘Em All

July 30, 2012

I’m making it no secret that this September you’ll be seeing me in World of Warcraft: Mists of Panderia. Yes, I’ll play it. I’ll play the hell out of it. Still, I have to say I’m feeling a marked difference in my attitude this time around, compared to the last time we found ourselves ramping up towards another WoW expansion.

I faced Cataclysm with a sort of fresh-faced sanguineness; it was a new WoW, a new Azeroth, a new expansion full of untold changes. I looked forward to playing the game for as long it would take for me to experience it all. However, when all was said and done, as always, my favorite part of it was the leveling process. I hit a personal roadblock after that, knowing I could not afford to be sucked in again by WoW’s endgame.

In contrast, I will head into MoP knowing full well how long I’ll be playing — as long as it will take to get to the new level cap and not much longer.

I’m interested and quite excited about the expansion, but I’ll freely admit that I’ll be playing MoP mostly due to an emotional compulsion — as most of my readers know, my main (a Night Elf Druid) holds a special place in my heart. It struck me the other day, that the idea of not getting her to the new level cap just feels…wrong. But then, it occurred to me that there’s also the possibility that I am simply being held hostage by my obsession to keep up and maintain my stable of level capped characters, even if I don’t stay playing.

Let’s too look at Rift as an example. Don’t get me wrong; its upcoming expansion Storm Legion looks amazing on its own merits, but I have to wonder if the fact a new level cap is also a big part of what’s driving my desire to play the game.

I can’t help it, it almost feels like an obligation. I wonder if anyone besides myself has felt this way. When I view a list of my games and level-capped characters, there’s the feeling of satisfaction but also a weird, awkward and ever-present sensation that I’m looking at a collection like any other — one that needs constant upkeep and to be maintained.

What is this, just a symptom of my sense of completionism? Another manifestation of my OCD? ARRGH!


  1. I left at least 8 at level 70. You can do it…..baby steps!

    • Oh hell no, I have quite a bunch languishing from 70-85 as well, I don’t want to think about how long it would take. I think I’ll just do it with my main, I can live with one level capped character per game 😛

  2. I felt the same way with WoW, and Warhammer. But after the STO affair that broke me, so in Rift, and SWTOR I have toons that aren’t level capped. Which is odd for me. Maybe I’m getting older…

    • In games where I never make it to level cap, it sits better with me. LOTRO, for example. I’ll let an expansion go even with a new level cap implementation. But for games where I’ve hit the cap already, I just feel like I have to keep it up.

  3. I came back and re-subbed after almost 2 years out, out of a sense of nostalgia more than anything. Actually looking forward to pandaland. It feels like a return to the BC/Wrath style world building, rather than the loosely pieced together content of Cataclysm. It should be good fun, just wish we were on the same server GC 🙂

    • Yeah, I did enjoy how Outland and Northrend were designed around a theme, whereas the zones of Cataclysm were all random and seemingly thrown together. But it probably has to do with not having a whole new continent and since Kalimdor and Azeroth is made up of eclectic zones they have to keep the design consistent.

      Wish we were on the same server too. I do so dislike the multi separate shards system now…

  4. I’m with Trent, my only two 80s are still only 80 or so. Cata just didn’t do it for me. Not saying MoP will suck just that I’ve moved on. We tried Rift again for about a half hour last weekend, and most of that was transferring characters back to Faeblight, where I lost “Rowan,” probably to someone who hasn’t logged in since the first month. Anyway, after one earth rift, Sctrz was done again.

    • Ack, I didn’t even get the chance to log into Rift for the free weekend. Got waylaid by Sims 3.

      • You’re in luck then. It wasn’t a free weekend. It’s a free *week*.

        You can still go give it a shot if you like.

        As for myself I used the barbershop and got an even darker skin tone, light green and purple hair, and then went fishing and cooking, something I’ve wanted to do in RIFT since I first played CB3.

  5. It sounds like you may be a perfectionist. Which is often correlated with procrastination (don’t want to do it unless you can do it “right”). I like to think of myself as a recovering perfectionist 😛

    • I like that! In the recruiting profession, we liked to tell candidates to use that in interviews when asked about what they perceive as their weakness, as being a perfectionist is a fault that’s not actually a fault 😛

  6. Heh, brilliant minds think alike, here’s what I was writing today:

    I don’t know what’s going to give, but something will most likely have to, because I see no way to keep up with the expansions looming for the rest of the year along with new games (either actually new or new to me).

    • Goodness, you’re in a worse situation than I am 😛 I don’t have LOTRO or EQ2 to worry about, at least. Over time, I’m sure you’ll be able to catch up again; there just seems to be an explosion of expansions this year for some reason.

  7. I recently leveled my level 80 Paladin to 85. I had a talk about WoW with friends. After this talk I felt guilty, it felt like I had mistreated an old friend of mine. I activated my account for a week through scroll of resurrection. I leveled him to 85 while whimpering incoherent apologies. When he reached 85 I heartstoned him to Silvermoon City and deinstalled WoW with a smile on my face!

    • Congratulations on reconnecting with an old friend AND reaching level cap! 🙂

  8. I do believe that’s the point. A level cap alone is motivation enough to get people to buy an expansion.

    I think it’s important to keep people engaged somehow (additional levels, systems of progression…), but games that really cater to your emotional investment come off as more powerful to me.

    Still, I’m a tad bit OCD and I can’t leave a level uncapped. It works.

    • And I do believe I’m a sucker for that. That and vanity pets.

      MoP has raised the cap AND implemented a pet battle system. It’s like the expansion was crafted especially to tempt me.

  9. I really can’t blame you in the slightest GeeCee, since I do have an attachment towards my Kelari Mage in RIFT, and when the expansion hits, I will buy it, and I will go out and experience the new content wearing my beloved old avatar.

    This is fine for me though, as I really love leveling. That whole process is a lot of fun for me, especially when there’s pretty new gear to wear incrementally up the leveling curve. Enhancing this further is a decent wardrobing system *cough* RIFT *cough*.

    That said though, I’m perhaps one of the laziest and slowest levelers you’ll ever meet. If it takes the average player a month and some change to reach level cap, it usually takes me from 4 months to half a year to get there.

    I just don’t… care all that strongly about the finish line or end game, I just go at my own pace and stop to sniff a LOT of roses.

    Probably for the best though, since usually by the time I hit cap in a game there’s a lot more ‘endgame’ to be had anyway.

    • Great to meet a fellow gamer who just LOVES leveling. It’s my favorite part of playing an MMO. And don’t feel bad about leveling slowly 🙂 Sometimes that’s the best way to do it, you want to experience everything on your own time, you know?

      Considering how my interest usually drops very soon after I hit endgame, I’m not sure how eager I would be to get there either. With WoW, the pattern usually goes: I hit level cap, I do the heroics and raids, discover I’m back on that gear grinding treadmill, and decide to stop or roll an alt.

      Thing is, I used to be totally okay with doing WoW’s brand of endgame 2-3 times a week, every week. I just can’t go back to that anymore.

  10. It’s a funny one really.

    There are games that just really, really have me sucked in whereby I have to see the new stuff and hit the new cap even if I know I wont touch them again for a good long while.

    But then on the flip side there are games where I just can’t bring myself to care. I ditched WOW a few months before Cataclysm and haven’t been back since. As for LOTRO sure I pop back once a month or so when I have a spare moment but I haven’t hit level cap with any of my toons since Mines of Moria was out…guess I just enjoy looking around Middle Earth and chatting with my guildies more than I do endlessly grinding out levels.

    Rift on the other hand is just like digital crack at the moment….

    • To be honest, if it wasn’t for the emotional value I place on my WoW main, I don’t know how much I would care about the new expansion either. Unfortunately, MoP has the added “crack effect” of having pet battles this time around, and you know what a sucker I am for vanity pets.

      It sounds like I’m with you on LOTRO though. I love checking into Middle Earth every now and then, but I don’t think I can drum up enough enthusiasm to continue leveling my hobbit minstrel.

  11. I’ve been like that in Lotro.. have a desire to have all my characters level capped. I had 5 at the last level cap, but lucky a somewhat boring expansion broke me of the desire to keep them all up. 😛 I now have 3 at level cap and sometimes wonder about the others, but then I think about the quests I’d have to go through to hit level cap and I move on. I also have the need to seriously bling out my characters. I only want the best. So that also makes having multiple toons at level cap difficult. I’ve not played any other MMO long enough to hit level cap (I keep being tempted to go back to Rift but I don’t want to pay a sub) but we’ll see what happens with GW2!

    • Luckily for me, I have racked up an army of 80 characters in WoW over the years. I say lucky, because I look at all of them and think, nuh uh, no way I’m going to get all of them to cap. If it were one or two, I might have been tempted but I draw the line at a half a dozen 😛 So…just my main gets the honor of being leveled to the new cap.

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