Powerleveling is fascinating. I’m not talking about the ‘play all night long and get a bunch of levels’ type of powerleveling. I’m referring to a much older concept where a higher level player buffs and assists lower level players to help them tackle harder encounters — or more frequent encounters — in order to make them level faster.

google's definition of powerleveling

Google’s featured snippet of what powerleveling means (funny how they pulled the “modern” MMO reference)

Powerleveling doesn’t really exist a whole lot in “modern” MMOs. I guess by “modern” I mean WoW, since it’s the only MMO in the past… 5+? … years to stay open for more than 3 months. Anyway, the idea doesn’t really exist anymore.

Seems devs enabled checks to ensure you can’t help people. In some games you can’t even interact with other people while they’re in an encounter unless you’re grouped. Then there are the systems where a higher level player will cause the lower levels to gain no experience if they heal or buff during combat. Some games won’t even allow buffs on people who aren’t grouped!

What’s even more sad are the “modern” MMOs (there’s not word again) that make it so that help is entirely unnecessary and would even hinder the process. I guess you don’t need much help running from one exclamation point to the next, right?

I was playing EverQuest a lot this past week. Important note: My recent version of “a lot” means 2 hours a night for multiple nights in a row.  Since I’m leveling slower than I would like (level 35 now) and behind most of the people I play with, a few friends have been kind enough to assist me in leveling.

One of my friends is a level 50 enchanter (he didn’t sleep for a few days after server opened and used a lot of socks if you know what I mean). He took a group of us to Lower Guk, gave us clarity, and assisted in mezzing big pulls that would have otherwise been very dangerous.

This process allowed us to kill at a faster — and more importantly, safer — rate that we would have otherwise been able to accomplish.

For whatever reason, I enjoy being powerleveled. I think that contradicts my ardent support of the leveling process being the best part of MMOs. Or does it? I guess I’m grappling with that one. Speed doesn’t necessarily have to be a factor.  I enjoy more involved journeys, but perhaps a slightly accelerated journey doesn’t inherently detract from the journey itself. I’ll keep thinking about that one.

What do you guys think? Are you a fan of other people helping you level? Do you enjoy it? Does it detract from your experience, or enhance it?

Note: Featured image is from Project 1999 from several years ago. There mostly to troll Yotor.

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