Why do instances give XP?

| Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Run an instance and odds are you'll see someone level up. Or multiple people. Multiple times. Instances are giving huge amounts of XP and it's throwing off the leveling curve.

Once upon a time this made sense. It took time to get to instances, to get the quests for them, and groups could possibly wipe, meaning even more lost time. Without XP, instances would have likely been ignored until 60, especially back before they all gave well-itemized blues.

Now we have teleports and the looking for group tool, meaning that instances cost no more time than the run itself. The loot has gotten to be so good that that itself could be enough to bring in players. On my new dwarf shaman I'm finding that instance blues are giving over double the DPS of same-level quest greens. Throw on top of that the change to put quests inside the instances, with their own blue loot and XP, and I think it's worth asking: Do instances need to give XP?

I forgot, thanks to the new city tabards, they give reputation too!

Would you do an instance that gave no XP? Sure you would! You do them all the time at the level cap. Oh but that's when you don't need XP, but leveling is about leveling. Or is it? Players already quest, often running inefficient quests with low xp/hour, rather than the faster and more efficient mob grinding. Not that I'm saying quests are always inferior, after all, if you can get a quest to kill what you're grinding, it makes sense. My point is that we're already leveling in a slower manner in return for quest rewards, story, and variety, so it is that hard to believe that maybe instances could go without XP?


Dwism said...

I do not believe in the premise that mob-grinding is faster than (planned out) questing. I am pretty sure that James leveling guides proved just that. And especially in 4.03a where quests are so fast, and award so much xp.

Aside from that, it is an interesting idea, considering that you can outlevel your current position in the leveling a-b-c-d-go-here-then-here progression that leveling is, now. on my low-level toon, I've skipped queueing for dungeons because they gave xp, and would skew my leveling progression.

Anonymous said...

I aggree totally with you. Starting a Priest Gnome last Wednesday, everything went well and fast in the quest lines until I reached lvl 15. I started to LFG and entered my first dungeons. Having all the quests available inside the instance is also a huge boost in xp. But today, at lvl 38, I just finish questing Arathi Highlands...hitting grey mobs.
I know I could skip some areas and jump directly to higher lvl areas but Blizzard put such energy in revamping the old quests that : 1) It would be spitting on their work
2) Not enjoying as much the storyline of wow.
Decreasing significantly the xp in instances could be a great solution or maybe like in BG, having the choice to turn off xp in instances.

Anonymous said...

You can always turn off XP once you enter the instance...

Shintar said...

I would run instances without XP, but then I'm an instance-a-holic. I just wish they would reduce experience gains across the board, at least a little.

Klepsacovic said...

@Dwism: Questing would be faster now that it has been streamlined so much. But the general point remains that we're perfectly willing to level in non-optimal ways.

@Anonymous and Anonymous: Turning off XP is a nice option, but it's pretty awful game design if players need to actively turn off leveling (which is what turning off XP would do) just to not get thrown off the rails. To some degree there is self-correction in leveling, that players who become too high get less XP from kills and therefore slow down, but when the majority of the mobs I fight are green (meaning that this correction is constantly going) and I'm praying to not level up and get greyed out of a desired instance, something is wrong.

@Shintar: Questing may be too fast as well, but with the huge rewards for instances, they seem like the greatest XP outlier. By that I mean they give so much, adding XP on top is a bit out there.

Tesh said...

To answer the question, yes, I, a devout soloist, would run instances at least a couple of times just because they really can be fun to do when I'm in the right mood. If they didn't grant XP or even loot, I'd still play them.

Then again, loot and XP are just means to an end for me. They only matter because they facilitate my exploration. They aren't the point of playing.

scrusi said...

When Wrath came out I levelled 70-80 completely in instances with a group of friends. I did the same thing later on with a group of alts from 20-60. It was a boatload of fun, much more than I ever would have gotten through questing. I'm not sure if I would have bought Wrath, much less played it for as long as I did, if I had been forced to level using quests.

For me, group content is what the game is about and instances provide that. Every time I'm forced into solo content (and quests are essentially that) I get annoyed.

Yeah I could still do instances without XP, but I would have to quest a lot as well.

Glyph, the Architect said...

Good news, everyone! A wild blue appears!


Dwism said...

It scares me, and at the same time comforts me, that Klep holds this amount of sway with Blizzard.

Klepsacovic said...

"It scares me, and at the same time comforts me, that Klep holds this amount of sway with Blizzard."
Sadly, I can't say that nerfing the quests was my idea. I was just part of the collective whining.

My first response was a joke about my meeting with GC and wondering why he was involved with XP and him getting mad, but my iPod ate it and people got confused the last time I joked that I worked at Blizzard. I don't work at Blizzard, sadly.

Dwism said...

That is what ANY undercover Blizzard employee blogging, would say!

Klepsacovic said...

May I add you as a reference if I apply for a job at Blizzard?
Skills: "Knows how to lie about being a Blizzard employee"

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