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Columns: The Infestation of Level 80s

By David North on July 20, 2015

The Infestation of Level 80s

What I love about the event completion achievement is that it encourages you to revisit an old location.  Sometimes you’ll find something new, noticing some detail you’ve never noticed before, or hear a new conversations between NPCs.  It really makes you remember just how alive this game world is.  It sounds like a fantastic idea, but out of all the daily achievements, it’s the one I dread trying to complete the most. 


Most of the players are max level.  In fact, most of players have multiple characters at level 80, so that’s what most of us play on.  We enjoy receiving achievement points and rewards, so doing our dailies is something we’re of course going to do.  Being at max level and traveling back to a lower level map can be very frustrating.  Depending on the map, it’s possible to spend more time hunting for events than actually participating in them. 

Hordes of level 80 characters traverse the map, trampling through champions, smashing through armies, and even collecting trinkets for NPCs at such blazing speeds, that events are completed before all players can even reach them.  Dag nabbit it’s annoying having to jump all over the map trying to reach an event before some massive zerg completes it in record time. 

Dynamic events haves a feature that allows them to scale based on the players that are participating in them.  Before this age where the level 80s reign supreme, this feature actually did a really nice job.  Times have changed however, and it may be time for these events to scale to even higher difficulty levels to even things out. 

While jumping from waypoint to waypoint in a map can be annoying, imagine what we max level players are doing to those on lower level characters.  These people are on these maps not because of a daily achievement, but because that’s the path for their progression.  They need those events to level up!  Yet here we are, the greedy level 80s stealing everything for ourselves.  New players see a world with population, which is good, but they're not getting a good representation of the game if every bit of content is trivialized by roving hordes of level 80s.

Low level mobs don’t stand a chance!

While adjusting how events scale against level 80s would indeed stop us from walking right through them, imagine what would happen to a new player, a tiny level 20 that would feel the wrath of death from a single blow.  Sure they can still technically participate in the event, but the difficulty for them would be too too much,  so this solution I’ve mentioned before would only bring forth another problem. 

The level 80 infestation is a tough nut to crack, though nothing is impossible.  The easiest solution would be to add more event markers to the map, showing every event that’s active instead of the ones you’re close to.  This will help both level 80s, and lower levels alike, as they can see all the options available, letting max level characters get their achievements faster, freeing up the map for those that are actually supposed to be there. 

Another solution is to make the achievement require you to go to a map based on the level of the character you first log in with.  This keeps the level 80s in an environment that will actually be able to hold it’s own against the zergs.  It also offers better rewards that fit our rich tastes.  The only issue is that there are so few max level maps.  With an expansion on the way, new maps could be available to players who own it, making the achievement a bit more fun. 

Editor's Note: A third solution would be to make larger groups of level 80s enter a "level 80 only" copy of the map, leaving the leveling players more of a chance to do the content. - Bill

There isn't any way to actually take care of the level 80 infestation, short of just replacing the event completion achievement altogether.  Sadly this little problem is probably low priority on ArenaNet’s list of things to do.  Heck, it might not even be on that list!  So it’s up to us, the players, to do our part.  Most events require you to kill some enemies, so kill a few a walk away.  Once you’ve gotten your kills, you’ll be credited with participation.  It kills me when I see a zerg of the same players kill wave after wave of enemies at their spawn points, preventing any new players who come along to get credit.  So stop hogging all those kills, and share the events. Your lower level friends implore you!

David North / All my life I've been a gamer, from side scrolling adventures to shooters, it was only a mater of time before the RPG genre would grab a hold of me. My love for games grew so much that I started to make them. It grew even more, and now I also write about them.
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