The Daily Grind: How do you feel about character boosting in MMOs?


To clarify right off the bat, I don’t meant elo boosting as in MOBAs; I mean using character boosts, either paid or otherwise, in MMOs to bump your character up in level. They’re not really uncommon anymore; gobs of MMOs have these options. Just off the top of my head, Guild Wars 2 offers level boosts every year in birthday gifts, though it also sells (and includes with expansions) much more. World of Warcraft has also famously dished them out with expansions in the past to help returning players catch up to the current level.

I’ve personally never thought of boosters as pay-to-win, but that might be because I played MMOs where they were common nearly 20 years ago, long before the term pay-to-win ever cropped up. I’m speaking specifically of Ultima Online here, which has offered skill templates for sale for so long I’ve lost count. They were always a quick way to get past some of the early grind for certain skills like provocation, and I don’t really feel bad about using them. The characters that benefited from them are my favorites, even.

Then again, I’ve used the freebies in Guild Wars 2 and World of Warcraft and never cared enough about the toons to play them all that seriously, though I suspect it’s more because I already had characters I cared about and didn’t need the booster to begin with, rather than a problem with boosters themselves.

How do you feel about character boosting in MMOs?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Eban Smith

Not a big fan of them.

I’ve used them a couple of times over the years then found the toon I made I never felt attached too.

Every player I witnessed use these boosts ended up bored in game far sooner than anyone else in the Guilds.


Anything you can buy to skip (what should be) the game, is a sign of a flawed game and-or greedy monetization.

I am as always a firm beleiver that playing the game is the reason to play, and all rewards should come from playing the game.. Obviously why I dislike f2p shops


Some people have allot of time (no job etc) and little money, some people have allot of money and little time. I don’t see anything wrong with someone using their money to bypass the time gate in a game. Would I do it? Not likely, I’m retired and have all the time I want to play the game…

Bruno Brito

There should not be timegates. If leveling is considered a boring part of the players experience, then it should be either revamped or removed. Making money out of a feature inside a game that doesn’t exists for you to have FUN is pretty weird.

Oleg Chebeneev

Slightly against it but dont mind it too much. If some people want to skip the journey, then whatever

Kickstarter Donor

I have stated on MOP before my feelings on character boosts a number of times over the years. I am not a fan of them or indeed anything that essentially causes you for whatever reason to skip gameplay and content in favour of levelling up.

Far too many people still, in my opinion, see endgame as the holy grail, except the reality is it is inevitably far from it and more like the damp squib of repetitive disappointment and grind… skipping years of painstakingly crafted and written content that consists of the entire leveling curve to get to the rinse blandness that is the repetitive content lite nature of endgames to me is a MASSIVE disservice to games and gameplay.

But that’s my opinion and people are free of course to enjoy their gaming (or lack thereof) in any way they choose, and if the mad level dash to endgame is what floats your boat then go for it, me I’ll be enjoying the stories (even if again) and the content that was so carefully and diligently crafted to house the normal leveling curve and gaming experience of said games. ;) Because the day I cannot be bothered to enjoy “playing” a game is the day I stop playing games and I’d no more reach for a character boost than I would a cheat code or exploit.


As a general principle, im against it as it defeats the purpose of the game. Skipping the game is just nonsensicle, whether paid or unpaid.

I’m also against it from a learning and community perspective. I feel it is important that everyone plays through the game the same way and gets the same experiences. It ensures that we all have the opportunity to learn the same things and see the same places.

That said, I don’t mind such things for alts. I think if you’ve gone through the whole game once, there isn’t much value doing so again and you’re likley to be able to figure out how to play your new class pretty quickly. I would still prefer that boosts didn’t exist, but if they’re restricted to players who’ve already hit max level then that’s cool.

Castagere Shaikura

This is a big deal with me with story-driven MMO’s and why I don’t like them. Have to repeat the same story content over and over for new alts is just stupid to me. This is why I like most first-gen MMO’s. These new ones are all fake in the sense that you have freedom. In Anarchy Online you learned to play in the newbie backyards and when you were done you left them and did whatever you wanted without some main story where everyone is going to be the savior. These story-driven MMO’s killed the freedom of just being a citizen of the game world.

2Ton Gamer

I used a couple on LOTRO. One of them I got from one of the higher tiers of a expansion and another I bought when trying out another server. The one I purchased, I only bought the 1-50 so I could still level and earn traits, gear etc. Just wanted to skip the early areas I have done to death.

My opinion of them is that I do not mind those that can put your character behind an expansion or current level cap by 1 or 2 so a player still needs to play and earn something with their character, but I am not a fan of those that go straight to level cap.

The one LOTRO character that I went to cap with from the xpac boost, I did not care about because there was no investment.

Jeremy Barnes

It’s better than completely gutting the leveling experience by making it take a couple hours.. I guess


Well, I don’t think they help new players to an MMO at all. It just puts them at a content level that they are not prepared for. Which leads to them being attacked by the more experienced player base as ‘noobs’ and worthless people.

For experienced players, I can see the usefulness. However, I personally feel that boosts to the level to start the current expansion should be 100% free, come with full sets of gear, bags, gold, skills and everything else one would be expected to have after playing all the way through with full knowledge of the world.

The way that World of Warcraft handled the Death Knight class was just about perfect. If they had finished the ‘training’ area at level 70 instead of level 60, it would have been 100% perfect. Moving that training area cap up along with the following expansions would have really set the design bar for how all boosts should have eventually been done. Remember, originally one had to have a high level character already before one could make a Death Knight. You could not just come in as a new player and make a Death Knight.

Anyways, just what I would have liked to see along the lines of a way to boost characters. But I suppose the lure of easy $$$ was just to hard to resist, much to the detriment of the games population, I think.

Just my 2c.

IronSalamander8 .

I generally don’t like them that much as I prefer to level up so I can learn how to play the class/job/spec/etc. gradually instead of getting flooded all at once.

I may use them on alts if I feel confident I can play them without frustrating myself and people I play with, but that’s rare. I still feel that they should make games more based around making the experience always enjoyable instead of focusing on the ‘end game’ so there wouldn’t be a desire to use them in the first place.