The Daily Grind: How quickly do you aim for the level cap in MMOs?

Skull go BLORF

It’s rare for me to not be done with the leveling in a Final Fantasy XIV expansion or a World of Warcraft expansion in a couple of days. This is intentional. While I’m not going for any sort of server first or world records, the fact of the matter is that these games are something I need to discuss as part of my job and I consider it a dereliction of duty to not be able to discuss these things in their totality. Thus, my focus is on getting a lot done within a short span of time.

For the majority of our readers, this is not the case. You can take a slower path if you want to. Then again, you might choose to go the quicker route because you are going for some sort of record or just because you’re having a lot of fun with the game and want to play a bunch of it. So how quickly do you aim for the level cap in MMOs? Does it change for new games or do you generally treat expansions, updates, and new titles the same in that regard?

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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Takes as long as it takes. Generally I would like the journey, which is the game to me, to take way way longer (10-100 times longer) than what modern mmos usually do; however, I am can not make mysef take a deliberately longer journey than necessary, so the pace has to be by game design.
Also, pretty much depends on the mmo, and all modern mmos I play as single player rpgs anyways (because that feels like what they are designed to be), so guess whatever I do is kinda irrelevant :p At max level I am mostly done with the game anyways, not that I have lasted to max level in many modern mmos.

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I’ve had a few characters in games I’ve tried to level fast because of needing a specific build for some speed clear or other. All my characters that I care about I’ve never gone faster than I can see things at the pace I want to see them.

I do wish games like LOTRO had incremental starting levels for stuff like this though. Start a character at 20, 30, 50, 80 etc. I like alting, but it doesn’t mean I want to alt the same starter content over and over.


I think I’ll hit 60 in WoW by March.

Johnny Quantum

One of the best things about The Secret World was no levels!

Then they broke this great system in SWL :(

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It is not a goal I play with in mind. I enjoy the stories, I do the tasks and I level. When I hit cap I hit cap. It is never something I rush toward or reach for, it happens, when it happens.


It depends on how boring the game is. In Shadowlands I got instantly bored by typical awful quest and story writing so I just leveled by skipping all unnecessary stuff including quest dialogues and cutscenes to get to highest level to see what activities would be available at the maximum level.


This! One of the things I noticed when I tried classic was how much of the adventure was the questing itself versus max level.

Where in retail, after a few quests in Bastion I got bored and basically just followed the main quest. I dont like the super linear nature they took with this expansion and much prefer to decide where I go and what I want to do.

So for me, WoW doesnt even start until I get to max level which I feel is a fundamental flaw in design and an archaic trope from the past that should be evolved to match the current gameplay styles.

Bruno Brito

I deleted WoW from my pc after farming the Zandalari race.

I couldn’t anymore.


Elapsed real-world time is not something I generally keep track of. If the game is fun (or has the potential to be fun at endgame), then I’ll probably play the game a lot and end up hitting endgame fairly quickly.

I try to approach the leveling process with an open mind, reading / watching all the quest stories, experimenting with all of the different types of activities that are available. However, inevitibly I realise im bored, I never enjoy the leveling process in an MMO, so from that point onwards I’ll aim for optimised leveling speed so i can get to the fun at endgame as quickly as possible.

In terms of /played time, it’s mostly between 3.5 and 7 days. But, depends on the game a lot. My Ironbreaker in WAR: RoR got to 40 in just over 24 hours /played thanks to some double xp weekends.

Oleg Chebeneev

At my MMO gaming peak I leveled fast trying to be ahead of race.
Now? Im too old for that, lol. Just slowly doing quests in WoW on free level 20 character not caring about level cap at all.

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It’s actually pretty rare for me to ever reach the level cap in a game. Even back when I had a single game that I played every night I almost never actually got a character to level cap. Partly from having Alt-itis pretty bad, so playing was spread across many characters, and partly from having fun with crafting or just hanging out with friends instead of putting any focus or importance on levelling. I’ve always taken a “I’ll get there when I get there” approach to it.


Depends what my objectives are in the game. If there’s an efficient route that’s slower but accomplishes more over all I’m okay with that. I’ve been playing these games for 20+ years now, the roses stopped being worth smelling a long time ago.


For me, at least, the issue isn’t really whether smelling the roses is still worth it, but rather about whether the max level gameplay is worth it. And, in most cases, it isn’t, not for me; I can’t stand persistent power progression in PvP — meaning I look for non-MMO games for my PvP fix — and I also dislike the kind of PvE content for structured, regular groups that devs seem to assume all max level players want.

Thus, I take it slowly, in part because I enjoy the leveling content, but mostly because I know when I hit max level I’m likely to stop playing due to a complete lack of content I find worth playing.