I think about this every now and then, especially when discussion of leveling alts comes up. I am an altoholic, which means I have a love/hate thing with leveling. I love it for the most part, but there are parts I don’t like so much. Mostly certain zones. Also, how you get no new zones for a while then 2-3 you really like at the same time (Badlands, Felwood and Tanaris for example).
So, the first thing I would do is put more faction leaders into the zones. If you haven’t run the 10-20 area in Silverpine Forest (horde side of course), you really should. You are missing out on a HUGE chunk of lore from Sylvanas and some minor stuff (well major considering you don’t get it on Alliance) about Gilneas. I would make sure every faction leader had some part of their backstory in a zone. I love any quest that takes you to a faction capital and gives you some kind of interaction there.
The next thing I would do is make a few class quests (yeah I know they took them out and don’t want to put them back, resources). I would also spread them out a little, not unlike they used to be. Instead of making a 2-3 part quest where you make a weapon or item, I would make you get a less powerful version and keep updating it through your leveling time. I would even do something quirky like have you lead 4 lower level characters through a dungeon. I have an affinity for giving back to new players and being kind of a mentor to them as I had some good guildies when I first started playing. It would be a fun way to keep things going.
Another thing I would do is sidekicks. I wouldn’t make them mandatory or even that powerful. I would put them in mainly for fun/flavor. I played RPGs like Balder’s gate, where you controlled a party of 6 players and kind of miss that. Also the quirkiness of some of those NPCs was brilliant. You could even get side quests from them from time to time, that was always fun.
I know all of these ideas would take major resources to implement and as Warcraft gets longer in the tooth, the leveling process is moving towards being skipped over rather than enjoyed. It’s not likely they will be putting much time and energy into the 1-60 process anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t think of ways to keep it fun and engaging.
So what do you think? Have an idea to make leveling more fun/easier? Feel free to comment down under!