By Chris Blain
September 30, 2018
In-game character boosts can be considered quite a blessing and a curse in the gaming community with such glorious titles as World of Warcraft making solid use of them in their business model. Although the boost is clearly a smart innovation by gaming companies to help their customers get right into the action, there remain critics.
Why would there be critics you may wonder? People want a balanced playing field and there is a certain stigma associated with in-game character boosts where some consider it cheating the experience by using a shortcut. Let’s use a little example of where these critics are coming from.
In-Game character boosts equate to paid services that players can utilize to instantly level a character to max level so that they can get right into the end game. These types of in-game services are typically available in MMO style titles that have a leveling process to get to the end game.
Most people consider the leveling process to be practice and the game does not truly begin until you reach max level. Max level is often when players can experience everything that the game has to offer without a potential level restriction stopping them.
Gaming companies, most notably MMORPG style games added the feature of in-game character boosts so that newer players can jump right in and play with their friends. Which logically made sense since if you can convince someone to play an MMORPG, you’d want to play with them and not wait for them to level for weeks.
Characters boost work by paying an amount of money to increase the level of the character instantly. For example, in World of Warcraft, a character boost costs $60.00.
However, there is often a free character boost offered when purchasing the new expansions. The free character boost with expansions is a very smart idea since people tend to play those types of games with others. Being able to jump into the actual current game so they can play with their friends is a huge incentive.
Why not? Buying a character boost is a huge time saver because players don’t always have time to play catch up in a game that builds upon itself. MMORPG style games will continue adding additional levels and new content with their expansions to keep the player base entertained.
For new players trying to get involved with these types of games, it puts them at a clear disadvantage in the game world. Due to the game having previous versions built on each other, new players would need to progress through the old content to catch up with their friends.
Hence why the idea of the character boost came about so that players could jump right into the latest and greatest without having to be stuck doing out of date content. Boosted characters can still go back and complete the content they bypassed to unlock various achievements.
It makes sense since many titles that have in-game character boosts will often have weekly updates. Updates get done so they can continuously keep fresh content flowing in and the player base entertained.
The beginning of each game week provides rewards and resets the instances that a player may have completed during the previous week. The reset system somewhat encourages players to reach max level as soon as they can if they want to reap the best rewards quickest.
World of Warcraft use the weekly server maintenance and reset on Tuesdays to introduce new things to the gaming world. If you don’t get your weekly goals done by Tuesday, they may reset or be gone Players get offered the option of character boosts to get to the appropriate level where they would be “starting” an expansion.
For example, the current expansion for World of Warcraft is Battle for Azeroth, and the max level got extended from 110 to 120. Players can purchase character boosts for 110 to start the current content but cannot purchase a 120 character.
Players will receive some mediocre green gear, around 500g, and some starter potions and what not to help them in their journey. Character boosts in World of Warcraft come in at $60.00 or one-character boost free with the purchase of the current expansion.
It allows them to merely start down the current expansion path as opposed to having to play from the very beginning of the game. The main idea of character boosts to allow new players to jump right into current content as opposed to punishing them for being new to the game.
There are a few different issues that people have decided to take a stand on regarding the topic, and most of them are nonsense. Some issues that people brought up is that by paying money to skip the leveling process, it is technically making the game pay to win.
Pay to win doesn’t work that way because there is no advantage over other players by spending money. Some believe that the gaming experience is tainted based on using a character boost as opposed to normally leveling.
There is one argument that I can get behind, however. That is regarding the new players who boosted a character may lack knowledge when it comes to how the game itself works. As a result, their lack of knowledge will potentially cause issues for other players.
Lack of understanding is a valid concern since if players are not familiar with the overall mechanics of the game and go into group situations with others, it can be a problem. To be fair to these newer people though, even “advanced” players go in and act fools regardless of their veteran status to games.
All that matters in most group situations is that a person is willing to listen and follow directions. Knowing your character’s skills and abilities are one thing, but not as important as listening. Being a team player is a mindset – not a skill set.
Many different opinions come flowing out when it comes to the video gaming world, and everyone has their two cents on how others should experience things. That is the joy that is the internet since everyone can give their two cents, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that their opinion is right.
What gaming companies have been leaning more towards is to give their customers different ways to enjoy their products as opposed to a one-way route. The gaming world has changed tremendously and because of this evolution, so have players.
There are more people involved in the gaming communities than ever before, and numbers are continuing to grow at a ridiculous rate. In-game character boosts appeal to those players who want to get involved in the games at the higher levels while avoiding the “filler” work.
Tags: World of Warcraft