Recently, Blizzard released the World of Warcraft: Shadowlands prepatch, bringing a massive amount of content to the game. One of the biggest changes has been the rehaul of leveling, going so far as to squish the level cap back down to 60.
The leveling system has seen more than just a level squish, though. Heirlooms have been reworked, the amount of time needed to reach 60 was recently lowered on the beta, and players even have an entirely new zone to level from 1-10 in to serve as a tutorial for new players.
But one of the biggest changes being implemented is the new Chromie Leveling system. This new mechanic lets players customize their leveling experience, leaning towards a single expansion instead of the previous leveling experience.
As a result, players go to Chromie and pick which expansion they want to level through. Once they’ve picked, they begin the content immediately, everything scaling to be the appropriate level.
Unfortunately, players have already been running into snags. One of the first complaints raised was that this would split the player base heavily, with the most popular choice being whichever would be fastest – Warlord’s of Draenor being the winner of that competition.
Choosing a timewalking campaign with Chromie Time in #Shadowlands doesn't just direct you to an expansion to level in, it also restricts which dungeons the group finder will initially search for.https://t.co/txNlis80C1 pic.twitter.com/ZyQZWwE5JD
— Wowhead (@Wowhead) October 15, 2020
But the issues go even further than simply sending everyone to different zones. One of the primary methods of leveling is through dungeons using the Dungeon Finder rather than quests.
When using the Dungeon Finder, one can only go to the dungeons specific to their picked Chromie Time expansion. If a healer from Burning Crusade and a tank from Wrath of the Lich King try to find a queue, the two won’t be paired together unless they’re each other’s last hope.
This further splits the player base, and while it’s an easy fix – simply return to Chromie and deactivate the Chromie Time – it’s an obnoxious hassle to have to bother with. It’s even worse when players are maining DPS and have their already-lengthy queues drastically increased by leveling through an unpopular expansion.
By splitting the player base up amongst the expansions, Blizzard is unintentionally inflating dungeon queues by focusing players on the quickest expansion, making those that picked less popular options much less fortunate to find the groups they may need.
It’s unknown if Blizzard intends to put a fix towards this. While players can find themselves in other expansion dungeons, it only works as a last result and does little to lower the queue times. With any luck, Blizzard will recognize the issue and put forth a fix. Failing that, players can only brace themselves for long queues and knock out some quests in the meantime.