First, to clarify, I'm not necessarily saying ZOS should change this: While the affect on existing gear would be harmless, there would be some inconsistencies with the level tiers for enchanting, alchemy, provisioning, etc.
I also recognize that change is unpleasant, and that most players (myself included) resist major shake-ups.
However, I cannot, for the life of me, understand why they've maintained 160cp as the max level for gear. The current system isn't broken, sure, but from what I can see, it's fairly arbitrary—capping gear at 160cp has no obvious benefits, and only leads to complications:
- It renders Level 50 a fairly muted milestone: This subreddit is filled with excited posts from players who just hit Level 50, and want to know what comes next, only to be told to keep grinding until 160cp. That just seems…less than ideal. Why not align the actual milestone (gear cap) with the one that feels most intuitive for players (Level 50)?
- 10cp-160cp gear, recipes, and materials have an extremely limited window of usefulness: Once your first toon hits 160cp, these champion levels (and the associated materials) are permanently irrelevant. 1-50 materials are useful when crafting for alts, but I haven't had a reason to use Silverweave, or Calcinium, or any of those other sad boys in…an age. Again, less than ideal.
- Veteran content is unlocked at level 50, but players are encouraged to avoid it until 160cp: I know this wasn't planned, per se, but there's a strong inconsistency between the game's message of "you can now play veteran dungeons!" and the community's message of "if you run veteran dungeons before 160cp, you're wasting your group's time."
- PVP players are thrown into the endgame pool when they hit 50, but aren't able to assemble an endgame build: From 10cp-160cp, players are in a weird purgatory between under-50 PVP (where no one has finalized gear and builds) and the general pool (where they're facing veteran players with fine-tuned builds). The PVP learning curve is going to be harsh anyway, but being critically underpowered for such an extended period is needlessly frustrating.
I get that this isn't the biggest problem in the world, but the thing that bugs me is that it would have been so easy to do things differently. Capping gear at Level 50 would make the leveling and crafting experience more intuitive, seamless, and enjoyable for everyone, with no real downsides.
For those concerned that players would reach the "endgame" too quickly, ZOS could simply increase the experience required to reach level 50 (and perhaps add a lightweight version of Enlightenment for new characters after your first toon hits 50, so that the process of leveling alts doesn't suffer.)
Anyway, thanks for listening to my Ted Talk.
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© Post "Controversial Opinion: The Max Level for Gear Should be 50" for game The Elder Scrolls.
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