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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
02-08-2012, 06:27 AM
Hour estimates are probably helpful:

********:
45 hours, endgame focused
(1-85): (Aside from a few species quests, there are about two optional tracks per faction, all gated by zone in linear chains now.) (And they speed it up every time they raise the level cap because they want the total time from 1 to the cap to be the same for a new player, regardless of where the cap is)

TOR:
30 hours of play, endgame and alt focused
(Lots of options when rerolling; then again, lots of playtime is just cinematics)

STO:
30 hours of play
(Only 1 complete faction and the other, in progress.)

DCUO
25 hours of play
(2 factions. Each have 2 low level tracks that merge together.)

Just a rundown of a few games I've seen. In general, nobody shoots for more than 40 hours of play in a new MMO and if they have more effort to put in, it goes into optional leveling tracks, more factions, more cinematics, or questing at the level cap. In general, there's nothing wrong with having twice as many or three times as many quests as it's needed to level... and generally nothing wrong with having weeks of required activity at the level cap... but 40 hours of leveling is pushing the limits of what the target player wants tospend leveling.

And, increasingly, levelness games like APB and Secret World are being launched that focus entirely on gear upgrades or earning money to spend or uncapped collection or active abilities that share cooldowns (so that your power level never necessarily increases by much but your situational options do, effectively making lateral multiclassing without levels the progression system).