I don't think Guild Wars and STO compare very well. As the title implies, the former is about pvp more than anything. Guild Wars wants you to step into the arena as soon as possible, team up with friends and whack other players, that kind of thing. And STO... well, you know what the pvp is like.
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)
30 hours of play, endgame and alt focused
(Lots of options when rerolling; then again, lots of playtime is just cinematics)
30 hours of play
(Only 1 complete faction and the other, in progress.)
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).
I'm old school, taking a while to level is fine with me. The fast rate this game has is due in part to the huge amount of moaning there was about getting from 1-10. If you could see back a few years in the forums there were so many threads on not liking being in Mirandas from people that didn't understand standard mmo progression, rusty sword/tarnished sword/sword/better sword/uber sword.
They all wanted to be in the tv show ships as soon as possible. So exp gain got increased, exp bonus items were introduced, double exp weekends were added, and in a game where we all know there were limited official missions people were now outleveling whole portions of what was there and skipping it. Tons of people never did patrols, or skipped parts of the storyline, and were advised to do so by the 'how to level fastest' crowd.
Trying to appease the crying by increasing exp gain was just about the worst thing to do. Adding simple things like random distress calls, 'mission terminal' mechanics and other things of that sort could have added much more for folks to do. We have more to do now, but still have the too high exp rate, so you warp to the level cap in no time at all.
I did it in 6 days. It was a little over 70 /played hours.
I have found STO to be around 35-40 /played hours to get to level cap since Season 5.
Yes, 70 sounds more realistic. I had to write a class guide with a few coworkers about it and most of us were close to 100 hours by the time we all capped. Bearing in mind most of us had no previous experience with out classes from the beta or anything.
As for STO, my partner gave the game another try a week ago and was level 14 at that time. Hit the level cap last night. We did most episodes together for the fun of it and until somewhere around the 40s almost every episode resulted in a level-up. The whole thing felt insanely fast - much TOO fast for my liking, but then again, all of these episodes were actually a lot of fun to play and went beyond the boring "Kill 10 X, loot 20 Y" garbage you get in every other MMO, including TOR. Because, no offense, 20 minutes of dialogue before a generic "go kill something" kind of quest doesn't make the actual quest any better. I actually prefer the episode-style gameplay in STO.
... Just do 2 episode missions or a couple of patrol missions and you hear "congratulations captain"....
You're doing it wrong ;-)
Actually you gain one level per mission, provided that your duty officers are on duty most of the time, because the duty officer assignments give XP, too.
I've played WoW for about four years now (including several months of abstinance) an I still habe only one max level (85) char, one on 80, and some very low level chars. Ok, I'm not what one would call "hardcore player" ;-) But even those last five levels from 80 to 85 took me several weeks to reach, playing an average of 3 hours/day.
So yes: STO is a very very fast leveling mmo. Just started a new char on january 8th, and it hit VA about one week ago. And I'm playing STO an average of about 1-2 hours/day.
Edit: During the time from 0 to 50 I've never skipped any dialogue. ;-)
Depends on if you hit spacebar to skip all dialogues and have to pause for anything.
If you are doing that then you are not really playing the game. I have a new Admiral who has only done DOFF Missions. I logged in 3 times a day: morning, afternoon, and evening and gave him fresh DOFF Mission. I doubt the character has even 12 /played hours yet he's level 50, and I did it in less then a month. I don't consider that character played nor enjoyed; and that's what you're talking about above.