Disclaimer: ANet devs on the forums say that there are still a lot of kinks in the new leveling system and they’re going to make changes. I am hopeful that in the coming days there will be patches to make the new system better and alleviate my concerns.
That said, before these changes, I used to really feel a sense of accomplishment as I went out and did things with my character.
The tutorial instance used to be useful, because that’s where you would gain your weapon skills and learn about the basics of using your character. By the end of the first instance, I’ve unlocked all three of my mainhand skills and I’ve had enough mobs to practice on to start to get a feel for how to play. Now, the tutorial is something I don’t want to be in because it has little value to offer a new character. It makes me just want to leave and get it over with.
I *liked* that I would slowly unlock skills as I killed more mobs. It made sense — the more you use a weapon, the higher your proficiency with that weapon will become. Under the new system, this doesn’t happen, because you get the skills handed to you — and really slowly. I don’t feel like I deserve the unlocks anymore, because I didn’t earn them by mastering my weapon. This is also jarring for a completely new weapon you’ve never used before, because you suddenly have all of the skills and you didn’t have time to acclimate to it like you did before. This is a lose-lose scenario.
Under no circumstances should players have LOST abilities they previously had. I made a new elementalist and I had quite a bit of fun playing it the weekend before the patch. After the patch, I logged in and realized I’m missing a utility slot and earth attunement, and I can’t help but feel like my hard earned work was taken away from me. One of the justifications for moving things to higher levels is that leveling up is now easier at the early stages, but I didn’t reap those benefits on that character; I was only punished by the new system.
More and more, I’m starting to feel less like I’m earning things in game so much as I’m waiting for the game to hand things to me. I don’t feel the same sense of accomplishment leveling a new character as I did before. I’m going to continue to play the game, but I’m going to take a break from leveling a new character until all of this blows over and hope that it gets better.