World of Warcraft Will Soon Have Level-scaling for All of Azeroth

My instinctive reaction to any mention of level-scaling in video games is to make a sour face and shake my head in disappointment. However, the particular kind of level-scaling coming soon to World of Warcraft is actually kind-of neat.

When leveling new characters, instead of plotting a careful course to visit all your favorite areas and avoid those you don't particularly enjoy, constantly dealing with being over- or under-leveled, you'll now be able to just go wherever you want (within a roughly 20-level margin) and get an appropriate amount of experience for your level. And if you've always hated all the areas in a particular level bracket, you'll be able to skip them entirely, which means you'll never have to see Dustwallow Marsh or Thousand Needles ever again if you don't want to.

Here's PC Gamer explaining how this will work:

If you've tried leveling through World of Warcraft recently, you know how imperfect it is. You'll quickly outscale zones, and others you'll leave untouched entirely thanks to more rapid experience point gains. But in the upcoming 7.3.5 patch, Blizzard will be taking a version of Legion's level scaling and applying it to all of Azeroth and Warcraft's previous expansions.

During the World of Warcraft panel at Blizzcon 2017, game director Ion Hazzikostas took the stage to lay out plans for the next expansion, Battle for Azeroth. But these world-wide level scaling will be coming to the Public Test Realm servers in just a few weeks and then officially launch shortly after that.

"The point is player choice, the point is having the experience you want to have while leveling through WoW," Hazzikostas said.

It's important to note that this system doesn't work exactly the same way as it does in Legion, where every zone and monster scales to your level. Instead, each zone will have a minimum and maximum cap of about 20 levels. This will make low-level zones still feel appropriately low level, and high-level zones intimidating.

The great news is this new feature will also work with WoW's previous expansions. Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, for example, will now scale between level 60 and 80, while Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria will scale between 80 and 90. If you're starting from scratch, you now have a lot more freedom about how to approach of these expansions.