, 10:49 AM
They didn't exactly make it easy to group consistently unless you're playing with the same person, or group of people, at all times.
I, for example, play with my significant other on one of my characters. She has less time to play than I do, and I don't play that character without her. Our guild, which consists of a lot of people we know IRL, is all over the map level-wise.
If you're not in the same +/- about 4 levels of eachother, you're really nuking someone's kill XP, or having yours nuked. A level 47 running a Black Talon flashpoint with a level 17 and a level 11 is going to be rolling out the carpet as they stroll idly along and nuke everything.
In short, they didn't make it very easy for people with a level disparity to play together, and I'd wager that very -few- people enjoy the benefit I enjoy of being able to regularly play with someone I live with.
I have four other characters I play when my significant other can't. They're all in various guilds...and every single guild I'm in, it's the same deal. Nobody plays together at all times.
Many, many quests are solo'd because everyone else is doing their own thing. Almost nobody's at the same place in a planet quest chain, and the best I ever see elsewise is hopping in on calls for flashpoints in guild or fleet's general chat, or heroics on whatever planet I'm on.
The incentive just isn't there in a lot of ways for people of widely diverse levels to group. High level folks are basically wasting their time, unless they're farming LS/DS and/or companion affection points to go do flashpoints they've outleveled; the gear is rarely gonna be a draw, unless they're looking for a specific orange for appearance customization.
Soloing a lot is built into the game, despite the encouragements aplenty to basically do everything in as large a group as you can. Heck, the social point meter and the social vendors are mechanical systems that reward grouping for everything a lot and doing so consistently.
But they're not even vaguely sufficient motivators to get people to work against the system, and the system doesn't do a very good job of rewarding people that group for content below their level, and in no way enables lower level people to group with high level friends to do anything at all.
Be another matter if they had a system like City of Heroes of Champions, wherein which you could lower your effective level to someone else's, or be elevated to function at a level 1 below whomever you were 'sidekicked' to.
Didn't give you higher level powers or abilities; just the HP and functional ability to be treated as a level XX that could hit stuff and take a few hits from whatever you were fighting with your higher level buddy...or reduce your level to join a lower level group and, while having all or most of your powers, face the challenge as something equivalent to their level.
Lowbies SK'd up to higher still got XP and drops and whatnot...but the XP was as killing a Thing of this class for their actual level. A high level ex'd down, the same; if a level 45ex'd down to 15 in a group of 15's and killed a normal mob, they'd get XP as though they'd killed a level 45 normal mob, whereas everyone else would get XP comensurate with their own actual level.
It made doing stuff with your friends really easy, and didn't inhibit people from doing their own thing in the majority of the rest of their time.
I, for example, can't PVP or even do many of my space missions on the character I play with my SO unless she does them too, for example...or I'll eventually outlevel her by a margin that will trash the XP she gets from the stuff we kill doing missions.
So, it's something to ponder.