Time and time again, people pop up in online games who specifically search for opportunities to give themselves an advantage over other players. More often than not, existing game mechanics are alienated and abused in the process. The so-called ‘Powerboosting’ in FlyFF is a prime example.
We would like to take a closer look at this practice. How exactly does Powerboosting work? Is this misuse of Gala’s bad game design a blessing or more of a curse?
What is Powerboosting in FlyFF?
One of the essential elements in FlyFF – as in any grind-heavy games – is levelling. True to the motto ‘The journey is the reward’, we have spent – at least eons ago… you know… when everything was still better – most of our time levelling up our virtual alter egos. In this day and age, we spend a relatively small amount of time level-grinding. Only in the high-level range you may still be able to feel the ghost of levelling past. Other than that, we have been pampered with EXP Events and EXP Scrolls – with a boost of up to 1,000% – in the recent past.
As if things have not become easy enough in the last years, some clever players came along and discovered particular holes in Gala Labs pristine game design. These holes allow them to massively simplify the levelling process in a particular level range, if not to lever it out completely. If we had to describe it all with a single image, it would look something like this:
Let us sum it up shortly: Powerboosting is a deflection of game mechanics in order to ‘boost’ a character from the low-level range into the Hero range as fast as possible.
How exactly does Powerboosting work in FlyFF
Powerboosting utilizes ‘Down-Levelling’. When a character is defeated by a monster, said character loses some experience points in the process. Should the gathered experience points of the current level drop below 0.00%, you are basically levelling backwards. This mechanic was introduced to FlyFF some time ago (presumably to crank up the ‘Scroll of Blessing’ sales). For a long time, this ‘Down-Levelling’ has been seen as extremely bothersome. For people powerboosting, however, is has become essential.
The crucial point, however, is the fact that characters who level their way backwards by this implemented method are still able to access all of their previously obtained skills. Preferably, Arcanists are levelled down to level 20. Their level 130 AoE-Skill ‘EVA Storm’ remains usable.
Why does the leech gain so many experience points, then?
Normally, many players use a so-called ‘leech’ while levelling. A leech is a second character dragged along inside a party by the levelling character. This secondary character is at least 25 levels below the levelling character. That way, the leech is outside the level range which would allow them to passively gain EXP. As such, the levelling character now gains the complete amount of extra EXP the leech would usually gain.
While Powerboosting, a level 20 Arcanist serves as the leech. At the same time, this Arcanist is the active levelling part as well. Since all advantages remain intact despite down-levelling, a level 20 Arcanist leech with fitting equipment is able to level on Dark Traseia in the level 140+ range. The character levelled this way gains a humongous amount of experience points. As is shown by the video that doubled as our image source above, a progress from level 60 to 120 is possible in a matter of two hours, for example.
The effects of Powerboosting in FlyFF
Some see it as a blessing, others as a curse. For us, one thing is certain: Powerboosting is an absolute perversion spawned by exploiting a game mechanic. In an MMORPG that puts a main focus on levelling up your character as a core concept, something like Powerboosting should technically not even be possible. It bypasses the whole game concept.
Despite the ethical standpoint, there are completely different effects to be thought about as well. For example (at least on the German server), the Lord position is deliberatly being blocked by players who are offering such a service.
Monster spawns are being blocked due to the levelling procedure being based on AoE damage. Some specimen of this pesky rabble are even blocking monster spawns on multiple channels. This practice allows them to gather up monsters in advance and start defeating them as soon as the ‘customer’ changes channels. This is then called ‘Ultraboosting’.
Put shortly: whole game concepts are being avoided, no regard is given to other players and, on top of it all, the practice is being capitalized on by selling it as a ‘service’. Does one really have to ask oneself whether this a blessing or a curse? Apparently so, since opinions on the topic are varying heavily inside the community.
Could Powerboosting be banned from FlyFF?
From a purely commercial standpoint, it would be in WEBZEN’s and Gala Lab’s interest to prevent Powerboosting in FlyFF. But would that be so easily doable? According to our humble assessment, yes. The functionality of it all could be voided via a single adjusting screw.
On the one hand, one could think about completely removing down-levelling and setting back the characters to the minimum level of their current job class. This effort is not even necessary, however, since there is a much easier alternative out there.
The pivotal point of Powerboosting is the availability of the high-level Arcanist AoE skill ‘EVA Storm’. Should the usability of skills once again be tied to the current level of a character, the whole house of cards would collapse. Some of our veterans may remember that being the case once upon a time. This level dependency of the skills has been removed in the past due to audible complaints by the players. At that point in time, presumably, no one was able to gauge what consequences this removal could and would have.
You have surely already noticed that this is once again quite a controversial topic. Our point of view is probably as clear as day. But what do you think about it all? Are you in favour of Powerboosting services? Or is your view of them more critical, like ours? But, more importantly… are monocles available in Aibatt-size as well? Make sure to leave us a comment!