I know, I know....ANOTHER bravery bonus thread. I will probably take some flack for this but hear me out.
"Back in the day" (hey...you kids get off my lawn!), players received a bonus for doing a quest when they were below the level of the quest. I don't remember for sure but I believe you got +10% for every level the group was below the quest level, max 5 levels (calculated on the highest level in the party). Anyone remember for sure?
Now, don't get me wrong, I like the bravery bonus. However, here are some of the things I dislike about it:
1. It puts you on a strict leveling schedule. People do a quest when they are 2 levels above the level of the quest, rarely before.
2. It limits who you can group with. You want that bonus to apply so people generally will not run with people more than 2 levels above the quest level they are currently running.
3. One quest can affect you for the next several quests. If you break your streak, you have to spend time re-building it.
4. Sometimes, you just don't want to run it on elite. Also, sometimes the party just isn't ready for elite and this forces them to run it on elite or else break the streak (or have it not apply if they bring in an over-level).
5. It can discourage grouping -- this isn't per se an effect of the bravery bonus so much as scaling. For example, my husband and I can duo a quest on elite and the quest will be easier then if we put up an LFM and brought some others along.
6. If you don't get the bravery bonus for a quest, you've lost it for good for that quest for that life. It's all or nothing.
Things I liked about the under-level bonus:
1. It still encouraged challenge by encouraging running a quest much higher than your level. With TR'ing and crafting, the challenge would be diminished but, let's be honest, the game is way easier now then it used to be and elite isn't that big a deal anymore either.
2. Flexibility. Inviting someone that was one level above the rest of the party didn't have that huge of an effect, like 10%. So, not nearly as much as being ineligible for the bravery bonus. So, if your friend who was a bit higher level wanted to come along, no big deal. In other words, it wasn't all or nothing, there was an incremental decline.
3. It applied regardless of the quest difficulty. So, you're not ready for elite? No problem.
4. It applied each time you ran the quest. So, say you're 5 levels below a quest and your friend who is 1 or 2 levels above you needs to run that quest for flag. No problem, you run with him, losing 10-20%, then rerun it without him. No harm, no foul.
5. Bringing it back now would really help out a lot in the levels where there aren't a lot of quests.
So, in my opinion, the under level bonus is better than the bravery bonus. I don't remember the rationale for removing it but I'd like to see it brought back. I don't think we should have the bravery bonus AND the under level bonus but if I had my pick, I would prefer the under-level bonus to the bravery bonus.
Just my 2 cp.