Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Levelling: merely a nuisance?

I'm having a lot of fun levelling Kiiva, my baby elf druid. She is 44 now, after two weeks. Not bad, I think, for someone who has done it alone, with no group questing, no instances, and no help.

As of right now, here are Kiiva's stats:

3 days, 9 hours played (over 2 weeks)
Level 44
288/300 Herbalism
225/300 Inscription
259/300 First Aid
225/300 Fishing (tonight is fishing quest night! I am genuinely excited)
677g 66s in the bank <<< I am very proud of this

Now, I don't think that is too shabby considering I did it all by myself so far. Level 44 with 600g in the bank (and 16 more levels before I'll need to spend it). 600g that I earned from scratch with no outside help - just my own AH skills and selling whatever I pick up (no active "farming"). When Kiiva hits 60 she will easily be able to purchase her epic mount - starting from absolutely nothing, and with absolutely no outside financial assistance, and no grinding or farming or saving up after I hit 60.

I think that's pretty impressive! So there.

Hitting the fast forward button

A few people have implied to me that I'm making things hard for myself by not using the Refer a Friend facility to "go faster". Read: to race to 80 ASAP, so I can play the "real" game. Many people use the RAF system and could get from 1-80 in two weeks, not be "only" 44 in the same amount of time. They can't understand why I would want to go "sooooo slow", when I could rush to 80 and play properly. They see levelling as an inconvenient hurdle before getting to 80 and playing the real game. Why waste time on old content when you could get to 80 and start getting epics?

The truth is that I am enjoying taking it slow. But I also missed the Alliance towns and quest hubs. I had forgotten how Theramore looked inside. I haven't seen any of the Northrend Alliance towns at all (only experienced them briefly while accidentally riding through them on Keeva...). I want to enjoy this levelling experience, and come out of it as a level 80 character who has done everything and earned everything.

I have friends who run SM as soon as they hit 20. Over and over and over for 10-20 levels, to catapult them to endgame ASAP. That's cool, it's their choice. I did it a little bit on one character (dual boxing) but it's not really my thing. I don't consider it cheating, or wrong, or anything like that. But I do get a little defensive when people tell me I'm going slow... when I'm actually doing things the way they were intended (apart from not doing any group stuff).

I know they have sped up 20-70, but I still think I'm doing pretty well even after that change, especially considering that my tradeskills are pretty high. I intend to finish this with max professions and a decent sized purse, so I can concentrate on things like gear and rep grinds straight away - not having to double back to grind for inscription etc.

We could be running SM by now!

Anyway, the crux of this rambling is that I think there are three camps:

1. The "gotta get to max level ASAP" camp (using RAF, dual box SM runs etc)
2. The "I'm taking my sweet time and enjoying it, I don't care when I level" camp
3. The "I want to get to 80 fairly quickly, but I'm not rushing" camp

I'm hovering between 2 and 3. Yes, I want to get to 80 so I can gear up and heal again.. but I don't want to rush and miss all the content.

What about you guys? Do you rush to 80 ASAP, bypassing as much of the tiresome low content as possible? Or do you soak up the quest lines, run instances, explore and enjoy the "old" content?


Anonymous said...

Well I gotta say I do understand your point of view. I really enjoyed levelling my first two characters, a mage and a warrior, and did it slowly while leveling proffessions. When it came to my druid however, I really just wanted to heal endgame, and the fun of leveling up was pushed to the back of my mind.

I just quested and ran instances hard to try to level up, and I am enjoying it much more at 80 than I did when leveling. Imo its enjoyable the first couple of times, but when you are so deep into endgame, sometimes it is all you think about.

It's an interesting idea though, I might try leveling a character on the opposite faction some time.. :)


Brajana said...

Glad you are enjoying leveling still!

I am also usually somewhere between 2 and 3. I have been leveling a paladin, and while I have been taking it kind of quickly, trying to get him to 80 by following Jame's leveling guide (it's my first time using it), I'm still enjoying the time I go through.

I also have a couple alts who I'm leveling with the boyfriend for the sole purpose of leveling, almost not even looking forward to 80 because we'll run out of quests to do! We don't follow a guide or anything, we just take the quests as they come and work on professions when we can't play together, and there are lots of detours and silly screenshots :P

We are using the recruit-a-friend on one pair of characters, but we aren't doing the 'have someone run us through instances to 60' thing. We are just leveling them as normal characters, doing quests, but getting the convenience of skipping the zones we really hate and just doing the ones we really like. It does speed up the process but it can still be possible to take it at a relaxed pace :)

Keeva said...

I've been able to skip a couple of my least favourite zones, which is great.

Least favourite zones = ones with one flight point at one side of the zone (or none at all). I hate you Desolace.

Kayeri said...

I understand completely, Keeva. :) When LK came out, I annoyed the other officers in the guild by being quite determined to do and experience ALL the content. And boy, did that put pressure on me, too. But they went so fast, I was the first officer to experience the awe of the Wrathgate. I have loved every little lore reference in the game (I love game lore!).

Even with all that, I went from 70 to 80 in two weeks, thanks to the pressure I was under! But I skipped NOTHING! In that, at least, I did it my way, which pleases me. :)

Anonymous said...

I am definitely hovering between two and three myself, concerning my alt(s). I do want to get to 80 to be "done", whenever the questing gets to me. But I know that if I powerleveled to 80 then I would regret going so quickly.

I'm really impressed with her progress, especially with her professions being so high and having so much gold at only 44! /cheer

Anonymous said...

I'm somewhere between your numbers two and three. I'm leveling a shaman (she's level 24 now) and her skills are decently high for the level. She's been given the BoA shoulders to increase all experience gained from monsters and quests by 10%.

I do love the lore, and don't mind going through the motions of having to run clear across the continent if it means I can learn how to play my character properly...but being able to skip certain quests that I know suck is really nice.

I can understand some people wanting to rush through a character if they've already played the class on the other faction. On the other hand rushing through on a foreign class is idiotic. How will anyone get to know how to play the class properly if they don't spend the time learning what all of the abilities do first hand?

Still, congratulations to you on your baby 44! I hope you enjoy all of the content that you see and have the ability to skip what you don't (damn you Desolame).

Anonymous said...

Grats Keeva!

I don't think that there is anything wrong with taking your time. When I level, I do EVERY instance that I can, which means that I gather every quest for them. Yes, I really do take the time to get all the Strat/Scholo questlines. They are my absolute favorite and I would not dream of missing them for anything!

I powered Beru to 80 with Brade in under a week when WotLK released, and then took two alts to 80 fairly quickly as well.

With my next project, Mynn, I'm kinda kicked back, leveling when I want, just not playing if I don't want to, and it's nice.

What's the rush to get her to 80? More gold on epics, more heroics, more Naxx? And then I can shelve her like all my other alts and move on to the next project? What's the rush? I see no real reason to rush through!

Anonymous said...

Wrath came out in the weeks before finals. I spent a week or two with my CE box taunting me (unopened, I was a good gnome...) from the table on the other side of the office. When I finally did install and play, I took my time.

I turned sound on in the game for the first time in ages to listen to the music. I read quest text. I didn't use a leveling guide. I just played the game. And oh, what a gorgeous game it is.

I did feel some pressure (real and/or imagined) as it felt like most of the rest of the guild was "already 80 and trying to raid". Some folks were on their way to their 2nd 80 by the time I got around to running some of the instances.

But I had fun, I enjoyed the zones, (and I didn't have to fight over quest mobs and lag like the other 1st dayers.)

My feeling is, if I wanted a second job, I'd get one that paid me.

Glad you're having fun releveling. :]

spes said...

hey keeva:
that is all :)

and myself i have only one level 80. my warrior i rushed her to level 80 but i have always loved leveling alts slowly, reading the quests, having sound on, working on professions doing all the low level instances to familarise myself better, and doing all the quests in a zone not just skipping... however i do support myself. but generally my alts level slowly and it gives me time to really appreciate things that most people seem to miss.


Keeva said...

I was just finising a post about the mount changes :)

Aertimus said...

I think you need to add a #4 for me. "I level so slow to take in every bit of the game that I drive everyone around me up a wall."

If I were that gnome, I would be saying "Look! Another flower! Yakra - come look at this flower! It only has 5 petals instead of 6 and is off orange instead of bright pink. Hey, it has a leaf. Don't you like the leaf? Did you look at the leaf?"

My highest level alt is 45ish. I've never gotten around to the quests in Icecrown. We are so busy raiding and I refuse to do it when I feel rushed.

Niniel said...

I'm definitely a #2. I love taking it slow and I enjoy every detail =)

Mysmannen said...

I used to take it slow and read the quest texts and such. But now? 4x80 3x70+ and 3x60+ characters later I'm all for the rushing ;)

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post, but I like that you wrote about it. I get a little defensive when people tell me I should be leveling to 80 on my alts ASAP too. I enjoy actually doing new quests or playing new zones that I didn't do before, and sometimes getting into the lore of things (as the lore is extremely rich). When you do that, you notice little connections between different characters in different zones, instances or things that NPC's say. For example if you get into the lore of mount hyjal, you will recognize broll bearmantle, who later appears in the battle for the undercity quest in Wotlk. If you don't know that lore, he's just some funky looking druid with antlers and a big bear claw. If you really like stories, it makes it a lot more fun. :]


Mysmannen said...

And that's what it comes down to in the end. Play it the way it is fun for you. Really!