The Tortoise and the Hare

I was chatting to a friend over IM this morning (if you’re awake at 5am-8am UK time, and ever want to chat, let me know!), and he’s interested in trying out LotRO. He asked me a question I was totally unprepared for:

can you recommend a site that tells me how to power level? 

I was quite taken aback by it. Why? Because to me LotRO just isn’t a game that you ‘powerlevel’ in. The main reason I enjoy LotRO is because it’s set in Middle Earth and it’s beautiful and they’ve done a great job with it. Plus I have a fantastic guild there, and friends I’ve made through the game.

Now, I’m first to admit I have a faster levelling pace than some, but it’s never my goal to level as fast as possible (except maybe when alting!). I simply have more time than most because I only work part-time, so I tend to level a bit faster. But in LotRO I just went through quests, ground through traits I needed, did instances with friends, PuGs, guildmates however many times we all needed them for class items. I completed the epic books.. and through all that I levelled pretty fast. But I never entered the game to discover the endgame and that served me fairly well, because content at the higher levels wasn’t as great when I reached them as it is now. And there’s still not many raids or instances that are for ‘endgame’ chars. The appeal remains the world of Tolkein and the way Turbine have created it. And monster play has been a very welcome excursion that reminded me I enjoy PvP.

Back to my time in WoW. And to what I hear now about WoW. The levelling curve has been reduced massively, all the interesting stuff is happening endgame, which has led to a generation of MMO players who feel that achieving endgame is the goal, and levelling is the pesky bit in-between that you have to go through. It won’t be too long before WoW allows you to create higher level chars, I imagine (as DAoC did, though you only got to skip the first 20 levels in DAoC).

I prefer the non power-levelling model, I have to say. I like to not feel rushed to complete content, even though I know others, when playing with me, think I go at too fast a pace. I guess we’re all comfortable at different rates and we all know what it’s like to be rushed, and yet frustrated someone else is levelling faster. But that’s still not the point here. Being rushed isn’t even the same as power-levelling.

To me, power-levelling is skipping content to get to the endgame. Now currently, from all I’m reading, in WAR the endgame seems like it’s mostly RvR, open field and city sieges with the occasional dungeon and exploration. That’s a never-ending battle, as it should be. I’m sure there will be people who try and get as close to rank 40 in the headstart as they can – the advantages to that are what.. a little fame for having done something first?

And then some empty scenarios while the rest of the server catches up.

If WAR’s endgame is open field RvR, scenarios, keep takes, city sieges, dungeons – well, I can do a lot of that at rank 1 (obviously not the city sieges and dungeons), or to take a less extreme example, I can do a lot of it as I level through the game. At tier 2 we get keep takes, and that’s fairly early on in the levelling cycle. So they’re feeding us the ‘endgame’ throughout. Worth bearing in mind!

Personally, I’ll continue to play at my own pace, faster than many, slower than many too. I pay for the game, I intend to enjoy as much of every aspect of it as I can!


5 Responses

  1. Good read..

    I think that WAR tries to give you the feeling that not only at rank40 you are worth something. Many people don’t seem to get this atm and think that they have to get to rank40 and tier 4 to have all the fun. For me it’s also fun to find some “plungers of the world” and that will most likely slow my exp’ing 😉

  2. I’ve never had a character at end level in any game. I am too easily distracted. 😉

  3. Wotcha everyone,

    I do remember Everquest posters stating that the game “only started” when you got to level 60. And then when the level cap was raised, it “only started” when you got to level 65…

    But it seems that a lot of World of Warcraft players have an attitude that getting to maximum level is just to “teach you how to play”, and then the game starts. That getting to the “endgame” is all that matters, and that any means are acceptable. And I’m not even a fan of the term “endgame”. Not only is it a buzzword that’s exclusive, rather than inclusive, but it’s negative. It implies that the game has an end. Which it doesn’t, until I either stop playing altogether, or someone pulls the plug on the game servers.

    Power levelling has further negative connotations for a lot of the people I know. It’s not just missing content, it’s about getting your high level mates to get you through content as fast as possible, and using exploits as much as possible. It’s a morally bankrupt style of play, as far as many are concerned.

    For me, the game starts once I’ve finished setup, and I’m creating my first character. Levelling is fun, it’s all about discovering new things, about meeting new monsters, and brutally murdering them in the name of xp and trez.

    It’s about fleeing from your favourite mob yesterday, standing toe-to-toe with him today, and casually swatting him tomorrow.

    Why exactly would I want to miss out on a good part of the game? Warhammer Online wants me to participate with other players meaningfully at every level. It seems churlish to refuse to do so…


  4. I don’t think 90% of the content in WoW pre-level cap prepares people for what they will be doing at 70.

    It all really depends on how much work Mythic put into the sub 40 levels. If they treat it like a chore to get through as quick as possible (WoW) then players will respond in likewise.

  5. First up, sure Im awake at that time Arb 🙂 Pick your poison, msn,yahoo,aim or gmail chat 😛

    With regards the endgame and levelling, just this morning a friend expressed shock that she went from 1-70 in WoW in 45 days. I know she didnt even try particularly hard.

    From what everyone has been able to say about WAR thusfar, it seems you’re trained at all stages of the game for what is yet to come. That sounds like a good idea to me.

    I dont plan to hit the level cap early, nor am I likely to dawdle. I just dont want to find that everyone I know is rushing for the mythical Start at the End when really, the journey is what is worth the time, not necessarily the destination.

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