When the tier 3 quest train got derailed

Tier 3 is the level 21-32 stretch of the game. There are two zones per racial pairing to cover this level range, and an increase of scenarios to two per pairing (making six in total). Like tier 2, there are two keeps to attack per pairing, but the keeps are much larger than the ‘baby’ versions and have an outer wall as well as an inner bailey, making twice as many doors to knock down.

And just as tier 2 had an instances (sewers in Altdorf, I assume there’s a Destruction equivalent), tier 3 has Gunbad. It’s an underground area in the Badlands with oddles of quests, public quests, and instances with bosses – lots to do and nice rewards if you do them.

Other than that, business as usual! So how’s tier 3 treating you?

Slow, Slow, slowslowslow

The big difference that we, and everyone else, has noticed is that it takes longer and longer to level up via PvE. Where before we were struggling not to outlevel our quests because we were getting so much xp from pretty much everything, now the opposite is true. It’s quite easy to finish all the quests in an area and not yet be high enough level to easily tackle the next set of quests. Snafzg has a good rant about this. I agree that questing feels too slow at this level but not that grinding does — that depends more on what class you are playing and who is with you.

What’s more, scenarios give xp at a hugely better rate than quests. If a quest gives about 2500xp, I can pull at least 10k xp from a scenario (if we win), and that’s not including the associated scenario quests from the warcamps. Plus scenarios generate a lot of renown too, it’s a no-brainer if they are up. So people congregate at warcamps so as to be able to hand the quests in after every run.

I’m not  inclined to work up to a major rant because I haven’t been personally frustrated. We play Order on a well populated server so we never have to wait long for a scenario at prime time. So what we tend to do is quest/grind xp in the mornings (or when not many people are on), and try to run scenarios or groups to Gunbad or world RvR (doesn’t give much xp but is fun!) in prime time. Still, it is the first time I have found myself grinding out some xp and on a healer that’s a fairly slow proposition.

All aboard for the quest train

Questing is the fancy package holiday levelling version of an MMO. Hop onto the quest train and get a guided tour around  story and lore mixed with bits of killing^D^D^D^Dmeeting the natives and exploring. Sometimes there will be clips of cool scripted dialogue or encounters too. And eventually you end up at the max level quest terminus with connecting flights to whatever you plan to do at end game.

So when you hit a brick wall, it hurts hard. Not only has it interrupted the questing rhythm, but when you wander into an area to talk to a quest person and all the creatures that you see are 4 or 5 levels above you, you have to wonder what your dumb character is doing there. If you decide that it isn’t possible,  you now need to think about how you can (in time honored fashion) go off and kill some wandering monsters so that you can go back to your quests later when you are a bit tougher. And when it’s slow to get xp from wandering monsters — suddenly the fun light-hearted game starts to look like work. Lots of work. Stray off the beaten track of your package holiday and you don’t know where you might end up.

I don’t think it is necessary to be able to level purely by questing in one area but it should be possible to do so by questing in all available areas. That way, if you chose to stick to one pairing you still have the option to grind xp or  scenario, but if you prefer to just quest you can.  So while the best possible option would be to add an entire new zone full of quests into T3 for each pairing, the easiest would be to tweak quest and PQ xp upwards. Mythic should do this.

Other things of note about T3

There are some really good Public Quests available in the T3 areas. Syp mentioned a skaven one which we all love. There is one in Saphery which I liked that involved helping an ancient Archmage defend his tower; I think I prefer the PQs which have badass NPCs in them. (But where’s my tower? What, that garden shed …) But people aren’t flocking to the PQs any more. My guess is that this is mostly because they don’t give as good xp as scenarios, plus people wanting to stick to warcamps to maximise scenario xp.

In Tier 3 you also notice that healers and tanks don’t feel as competent at soloing as they did in earlier levels, if they spec to heal/tank. This also contributes to the ‘slowing down’ feeling. Tier 3 feels slow compared with what went before.

We do think it’s an issue and are sympathetic to anyone who doesn’t have the option to pad out quest xp with regular scenarios due to server population. But we also have some suggestions:

– grinding xp on pqs. it isn’t exciting but you get a lot of xp and gold and you might meet people, you never know. If you don’t want to meet people, pick a less exciting or more out of the way PQ.  This is almost certainly the fastest way to grind xp if scenarios are not running, just if it drives you nuts after awhile take a break and do one of the other things on this list instead.

– check out quests and PQs in your capital city. Altdorf is now level 3 for us and there is new stuff turning up all the time. It passes the time and has nice xp attached, plus helps to level the city more.

– scenarios. I know, not helpful if you are on a low pop server but if you are playing in prime time and scenarios are running and you don’t utterly hate them, queue at a war camp and give the quests in as much as you can.

– grab some people and go to Gunbad. Most people will be curious to see it, and you can take a warband and zip through some PQs and get cool influence rewards and nice xp from quests. If you have a balanced 6 man group, you can check out the instanced bosses as well.

-Log out in a capital city. It will increase your rest bonus. if your guild has access to the guild tavern, make sure you have a scroll of return on you at all times to make this easier.

– I’m hoping that with the chat system revamp, mythic will add more realmwide channels to help with group forming but meanwhile, see if your server has an order/destruction channel and use it if so.

– tome unlocks. Explore everywhere. Kill anything you haven’t seen before. Talk to other people about unlocks they have found or check lists on the net. All tome unlocks give xp. If you want to spend some time exploring you can try to hit a load of these in one go.

– world pvp. not really great for xp although it is good for renown. But anything is better than nothing, right? And you can always ask people if they want to knock out some PQs when you’re done storming the castle.

9 Responses

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.

    Tim Ramsey

  2. Uhm, I guess there isn’t any way to bind yourself to Altdorf, because I haven’t found any way. Our guild got access to the guild tavern, but the scroll of binding seems to be bugged so I can’t get it. So most of the time I just log out in the middle of nowhere, as far as humanly possibly between two warcamps.

  3. Hrrm, the scroll to Sigmar’s Hammer has always worked for me, though have discovered that occasionally it’ll eat up all the scrolls in your bag so now only buy 1 at a time.

    If yours is really bugged that’s crappy!

  4. Think you’re meant to be guild rank 17 to be able to use the scroll (though reading the patch notes it wasn’t quite working right) – I’ve been unable to buy them in the Viper Pit but my guild isn’t high enough rank anyway…

  5. Boo, that’d really suck if that’s the case.. we’re only just guild rank 15.

  6. I’m seriously contemplating using my two XP bonus books for T3, instead of saving them for T4.

    On another note, Gunbad was fun!

  7. […] on October 10, 2008 by Ysharros Lots of people are writing about how Tier 2 PvE questing seems tooo sloooow dooooown after the lickety-split “crap I’m going to miss quests I’m […]

  8. I can’t wait until I’m of a level for Gunbad – just stepped into T3 last night.

    One recommendation that a guildie had was to go explore some of the other pairing chapters. As much as I’ve enjoyed leveling with my pocket tank, Cutfroat, in the greenskin area, I’m definitely considering it.

  9. Hey, new Herald announcement that … doesn’t sound like it will do much. Maybe the numbers on that are huge, but adding a quest you can do a few times does not sound like a fix to me. Maybe the quest xp increase will be retroactive; that would be nice to log in to.

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