After a few hours of play last night, Einfeuer is about midway through level 14 and very close to renown rank 12. I ran the Stonetroll Crossing scenario and hit the open RvR lands toward the end of the night, but most of the leveling progress was made my cleaning up regular quests in Troll Country, and in hitting a couple of PQs.
Public Quests vary widely in difficulty; one Chapter 6 PQ is impossible to complete without a full group including at least one tank (a class that, you’ll recall, Empire lacks,) while I managed to complete another in the same Chapter with a party consisting of two Bright Wizards and a Warrior Priest.
I mentioned elsewhere that it feel weird for me to be near the crest of the leveling population. I know that there are, at this point, a substantial number of level 40s in the game, but while I can appreciate the bragging right value of doing this kind of thing, it’d really suck to be all alone at the top waiting for everybody else to catch up. There are (on Averheim at least,) a decent enough number of people in Tier 3 now for scenarios to start firing, but that’s really only been true for a few days. Right now I seem to be within a level or two of where most people are, if anything, and that’s kind of appealing. The highest-level character on the server is level 31 (as of last night) according to the realm war site, which seems to be much less up-to-date than it was a week ago, where you could gain a level, log out and check, and the new level would be reflected on your page.
Playing in the beta was a big factor, not only because I got to know the zones a bit, but because I was able to firmly decide on a class for a main once the game went live, from what seemed at the time to be a large number of choices. I ended up going with the class I’d been intending to choose anyway, but clear knowledge saved me a lot of second-guessing and what would inevitably have been a lot of fiddling around with alts.
I’ve done rather little of that, especially given my past alt-happy habits, spending no more than a few hours on any of the five characters I’ve played in the live game, and on one of those (my Swordmaster, currently level 2,) I spent literally only about twenty minutes that I hadn’t expected to be spent in-game at all.
Leveling beyond the neighborhood of 4-6 goes a bit slower in WAR than it does in WoW (even pre-2.3,) EQ2 and Vanguard, and it slows down a little bit more, I think, once you are firmly into Tier 2. Knowing the zones and the general flow of progression helps, of course, and I no longer have that luxury on my main, or even on my Destruction ‘main’, on whom I’ve only played about three hours to get to level 7.
I have to say that Destruction is fairly unappealing to me right now. Not because there are no Destruction classes that I find appealing, but because of what appears to be a rather deplorable population imbalance in Destro’s favor on Thorgrim, or server of choice. Scenarios don’t pop for what is sometimes hours and world RvR is typically a joke. I am liking the challenge of RvR as an Order player, and lack that challenge when playing Destruction.
I am emphatically not trotting out the canard that Destruction is vastly more popular than Order; I do not believe that to be the case across the board; there is a suitably balanced population on many servers (including Averheim,) and there are even servers on which Order indisputably has the upper hand (Volkmar, our original Destro server choice, is said to be one of these due to a couple of motivated and well-organized Order guilds running there.) I firmly believe that this will sort itself out given time, but right now a lot of players are losing interest in playing on a server that only offers about half of the full WAR gameplay experience. Some Destro players in our own guild, for example, have started making alts on Averheim so they can get into the rockin’ RvR that we have there.
If you want to play Order and have not yet settled on a server, Thorgrim is an excellent choice; you’ll have plenty of challenge ahead and scenarios will pop for you very quickly. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that such players who don’t pick a server like Thorgrim are puny, pigeon-chested girlie-men intimidated by the dark majesty of Destruction in general and my own personal badassitude in particular, and terrified of being ruthlessly punked by our mighty host at every turn. You hear that, Order players? I’m calling you out. Come play on Thorgrim and try to challenge us.