Ardwulf Has Plan!

I am now less focussed on level gaining and more on enjoying the experience. I think. Maybe that’s temporary. But maybe it’s because I now have a perception that I have now reached “respectable” levels in a couple of different MMOs. Blizzard’s devalued the achievement of leveling in WoW, I think, but my gut still tells me that 46 is “respectable”. Given that it took me over 100 hours to get there, I don’t know that I’d call that “trivially easy.” I also hit 50 in EQ2.

At this point I’m getting close to two years of MMO play. In that time I have tried about everything decent-looking on the market, and a couple of things of strictly historical interest. I’ve gotten into prelaunch betas and played in the exciting first weeks of a new game, and suffered through problematic play in Vanguard. I’ve touched the childish mewling of the worst segement of the MMO community, and been part of a guild with the best. I even tried to start a guild, which ended in failure, but it was an interesting experiment nevertheless.

Looking back, it seems like I have pretty much done at least a little bit of everything there is to do in the MMO space. Except playing a level-capped character in endgame content. I’m not saying I’m burned out; quite the contrary, although I find that I need a break of a few weeks every six months or so. Some of that stuff I’ve done I want to do more of, group content especially.

Some time back when I was playing WoW the Shattered Sun Offensive happened. I read about it and the content attached to it, and lots of it sounded really fun. Especially appealing was the fact that the content was unspooling in response to player activity and victories. That’s really cool, even if it was kind of rudimentary.

My highest level character at the time was Vaktor, who was in (as I recall) the early 30s. No hope of reaching the cool-sounding content before the Offensive ended, and while most or all of that content is still there in some form, it’s not as immediate and impactful as it was during the live event. That kind of thing is why I want to reach the level cap. I therefore have construct a PLAN. I love plans and make them all the time, for everything.

Said plan projects me as hitting level 80 some time in… late August. Discouraging. And of course my guesses as to how fast progression will happen at the high levels are possibly way off, and don’t take into account the inevitable days off. Then again, in the range up to 60 or so my guesses are pretty conservative.

Thus I will be charting my progress against a goal of half a level a day until level 60, and a quarter-level a day tp 70, and thence 10% of a level a day. I’ll be curious as to how realistic this progression plan is. I may even post the graphs, but we’ll see. As of right now I sit at 46.22.

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One response to “Ardwulf Has Plan!

  1. It’s distinctly possible that 60-70 (or 58-68 if you’re brave, going to the next expansion early is possible, and very rewarding in terms of loot, but also challenging at the lower levels) is faster than 50-60.

    Outland and Northrend are designed very compactly, with quest hub leading to quest hub leading to quest hub (generally within the same zone, rather than on another continent). It’s not uncommon to have 2-3 overlapping quests for the same area, which means three quest completion exp bonuses when you head back to town and very rapid progress. Blizzard also reduced the exp curve for the TBC levels to help players get to Northrend faster. Though the pre-60 stuff got the same exp curve treatment, the content is far more spread out, and far more likely to require interzone travel (or guides to even be able to find your next quest hub).

    My guess is that a first time visitor to Outland (who is reasonably familiar with MMORPG’s in general, and knows where to go when stumped on a quest) will take about 6-8 hours played per level. My personal best, during the Wrath beta, was 4 hours/level, but that was a perfect storm – it was my fourth time through some of the content, the Death Knight was massively overpowered at the time, and I had a very strong desire to beat the content quickly so I could get to Northrend.