Am I afraid of 40?

Lately my main’s progress in WAR has stalled. My Archmage, Ithica, is sitting in Sigmar’s Hammer at level 36, biding her time and presumably building up some massive rest XP. I’ve played her probably 2 or 3 hours in the last couple weeks. For some reason, the desire to grind out those last five levels just isn’t there. In fact, not only is the desire not there, but in its place is a feeling of dread associated with the remaining levels. Instead, I’ve been playing my Bright Wizard Didmund, who is now a shade below level 20 and doing quite well for himself, thank you very much. So what’s the deal? Why am I not more motivated to hit the exalted level of 40? I can see three possible explanations.

A. I love my new Bright Wizard because he sets things on fire.

I’ve been enjoying the change in play style from my Archmage – I have to admit, smoking fools is much easier and more viscerally rewarding as a BW. Setting shit on fire is just plain fun. I quite enjoy the AoE abilities as well – I love to see damage numbers ticking off above five or six Destro heads (thanks, Scrolling Combat Text!).  He’s no more or less squishy then Ithica, although his survivability is considerably lower without all the heals. Luckily, I’ve been leveling with a couple friends, which is another reason I’ve been enjoying my alt so much. I never had that luxury with my main, nor do I have it now as I face down the remaining levels (at least until they catch up, which is at least a month down the road).

B. I cannot bear the thought of grinding out five more levels.

At 36, I’m so close to the summit, yet it is still not within sight from where I stand. In fact, the hill seems damn near insurmountable. Obviously I know I’ll get there someday, I’m just having a severe motivation problem in the meantime.

C. I’m afraid I’m going to be disappointed when I hit 40.

This is probably the scariest of the three choices. To think that all this time has been invested building up a character (in fact several characters in various stages of the game) only to realize now that the endgame is not something that will sustain my interest for any amount of time. This is a very real fear to me. Do I enjoy open-RvR? Yes I do, without a doubt. But will I enjoy it in its current form in perpetuity? I don’t know that I will. I can only take the same keeps in the same manner so many times before it all gets a bit repetitive.  But Mythic has promised to improve upon this, and I believe them.  Hopefully with the new caps, fortress sieges will become more regular and lead to semi-regular city sieges, something I am definitely looking forward to.

So which is it – A, B, or C?

As much as I am enjoying the BW, healing is really more my style. All in all, I think the Archmage archetype fits me better. Although I reserve the right to change my mind as my BW continues to gain abilities, I think I generally have a more engaging experience with my Archmage. This is especially true in PVE, as the majority of group PVE play with the BW consists of hitting the same two or three buttons over and over without too much thought. So it can’t be A.

Despite some misgivings on how fresh the endgame will stay was time wears on, I am confident Mythic will make the changes necessary to keep the players interested.  They have been incredibly responsive and effective in improving the state of the game in the 4+ months since launch, and each of the changes made seem to have been for the better.  When you break the game down to its lowest level, fighting other players in WAR is just fun.  With that as their base, the exciting ideas Mythic can bring to the ORvR world is limited only by their imagination and whether the code will support them (not an unimportant limitation, as we’ve seen).

By process of elimination, that leaves option B.  And I think that’s the one.  (I’m definitely relieved it’s not C, if nothing else.)  I concentrated so much over the Holidays to level that I kind of burnt myself out on it.  The sight of that XP bar resetting at 0 was too much for me, and I fled to the comfort of my currently level-a-night alt character.  But I’ll be back.  At the core, I like my Archmage better.  I’m not totally scared off by the endgame, at least not yet.  I haven’t abandoned Ithica. We’re just on a break.  She is and will remain my main for the foreseeable future. I just need a little break, for some of the reasons listed above.  I’ll be back one day.

(Actually, the more I write about it, the more I want to log her back on…maybe I’ll just log her on for an hour and see what’s going on… Wow, that was a faster recovery than I thought!)

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4 Responses to Am I afraid of 40?

  1. Ysharros says:

    I hate to say this, but I don’t think Sigmar’s Hammer actually benefits from rest xp — at least, it didn’t last time I was there (before Xmas). Oddly enough, the guild tavern isn’t part of Altdorf proper. Zone in and out and watch for the rest messages, and you’ll see what I mean (assuming it’s still the same as it used to be).

    As for maxing out levels… it’s not something I’ve done very often (though I *have* done it), so I’m not much of one for giving advice. I’d probably have a char sat on the cusp just like you do, wondering if I really want to look over that final hill.

  2. Schlotzky says:

    NOOOOooooooooo…. Oh, the irony…. Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to check her out when I get the chance. Though it is so very intimidating I’m not sure I care one way or the other right now…

  3. scribbler says:

    nice article, i definitely think WaR has far less incentive to max level than other MMO’s like WoW which basically shut off alot of the game to anyone not max level.
    Atm im level 30 on my DoK and im far happier to RvR and enjoy myself despite the poor xp gain than quest grind.

    I liked your L4D writeup too, i love that game and i would personally love to see a mmo which tried to use procedurally generated content as dynamically as L4D does.

  4. Schlotzky says:

    I agree that the WAR experience while leveling seems to be better than that of other MMOs I’ve played, and I think a lot of that has to do with the options available. Having a nice mix of ORvR, scenarios, and questing keeps things interesting. Not to mention all the different classes with the different play mechanics that encourage trying out a few alts.

    That’s an interesting idea with the procedurally generated MMO…Diablo the MMO? That would be a cool concept though – it would be nice to see someone try.

    Thanks for stopping by, and the compliments! 🙂

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