That’s right, we are one of THOSE couples. The kind that controls their experience gain so they can do the big ding together and take screenshots of the occasion to look back and go “aww” and say “sweetheart, do you remember when?” and all that lovey dovey crap. So saccharine and sickly sweet, guaranteed to rot your teeth and make bystanders want to throw buckets of cold water at us!
The journey to level 50 took almost two months playing at a medium, semi-casual pace. In terms of total time played, it took approximately 6 days and 4 hours. I’d say Trion did a pretty good job of pacing the game; it’s a pretty reasonable time frame — not too long and not too short. On the other hand, I’m sure if I hadn’t been constrained by a pesky spousal leveling contract, I might have hit the levelcap sooner. See, I think I’m more into this game than the mister. Recently, he’d been splitting his game time between Rift and Crysis 2, and I had to adjust accordingly. God help me from the spouse aggro I incur if I even try to log on to do some foraging without him!
Looking back, what amazes me is that I never ran out of things to do. I didn’t encounter any of the major problems that have led me to quit new games in the past — mainly grind and not having enough content. In fact, there were two whole zones I had to skip completely — Moonshade Highlands and Iron Pine Peak — simply because questing and rifting in Droughtlands, Shimmersand and Stillmoor was plenty enough to get me from late 30s to 50.
Speaking of quests and rifts, yes, the former can be a bit dry, but on the whole I didn’t mind doing them. There were actually quite a few interesting story quests at higher levels, and whenever questing got tedious, we simply broke up the monotony with a little rifting. Every time (with very little exception) a zone-wide invasion occurred, we would drop everything and participate. And just like that, the levels flew by.
So, now what? Well, I remember doing a lot of research when I first decided to get this game. With so many MMOs flooding the market these days, it’s time to be a little more choosy. I knew I wanted something I could play for the long term, and not just because I’m looking for a new MMO to call home, but also because I just didn’t feel like jumping around from game to game anymore, and having a ton of characters spread out all over the place, all languishing in the lower to mid-levels. I told myself the next time I consider shelling out for a box and a monthly sub for a new game, I had better be willing to go all the way. No quitting and ditching yet another character, eternally sentencing her to a life of a lowbie, never to see play again.
Thus I weighed in carefully on my purchase of Rift and felt pretty confident afterwards, but of course there was still a chance that it might not be for me. No matter, a commitment’s a commitment and a goal’s a goal — I was fully prepared to push myself to levelcap if I had to. Lucky for me, though, not once did I feel like I had to “force” myself to play Rift. In fact, I probably wanted to play more than I could. Honestly, the whole journey has been rather a pleasure.
Furthermore, now that I’ve reached level 50 in Rift, I haven’t lost my steam yet. I already have plans to do things like crafting, artifact hunting, achievement farming, rep grinding, exploring…everything that I’d wanted to do but couldn’t because I was concentrating on leveling. Guildies are turning 50 left and right this week as well, so there should be plenty of opportunities to run higher level instances.
The best part is, I can finally do all that and more at my own pace, since the spousal leveling contract dissolves at levelcap. Durr, it’s a leveling contract, after all. At last, nothing will hold me back from Rift! Finally, I’m free of the old ball-and-chai–er, I mean, in spite of the deep pain I would no doubt feel to be playing without my beloved, I am eager to go forth and explore my own individual potential.