Leveling Ain’t So BadMarch 22, 2010
Now that I’ve finally gotten Dragon Age out of my system, I’m back to my online games. My progress in Star Trek Online is coming along nicely, and the rank of Admiral is almost within reach. My progress in Age of Conan, on the other hand, is in need of a little boost.
Leveling has never been my strong suit, especially when the experience gain tends to slow waaaaay down once you reach the last twenty levels or so. The first character in any game is also always the hardest, since you have no flipping clue where anything is. But I’m still determined to keep going, especially when I see my maxed-level guildies talk about their experiences in endgame and the nice drops they’re getting from raids. I want to get there pretty badly, but I need a little more more motivation than that. So far, mental visualization techniques and chanting “Must…get…to…level…80!” over and over to myself in my head have done diddly-squat.
Some things I’ve found that do help me:
1. Grab a friend. This is why my husband and I always level together whenever we can. Companionship always livens up the experience, and it’s especially helpful when you’re leveling as a healing class, like I am in AoC. Handling multiple mobs is less of a nightmare when you have a partner, and most of the time your friend will be grateful for a personal healer helping them keep an eye on their health.
2. Chat on vent. Whenever I look for a guild, I always make sure they have voice chat. Being able to talk to others is a great diversion when you’re doing the level grind. It’s fun when you can share an experience about the particular quest you’re doing, or tell someone about an awesome drop/reward you just got, or just listen to people’s stories in general to keep your mind off the ridiculous amount of XP you still need until you ding.
3. When there’s not a soul around, I pop in a movie or a TV show and the hours just fly by. The great thing about MMORPGs is that you don’t always need to be concentrating on what’s happening on the screen, not like you would have to in a shooter or something. Lately, I’ve been watching episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series, but the other show I really like to watch while playing games is Bones. Then there are those nights where I’ll just put on my treasured copy of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and play it on a loop while I level.
4. I have a couple of other things I do to make leveling feel less like a chore, silly things I do in order to fool my brain. For example, seeing an empty experience bar as soon as you log in is a pretty crappy feeling, so whenever I can I’ll try to end a play session only when I’ve passed the halfway point in my level. This way, I’ll be able to see that another level is just right around the corner the next time I sit down to the game. Asinine as it sounds, it does help quite a bit to motivate me psychologically.
5. If it’s already a little late in the day and I happen to finish all the quests I have in an area, I’ll usually log out before I go on to the next zone, to save it for the next time I play again. The reason for this is also a bit silly, but nothing trumps the excitement of being able to explore a brand new place, no matter how depressingly far I am away from the next level. And when it comes to AoC, I know there will be more than a few pretty sights waiting for me.