As I have mentioned previously, I had a pretty long break from EQ2 that included a long period of not playing MMOs, and then playing WoW for a couple of months. The Kunark-era AA cap of 140 is where I was nearing when I took my break. That cap was shattered with TSO, bringing the cap to 200. And SF raised it to 250. Being over 100 AAs behind the curve isn’t an easy place to start from, though a better point than a brand new toon. So I’ve been making up for lost time.
- I have since brought my Brigand from 135 (or so) AAs, to 151. I’m nearing 152 as of yesterday, and will gain that today (likely after this post). No, this isn’t a huge amount of AAs gained. Actually it’s pretty pathetic overall, but if we analyze how these few AA were accomplished, we’ll get to the meat and potatoes portion of this post.
- My leveling has been even slower, having only procured 5 levels in the same amount of time. All of this is due to the methods of my gaming as of late, and because of splitting time up between several toons, rather than really focusing on just one.
The reason my experience gain (Adventure and AA) has been so slow is because I decided that I wanted to clear some older quests out of my journal. I wanted Kunark to be relatively done, and was surprised to find that I actually missed a nice little chunk of JW quests. I also wanted to complete all the quest lines in the Moors before moving on to the newest content. I did dabble in SF for a while, but not long enough to get sucked in. Because of all of these old quests lay uncompleted, there was a lot of AA to gain, but because of the quests’ age, grouping wasn’t going to be a factor. And because I feel like I need to complete this older content first, I’m not grouping in the newer content (save for on a couple rare occasions). Basically, I’m not doing all that I can to maximize my xp gain. If I was really pushing I could have been level 90 by now on my Brigand at least, possibly my Paladin as well. But there is a method to my madness.
I figure I won’t be grouping in the newer zones with the low amount of AA I already have, especially with all of it within my grasp, and solo-able. I also need gear upgrades to compete. I know I could probably get into some groups anyhow (especially with guildies), but I don’t like feeling like I’m not contributing in some way. I prefer to be the guy that people remember for being a great tank or for putting out the big numbers. Reputation still has its merits. So I’ve made an effort to improve before hindering groups I could potentially get.
Because of the sheer number of quests that lay before me, grinding them out can get a little tiresome. I found finishing off Kunark went quickly enough, but questing in the Moors has been tedious. The drab colors and overall icky feeling of the zone just drains me. I can honestly say it’s my least favorite zone in the game. I can’t speak for the dungeons though, so hopefully they’re cool. What little bit of SF that I did see was a reprieve from the Moors. I’ll be happy to have the quests in that zone done and over with, and I’m sitting at about 50% of the way through the lines. So my play time has bounced to other characters.
After finishing off my T1 shard armor set on the Brigand, I started working towards my Paladin’s set. He got his first piece already, and the second one will be made today. So I’m hoping that he will have his full set before hitting level 80, so that blazing through the quests in Kunark and TSO will go even faster for him. This will be coupled with the fact that my Brigand will undoubtedly be at level 90 before he reaches 80, so he’ll also get 10% bonus xp. Just from doing shard runs my Paladin has netted almost 4 levels, inching ever closer to 78. He may hit 80 from those alone.
I have strayed from my lowbie toons, my Sister and her boyfriend having surged into their 40s, leaving my Defiler in the dust. I didn’t want to devote that much time to a lowbie anyhow. My Wizard is still sitting dormant, only having been played a couple of days when I came back to the game. Upon the Halas release, I created a new Dirge, my first female toon. I’ve always felt strange knowing the female toon I was playing with was really a guy. I tried and failed making females in the past. This time one made it through, and is sitting at level 12 in the Frostfang Sea. I didn’t quite finish the whole island, but saw enough to know that I love it as a starter zone. More impressive was New Halas, impressive enough for my to move my Paladin from his long-time Qeynos home. Now if I could just find some time to unpack…
Now, I mentioned that I had been spreading my time around toons, and that if I was to concentrate on a single toon I would undoubtedly level faster. To combine these two ideas is a contradiction (though it’s the kind of on-again off-again play-style I’ve been favoring), so I formulated a plan to get things done in a more timely fashion. This plan is based mostly on AA gain, but I do want to be level 90 so I can see the top-tier stuff also. This plan is also based on efficiency, highlighting the xp gains from having max level characters.
Because my Brigand is my highest level character, he’s the obvious choice for taking to max level. My only torment is that I’d really love to max out my Paladin because of how awesome they’ve become. But, sticking to my guns, I will level my Brigand first. He will be maxed out in 5 levels, so I don’t have a huge amount of work in front of me. I will continue to plug away on quests for AA and xp, self-mentor for hidden named and dungeons I had not yet visited, and hopefully, occasionally get groups in T9 content. After having leveled the Brigand to 90, I will then start plugging away on my Pally, and the journey should be a little faster. When both toons are 90, then I will play them situationally, and opportunistically for gear upgrades, while playing lowbies (who will be gaining a 20% bonus to xp) to keep me from getting too bored.
It seems like in the past I would get discouraged from playing when I got sick of playing the one character, whereas now I’ve found a love for different aspects of the game, and the min/maxer in me isn’t complaining too loudly. Let’s see where this can go.