Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Levelling. My characters. Some speculation.

Where do people appear to find the time??? I'm referring to those leet level 60 characters that are already milling around in Ironforge that you've only just reached for the first time. And the server isn't a month old.

Kinless took me pretty far in the game. He quested through most of Stranglethorn Vale and had just started the tasks in Tanaris. But his trips to the Auction House in Ironforge were fraught with lag, and then, for the first time, he would have to queue to actually enter the realm! (Yep. Blizzard has something here. This World of Warcraft would do well. Look at all the players.)

And so new realms were to appear in the Warcraft multiverse, to borrow an idea from Michael Moorcock. Unfortunately there are no heroes that can cross from one realm to the other ... well at will. (The overrun of Smolderthorn, a new realm, by the elite veterans of Skullcrusher, an original realm, was quite a shock. Imagine encountering freakishly deadly Paladins. That's an oxymoron.)

Anyway, when these new realms appeared they included several PvP servers. I created a character on Frostmane and as I attempted to log on ... another queue! The goldrush was on. I waited a few days and then gained entrance. Darkhand, the Night Elf Rogue, began his career.

It was a mob scene. Elves were running rampant throughout the Tree. The boar and tiger populations took quite a hit that day my friends, let me tell you.

But Darkhand took it in stride and move out and onward. About the time I reached level 5 there was talk on the general chat channel of people seen that were level 30. Before I left the tree a few days later, characters on mounts had appeared.

Somehow the four-five hours I was playing a night was not nearly good enough. From some bizarre dimensional rift players were finding spare hours to somehow level their characters at rates approaching the speed of light.

Shame on me. I was actually attempting to do all the quests. The secret appears to be: quests aren't the answer. The early quest rewards are not worth the time lost running around doing them. Grinding and farming were the secret. Go out with empty bags and cut down green level monsters until your bags were full. Return to base, auction and vendor the things you've gotten, and repeat. You pretty much do that right up to 60. Minimize downtime and earn xp while you earn cash.

And I can attest to that. Kinless did a lot of solo work, and concentrated on his skinning and leatherworking. At level 48 he's 300 in skinning and could well be 300 in leatherworking too. (Perhaps not since he's started the Tribal Leatherworking quest series. He chose that speciality for the cool looking armor pieces, not because it would improve his hunting ability any.) If the quests weren't mostly farming (i.e. the hunting quests in STV) he did not do them. That's why at level 48 he has less reputation in the several factions than Darkhand did at 28.

Quests are a timesink that slow down levelling. But my characters on the PvP servers have studiously done all the quests because reputation has value and the story is important.

Too, lots of characters are a timesink as well.

Characters I have and play/played:

On Argent Dawn, RP server
o Kinless, level 48 Night Elf Hunter, skinning/leather
o Kinsman, level 16 Night Elf Rogue
o Moonbeam, level 16 Night Elf Druid, herbalist/alchemy
o Schaden, level 12 Gnome Rogue, skinning/engineering
o Bohemond, level 12 Human Paladin, mining/blacksmithing

These are all inactive. All too often one gets the queue waiting to log onto Argent Dawn.

On Frostmane, PvP server
o Darkhand, level 45 Night Elf Rogue, mining/engineering
o Bohemond, level 25 Human Paladin, mining/blacksmithing
o Msaker, level 22 Night Elf Druid, skinning/leatherworking
o Rogier, level 6 Gnome Warrior

On Smolderthorn, PvP server
o Darkhoof, level 60 Tauren Shaman, herbalist/alchemist
o Darbanville, level 22 Undead Priest, tailor/enchanter
o Oddity, level 29 Orc Warrior, mining/blacksmith
o Denada, level 20 Troll Rogue, skinning/mining
o Lakota, level 14 Tauren Druid, skinning/leatherworking
o Xojak, level 14 Undead Mage, mining/engineering

On Emerald Dream, RP-PvP server
o Dreamrunner, level 29 Night Elf Druid, skinning/leatherworking
o Bohemond, level 15 Human Paladin, mining/blacksmithing
o Nightsown, level 14 Night Elf Warrior, mining/blacksmithing
o Garbanzo, level 5 Gnome Mage, will be mining/engineering

Okay. That's it. Honest.

Okay, you got me. I have space left for 3 on Smolderthorn and that will be some new Blood Elf characters.

And on Emerald Dream I'm hoping the new race will the Worgen. Accursed humans of Gilneas who have sealed themselves behind the Graymane Wall to avoid the plague that has otherwise overrun Silverpine and Tirisfal Glade, but yet still succumbed to another plague, that released by Arugal in neighboring Moonbrook. Perhaps in their isolation the Gilneans have devised a means to control their lycanthropy and the new race will be Human that can transform into Worgen at will. (Similar to the Druid transformation into a Moonkin form.) One can only hope.

Many think the Blood Elves were given to the Horde to help balance play. Few would play Horde because of the ugly races. So give them a pretty race and the sides will balance out some.

And that means the Alliance will have to get an ugly race. The Draenai were mentioned once. They are from Draenor, like the Orcs and Ogres, but were their enemies. You can find them now in a village in the Swamp of Sorrows. They are pug ugly.

Furbolg's is what I've recently heard. And if you've been to Ashenvale, Winterspring, and Azshara, this is viable. You have the Timbermaw Tribe with which either side can become friendly now. And if you do, when you travel to Azshara, there is a huge concentration of them near where one finds the Blood Elves up in the north. These are ugly enough and fit in well with the whole Emerald Dream slant the expansion will be moving towards.

The developers have promised that the race is already in the game, and everyone will go "Huh?!" when it is revealed as the next alliance race.

Anyway, that's just rumors I've read.


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