In games (especially in MMOs with linear progression) I expect that certain content will be ‘locked’ behind levels. Things like raid content especially. Then there are games that seem to lock everything behind obtaining some magical number, and those games I’m not quite as fond of. I feel that locking content, behind levels in specific, deters a certain group of gamers who may otherwise enjoy that aspect of the game and continue to play because of it.
Lets take housing for example. In WildStar housing is locked behind obtaining level 14. Now, that’s not a huge amount of leveling in the grand scheme of things, but then there are fabkits and other useful housing items that are also level locked. Even some decor is locked behind a level. Motivating people to play your way is one method of doing things, sure, but for the truly casual gamer all this will do is deter them from sticking around.
In games like EQ2 housing (in specific) is not restricted by level. Casual and hardcore alike are free to decorate to their hearts content starting at level 1. Aspects of housing, are of course locked. For example if you want the best of the best, you’ll need to work towards it. Working towards it does not always include leveling or adventuring. It could include finding methods of earning in-game currency in order to afford the items you want, or hiring players who are level appropriate to obtain rare items for you. There are workarounds to getting what you want.
How do you feel about games locking content behind levels? Does it have to be this way? Does it not matter to you any more because it’s simply the way things have always been? When World of Warcraft released Warlords I was pretty excited about garrison, but then I saw how locked behind leveling they were. It’s great for your main and your first run through the content, but what about all those alts who wanted to have a garrison too.
Is there a point to playing games where everything is just handed to you and there is no progression locked behind levels? Even Sims 4 has gone the rout of locked content where you need to level up your skills before obtaining certain house items – though this can be bypassed with cheats at least.
I love crafting. It doesn’t matter what game I play, chances are I’m going to get involved. That doesn’t mean I like every type of crafting though. One of my least favourite crafting methods is the one you find in World of Warcraft, where you click one button to combine, and wait around until everything in your inventory is used up. It feels very hands free, and it’s meant to be that way. The ‘hard’ part involves collecting the resources, usually through combat (if you’re going to collect it yourself) and adventuring.
My absolutely favourite way to craft, was in Vanguard. Crafting was its own sphere, and did not rely on adventuring at all. You could do work orders where you were given the supplies you needed and only had to purchase the vendor sold components, and this was the ideal way to level, saving your hard earned harvests for actual useful items. It was difficult, complicated, and you would take pride in your creations. Through the use of powders and dusts you could customize every piece a bunch of different ways, and of course you could make pieces more rare than others. One of the best things about this system for me personally was that it wasn’t timed, like it is in EQ2. In EQ2 I feel like I have to constantly sit at the craft bench and not step away to answer the phone or go get the door, because my craft will fail. It’s a timed mechanic, and while I enjoy the process of crafting, I dislike being so tied to the desk as I craft. Sometimes I need to step away.
Crafting in WildStar is complex, but I feel it leans too much on the side of RNG rather than skill. I don’t like having to compete with RNG, because I typically (always) lose. ArcheAge crafting matches that of World of Warcraft, where it’s just a finger click to combine items in your inventory, so long as you have the materials available. There is a bit of RNG as you have a chance to “auto upgrade” an item as you craft it, but the system isn’t complex by any means.
So what are your favourite methods of crafting? Would you prefer to buy from crafters and not create your own items? Players who choose to harvest and sell those goods to crafters can make a nice amount of money in a balanced game, spending the money they earn from selling craft components back on crafters for their finished goods. Of course if you’re like me you have to DO ALL THE THINGS and so you’re both a crafter and an adventurer.
Since most of my time in EverQuest 2 is spent boxing two accounts, one of the things I tend to do is try to come up with combinations of characters to play together. Some combinations work better than others and of course now that there are mercenaries in game the combinations are much more flexible than they once were. My main ‘go to’ combination has been my swashbuckler (main account) and fury (boxed account). I some times alternate with the shadowknight from my main account, but my swashbuckler (for the most part) is able to do just fine.
I also have a tank (or two) on the second account so that I can play it alongside a healer from my main account. I haven’t done that in a while, but my typical combinations include the paladin (boxed account) with my defiler (main account). Then I also have a bunch of support classes for when I want to play with friends and we already have a healer / tank. Again, since there are mercenaries these days it doesn’t really matter WHAT people are playing, but I like to have a healthy selection available.
I still have two characters who are not 95 on my main account (they include a warden and a ranger) so I may work on getting them there before the expansion comes out in November. I’m not exactly in a rush, but it’s nice to feel ‘completed’. I do also have a handful of characters that could use some love on the boxed account, but like most alts, they’re not a priority.
If you box what combination of characters do you usually use? Is it because you’re most comfortable playing those classes or because you think they work well together or perhaps some other reason? I always love hearing back from people who box, I know there used to be quite a few of us but I think with the release of mercenary that number may have dwindled some.
In any case, let me know in comments! As always, happy gaming no matter where you find yourself.
I love my swashbuckler but she’s not exactly great DPS when it comes to single target encounters. In a lot of dungeons the boss encounter is a single target you need to DPS against. That being said, tonight I decided why not try an assassin. I’ve never played one before (I know, with all of my alts that is hard to believe) and so I boosted one with station cash to 85, and then took her through a few dungeons before calling it a night (I do have to work at midnight after all).
Level 89 later, I enjoy the class quite a bit, plus the heroic characters get some pretty neat looking armor (pictured above). I also dragged my paladin along for the fun, and she managed to reach 340 aa (the current cap is 350). The amount of experience it takes to get from 340-350 aa is quite insane. Right now only my swashbuckler has met that requirement.
I decided to 3 box it tonight. I was playing a berserker, my paladin, and the assassin. Granted one of the three didn’t actually DO much (it’s hard to swap between all the accounts, I only have two monitors) but I didn’t do too bad. It was nice to be able to use the 3rd account as the main tank so that it didn’t matter what two other characters I played. Normally I have to play a tank / something else combination because my squishy characters can’t really hold their own. So it ends up being my shadowknight or my paladin combined with whatever I feel like working on. With the berserker I have a bit more freedom. I know, the last thing I needed was yet another alt, but eh, why not.
I love alts. When I’m not in the mood to do anything on a main character, or when I’m frustrated with progression, those are the characters I turn to. They don’t always make it to the end game, but quite a few of them do because I love playing them so much. The screenshot above is my 2nd account, and Blesse is my latest alt to make it to level 95, a monk. I used to have a monk on my main account but I ended up deleting it for one reason or another. Probably so I could create another alt.. that’s the problem with limited character slots.
Monks are great. They can run around zones and just feign off the aggro, they can go shiny harvesting without too many issues, and they’re just plain fun to watch. Of course it can also be frustrating to get a character up to level 95 because if you want to be any ‘good’ you have to do their epic and then invest in a bunch of expert / master quality spells which can get very expensive very fast – but they’re still a lot of fun.
So what characters am I sitting with at the moment? Well on my main account I have:
- 95 defiler / 95 tailor
- 95 shadowknight / 95 sage
- 95 inquisitor / 95 jeweler
- 95 dirge / 95 alchemist
- 95 coercer / 95 carpenter
- 95 illusionist / 95 provisioner
- 95 swashbuckler / 95 weaponsmith
- 91 ranger / 95 armorer
- 91 warden / 95 woodworker
And on the second account I have:
- 95 Beastlord
- 95 Monk
- 95 Paladin
- 95 Fury
- 48 Coercer
- 33 Channeler
- 50 Necromancer
None of the characters on my second account craft, but that may change in time, I haven’t decided yet. I enjoy having at least one of every crafter (these days I think many people do) and I like being able to do the weekly / daily quests on them (the crafting ones). Do I like it enough to do it THAT many times? Not yet.
Keep in mind these are characters that I have made and leveled up over the course of 10 years (7 years for the 2nd account) so they’re not something that I just dove in head first this year to create. I’m a bit better in other games, but in EQ2 at least I have always had a lot of alts. I find it so relaxing when I just don’t want to deal with anyone (it has been one of those weeks, what can I say).
As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!