Theme Week - Turnabout Part 6A few people have asked me why I'm leveling so slowly.
Theoretically, most people could get to level 20 and well beyond in a handful of days. Levels really don't slow down until you get upwards of 40, so it really shouldn't be taking me this long.
You'd be right. I've taken new characters from 1 to 20 in less than a day.
Sure, I didn't sleep that day.
Or breathe more than was specifically required.
But it can be done.
The problem is that I have other requirements to my daily life that must be fulfilled in addition to this new project.
I have my daily employment that helps me provide my family with the basic necessities such as internet access and bacon.
I have my carefully cultivated addiction to leveling my main character.
Also, there's this little person who lives at my house and requires constant supervision to keep from killing herself with a plastic bag or Daddy's "happy juice".
This leaves very little time for me to actually level this damnable White Mage.
I assure you that it has absolutely nothing to do with me hating his stupid little guts.
Honestly, I never realized how much I had come to rely on the advantages of my own high level characters and my own high level friends.
Apparently, I had blocked out the memories of the soul-crushing early levels as viewed by a new player.
Funny how we tend to do that, huh?
It's a lot harder than I remember. When I look back at when I first started, all I remember is running through green fields and seeing lots of cute and fuzzy bunnies.
I mean murdering... Murdering lots of cute and fuzzy bunnies.
Sure, I still remember the hellish Dunes levels.
I have nightmares about them sometimes.
But it all seemed so much... Nicer in my memories.
Nothing brings this more to my mind than the arbitrary line in the sand of level 18: the subjob quest.
This is one of the things I always felt WoW lacked. I missed the idea of having a secondary job class to bolster the abilities of the first.
Plus, it has provided fuel for countless forum flame wars and, really, isn't that what's it all about?
The quest to get a subjob, however, is a gigantic pain in the ass.
Apparently, someone at SE decided that the best way to design this quest was to put the quest items on:
a) an enemy that everyone kills
b) an enemy that people don't necessarily kill
c) an enemy that is fear embodied for anyone under level 20
The first two don't bother me so much. Crabs are the target of choice for the majority of Dunes parties so getting that item is easy.
Sure, damselflies are a pain to fight (stupid glowy purple ball of death), but you'll probably kill enough of them to get your item.
Then there's the Ghouls...
Ghouls are the only mobs in Valkurm Dunes that drop the final item. They are also tremendously difficult to kill at the level where you need to kill them.
Think about that for a minute.
Pretty much the only reason anyone fights Ghouls is to get their subjob items.
Now, the easiest way to handle this is to get help from a high level friend (or wife) and have that friend (or wife) kill Ghouls while you make a sandwich and think deep thoughts about the nature of life and whether or not you could eat a whole pack of bacon before your heart exploded.
Unfortunately for me, I'm not allowed to ask for high level help.
Not that I'm blaming anyone for that.
Answer: You. I blame you.
Instead, I have to organize a ragtag band of hapless idiots into a Ghoul killing machine.
This is harder than it sounds.
It's hard enough to get a Dunes party that can actually kill crabs and crabs hardly put up a fight. They pretty much just stand there and splash water at you occasionally.
They're like the Magikarp of Vana'diel.
Now, you have to take that same barely functional group and try to get them to kill undead skeletons wielding dark magic that feed off their very life forces.
Good luck with that.
After countless (actual number: 6) failed attempts at forming a working Ghoul-killing group, I thought I had it down. My party managed to handle a Ghoul in a fairly efficient manner without anyone dying or wetting themselves.
That's a big deal in Valkurm.
So we spend a couple of hours getting everyone their subjob items. We all have the first two items which just leaves 6 magicked skulls.
Pretty soon, it's down to me and the tank left to get the item. Two more and we're done.
It's a good thing too because night was due to end very soon and we'd have to wait until dark again.
Yeah, they only come out in the dark. How incredibly convenient.
We tear our way through a Ghoul and, just as it's about to die, I see another Ghoul just over the next sand dune.
And, as luck would have it, the one we just finished killing dropped a skull.
Everyone else passes except the tank and I. We both lot and, in a very close race, he wins the skull.
I'm unhappy, but not overly as another Ghoul is standing right there.
He's right there.
I could spit on him if the devs ever listened to me and put in a spitting emote.
We're just about to charge headlong into battle when...
Tank>> Oh, sorry, guys.
Tank>> I have to go.
Just like that.
No time warning. No letting us know anything. He gets his item and then abandons us.
I'm in the middle of typing about the Ghoul standing at theoretical spitting distance when then icon above his head turns into a red ball.
More accurately, he faked a disconnect so that he could leave without looking like a total asshole.
Which, of course, made him look like a bigger asshole.
So, now I'm standing in the Dunes, in a party without a tank and no magicked skull.
Things couldn't possibly be worse.
For those of you unfamiliar with the term, "Aggro" is a word used to describe an enemy attacking a party member.
It is generally followed by a number of explanation points, as well as running and/or death.
I'll give you three guesses what happened.
If you answered "he made it to safety and then found a new tank and got his subjob item"...
Not really, no.
Basically, I got about three and a half feet before I was horribly raped by a skeleton.
This is when I coined a new term: SkullF&%@ed.
Rather fitting, don't you think?
I F&%@ing hate the dunes.