Monday, September 20, 2010

Starting a Human

I tried an experiment in leveling a Human Paladin in WoW on the Eitrigg server (marked for new players) by avoiding the quests and professions, showing that Blizzard has made the starting areas so simple that the quests are not necessary for leveling. I was doing about 5,000 experience per hour just killing things, about the same rate as I do while completing quests. I noticed that the early quests have so little experience that it takes about the same amount of time to kill stuff as it does to complete the quests. I got up to level 6 doing no quests, then tried the quest to kill wolves and bears. One problem with that quest is that you kill many more wolves than needed because the wolf population is much higher than the bear population. You search for bears for a long time, especially on the "newbie" servers where the population is higher in the starting areas and players are competing for the same quests. The experience from the quest is about 600, while each wolf or bear gives you 90. You might as well kill 5 or 6 more wolves to get the 600 experience. It takes almost as much time to run back and forth for the quest. My character ended up with just about all starting equipment, rather than the quest rewards, but the quest items are so paltry that it doesn't make much difference. I can use a gold-digging-banking-auctioning alt to buy or find stuff to twink him anyway. The experiment also demonstrates that leveling a character can be done fast without leveling professions and doing quests. The secret is to keep killing one monster after another, not walking any great distances. You have to find where the monster population is thick and heavy. One huge disadvantage to leveling a character by grinding is that it is terribly boring.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

PTR play

Playing on the PTR for WoW gave me an explanation of sorts for the faster health recovery for characters below level 15. In the new scenario, a Paladin does not have any self-healing before level 9. Even Seal of Righteousness and its Judgment do not have self-healing, unlike the current version. The new healing mechanism to replace the two current ones is not learned until level 9. Instead, all character classes are given self-healing out of combat. That is not a bad thing. I have always liked self-healing for any character and missed self-healing on classes that do not have any. All classes are getting a total revamp in talents, so the player will have to choose a specialty, fill that specialty with 31 points, then choose where the rest of the points will go. Limiting talent choices that way seems fairly logical for players who have experience with the game, but I am not sure how new players will react to that change. Experienced players know where they want to go with a character build, but new players may still have to experiment.

Friday, September 17, 2010

So much for Darkfall

A few weeks ago, I successfully downloaded the Darkfall client after a few attempts at getting a working copy. It was a big disappointment to me that the game did not play well with my computer at all. The problem may be my outdated hardware -- the old NVIDIA card or the old CPU -- but it is amazing that Blizzard and NCSoft and Turbine and Sony games seldom give me problems. Darkfall played like I was in a vat of molasses and could not get out. The responses were so slow that it seemed to take a minute before my hits connected, and by then my character was dead. I did try a few settings to see if I could correct the problem, but the attempts failed. I gave up.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Leveling experience

With the latest patches (3.3.0 through 3.3.5), leveling a character in WoW has become very easy in the early stages (before level 15). These patches make leveling so easy, they make all leveling guides written before the patches outdated and unrealistic. One big change is the health recovery rate of a character below level 15. It is immediately obvious on creating a new character that health recovers at a very fast rate, making health recovery of any kind unnecessary out of combat. I wonder why all characters don't have a better health recovery rate, but that would change the nature of the game, making first aid, eating and drinking unnecessary.