I know how it is. You just want to get through this level. Higher level, maybe better skills, spells and equipment, access to new adventure areas — it has tremendous appeal.
And heaven help you if it’s the last level … despite volumes of mathematical evidence to the contrary, that last level takes 49 years longer than any level before. This is why raising the max level in a MMOG should be considered a gaming felony. Raising the max more than once … Class X Felony. (EverQuest, I’m looking in your direction here.)
If I can pass on one kernel of gaming wisdom to any n00bs out there, it is this: a watched experience bar never dings. I know, it’s tempting! Save yourself some grief, don’t look.
While I’m on the subject, the following mind games don’t pass the time any faster either:
– Don’t look for X number of minutes and try to guess how far you are.
– Estimate the number of mobs to kill before the ding and count the mobs instead.
– Estimate the number of minutes until the ding or per experience bar segment, then check for accuracy.
– Sketch out a graph with periodic intervals for level completion, shading in the intervals as you go.
I know, I’ve tried them all. (And more!)
Here’s my short list for finishing a particularly nasty, and elusive, level:
Stop watching. Are you even hearing me? Stop looking.
We have met the enemy and it is downtime. Load up on combat supplies. Take care of any game errands ahead of time, because you won’t be back to town until the deed is done. Death is to be avoided AT ALL COSTS, even if it means you run away from a camp with your arms flailing in the air like a dandy. Pride is a luxury you cannot afford right now.
This is no time for roleplaying winky dinks. You could quest your way through a tough level, you could raid your way through, you could even roleplay for the crowd. (I thought you wanted to be done?) Just grind it out. Set up in a spawn-rich camp and kill. There is no substitute.
The fine line. Choose your grind area wisely. Every game, every level I’ve ever suffered through, the best grinds were ordinary, unnamed, non-elite, non-boss spawns with plenty of ’em. Named and elites hit too hard for the experience awarded. And they cheat with spells, skills and equipment beyond their level. (hackers!)
Sharing is for kids. If this wasn’t so serious, of course I’d advocate sharing, helping your fellow player, buffing the noobs that wander nearby, blah blah. This is war! There’ll be plenty of time for positive server relations later. Unless your class absolutely cannot solo, or with a reasonable degree of effectiveness, don’t bring any e-friends along — they’ll just slow you down.
Well, unless they’re willing to sit ungrouped at the grind camp (SILENTLY) and buff your ass every few minutes — if they can be tricked into that, I highly recommend it.
And what about interlopers? You’ve spent all this time finding the perfect grind area, you cleared, you timed the spawns, you have a safe pull area, then here comes Lobotomy Legolas to mess with your camp. Why should YOU move? Moving is downtime. (Downtime bad.) Sure, if you can move over 20 feet and make room, do that. Maybe try reasoning with him. (ya, that will work.) I just go straight to blunt, /t lobotomy trying to finish a level here.
When that fails (and it always does), I … how to say? … encourage the mobs to chase the intruder away (to the graveyard). Heh, au revoir, asshat.
There is no real life. Goes without saying, but get your house in order before you set up at camp. Real life distractions = downtime. (Downtime bad.) Lock the kids in their bedroom with a stack of R-rated DVD’s, load up the minifridge with refreshments, and for the love of Keeeyrist, don’t waste your time out here on the web looking at porn or reading blogs.
You get distracted, that interloping asshat returns after his graveyard visit, you alt-tab back to game … DEAD! Well that’s another 20 minutes out of your life.
Of course, WRITING in a blog would be far worse. I won’t go into it though — I still have 3 bubbles of experience before a big ding and should get back to the grind.
(Ya. I looked.)