July 26, 2009
Roses, Stop and Sniff!
Lately, I have noticed a trend in the Aion forums, and I fear that it might carry over to live. The way beta is currently being implemented it is reinforcing the habit rather than encouraging people to enjoy the game.
Do you remember leveling your very first MMORPG character? The feeling of “Oh! Wow!” and then running around not quite sure what you were supposed to do?
I do… I was the noob priest in WoW that first started killing wolves… And I figured “Oh hey, wolves, they’re going to attack me! I must fire first!” So I started attacking any that patted near me, multiple wolves at once. I was freaking out because I thought they would all aggro me and as a caster I wanted to get the first strike off because I already figured out my melee skills left much to be desired.
It was only a matter of time. I died. To mobs that would not have attacked me unless I attacked them first. Talk about feeling like a scrub when I realized that one!
I was a little concerned with catching up to my friends who had started a few months back, but mostly I was having fun, goofing off, exploring the world and picking flowers. I was not trying to reach max level as soon as possible.
Now I’m in the Aion beta, and while I did enjoy the questing and gathering, I felt myself pushing to reach level cap for the beta weekend. I did not even manage to hit 25, the level cap for closed beta 4. However, I did realize I was falling into my alt leveling habits. I skipped reading quests, I rushed to complete what was in my log, and I started grinding to make it go faster. Reach cap fast! Skip the joy of leveling because you need to be the highest level now!
It took me over two months in World of Warcraft to reach cap, and I miss the “innocence” of those days. The joy I took in discovering a new waterfall or finding out I could take a boat to the other continent. By the time I reached level 50 in WoW, I was bored of the leveling process, I instance grinded my way through BRD to reach cap. When TBC and WotLK came out, I was tired of questing and tried to instance as much as possible.
Aion is not WoW. The campaign quests are epic. I need to learn to stop rushing and read the quests. They are interesting! They progress the story! I need to make a conscious effort to stop and sniff the roses and enjoy the process, to regain what little innocence to questing I can.
I think this applies to many people who have leveled multiple characters or even just one in any MMORPG.
Sit back, admire the scenery, you’ll get to max level in due time.