The Aion adventures continued this week throughout most of Altgard as my Spiritmaster now sits at a healthy level 17 (and a half!). Sure, it's not 20 just yet (where I'm told the fun "begins"), but I'm getting there.
Last week's poll-less comments seemed to work really well at this point in the game, so I'm going to repeat that method this week. The general consensus was that I need to just level as quickly as I can, so with the help of another double XP weekend, I did the best a grind-hating MMO player could do. Keep reading after the cut for more on my approach to level 20.
Moving past Basfelt Village this week, I was having a lot of fun questing through the Mosbear Habitat and Mumu Village. I finally made it to Trader's Berth, but not as far as Impetusium, as I still have a few lingering quests to finish up on the west side of Altgard.
I'm getting a real feel for how Aion is designed. Ultimately, I enjoy order in my life, so a linear progression of story, quests and map locations isn't such a bad thing to me. But at the same time, Richard Bartle's handy little test tells me I'm an explorer, which I definitely can't argue with. I like to see what lies just over that ridge and beyond that lake, but Aion doesn't really promote that type of gameplay at all. The amount of enemies standing around waiting to be killed is a bit much for someone who wouldn't mind walking 10 feet without aggro. To be fair, I hear this changes a bit in the next zone.
"SirNiko" had some words of wisdom, mostly reflecting what everyone else was saying: I need to level to have any fun. Apparently, Morheim is where it's at, and once I get into the Rifts, I imagine I'll be seeing more of the readers. I just hope you don't all play Elyos!
SirNiko also advised against concentrating too heavily on crafting, especially with my 6-week time frame. I'm a huge fan of crafting and the system in Aion seems comprehensive enough, but I don't think I'll do too much with it. Afterall, I NEED TO LEVEL.
"Stupid" (which seems to actually not be the case) advised on some points that really stuck with me. Although I didn't buy the level 13 crafted cloth armor as advised, I did utilize my manastone sockets. I had to chuckle when I read that he (or she) scoped out my character to see how embarrassingly ill-equipped I was. Rushing through the first dozen levels, I never paid attention to how helpful these manastones could be, but I've taken Stupid's advice and filled them with mostly Magic Boosts. Through quests I've received much better armor, and my manastones are varied now, but I'm trying to slot every Magic Boost stone I find.
The next part of Stupid's advice will be much of my goal this week: "Start thinking about Impetusium and the first repeatable [Coin] quest. The rewards are extremely poor quality (compared to crafted), but that quest offers a great place to mindlessly "grind" for a few levels, with great ROI. The 2-coin turning gives you a random piece of armor that can be sold on the trade broker for nearly 10,000 kinah. By simply repeating this easy quest, I usually hit level 20 with just under a million kinah in my warehouse."
Impetusium is right around the corner and I'm all for an easier way to level and make money. I look at the level grind through squinted eyes and gritted teeth, but I realize it's a necessary evil in this game and I'm willing to bite the bullet to experience more of the content. This entire column (and series) is meant to not only open up your eyes to new games, but also my own. So... I grind because I care! Or something.
So moving on from here, what would you like to see me do next? I'm setting my own goal of reaching at least level 20 and messing with the Impetusium coin quests by next Wednesday, but beyond that, I'm open to reader wisdom and advice.
Leave a comment below and feel free to join me any time in the game. Look for a scrawny Spiritmaster named Sargyen, sneaking his way past lines of Black Claw without drawing aggro. Or you can usually find me lying dead on the ground. Rez plz?