Once again, we decided to go with the poll-less choices this time around. I worked off of some great advice from the comments to realize where I should be in the game and what I should be doing next.
Once I hit Impetusium, I decided I would spend the next few levels there, grinding away at the coin quests until I hit level 20. While this is just about what I did, I didn't hit level 20 yet. Yes, I know, I know... I promised. But I just didn't make it. That's not really to say that I didn't have fun, or that the leveling wasn't quick by doing that quest. I'm just not a big fan of mindless grinding for that long. So I opted to do other things.
Grinding that coin quest did get me from level 17 to18, but then I found myself in desperate need of a scenery change. Going east through the Black Claw Village wasn't really an option for me at that level (or at least my level as a Spiritmaster, combined with my impatient playstyle), so I opted to go back and clean up a few other lingering quests.
I headed back to Altgard to venture out of the eastern gate and try my hand at the continuation of the main storyline quests. I finished up the next one in the line -- complete with my very own Black Claw disguise (see right), but you know what? I couldn't stop thinking about how much easier it was to just grind that coin quest some more. Plus, I was making a killing on the loot drops from those Cyclone and Bladestorm Spirits. It was nice to have a definite cash flow and some guaranteed XP.
My name is Shawn and I'm a grinder. There, I said it. I'm certainly not saying I prefer the grind over other game mechanics, but I found myself falling into the mindset that grinding isn't really so bad -- mainly because it allows me to multitask a bit easier.
But the point here is that it was rewarding, to an extent. I certainly was able to get the guaranteed kinah and XP flow, but it's still something a human being can't really tolerate for very long. Is that the reason I didn't make it to 20 this week? Probably not. Quite the opposite, in fact. I probably wouldn't even be 19 if I had to rely on questing and running past swarms of mobs during my limited play time. But it worked and it got me where I am. Somehow, it feels dirty, though.
A definite upside to this week was my first real social interaction in the game! That's right, yours truly is finally in a guild. Or, sorry... legion.
One day late last week I connected to find my mailbox icon lit up, meaning I had unread mail. With no mailbox in the greater Impetusium metropolitan area, I opted to just wait. There were Wind Spirits to kill, after all! But the player who sent those messages soon PMed me to ask if I got what she sent. Lunarfrost and I talked for a good bit, about the game, about how severely under-equipped I was and how much I really need a legion. I waved goodbye to the Wind Spirits and made my way to a mailbox to find some of the most gorgeous and useful equipment I'd ever owned in this game.
I was also invited to their legion: South of Heaven
. Turns out these guys are pretty serious players, so it's certainly an honor being among their ranks. Unfortunately, my playtime was severely limited after I got into the legion, but I really look forward to grouping up with the new guildies and seeing what this game is all about. I'm honestly having fun so far and I can't wait to see what else lies ahead for me.
So what will I do next? That's up to you, of course! I encourage all of you to jump in those comments and let me know my next course of action. Should I finish up the Altgard map and move on to Morheim? Should I stop worrying about leveling so darn fast and explore some of the other aspects of this game? You decide!
If you want to join up with me or just say hi, throw a tell to Sargyen if you see me on. With today's 1.9 patch going live very soon, I look forward to next week's article when I can report on the changes I've seen. I'll also try to get a bit of player input as to their feelings on those changes and if they're for the best or not.