Tortoise and the Hare

So, yesterday’s Blue Milk & Cereal at Ask a Jedi got me thinking.

So, how are you planning to play your first character? More like the tortoise, or hare?

I haven’t answered that particular poll yet even though I usually jump at the chance to participate, because who doesn’t love polls? You want my opinion? Well, golly! I’d be happy to oblige.

When the question came up, however, I was completely unprepared. How am I going to handle leveling in the brand new and hopefully exciting SWTOR? Obviously, it will depend on TG’s wishes as well, as we much prefer to play MMOs together rather than to play them apart from each other. Regardless, the question still counts: Fast or slow? Race to max level or take your time experiencing?

Both options have their perks. It’s neat to be one of the few high levels around, but it would be so sad to completely skip over the exploration of this game. It’s one thing to race through a game you’ve seen a million times before. If it avoids that feeling of, “If I have to do That One Quest in That One Zone one more time I’ll throw myself out the window,” I’m totally game for rushing. But, in a brand new world? I don’t think I’m quite so game.

Talking through it here, it sounds like I’m obviously leaning toward The Tortoise. Is it weird that my leaning that way saddens me a little? The competitive part of me thinks that it would be completely ridiculous to take it slow. Why not try to win?

TG and I had a blast when we started fresh on a brand new WoW server, making a Mage and a Priest with the plan to AOE to max level. We got hung up at a few points, trying to find appropriate places to AOE, but we were keeping pace with even the goldfarmer characters (bots, perhaps?) and account sharers that never seemed to log off. Eventually, we even wound up leveling at the same camp that poor “Xiexie” was at (Pirates in Tanaris, for those curious). The pink-haired gnome threw up her Magely buffs and ran in to pull, only to be immediately wiped out by the mob of mobs that charged her. It was obvious why we’d caught up to her; it was either a very poorly-designed bot or a very-terribly-trained goldfarmer. Our assessment was given further evidence when she returned to do the exact same thing, three more times and tried to communicate with us. In Chinese.

This was back in the days before achievements, so there was no Realm First! to try for. There was no real reason to try to “win,” except feeding your own ego, I guess. We just wanted to see if we could do it. There’s so little benefit to going fast, that I know we’ll wind up taking SWTOR slowly out of excitement for the content. Hopefully the feeling of awe and exploration will overcome my competitiveness and my need to check who’s highest level right now. For all I know, we’ll start a pair of characters only to start over because they weren’t a great fit for us; it definitely wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened. It’s a brand new game with all new mechanics to learn.

Regardless of intended speed, however, I feel like we’ll go a bit more speedily than The Average Player, since we’ll just be putting more time in. We’ve got all day to play. My two biggest responsibilities in life right now are making sure that the dog has food and that this blog gets updated. (Hey, could someone feed the dog for me?)

[Photo Credit: spglum]

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About Amanda

Amanda is a 20-something flailing gamer. While she loves MMORPGs, the company in them often triggers flare-ups of her social anxiety. Her all-time favorite games include Everquest Online Adventures, Eternal Sonata, the Animal Crossing series, Katamari Damacy, and Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure. She lives on junk food, and her favorite books are equally trashy. She doesn't believe in putting two spaces after a period, but she does strongly believe in the serial comma. Unfortunately, she has a penchant for starting sentences with "and" and "but;" hopefully you won't hold that, or her excessive use of semicolons, against her.

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