Thursday, July 2, 2009
This is the last weekend of the year's Midsummer Fire Festival in World of Warcraft. Though the holiday achievements were buggy as usual, the event remains a great time for leveling alts. I dusted off Cheerydeth The Third and gained about 5 levels entirely from exploring the world, unlocking almost all of the old world flight paths, and visiting bonfires. She will sign off with half of the Festival achievements, the pet, and one of the outfit pieces in case I want to pursue the holiday again next year.
(Why, you might ask, would I voluntarily spend that much time - during which I could have been gaining even faster exp by questing and killing mobs - traveling despite all my frequent complaints on the topic? I don't mind traveling and exploring when that's my actual goal. I had a fair amount of fun trying to dodge some pretty tough mobs - especially those pesky Timbermaw Furbolgs - at a rather low level. Travel is only annoying when I have to sit and watch my character return to locations I have previously reached instead of doing something else that I actually want to be doing.)
What, besides the intrusion of real life, could compete with all of that? Well, it turns out that EQ2 is also holding a bonus weekend, including tradeskill exp and a never-before-seen bonus to AAXP.
Comparing Two Bonuses
The Fire Festival has various advantages over EQ2's bonus. For one thing, it was announced in advance and does not fall entirely within a holiday weekend (during which players may have off-line commitments). It also contains actual new content (along with the aforementioned bugs), where EQ2's version simply ups the rewards for existing content. Still, EQ2's version is likely to win the weekend's battle for my keyboard.
The fact is, I'm just not all that interested in leveling yet another WoW alt. It turns out that the chase for heirlooms is merely a convenient excuse to continue running the occasional 5-man instance, which I still enjoy despite long since claiming all the relevant rewards. I've got four level-ready alts parked at various points on the exp curve, including a Horde Warrior with access to content that I've never played before, but none of them really grabs my attention.
By contrast, double tradeskill exp coupled with 100% banked vitality means that Lyriana should easily gain 3 tradeskill levels this weekend, without even trying all that hard. She only needs 8 more levels to reach the current tradeskill level cap, after which I will be free to adventure until the expansion without having to worry about where my next spell upgrade is coming from. (Also, any future alts would get a bonus to their tradeskill exp for my having a capped crafter on the account.) The AAXP bonus doesn't matter quite so much to me, since I don't really need maximum AA's to support my solo playstyle, but it's a nice additional bonus for doing content that I was going to do anyway.
I suppose the other way to look at it is that I don't really think that WoW's leveling curve needs a bonus, while I do think that EQ2's tradeskill exp curve drags a bit. I'd rather have a slight, permanent increase to the rate of tradeskill exp, but I'm now so close to the level cap that I suppose I'll settle for a temporary jump to ludicrous speed.