Thursday, August 19, 2010

You don't know what it's like...

To Power-level or not…?

Tough question. Like a lot of players, I have jobs that I am not interested in, but need as sub-jobs. I could find a PL and level fast, but at what cost?

I’m not talking about paying one of those services that bury us with almost incomprehensible tells in game, I’m speaking of legitimate players just helping out a bud. Now it’s very rare that one of those guys is going to want anything from you, maybe some return help down the road but certainly no fees or anything. However, XP is just one of the things you need to build in this game. What else? Here’s a list…

1. Skill with the job! This is a biggie… if you don’t practice with the job combo someday you may join a party and people will be depending on you to know something—and you won’t. People are going to be hurt by bad play. It may take a bit for them to figure out who the guilty player is, and MOST players won’t tell you it’s you in the interest of not breaking up the party. For most people, the only way to get that almost instinctive reaction is repetition and a PL keeps that from happening as much.
2. Resists/underpowered spells and such. I’ve mentioned this before, keeping skills up is hard enough in general, and a PL has you exercising skills less and less. I’ve been playing the game for 7 years now I think and my parry and shield skills are maybe half-way to cap. Certain skills have gained in utility over the years as SE has added content. For example, divine magic for white mages; in my experience very few whm’s were popping banish on undead and that was about the only use divine had (flash is not a whm priority), but now we have repose, a light-based sleep to help us bard-types out as we used to be the only other significant light-based sleep out there. Obviously I’ll be using this in a couple levels when I get it, but in the mean-time I’m building one hell of a skill gap.
3. Accuracy/attack power. Yep, that repetition thing again. You gain skills by whacking stuff. For a healer job a PL is good in this category; if we don’t have to heal, we can whack stuff instead. But melee-types and rangers need to skill-up multiple weapons usually (samurai need bow, great katana and pole-arm usually, warrior needs half an armoury, etc.) With fewer kills you get fewer whacks so fewer skills etc.
4. Treasure. Leveling usually costs money for food, gear and other such stuff. The drops you do get while in XP partys off-set SOME of that. Well, if you kill less stuff you get less stuff. I off-set some of that loss by not using food when I have a PL. However, the stuff would still be nice as I am working on my crafting as the opportunity arises.

Now, the current leveling method used by most seems to be level 1st, skill later. I hate that tho’ because I never have the time for a skill-up. Having solo’d the way up on beast I got very used to always having my offensive skills and my evasion capped, but with my pet usually holding hate my defensive skills have suffered. With bard I was in parties almost all the time so my melee skills suffered. String is generally frowned on due to the range so it tended to lag behind on skill but a couple runs in Dynamis spamming Horde Lullaby sorted that right out. I took advantage of the fortifications in Campaign to fix my bard’s melee skills until they took that option away. I’ll just have to do some of my farming as bard/dancer to keep melee up to snuff.

I haven’t really answered the question on taking a PL when it’s available. My personal feeling is this… I don’t ask for them. I don’t turn them down either. Any gaps in my play I try to fill via farming and to a lesser extent via using the skill on another job (ex. skill dagger via leveling thief). All hail King Wishy-washy!

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