So a few weeks back Geoff Hanna from http://www.gamergeoff.com/ did a post about holding level 18 until your ready to take level 20. He ran down a good list of arguments and clear thinking as to why you might want to hold out. I left him a comment about now with epic levels your no longer cutting yourself off from some groups and there are a lot of builds out there that should take level 19 as they get a big power boost. But over all we both agreed that when to level was up to the player and they content/groups they want play with.
And then the emails and tweets start coming in, a trickle at first but more and more of late, enough that I will go ahead and do a write up myself.
So lets look at the advantages of taking level 19. The ddowiki lists 38 level 17 and higher quests. This does include some raids and some F Realm quests, which we save for epic hard BB to make epic leveling faster. So we really have around 28 quests. Other then the level 17s taking 20s with you wont break your streak (and really take 20s on the 17s wont either but they will suspend it) while opening up the number of people that can group with you.
Think about that. How many people do you know with level 14-18 level alts vs the number of people with level 20 – 21 level alts? I will bet there are a lot more level 20 alts hanging out then all the level 14-18 alts combined. It is just a matter of what do you want to do? Does the 5th or 6th vale quest repeat for 6k xp sound like fun or does a elite Gen point for 22k+ sound like the winner?
For me I don’t mind repeating some quests 4-10 times in a row. But they have to be quick quests with a good xp/min and some kind of for the fun of it feel, like New Ring Leader or the STK capstone quest. But after I walk down the vale quests I am done with them for the most part.
Okay so we looked at grouping so the next major factor is builds. Does your build get a huge boost at 19? There are lots of key levels in ddo builds. Tobril’s FvS build for example gets wings at level 19 (17/1/1). When doing a 18/2 wiz OR clr/ ??? build 19 is level 9 spell . There is no reason to not take a level if taking it will make the next few 100ks of xp faster/more fun. If there is no gain and you’re having a good time then…
Guess what I am saying is taking 19 or holding to 20 is a very build and personal decision, but with the addition of post 20 levels your not cutting off the potential content/people like you were pre epic levels. In fact you might be hurting yourself by not taking 19. But if you do take 19 then you need to be willing to do the kind of content that is around and you need to be disciplined enough to hold out on taking 19 until you have done all the content you want to do pre 19.
Hope that clears up my thoughts for you that wanted me to expand on my comments on Geoff’s blog.
I also want to add leveling can be a huge morale boost. Not to single out Geoff again, but he seems to be stuck in a place where he hasn’t leveled in a looooooog time. And it seems to be wearing on him. I have been there. When you’re holding and holding and it seems like it has been weeks and weeks with out any forward progress you can loose morale quickly. When grinding out the 6+ life on a massice TR train any pick me up can be welcome.
I also support Geoff position that it is better to hold on level 18. Hard or heck even Normal is much easier to farm than a new elite to keep your BB intact.
I don’t know what build Tobril uses (18 FvS/1 wizard/1 fighter for feats?), but it’s not like the build will implode if it will take the wizard level for example at 20. It wouldn’t change much I believe. Also excuse my ignorance but what kind of build is a 18 wizard / 2 cleric? You meant 2 rogue maybe?
All in all I don’t resonate with your arguments. Amrath is not really a solution for a TR2+. Vale/Dreaming Dark is much easier to swallow and XP/min is better … not to mention Monastery or Sane Asylum. All are enough to bring you from 18 to 20 with a bit of repetition and first time bonuses.
Mal, guess it is a matter of preservative. I farm out the vale in a 3 run pass E/h/n and i am done with it. Keep farming it is a waste of time. Moving on to Reaver (17s), then IQ/DD(18s/19s), and Amrath(19s) there is no good reason to stay 18 if that is were your farming unless you want to go back and farm vale.
Monastery and Sane Asylum are both 17s so fist time Elite is 19 and then hard farm is +1 over. Shrug
So for the builds. Think Tobril is 18/1/1 fvs/barb/fighter??. But i was a little misleading when i said 18/2 wiz/clr i meant builds with 18/2 (wiz or clr)/??? And i will change that to try and make it more clear for others.
I forgot to mention that the DDO Oracle now covers all servers, since this whole issue is very subjective to party or build needs then I’d say it would be a good idea to check how many characters are within certain level ranges and plan accordingly.
If i had an FvS build with two s
Ack it is hard to do this on your phone!
I would take lvl 19 if it gave me wings. Or a new spell. Or if I was on a character I intended to keep at level 20 for awhile. Otherwise no.
And there is nothing wrong with my morale that 45k xp wouldn’t fix 🙂
It’s going to be interesting to see if u18 is going to be the level 17 FR quests some suggests. That would give both holders and non holders a reason to re-think their strategies. Or at least add enough new quests to make the last level such a gridning feeling.
Good read & some good points 🙂
Sam, it is just about having more options open which was the whole point. Not about the level of some quests which will still impose penalties if you run them on normal. Again I rarely feel that a build REALLY needs to be at 19 to be at his peak potential. Choices can be made to get those 9 level spells at 18 or simply giving them up. It’s not like you cannot live without them and with a few notable exceptions they don’t bring so much to the table.
Of course that if you have a TR group that doesn’t matter at all. I don’t have those stable play times so I plan accordingly. I hope you can also get my point of view. Cheers!
The thing is that most pure classes won’t benefit from lvl 19, with some rare exceptions, like rogue, who gets a sneak attack dice.
Multiclasses, well, they benefit from leveling in the fastest possible way, in order to get better bonuses.
Unfortunately for me, i usually do 18/2 or 12/6/2 multiclasses, so the last 2 lvl can be held, unless they are Fighter levels…(like Wraithmonk, or caster multiclasses where the last levels are usually main-class levels)
1/1/18 ftr/barb/fvs – Melee, no DC’s.
I don’t pug leveling, mainly sticking to a group or soloing so I don’t care what level anyone else is.
19 was 17 fvs aka wings, and we had no more 16 level quests so heck ya I took it.
Doing so did feel wierd due to the old conventional idiom but even I can adapt to the new thing.