30/03/2020

Lowbie Life

One of the great things about keeping a blog about my gaming is that it allows me to reflect on what I like and didn't like, not just based on how I feel at any given moment, but also by looking back on the things I enjoyed in the past, what sort of plans I made based on that and whether I stuck to them.

One thing I've noticed is that there's a part of me that, intellectually, really dislikes having too many alts. I do like alts in general, but past a certain point I feel that I can't give them the attention they "deserve", which makes me feel a bit bad. (I'm not claiming that this makes rational sense.)

Also, SWTOR's narrative focus makes me feel awkward when gameplay and story don't quite match up - such as when I have a max-level Jedi whose class story still treats them as a padawan fresh from Tython. Making more alts instead of actually progressing the existing ones through their stories makes that worse too.

On the other hand though, I clearly enjoy the low-level experience on a visceral level. Whenever I do end up playing a low-level character on a whim it's usually a blast, not least because there are goals aplenty and progress is fast and easy to achieve.

So what happens is that I abstain from making more alts most of the time, for the reasons explained earlier, until a particular set of circumstances results in me creating a new or at least dusting off an existing lowbie for some reason and suddenly I go: "Wow, this is fun! What a surprise!"

The latest iteration of this occurred the other week, when my guild was trying to win a planet in that week's Conquest event (we succeeded by the way), and in order to contribute as much as I could I set myself the goal of reaching my personal target on all sixteen of my characters in the guild. This included logging into two lowbies that I rarely play since they were created for the express purpose of doing lowbie PvP with friends, and there hasn't been much of that happening lately.

I decided that even without friends to keep me company in this particular case, doing PvP was going to be the best way to hit my Conquest target on the lowbies, and it was... so... much... fun! I really shouldn't be surprised by this, considering I myself have written blog posts on the subject before, but apparently I have a short memory. (This is another reason to keep a blog.)

Realising that all my characters on Imp side were close to the level cap, this then gave me an excuse to actually make a new alt over there so that I could have a low-level PvP alt on Imperial side as well. Thus, Squizelle the one-eyed Nautolan Sorcerer was born.


Incidentally, just breezing through my class story on Korriban was fun too - it had clearly been too long, considering that I had a couple of achievements for killing K'lor'slugs and the like pop up, and both of the Sith stories just have some great lines that are always fun to revisit. I just keep thinking about all the context given by the side quests that new players are likely to never see these days... doesn't really give you much time to get attached to the world I fear...

Anyway, I queued for my first PvP match at level 12, quickly realising that this might have been a mistake as I didn't even have the Sage/Sorc's signature bubble yet. I got into a losing Huttball and stood at the spawn spamming my single heal on people until the game was over, but somehow that was enough to get me up to twelve medals or something? Still, after that I decided to at least do the first couple of quests on Dromund Kaas next, just to earn a few more abilities.

And I can only say it again, it's been great fun. Few people play healers in the lowbie bracket, so you're a bit of a god(ess) among mortals if you know what you're doing. The limited toolkit really makes you think about what you can achieve with it, and every new ability you earn is exciting because it unlocks even more possibilities.

We'll see how long it takes for me to get distracted  and forget all about lowbie play once again...

5 comments :

  1. I tend not to run multiple alts in MMOs for broadly the same reasons. Once you get beyond a certain level you quickly become aware of the immense amount of work you have ahead of you not only with progressing towards cap but with gearing up, reputation and skills points.

    However, there is something to be said for playing in the early zones with a new character. You don't have to worry about skills bloat and are seldom burdened with excessive complexity at this point.

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    1. Thanks to the legacy system, things like reputation and gear are fortunately no obstacles to alt play in SWTOR. I guess that's why I'm more focused on the narrative in this case, which still takes up many hours of play if you want your character to have done certain things from a story perspective.

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  2. I really love playing lowbies, and I kinda despise playing midbies (Or, at least, I think there should be a separate bracket for 40-60, as they're preyed on by 70's even with the bolster and their toolkit just doesn't compare. 70 was max not even 6 months ago... Pretending it is the same as a 42 is offensive haha).
    BUT I do feel it, as I love getting my characters to pvp as soon as they reach 10-ish and hate it as soon as they hit midbies bracket. Of course, it is more fun in a group, so, there's that.
    I also found I don't particularly mind being treated as a padawan or whatever even when max level - in fact, in some classes, it seems to make a lot of sense, storywise - as what matters is that this personality is still developing. While they haven't started their story or done it all (vanilla), it's all a bit in flux. But, of course, that may also be because I try and keep them... complex in my head, even more than gameplay (like this character I have that kept flirting early on with no diea she sounded like flirting. I knew, of course, because of mechanics, but in my head it was just how good she wasn't in understanding social cues and what is what).

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    1. I actually like the midbie bracket too, though less than the lowbie one. I agree that with the way they've spaced out skill gains, there isn't really much difference between a 70 and a 75, but either are a lot more powerful than a 42.

      I just fear that a third bracket might dilute the queues too much (I'm already getting more arenas than I'd like, which to me indicates that there aren't that many people queuing in those brackets). I was more wondering whether they should maybe move the separation line a bit further up at this point, e.g. by making lowbies 10-50 or something.

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    2. After I wrote this down, I thought about the same thing (stuff that comes across your head when you're up in the middle of the night for a quick bio! Hahah). However, it may be better if they move it up for 15-50. It's quick enough that it wouldn't hurt the player, but ability-wise it can be very significant.

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