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Recently, I was in the mood to play Demonic. So I logged on Syric. I got all my lessons back from Summoner on him, and I had a sanguis pendant refund and a few other credits, so I went Strong Deathknight and got a L1 claymore. Solid tanky class without much affliction tracking, but a lot of team utility. 31-34 bashing DPS. Right up my alley. The only problem is that Syric was level 82.85 or so, and so my nice tanky class has ~440ish health and is basically pretty untanky due to that. Oh well. Time to level!
... hours later, 83.30.
Looking forward to all the bashing I'll have to do to get to a 'real' level has pretty much made me put Syric back on the shelf, so to speak. I could do 1-90 in WoW in the time it would take me to hit Aspect, and I'd have way more fun doing it. Running dungeons. Doing quest lines that expand the story and lore behind the areas. Quests with different mechanics, like the vehicle quests, bombing runs, etc. Playing with new mechanics as new abilities open up, changing my skill-trees around. All sorts of things designed to keep the leveling process interesting and engaging and fun. In comparison, in Imperian, I'd hit "dsl $target" a lot in various areas. For hours and hours and hours and hours on end. And then a few more hours of it. And a few more.
In WoW, I would log on specifically to level alts because leveling was fun. In fact, just thinking about this makes me want to go back and level something right now.
In Imperian, I basically threw away a multi-trans character with an artifact because leveling is such a hugely unfun pain in the **** that I'd rather just scrap the investment than go through it again.
This is, well, a pretty damned terrible state of affairs, and it has a pretty damn terrible effect on the game, imo. A lot of the problem with the conflict now, especially with Magick and Demonic, is that we get these new people who want to get involved in things, only to find that it's going to take an incredibly long time to get to a level where they're not just going to be cannon fodder or glass cannons. We should be trying to make things more accessible and more involving, and not locking the good stuff up behind dozens or hundreds of hours of bashing.
Here's what I'd like to see:
That's really all you have to do. Make it easier to get up to PvP levels of health and I don't really think the rest of the system needs changing that much. If they want Aspect for the perks, they can bash to it, but they won't be FORCED to bash that long to get their health up.
Other things I'd like to see, though:
"On the battlefield I am a god. I love war. The steel, the smell, the corpses. I wish there were more. On the first day I drove the Northmen back alone at the ford. Alone! On the second I carried the bridge! Me! Yesterday I climbed the Heroes! I love war! I… I wish it wasn’t over."