Some of the reasons are obvious, but I wanted to explore deeper reasoning as to why I ITR over HTR.
A lot of people tend to think HTR is faster because it required lesser amount of XP in comparison. OK, fair enough – 3.8 million XP for a 3rd+ lifer, and 8.25 million XP for any epic level character. That is a whopping 4.45 million XP difference. But what are the other factors that play into the difficulty and speed in levelling through a TR life?
I’m no math genius, but I think I’m pretty observant for the most part. So this post will be focused mostly based on past experiences and analytical observations.
A lot of folks dislike heroics for many reasons – it may be lack of grouping, or certain questing brackets that are just a huge pain. Personally, I found that a Heroic life tends to be more (in a perceived sense) “work” – that after each questing bracket, I become exhausted more quickly and am more inclined to retire for the night or playing session, or take frequent breaks. Why is this so? Well if we think about it, each questing bracket only has so many quests – this is the same for epics, but the bravery bonus range is spread out by +4 instead of +2. This gives us more freedom in choosing which quests to run, and if we are at any kind of stuck point, XP dailies are always quick, easy options. Compare this to heroics, and at each bracket we are forced to run maybe one if not several adventure packs before we are able to move on (some people have difference questing schedules, but for me personally, I am a stickler to adhering to the bravery bonus range). So within every 2 levels, we are running pack(s) after pack(s), as opposed to every 4 levels. And if we decide to take a break or jump ahead, this can really mess with the schedule. While XP is a lot easier to grind now, it is still less forgiving than that of its epic counterpart where the option to simply run dailies is always available until 30.
Another reason is the power level difference. Once you experience and relish the amount of power you are given at endgame, it becomes addicting. Highly addicting. It becomes the standard of measurement in your mind, and when you are stripped of that said power to about a fraction of what its worth at level 1, it just does not feel fun. When I was running lives prior to my fourth Favored Soul life, it was excruciating to be this slow, or that weak. Sure, all the other mobs were scaled the same, but subconsciously in my mind, I was already making comparisons. I needed to meet a certain level of standard, and being level 1 did not meet it.
An obvious reason that is acceptable by most is that ITRing grants two past lives in one. But past Triple Iconic Completionist, is there a reason? Some would say no. Yet for me, there is still plenty of reason – one of the biggest ones being the intrinsic challenge of creating a build within restricting parameters. What I mean by this is that I take advantage of the first Iconic forced level of X class – I do whine about it sometimes, since it botches my plans to play and try out pure classes (being a purist, of course!). But all in all, I love the challenge – playing a subpar build and making it work is one of the greatest joys for me in this game. I can play something super weird and experiment but still perform well – of course, gear and knowledge as a veteran player helps. But being someone who has always played and favored pures, this was a refreshing experience to me. An experience I wanted to test for the next 40 lives or so.
Friends play a role in this too! Since a lot of friends play epics, I wanted to at least see their faces once in a while, haha. Even if I don’t get to play that much with them, it is better than being totally nonexistent as a heroic toon. There is just no incentive to go epic, save for Epic TRs, which I surely would not do each life, since triple heroic completionist is already a struggle in itself.
Perhaps this is just my excuse to play Sun Elf while subconsciously fighting the idea that Sun Elves are inferior to Humans, haha. I really do enjoy playing that race (except as of recently, I *hate* their raging animations!!!) because not only are they graceful, but I’ve gotten so addicted to Fey Tap and Blessings of Amaunator. I’m really stoked for next life’s caster Bard!
All in all, the only reasons I see in playing heroics for myself is 1) nostalgia and/or 2) wanting to play a pure class or specific heroic race. Considering that heroics is 20 levels as opposed to Iconic’s 15, even despite the XP difference, means so many more packs jammed into those levels considering BB range. Sure, not everyone has to run with BB – but it makes it all the more slower. It’s more efficient to run with BB, but also more exhausting.
Don’t get me wrong, both heroics and epics are exhausting all in all. It takes me roughly 2 days (or 2 playing sessions worth about 6-8 hours each) to get from 15-20 as an Iconic, and that’s me going full on zerging. It takes another 2-3 days for 20-30 in consideration of the same factors. About a week worth of playing time for each life – I’d be insane not to say that was tiresome. On top of real life.
There is one more factor to consider about Iconics – the Heart Seeds. But for me personally, this was no issue – again, the comparison of farming tokens versus seeds is staggering. It is a matter of minutes to finish speed runs of any epic quest – and if you have friends helping you prep a quest right as you finish one, it truly is a matter of minutes before you are ready. Tokens, not so much – 20-30 minute Devil Assaults (even a 10 minute EE Lord of Dust) cannot beat the seeds/min strategy.
I was lucky in the way I had set up my characters and plans for them. Without even intentionally knowing it, I was preparing Sera in every way possible. People struggle through little things like this, but it wasn’t their fault that they weren’t playing years ago. I was simply lucky in the way this all turned out. Often, I wonder how different I would be playing if I didn’t start 5 years ago, or if I would still be working on X or Y instead of what I am doing now. The opposite is true as well – would I have been on my final Favored Soul life by now if I had just started a little bit earlier? Haha, perhaps my over-preparation is also my downfall.
There is no right or wrong way to do one’s TR lives. Play the way you want to play, try out new things if you wish no matter how crazy they sound, and if something works, rejoice! 🙂 Freedom to experimentation is an expression of our artistic selves, is how I see it. Building characters, in its own way, is a form of art to me.