A Dawning Realization

Sigh. The more and more I keep thinking about the TR project, the faster I reach this realization that I so dreadfully don’t want to face.

The fact that I will never comfortably settle for at least a decent period of time as a triple everything completionist. The possibility that Aasimar/Tiefling may be iconics. For some reason, this bothers me so – after all, what did I spend almost a whole year for?

A part of me says this is good enough. But if that’s the case should I stop now? I keep having indecisive thoughts fighting back and forth – “but what about those potential bonuses from ERs?” More and more each day, I struggle to fight back that creeping dread.

That part of me that says good enough, I  can understand. Sera has more than 50 lives under her belt. There’s no point suffering through all these lives when I should be playing the one I enjoy the most. After all, time is even more limited for me. The future seems kind of bleak despite how much and how detailed I go into planning these things. But now that Reaper is introduced into the game, it is even more harder to catch up to that “perfect” life. Perhaps this project from the start was a trap.

Either ways, I think comparatively, from the life before as a Favored Soul, Sera will improve by a huge meter. Even more so after I farm for the items I need (Slaver’s most importantly). I absolutely despise farming and juggling gear after I’ve reached a seemingly stable stage, so I hope there is nothing big for a while. I never understood the constant notion that the game needs to keep having updates to make it fun again. Personally, I’m fixated on the idea of playing your decked out main in end content, spruced up to be the best possible toon. Of course, there is no such thing in the latter, but its a fun idea, at least to me.

I say that the project is supposed to be something out of intrinsic motivation to learn each class and build out of my own, but it is hard when there is this other nagging side that wants to play the class she loves best. I was running my bank toon Celesteine, a caster cleric, the other day with a friend, and I felt the aching nostalgia of a divine caster. As well as the frustration of having such poor stats and SP. I can only hope that Sera will be able to garner a lot of Reaper XP along the way back up to cap. I am afraid that I may need to plan multiple lives as a Favored Soul just for that. It bothers me so much to TR without gaining the intended Heroic PLs along with it – now that I will be heroic triple completionist very soon, that is no longer an option. Along with that, who knows when the next class will be released (surely not this year though it seems – seems mostly to be races only). But see, at least classes are much less malleable in release/updates as opposed to races which I would think the devs feel are much more feasible to release in comparison.

In the end, I will have to come to accept the fact that there is no such thing as true ultimate status attainment in this game. That is how the system works. It just sucks having to be so OCD and picky about this sort of thing.


Revisions to the TR Project

*Deep sigh*

I am a bit sleep deprived as I type this, so forgive me if it sounds off. But I’ve been meaning to write about this as I approach closer to the end of my long TR project.

With the confirmation of Dragonborn’s release, it had never occurred to me that they could potentially release this race as an Iconic, or at least an additional complement version similar to Deep Gnome/Gnome (since that would make them the most money logically as well). Because of this, I realized to make the most out of this TR project without having to embark on yet another (albeit much shorter, but still a hassle), I would need to readjust the plan.

Currently on the second Fighter life, I’d have to reserve the last three Ranger lives for Dragonborn if there is an iconic version. Which means in order to stall long enough for the release of Dragonborn (which is supposedly coming for 11th Anniversary, so around end of February), I’d need to start farming ER’s now rather than the original plan of farming them later. I get the feeling based on my speed of progress with school and work that I don’t need to stall too much, but I’ve planned to do so just in case I work faster than anticipated.

  1. Fighter
    1. Doublestrike x3
  2. Fighter*
    1. Block Energy x2
    2. Power Over Life and Death x3
  3. Ranger x3
    1. Doubleshot x3

*Optional ER’s if more time is needed, or possibly do those so only 3 ER’s left for final life for minimum work.

I’ve also debated on just doing the final 3 Power over Life and Death so that I don’t have to farm ER’s on Sera’s final life, but we shall see once the time comes.

The goal is to make sure all of the non Divine sphere types are out of the way before the big day for returning back to Favored Soul arrives. Originally, I planned to just knock out the 3 Martial ones as a Favored Soul maul build since those are so powerful (and it would have been fun to try those out) but I decided not to. If I ever do get the urge to play one, I can do so on the 3 saved Martial ones (Fortification) – I decided I would not be a complete Triple Epic Completionist, in the event that I need to reincarnate to redo the build in some way and there would not be a way to reincarnate (as confirmed by a friend of mine who is one… makes me wonder if his toon is just flagged forever for an ER?).

It took me some time to come to terms with this whole idea of revising the project in the first place, but I reasoned that it would be the smart thing to do as much as I hate to revise it in the first place. I’m also too stubborn to use Otto boxes (at least as a part of this project) because I can’t exactly say that I completed it in the way I had intended for this project to be. Once I am set in a decision, I am just that stubborn to go through it all the way.

Well, I suppose we shall see what happens as the 11th Anniversary approaches. This is one of the rare moments when I am keeping up to date on Dragonborn as much as possible because this affects my TR options and plans. I never thought I would though considering that its not some celestial race like Aasimar (which I would certainly be thrilled for), and that I am not much of a person who keeps up with game news at all until the after-release.

I know I whine a lot about wanting to get back to Favored Soul, but I always think about how much fun it will be to come back so much more powerful. I was looking over the Celestial Radiance build page and man, there is a lot of work to do in the Gear section. I’ve even debated on changing up Epic feats perhaps. All this recent thinking about the final life as a whole has me totally stoked and ready for all this to end so I can finally play what I want to play! Hopefully, at the very least, that happens before the end of this semester. Time is all the more precious to me, and I’ve spent much longer than I anticipated.

Although, I guess that is to be expected when you plan to be a triple everything completionist.


Why I Iconic True Reincarnate (ITR) over Heroic True Reincarnate (TR)

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.