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General: Casual Play: Lowbies of the World Unite

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  • alienpriestalienpriest Member Posts: 39
    I think part of it is the way the game is designed: The best content is at the low levels in order to "hook" new players. After you swallow that hook, they figure you've invested enough time, you might as well stay with the game, but as your levels rise, the content gets suckier. Quests always get less, the good stuff suddenly reqires a party, then raids. Level advancement becomes agonizingly slower.



    I will usualy max one character, then go back and experience an army of lowby alts.
  • EffectEffect Member UncommonPosts: 949
    Very good article I feel. This really tends to be my play style in a number of games. I've always felt that after a while the game starts to feel like work unless I was constantly advancing or getting rewards for my effort. The only game that seemed to act that way for me was Dark Age of Camelot but that was mainly due to always grouping with a good guild and doing task dungeons with random people a lot of the time. I always kept busy in that and conversation was good in that game.



    I have so many alts in so many games it's crazy. I can never decide on the class I want to play. The closest I came was the Warden in DAoC which is my only max level character in any MMORPG at the current moment. It does get boring after a while doing the same thing over and over again with the same character. Especially in the same areas of the game. The amount you level adds to the fun of the game I feel, at least for me, and you happen to level more in the lower levels. It isn't so much that I don't like challenge, I do but doing the daily grind on a character isn't a challenge, not in the sense we mean it. It's a challenge in how much one can stand before they go crazy I think.



    Strangely enough I do like to solo more then group. I like to be able to do things for myself and not have to depend on others. In the lower levels I agree it is a lot easier to do this in most games even if it's slow. Not being able to see most of the game is a horrible downside to this I agree. Which is why it's hard for me at times to justify the monthly fee for these games and why I wait until many of them are low in price to try them out. 
  • CosiCosi Member Posts: 13

    Ahhhh MY KIND OF PEOPLE!!!!   :)  SO glad this article came up!!! I know I am NOT ALONE!!!! :D

    The only way in which I play "consistently enough to level" is when I lead my guild "Ascension" or "Risen Ascension".  I then play my MAIN guild mistress-guild leader character Cosi who is always a healer-cleric and always a crafter (usually MORE "crafter" than anything else).  I reached Level 50 in DAOC and was SO PROUD I actually made it to the Level Cap in one MMO LOL. Unfortunately, that may be the first and last time I will ever hit a level cap in an MMORPG!!! LOL 

    I have been "ALT-ing" ever since with 4 accounts worth of alts in EQ2 (all crafters mainly) and now, for the past 6 months or so, enjoying BETAs with pretty much the same "style" of play (and no...I won't tell you which BETAS I am in LOL!!!)  I even "ALT" in BETAS (useful to "ALT" in BETAS because at least there you have an "excuse" for making many characters...you are...after all...."testing" right? ;) 

    My husband pretty much plays the same as I do: he usually has only one MAIN adventuring character--usually a ranger/scout (he LOVES his bow!)  Other than that, he and I are both "Craft-a-holics" in any MMO we play and most of our "ALT-ing" revolves around trying out every craft skill available in the game.

    Anyone happen to know of an absolutely AWESOME MMO for crafting?  We have been having a hard time finding one that is actually satisfying....and FUN :)

  • dadowndadown Member UncommonPosts: 209
    Originally posted by Cosi
    Anyone happen to know of an absolutely AWESOME MMO for crafting?  We have been having a hard time finding one that is actually satisfying....and FUN :)
     

    Cosi, have you tried A Tale in the Desert?  Its a non-combat MMO where the focus is crafting and building things.  They have a free trial available at "atitd.com".
  • hashdhhashdh Member Posts: 8

    dont get my first post wrong, please.

    im not flaming ppl who play alot of alts, i for one have a ton of alts. its the ppl that ONLY have a ton of alts, and dont have any end cap characters after a year of playing. thats the part i dont understand why youd bother paying 15 bux a month for.

    alts = woot
    nothing but lowbies = why bother with mmos?

    and for whoever linked me to wikipedia for casual gamer: 1) wikipedia is NOT a great place to prove a point, and 2) the description at wikipedia describes exactly how i used the term casual gamer, and in no spot does it mention putzing around a game for a year on 20 lowbie alts. casual means your not out to break your neck to be the first do crap, or get to cap uber quickly, or spend hours and hours online. much like myself, but i still have 3 level 60s in wow, cuz its been out 2 years and id have to be drunk all the time not to accidently reach end cap by this point.

    sure i said "lazy" in my last post, okay my bad. but ppl who just make alts without ever getting any characters to end cap, still seems like a waste of a monthly fee to me. half the game doesnt start til you GET to end cap.

    this isnt a flame post, far from it, just my ideas. im a HUGE supporter of its YOUR money, you can do WHATEVER the hell you want to with it, and its really none of my business. im just expressing my confusion on why go into a game like an mmo that has a pay to play, if you really just want to dink around on a few lowbies and chat. at least do it in guild wars so your not being charged to play on 14 level 10 toons.

  • anarchyartanarchyart Member Posts: 5,378

    I am also an altoholic. I have been ever since  Ulitma Online. I love trying everything, however once I do I usually settle on one main character.

    In EQ it was my Beastlord. Got him to 65 with over 100 AA points. Definitely the best class ever! Altoholics Unite...at level 10!

    image
  • dadowndadown Member UncommonPosts: 209
    Originally posted by hashdh


    im not flaming ppl who play alot of alts, i for one have a ton of alts. its the ppl that ONLY have a ton of alts, and dont have any end cap characters after a year of playing. thats the part i dont understand why youd bother paying 15 bux a month for.
    alts = woot

    nothing but lowbies = why bother with mmos?


    While I have a 60 in WoW and 58,52,49,48,45, etc. I can understand stand those that never get beyond 30.  I didn't find the end-game activities as interesting and actually had more fun with chars in the 20s.  If they are having fun with lowby chars then they are not wasting their money.

  • StalinfalconStalinfalcon Member Posts: 77

    hash...dh, not sure what that dh stands for but you obviously haven't enough opium in your hash, for instead of a mellow, dreamy smoke, your last post was very much a rancid flame. Odd that eh?

    I'm an end-game vet of FF11, I am a casual alt-player, I have infinite disdain for what I call the 'end-game n00b', and I consider your so-called 'accomplishment' in WoW to be synonymous with 'lazy'. Before you start flaming casual players, Mr. Opiate, please make sure to cap a character in a game that actually takes effort, not macro-hack programming, to thus accomplish.

    One of the biggest reasons for people playing alts like mad is lack of FREEDOM. I didn't play SWG so I have no input there, but I can say that FF11 does not RESTRICT you. Virtually every other game out there RESTRICTS you, class-wise. One class per avatar. Even your skill-based games still have archetypes that determine your skill sets you will either a) be allowed to learn; or b) be FORCED to learn by the greater game community, in fear of being labelled a 'n00b'.

    Lineage 2 tried to address this issue (and comes the closest at being a vague shadow of FF11's complete freedom) with the Noblesse system. Problems with Noblesse:

    - Must be 75 (the old level cap from last chronicle, now the cap is 78 iirc) in order to switch to a new job

    - limited to 4 jobs in toto

    - certain jobs not accessible depending on what your race and original roll-up job was

    - Noblesse has shades of job/sub-job going on that causes gamers to worry about the 'correct' job they should add; will it properly complement the original job of the character.

    I see NOTHING close to 'freedom' in L2's Noblesse system.

    FF11 allows any one character to be ANY JOB. Sure, you will have to achieve level 30 (out of 75 levels) in any one job in order to unlock the jobs beyond the Starter Six, but the point is you can experience virtually everything the game has to offer on that one character. Freedom. Yes, FF11 has it's restrictions, they are more in the nature of end-game specialisations and hi-level crafting. But, in general, EVERYone can experience whatever job and as many jobs they wish, and EVERYone can bloody craft (it ain't just a 'Dorf Thang' like in L2).

    Casual gaming isn't necessarily a symptom of general laziness, Mr.Afghani Gold. It is also an EFFECT caused by REPRESSION.

    On to another issue, speed-levelling/power-levelling. Casual players tend to be more quest orientated and environment-curious than level marathoners. Casual players can also be ridiculously anal (and thus, hardcore... hmm go figure) about the overall EFFECTIVENESS of their character. It takes far longer to make a well-rounded character than an end-game character. L2 is a game that involves farming skill points to buy skills, you don't earn the skillpoints per level. Yet, do you realise how much pressure is put on you by the Community to LEVEL? Lots of skills are deemed worthless in that game, not because they actually are, but because people are so worried about the Holy Grail of Level that they outstrip their skillpoint earnings so fast that they are always in a predicament to budget their skill buys, which means they invariably focus on the 'appropriate' or 'worthwhile' skills as defined by the Forum Community at large.

    How many times has a high level n00b drawn aggro against mobs that any level 1 worth their salt could have avoided? Low level exploration teaches you many things about a game's environment and teaches you many skills that surprisingly many end-gamers LACK.

    The truth is, however, casual or hardcore: there is a deep satisfaction on that first Cap you achieve. I took 2 years to get my first Cap, but then I also had the luxury of swapping jobs at any old time (there's that word again, devs: FREEDOM) and thus I actually managed to get 2 Caps at virtually the same time. Over that time I can honestly say I have seen more of the game than people who blitzed to Cap and then did nothing but Raids over those same two years. I have also dispelled many myths that end-game blitzers have, purely from my knowledge of the lower levels for longer. I also know WHAT aggroes and what does NOT at any given level (most end-game n00bs are clueless and believe more mobs will aggro than is true) and I can dodge things that end-game n00bs will invariably pull on themselves, getting themselves killed (and their poor hapless party as well).

    Call me a Carebear, call me Lazy, I call YOU a high-level n00b. Now go put the real deal in that hooka, hashdh, and smoke it.

  • kabanakabana Member Posts: 33

     

     I think there are advantages to both ways of playing.

    By experimenting with many characters at low level, you also limit the content you experience.  By playing only one char, you experience all the content with only one class.  I usually pick one, try it out, if it suits me I stick to it.  If not, I  try another.  I think it's a lot of trouble to start a whole new char just to see how it does things compared to another.  I find that boring, because to me there are always different ways to get from point A to B.  

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  • _Seeker_Seeker Member Posts: 175

    Sounds to me you are actually hanging out to play an entirly different type of game. One that actually meets your needs. One that doesnt exist. One that should, to capture you and all those like you into a new gaming niche market.

     

    But sadly monotiny rules. Good Game? No bad, very very sad game.

  • Lai'AhnaLai'Ahna Member Posts: 126
    I also like to try all the different characters and classes. I found that it works best to do it all with 1 at a time. I will play just 1 untill I am finished with it. Then I will make another and do it all over again. The only exception is when crafting is involved and I need one to craft for another because of limited crafting per character.

    It's all about the fantasy baby!
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  • NilatNilat Member Posts: 4
    I think I'm a part of the worst case of this.. I get a monthly subscription after an inspiration to play WoW or EQ2 and I play it for 2-3 days very intensively, get to at least mid-level and then one day I go on my PC and think: "Nah, don't feel like it" and play something else. So I pay £10 to play 3 days of grinding with great hopes of becoming lvl 60/70 (WoW, EQ2), once I even created a guild! I shouldn't play MMORPGs, but I just love the genre...for three days at a time! :D
  • hashdhhashdh Member Posts: 8


    Originally posted by Stalinfalcon
    hash...dh, not sure what that dh stands for but you obviously haven't enough opium in your hash, for instead of a mellow, dreamy smoke, your last post was very much a rancid flame. Odd that eh?
    ROFL you have yet to see a flame thread from me. adn the word hash has LOTS of other meanings than just slang for hashish. get your head outta the drugstore.


    I'm an end-game vet of FF11, I am a casual alt-player, I have infinite disdain for what I call the 'end-game n00b', and I consider your so-called 'accomplishment' in WoW to be synonymous with 'lazy'. Before you start flaming casual players, Mr. Opiate, please make sure to cap a character in a game that actually takes effort, not macro-hack programming, to thus accomplish.
    okay so this is your ego stroking, your 'cooler' than everyone 'else'. too bad wow isnt capable of 'macro-hacking' especially after the latest patch.


    One of the biggest reasons for people playing alts like mad is lack of FREEDOM. I didn't play SWG so I have no input there, but I can say that FF11 does not RESTRICT you. Virtually every other game out there RESTRICTS you, class-wise. One class per avatar. Even your skill-based games still have archetypes that determine your skill sets you will either a) be allowed to learn; or b) be FORCED to learn by the greater game community, in fear of being labelled a 'n00b'.
    you didnt read my last post did you? i have a ton of alts too, alts ftw! and for the record, the original swg before soe mucked it up was simply gold. now if the emu to pre-cu swg would ever finish......


    ima skip the rest cuz man you typed alot and i got places to go ppl to kill


    Call me a Carebear, call me Lazy, I call YOU a high-level n00b. Now go put the real deal in that hooka, hashdh, and smoke it.

    -i'll call you a carebear if you roll on a pvp server then complain about pvp
    -i'll call you lazy if you play 3 level 20 nubs and complain about not being able to do end game content (ie as in my bud in my last post i used as an example)
    -and you can call me a high level noob all you want, i really dont care

    i'll also call you someone that doesnt read. all this text you typed to make drug references and flame me for saying alts = lazy, when in fact i said in my last post i dig alts and have a ton myself. in the last post i clearly stated that i dont get the concept of paying a pay to play game if your not gonna enjoy end cap gaming. i then went on to say


    this isnt a flame post, far from it, just my ideas. im a HUGE supporter of its YOUR money, you can do WHATEVER the hell you want to with it, and its really none of my business.
    apparently thats not a part you read as it kinda makes your whole post look like an angry rant against someone who has a different opinion.

    post in a nut shell:
    casual gamer = someone who doesnt break their neck to level/be the first/etc but still plays the game
    rolling nothing but lowbies = something else, but NOT 'casual gaming', as in it needs its own term

    and for the record, hookas are for noobs and hollywood.

  • HolyAvengerOneHolyAvengerOne Member UncommonPosts: 693
    I'm also a casual player, but completely at the other end of the spectrum from the author: I'm unable to have more than 1 character at a time. I like, live, breath, adventure, everything, through 1 single character, in and out one game. I've tried to make alts but always end up letting them unused.



    I guess it really depends on the relationship you establish towards your character.... and I'm all for monogamy 
  • wilcoxonwilcoxon Member UncommonPosts: 97
    Originally posted by eruvin


    HOWEVER, I would hope that someone who prefers the lower levels would not present oneself as an expert on the game as a whole, as Mr. Wilson vainly attempts to do. He really has not status as an expert in gaming and his weekly proselytizing is absolutely warrantless and should be stopped.
    Now, I don't present myself as an expert, that is not why I list these. Rather, I ask you to judge Wilson experience, (or lack thereof) in gaming and ask yourselves how and why he could be presented as an expert.....


    Is Mr Wilson an expert on the upper-level gameplay?  Nope.  Is he an expert on gameplay generally and content on games he has played?  Probably.  As someone else pointed out, people who play many many characters to mid levels will have experienced a much higher percent of the total content of a game than someone who grinds a few characters to max level.  The lower-levels are where there is usually unique content and quests.  In almost every game I've played, the higher levels tend to funnel people to fewer common zones for "end-game".



    Also, if you want people to take your arguments seriously and thoughtfully, might I suggest a less confrontational and flamey style of posting?

    Active: D&D Online (alpha,beta,&unlimited)

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  • dadowndadown Member UncommonPosts: 209
    Originally posted by kabana


      I think there are advantages to both ways of playing.
    By experimenting with many characters at low level, you also limit the content you experience.  By playing only one char, you experience all the content with only one class.  I usually pick one, try it out, if it suits me I stick to it.  If not, I  try another.  I think it's a lot of trouble to start a whole new char just to see how it does things compared to another.  I find that boring, because to me there are always different ways to get from point A to B.  
    Playing only one character also limits the content you experience.  In the case of WoW, you could miss at least a third of the content because you miss all the quests that are faction and class specific, you miss the opposing factions capitol cities and you miss the other races starting area experience.  In my experience, the lower level content tends to be more colorful and more suitable for solo players so this makes it more inviting for casual players.
  • DeaddocusDeaddocus Member Posts: 1
    Lol, I think I'm a worst case scenario... In a game where the cap is level 20 (GW, yes we all know), I have two level 20 characters, all the others are stuck around level 14-15. I'll get them higher, eventually, but I just don't feel like it most of the time, willing to try something new again and again before I turn back to them.  And those two new chapters didn't really help my progress, :(
  • TruthseekerTruthseeker Member Posts: 370

    I agree. When I started WoW, my first mmorpg, I got addicted badly. First char was 60 in two months (I have a job, was sleeping 2-4 hours max), I deleted him and regrind on a PVP server. I than joined a guild and we go from MC to AQ40 Twins. Summer holidays come and we disbanded after.

    When I started my second char, I had 8 chars all lvl 10-20. I even started a char on an english server (I'm french) and on a rp server. I was searching something entertaining to do, but truth was that I was tired of WoW. The game have very little value beyond the first 1-59 levels.

    As for being a professional lowbie... I'm not. I always reach the cap with my first char, see how things go there and if I can find a cool guild. Then I start new chars to explore the game. If you don't grind fast enough you will never see high level content. Hardcore players are a very closed community, and you have to play like them to explore end-content. Sad but true.

    On a side note, what I dislike in level-based games is the fact that skills are not very balanced before the cap. Some classes always have an edge against others because of better core skill design.

    image
  • kabanakabana Member Posts: 33
    Originally posted by dadown

    Originally posted by kabana


      I think there are advantages to both ways of playing.
    By experimenting with many characters at low level, you also limit the content you experience.  By playing only one char, you experience all the content with only one class.  I usually pick one, try it out, if it suits me I stick to it.  If not, I  try another.  I think it's a lot of trouble to start a whole new char just to see how it does things compared to another.  I find that boring, because to me there are always different ways to get from point A to B.  
    Playing only one character also limits the content you experience.  In the case of WoW, you could miss at least a third of the content because you miss all the quests that are faction and class specific, you miss the opposing factions capitol cities and you miss the other races starting area experience.  In my experience, the lower level content tends to be more colorful and more suitable for solo players so this makes it more inviting for casual players.That was my point.  There are advatages and limitations to both. 

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  • DrowNobleDrowNoble Member Posts: 1,296

    This won't apply after TBC, but in WoW I got a fresh look at the game when I was forced to switch factions by going from a paladin to a shaman.  Zones I was now questing in where I was before just running through to get to Point B from Point A.  That really refreshed WoW for me and kept me for a few more months as I was enjoying the horde lowbie content.

    Oh and Barrens chat was sometimes entertainment in and of itself. 

  • dukelouiedukelouie Member Posts: 52
    Im a lowbie for life. As a rule of thumb, when I get bored (grinding, questing, looking at my character, etc.) I start over.  Its fun and refreshing and why should a game meant for entertainment be boring?

    "Sir, the fish market is quickly emptying. I need you to out, get me 5 tuna, 4 blue snappers, 3, uh, Darkshore groupers, and 2 goldfish please. And then report to the docks. I'll see you there, goodbye."

  • SenteSente Member Posts: 1
    As many others, I usually play a lot of alts. Sometimes I get some characters to the top level (if it is a level based game), but far from always. Not reaching the highest levels is not something I worry about, it is simply not part of my goals when playing.



    In the end, it is a bout having fun and enjoying the time. There is no single goal that everyone has to reach. Calling people lazy because they do not reach the higest levels misses that point. For some persons, reaching the "end-game" is a goal. For me and I guess many others, it is a non-issue - I could not care less.



    I like following good quest/mission story lines and exploring, and having a good time with in-game friends or  perhaps the occasionally good pick-up group. It does not really matter if all content or not is experienced, as long as what is experienced is enjoyable.



    For SWG - I can appreciate the approach to have one character to provide an identity in a virtual world, which SWG was in the early days. But the skill tree handling for those that wanted to try out different skill paths _and_ change those from time to time was a bit too painful to grind through changes. I tried a number of paths before I settled with some skills that I liked. Still after that, I would have liked some change from time to time to play other skill paths. Ended up getting an additional account instead, since I still wanted to keep in touch with the people I played with. An approach similar to what FFXI used for jobs would have been much nicer.



    As an altoholic, I really like City of Villains/Heroes - there is a lot to play around with for different character paths and also character looks - really the only game I can recognize many players by the looks of their characters. It is nice to see the creativity in the different supervillains/superheros that are created.
  • mizrolistmizrolist Member UncommonPosts: 40
    Well, my first and (almost) only MMO is WoW - and I'm a professional lowbie too... My main reached lvl55, and I have 13 other characters between lvl 11-26. For me the best part of the game is completing quests and exploring things; I just liked swimming from Swamp of Sorrows to Tirisfal Glade, and trying to find a way into placeholder areas. Was it long? Yes. Was it funny? For me yes. Am I missing the raiding content? Absolutely no.

    And although I haven't any experience in end-game content, I could be a very useful member of the community; I'm one of the moderators of the Hungarian fansite, I'm one of the most patient answerer of newbies' (and n00bs'...) questions - and I know if I have been in good mood I'll reach the cap. It's not important when.



    (and as somebody asked the question - I was doing my job almost always solo... I just hate pugs running through zones to reach instances, running through them to reach new instances. My pleasure is to make RP quests, such as The Missing Diplomat or the Defias Brotherhood chain...)

    Signatures are boring things.

  • pfellahpfellah Member Posts: 2

    Definite altaholic here. Been playing various MMOs since 99/00-ish, and the only time I ever actually leveled a character to the cap was when I leveled a Necro to 50 in DAoC just to unlock the /level 20 so I could create more alts... ;)

    I totally agree with the notion that it gives you a better understanding of what the other classes can do. I remember my hunter getting totally ripped apart by a rogue in WoW, so I went ahead and rolled one -- not so much to be ubah, but just to figure out how they work. Kinda like getting the license plate of the truck that just hit you.

    Mostly, it just (for me at least -- your mileage may vary) keeps the game fresher by giving you choices of what to do on a given gaming session. Feeling social? Grab a healer type and getting a group should be no problem. Just want to solo? Got a few classes that are good for that. Just want to explore? Grab a character that has some movement buffs and look around. Similarly, time plays a factor too -- if I've only got 45 minutes to play, that might lead me to a different character than if I have an entire night at my disposal.

  • pfellahpfellah Member Posts: 2

    Speaking as the kind of gamer you just described (been in WoW since alpha, and my highest character is level 33), figured I'd try to address the question of "why play a bunch of alts when you can get a 60* instead?":

    NOTE: I'm using "a 60" as the generic for a capped character because WoW is my main game these days. Obviously, if you play a different game, insert your own number.

    1) Simple logistics: three kids, full-time job, various other committments. I don't mean that in a snooty "I've got dreadfully more important things to do like yachting in the Hamptons" way -- but unless I hit the Powerball or sell a few kids to the gypsies, I'm not going to have a 60 any time soon. Besides, raiding parties tend to frown on having to bail because the 2-yr-old is feeding my wallet to the dog, or whatnot.

     2) It's not that I won't EVER get there. I'm just not in that big a hurry. I take my game seriously when I'm playing it, and I fully plan to get a 60 eventually. But I don't get all that driven about it. It'll happen when it happens. Sort of related to that, I'm a quest packrat -- I'll still finish a quest even if it's long since grey to me, just because seeing where the story goes and feeling like I'm doing something is more interesting than killing the same critter for four hours solid*. If I put all the time I spent on gray/green quests into leveling, I'd probably be a lot closer.

    *=OK, sometimes, when I get really close to a level, I can grind with the best of 'em. But it's not my preferred style.

    3) Different nights, different styles. Sometimes you feel social, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you have a lot of time, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you just want to jump off high buildings with no pants (on your character) to make the aforementioned 2-yr-old laugh. Maintaining a few alts to give yourself options is handy for that.

    4) It's more fun playing with live humans. Games like Oblivion and NWN2 are fine games... sure. But there's something about interacting with live allies and opponents, even at the lower levels, that makes the game more interesting. $15 interesting? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But compared to other entertainment options, it's not so bad -- that's one trip to Blockbuster, or a few beers at the local tavern.

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