What if there was a popular MMO where it wasn’t clear how to level? Completing quests wouldn’t do the trick. Defeating enemies would not bring you one bit further. Even collecting gear upgrades would, most of the time, not fill the till.
What if you were stuck at level 65 in a level 100 game and nothing you did seemed to make any difference at all?
That’s what it’s been like, for me, in DC Universe Online for MONTHS now. For MONTHS I have been stuck at 65 combat rating, in sight of tier 4 at 70, and with all the rest of Team Spode scraping altitude without me. The only way north was, apparently, to search for exobits — shinies — for hours and hours and hours with which to craft mods to my gear. Or to grind solo dungeons for hours and hours for marks to buy more Tier 3 gear — at 75 marks per run for gear that costs 2000 to 3000 marks.
Both Sting and Spode did exactly that. Kaptain KY probably did, too, but he doesn’t play any more (and we miss him!), and he’s never explained how he hit 70 months before me, when I’d been ahead of him to that point.
Since I wouldn’t grind (much, I’ll do some), Team Spode decided to start doing pickup raids. For the past several weeks, we’ve been doing the daily double T3 four man alert, then signing up for FOS3 Expert.
This is DCUO-speak for Fortress of Solitude, part 3, expert. This is the final tier 3 raid dungeon, where General Zod and his minions Nod and Ursa have invaded the Fortress of Solitude (after players kick out Brainiac’s forces in the previous two installments) to collect the crystals that will let them rule the world.
Not if Lex Luthor, Superman and eight willing players can stop them, though.
When we started on FOS3, we were noobs doing everything wrong. Now we’re the experts leading the raid. Spode, the tank, expertly keeps aggros on the named while separating snipers from medics and keeping everything going. Sting is the main healer, keeping everyone alive. And me? I feed power, debuff nameds, and am another pair of eyes for Spode via Skype. It may not seem like I’m contributing much, but if I die, the raid power drops substantially.
Since we’re not doing a pre-built or league raid, we get all sorts of people and never know if they’ve done the raid before. Last Sunday, we got a raid full of newbies. We wiped right away. So we told them the strat and went back with the fastest win we’ve ever done.
That pushed me over the 3000 mark threshold, so off I went to get my second piece of T3 armor. THAT got me from CR 68 to 69 without even having a rank 3 mod for it (Spode and Sting usually roll with rank 5 mods, but there’s a limit to how much farming I can take).
I vowed to the rest of Team Spode that I WOULD farm for the exobits to socket it and reach CR 70 so we could finally move on to the next tier raids and instances.
Spode sent a link for a DCUO CR Calculator. I plugged in my gear and found that adding a rank 3 mod to my new leg armor would not get me to CR 70 — but two relatively easy to craft rank 1 mods on a couple lesser pieces WOULD.
I still needed to farm. A couple hours on the streets of Metropolis got me the exos I needed for the two rank 1 mods, and about a third of the ones I’d need for the rank 3 mod for the legs.
And that was it. CR 70. Eligible for new sights, dropped gear that might actually be an upgrade, new missions…