Sunday, October 17, 2010

Why I Will Never Be a Master Gamer

As you know by now, I love to play video games and would consider myself an avid gamer. However, I'm pretty sure I will never be a "Master Gamer," or someone who consistently reaches the highest level of a game with the best stats or awards. What happened to me this weekend simply reinforced this opinion of myself. Oh, and if you are not a gamer, let me warn you now, this entry may bore you completely.
The first MMO I ever played was a grindy free-to-play game based out of Malaysia called Pirate King Online. The concept of an MMO piqued my interest and I thought it might be something fun that Hopie (who at the time lived several hundred miles away) and I could do together. We had a blast and played for a long time until a couple of things happened with the game. First, we hit a virtual wall as far a leveling goes, and game updates caused changes to the graphical interface that just made the game ugly and more difficult to play.
As is the case with several Asian games, there was a US version called Tales of Pirates. We still liked the game, so we decided to give it a try. One of the errors we made on Pirate King Online was not really knowing how best to distribute stat points and what skills to work on. Believing that was the reason we were having trouble advancing, I decided to build my character correctly from the beginning. I picked a character type (you have four to choose from) and a profession that corresponded to that character type, specifically, a swordsman. Then I printed a leveling guide for my chosen profession and began to play. I assigned stat points the way the guide suggested. I learned the skills the guide told me to and advanced them as dictated. I was on my way to pirate excellence.
Then this weekend happened.
At level 40 your character undergoes a profession promotion. Swordsmen get promoted to one of two professions: Champion or Crusader. When I went for my promotion, the only option I had was Champion. However, when I attempted to learn the next skill listed in the guide, I found that it could only be used by a Crusader. At that point I had a WTF moment. I jumped on the game's website a soon discovered that the promotion to a Champion or a Crusader is dependent on which of the four character types you chose. I was following the wrong guide for the character type I had chosen at the beginning of the game! And yes, as you've probably guessed by now, the stat and skill build for Champion is completely different.
I am now the un-proud owner of a totally gimped level 40 Champion!!!
I'll make the best of it. I'll try to correct the path I've been travelling the best I can. But one thing's for sure . . .
I will never be a Master Gamer.

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