It's actually odd being lower-level again, unable to participate in everything because of level restrictions. Sorry MJ, no dungeon for j00! It's my fault really, since I could level but have been distracted with housing, mentoring, etc. Then I got to thinking about just how many things there are to do even without being max level. Whoa! Sometimes people have the (in my humble opinion, erroneous) idea that Aion doesn't really start until max level, that everything you do before reaching that exalted pinnacle isn't playing. Don't be absurd! The game doesn't start at level 60; it starts at level 1. Remember the part about enjoying the journey? Why worry about reaching some magical number! Just play. After all, experience happens -- before you know it, you will level up.
Previously, Wings Over Atreia discussed some things to do once you reach endgame. Here, in no particular order, are 12 ways to take your eyes off your experience bar and just play with reckless abandon before maxing out.
Without belaboring this point too badly (I am sure you've noticed me mention it before), grab yourself a home and start decorating. Check out items for sale on the broker; plot out what you want and how you will get it. Trust me, before long, lots of time will have gone by. And if you are suddenly finding yourself in need of kinah for your next DIY project, you'll find yourself gathering XP while hunting or crafting for those necessary funds.
11. Goldilocks it up
Along those lines, once you have a house, use your travel beacon to port to the houses of everyone on your friends list! Make note of ideas for your own place or just curl up on your friends' beds for a snooze while they aren't looking. To really add variety, walk out of every door and see how many houses you can find with open doors and check them out too.
10. Daeva, Daeva, Daeva the explorer!
Every game has them -- those areas where you really weren't meant to go. There are no mobs, no quests, no anything... but that doesn't mean you can't go! Step off the beaten path and explore the world around you. Atreia has some beautiful spots if you meander around. And if somewhere looks tricky to get to, don't give up! Work at it until you find yourself in a spot previously untouched by other Daevas' feet. Then take a screenshot and send it to me!
Oh that's right -- I dared to suggest roleplay. And I am not sorry one bit! If you don't want to RP on a regular basis, why not just try it out anyway? Find yourself an event or group of roleplayers and just blend in. Or have a stab at it on your very own! Be the madman streaking through enemy lands or the capital city. March through your home land patrolling for hostiles. Sit in a bar and ruminate about how great it was in the olden days. I could offer a million suggestions here, but there'd be no room for the rest of the article!
8. See a rift, use a rift
No, really, I mean it. If you see a rift open in Morheim/Eltnen or Beluslan/Heiron, throw caution to the wind and jump through! Spontaneity truly is thrilling, folks. You can even be proactive and click on your map to show active rifts and actually make a beeline for the next available one.
7. Rift races
O.K., so you are willing to hop through the rift -- now let's make it a little more fun! If you have one or more friends with you, group up. Once you get through the rift, pick a spot on the map and make a race of who can get to the area fastest... or at least, who can get the closest before being hewn down! Use your dancing wiles to distract, charm the enemy, sneak by -- however you do it, just go as far as you can. Bragging rights (and even a reward from all the others in party) go to the winner.
Some people might argue that going into the Crucible PvP arenas below max level and without stellar gear is a waste of time. Well, it's not. Daevas can get one ticket daily via the easiest quest in game. Then by using the ticket, Daevas are guaranteed at least a few tokens to use towards building better gear. It's only 15 minutes of your day, and the rewards do pile up. You can even save up to seven tickets in your cube (although each uses a space, so make sure you have room) to use on a more convenient day. Even those less skilled in PvP will end up with some quite decent PvP gear after a while.
5. Going it alone: Solo instances
Even ignoring that solo instances are XP factories that pile the levels on, the fact that you can do them without relying on anyone else makes these a delectable activity. And you don't have to wait until late in the game to participate: Haramel is open to levels 18-22, Kromede's Trial is available to levels 37-44, and Taloc's Hollow can be run from level 51 on up.
4. Taming Fire Temple
Nothing like a little competition to spice up the game, amirite? This event can be run at almost any level thanks to mentoring. If you are of the appropriate level to go into the Fire Temple, get a couple of groups going with the idea of seeing who makes it back out first. If finding full groups seems unlikely, get a higher-level to bring a friend and split off. Make the goal whatever you like, such as killing every boss or just racing to Kromede; the first group that completes the task and makes it back out of the instance wins. If you are a higher level, grab a friend and get yourself some mentees and do the same thing: Race through the instance.
Of course, other dungeons are also possible for this little excursion, but Fire Temple is the best due to the sheer number of Daevas who can participate.
This choice is a bit obvious, but it bears mentioning: Choose a craft! If you want to supply yourself, pick something that benefits your class. If you want to decorate your home, make furniture. Granted, the act of crafting is only a button click, but you do have to get all the materials together, and whether you gather them yourself or need to earn money to buy them, it takes time.
2. The name's Bond... Daeva Bond
In a nod to the lower-level characters, spy quests are available only up to a certain level for each land and then Daevas are no longer able to complete them. Many a Daeva has found incomplete quest-lines in her journal for a land she can no longer travel to. And that means getting neither the rewards nor the titles. Don't find yourself in this situation; instead, run through and get those quests done early. It may take a few tries, so don't wait until you are almost locked out of the zone.
1. A daily (or five) a day...
If ever there was a time-sink open to every level of Daeva in game, it's daily and weekly quests. Starting clear down at the tender age of ascension, Daevas can start getting daily quests to collect tokens, medals, and coins for gear. There are mentoring dailies, coin dailies (one for every kind of course!), PvP dailies, PvE dailies, medal dailies, and possibly even pull-a-prank-on-your-Brigade-General dailies (OK, that last one might be wishful thinking).
There really are so many that you could spend a decent chunk of game-time every day pounding all of them out, or you can pick and choose which to do. Individual dailies can often be done in short spurts in-between other things, so they are a good filler activity or a way to progress if you don't have loads of time. There's almost no excuse for not doing a daily of some kind; it's like tossing loot right out the window. Next week, I'll go into more detail about what exactly is available for each level range, the who and the where, and how to get started.
Soaring through the Aionosphere, MJ Guthrie touches down weekly to bring you Wings Over Atreia. Featuring tips, guides, and general snippets of life in Aion, the column is better than Tutty-on-a-stick, ackackackackackack! Have a suggestion to share? No need to bribe a Shugo -- just send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.