It’s been a shockingly busy week for me, and most of it was completely unexpected. Monday through Wednesday I had my boss out, which means I get to not only be myself… but also him for all purposes. Which means my “general and administrative” time goes through the roof while attending meetings, and juggling things from the other managers in our department that need resources for this or that. On the gaming front I was equally busy, with Monday and Tuesday largely being either prep time for the raid or actually raiding. Then Wednesday night we had the World of Warcraft raid, and while it didn’t actually make I was ended up getting pulled into tank some Mythic Dungeons for Valor. So when I got home last night, that was the first night of the week when I didn’t already have something planned. After doing a round of exercises in our newly reclaimed home gym in the garage… I plunked down on the sofa and spent the rest of the evening playing The Division. A whole bunch of stuff happened that has greatly improved my outlook on the coming levels.
Firstly I did in fact move on towards the higher level areas, and there I started getting either upgrades for just green drops like crazy. The other big change is that I have started vendoring most of the stuff I get because I am simply not getting enough blueprints fast enough to be able to keep myself outfitted in crafted gear, namely not the weapons. Because of this influx of cash I managed to pick up a nice new marksman rifle, and a brand new LSW that have greatly improved my ability to kill things. The biggest splurge of the night was a purple chest piece I found on one of the vendors that has over 250 armor. At the end of last night I was just shy of level 17 and have been cleaning up on the higher level stuff. I unlocked a security tree perk that allows me to see all of the intel that I missed along the way once I complete all of the side missions for an area. As such tonight I will likely be poking around and picking these up for quick and easy experience boosts, and start cleaning out the low level zones again. I had been concerned about how roaming the low level areas meant I was only going up against lower level mobs… but then I quickly did the math and realized that the bulk of my experience is coming from quests and objectives… and grinding mobs is next to meaningless. I kinda miss the days when grinding lots and lots of mobs was a viable means of leveling… since that is ultimately my instinct anyways.
Right now I think my best path is to try my best to push through to level thirty. I want to run around and spend time in the Dark Zone, but I feel like that is largely useless until I get somewhere near the cap since the items dropping won’t be staying with me all that long. I also noticed that before I upgraded to the 15+ DZ area the mobs were dropping level 11ish gear which really wasn’t that useful. Now that I have moved up to the next tier, everything is way over my level and simply not doable without a group. The fact that you get zero leveling experience while in the Dark Zone really makes me want to avoid it at least until I have capped out my character. So as we go through the weekend I plan on slowly prodding along and picking up as many levels as I can. Now that I am almost 17… 30 seems significantly closer and given that I went from 15 to 17 in essentially a single night. Tonight I plan on picking up the rest of the intel that I missed, and then focusing on going back to higher zone questing. I’ve completely most of Central Park, and then will move on the higher tier zones after that. The side missions and encounters all seem to go pretty quickly, it is the missions that are ultimately the ones that I end up having to rez multiple times while doing.
The game is honestly much more difficult than I expected it to be, especially as a largely solo player. The gear really matters, and when I got the two new weapons I am using… I saw a massive increase in how successful I was in completing encounters. The thing I struggle with right now is how much I like to snipe and how hard it is to remain in cover when there are a bunch of mobs gunning for me. I’ve never tried the turret but I am contemplating using that as a way to draw fire away from me so I can get off a round of head shots to whittle down the opponents quickly. In truth there are simply a lot of time with the Rikers folks that I have better luck just bobbing and weaving in and out of cover while firing my light machine gun. Really it is the other snipers that are the bane of my existence, and the folks who fire off a heavy machine gun. Though the last is largely due to my impatience and not wanting to always wait for them to need to reload. I am still very much enjoying the game, I just wish I had more time to play it. I hope this weekend I will have some more time to just hang out and chill out on Sunday and can maybe get into some grouping time with friends also playing.