One of the nice things about MMORPGs is levelling. Do "X" enough times and your skill level will increase. If you need to know how long it will take to get from your current level to your next goal, Tip.It has some handy-dandy skill calculators that will tell you exactly how many iron bars, oak logs, lobsters, coal, or whatever you have to make, chop, burn, cook, fish, mine, or otherwise process to meet that goal. As you level up, so are you able to access new areas of the game, use new items, mine higher level ores, cut higher level trees, fish bigger fish, and so on. Simple really, all it takes is time and a little bit of dedication.
Levelling in real life isn't quite so straightforward, unfortunately. Wouldn't it be nice if all of a sudden out of the blue, the air over your head was full of sparkles and a mysterious voice said: "Congratulations, you have just advanced a dishwashing level. Your Dishwashing level is now 15. You can now wash woks and spatulas." Ah if only… "I'm sorry mom, I can't do the dishes yet – I don't have a high enough level to wash your best dishes." I can see that excuse working real well in my house!
Wouldn't it be nice if your increased competence at your job automatically got you promotions and pay rises to go with them? "Congratulations, you have advanced a sales representative level. Your sales level is now 56. Your pay rate is increased by 10.29%. You can now deal with difficult customers." No arguing with your boss about how hard you work, no having to wait for a pay raise. Just simply keep showing up and doing your job and automatically get raises.
But back to levelling in-game. I've got friends with those fancy skill capes that they got through sheer dedication and hard work. These are people who happily spend hours, days, weeks, months, working away at a single skill. I, however, start falling asleep if I spend more than an hour or two on any one skill. As a result, I rarely do more than 20 trips to the coal mines, furnaces, prime fishing spots, and so on. I'll plant a round or two of crops, then forget about them. Only to come back a few days later and find them dead in the fields. If I get a Slayer task of more than 100 or so monsters, it's off to Burthorpe for something a bit quicker. I lack the single-minded dedication to make the front page of the high scores table, and am doomed to forever be a mid-level player. Now I could get all emo about this and complain that it's not "fair" that my friends are willing to spend weeks at a time mining coal, or chopping yews or magic trees, or catching and cooking monkfish. However, I don't do emo. Life's too short. So I've adapted my playing style to accommodate the need to level and my low boredom threshold.
What I try to do as much as possible is get the maximum experience for my time. I plan my levelling quite carefully. My objective is to make each keystroke count. So I don't just go out and chop wood, I first check my scores to see what I need the wood I'm chopping for. I can always use more oak in Construction and oak is easy and quick to cut. As a result, I've got several thousand oak logs in my bank waiting for me to have the money to turn them into planks. For someone who's basically fairly lazy and scattered, I put in a lot of hard work making sure that I get the most experience for the work I do in-game. In addition to making use of Tip.It's excellent calculators, I keep spreadsheets with all sorts of data on levelling. How long it takes me to mine a full inventory of each ore. How long it takes to get from the mine to the bank. The same with woodcutting and fishing. Is it worth taking teleport runes or better to use a ring of dueling and bank at Castle Wars? What about a house teleport then use the built in glory or teleport room. Armed with all this data (can you tell I'm a geek?), I find it relatively easy to plan what to do in-game. It's also worth factoring in the rewards gained from doing quests too. My ring of Charos has saved me money on magic carpet rides and made thieving grey wolf fur substantially more profitable. Getting access to Keldagrim means being able to use the blast furnace – with substantial savings in coal – and access to the gold mine for fast mining XP. Then of course, having goldsmith's gauntlets means that smelting all that gold brings in much more XP.
There are a lot of players who seem to think that having a pure is a big deal. I don't really see the point. If you only have the one character, then there's all sorts of stuff in game that you're missing out on because it's not part of your pure's skill set. If you have several characters, then you're splitting your time and experience over several characters, none of which are permitted to interact with the others, by Jagex's rules. If you're training your pure mage, then your pure ranger is sitting idly by and your pure miner is twiddling his pickaxe in the bank instead of bashing away in the mines.
An all-rounder on the other hand, has a little of everything. Or in the case of some serious skillers, a lot of everything. I'm very much in the all-rounder camp. Partly because I'm too cheap to pay for more than one membership, and partly because I don't want to concentrate on one particular skill. One of my goals at the moment is to keep all my skills at about the same level. Yep, I'm sufficiently geeky to calculate the standard deviation of my skills (right now it's about 5.6) and actually care about it. Of course all that might change one of these days when I get a sudden urge to be a master PKer or have a prayer skillcape so I can be followed everywhere by a flock of fans chanting "do emote pl0x1".
Until then, I'll be around somewhere working on something, because it is after all, all about the levels.
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