Experiment number seven:
Create a character, any character that you feel most comfortable with. The road ahead will be fraught with danger. As you are creating your character don't use any “VIP” gifts or rewards until you past level 40, if you choose. As you are leveling through the first two sections, the ruins and the hollows, the amount of AP varies between 10 and 50 normally and with a VIP it could be anywhere between an additional 5 to 50 given on which map you might be playing. VIP's also provide additional “XP” which forces you to level up faster, than normally. Would you agree?
When you don't use the VIP's there will be gaps between levels in which you can run multiple large AP maps. There is a section in the game where you level up from level 9 to level 12, you get XP and you get Gold, but you lost out on how much AP? Without the VIP you fall into a XP void where you don't produce the additional XP, so it takes longer to get to the next level.
The void is suppose to be there to allow you to go back to previous maps, to look for things you didn't find the first time. It is what I used it for. Quest items are harder to find in the lower levels without the VIP. I ran the Frost Stones 10 times looking for different items associated to the map. It wasn't a real pleasant experience. There is that problem with “diminishing returns”.
When you are in the mid-thirties, apart from the normal missions, without the VIP you are running 5 additional maps for every level. If you choose to only run the high AP missions, like 50, 45, and 40's, for each character level, you will accumulate more XP and AP than using the VIP quick fix. When you use the VIP you are running five fewer maps than people who aren't as blessed as you are. Just when you thought you were getting ahead of everyone else; life sucks sometimes, don't it?
Experiment number eight:
This is a test to determine if my abilities to play this game has improved or am I just as dumb as I was on day one or am I maturing? Create a series of characters that you like the best, just not the same character a bunch of times. I'm using a set of eight, two of which are in their forties now: Vella and Lynn, everyone else that I'm going to use are in their 20's. So I'm going to get 50,000 NX, to bring them up quickly. One month for preparation. For me it will be a 9-month experiment.
Level them up to the mid-forties, just after they have tasted their first 2-day armor set. You want their abilities to be roughly even.
Purchase 50,000 NX per month for the next eight months. Roughly $50 per character. See how far you get in the game, by completing the entire quest line. Write down your start date and time. You only get 30 days. I'm using these characters as measuring sticks. Write down your finish date and time.
Yes, I know you have a incredible quest backlog – who said it would be fair? To be reading this, you already think your pretty good, don't you?
Then you have to write a five page essay on your exploits and post it on the forum.