The Lowbie Diaries Vol. 40: To Lowbie, or Not to Be

Lowbie Diaries BannerWelcome to a project, experiment, challenge or whatever you wanna call it. Normally experiencing the content with well-geared toons, I figured it would be quite interesting to approach the game from the perspective of a casual player. How does it feel starting from scratch and build up a character without the help of your mains? How long does it take until you are geared enough for the latest endgame content? Welcome to the Lowbie Diaries, it should be fun!

We’ve heard this before

It looks like I have to take a quick break this week and get into the goals and intentions of the project once more. The reason is that one of our readers questioned whether my proclaimed item level of 11,000 still justifies the lowbie tag. Actually the comment said I was “mocking people who are not fully geared up yet”.

So this is something that came up before, actually right at its start over two years ago. Back then many thought the item level on my lowbie Warlock was way too high for a fresh level 70. Now we have a similar issue with different numbers. My lowbie DC is 11,000, too much for some.

First of all: I get that. 11k is enough to get into some of the former “3k” channels, which most definitely doesn’t exactly fit the lowbie theme. But at the end of the day it’s more a question of what can currently be classified as lowbie and what the intention of the diaries is.

11,000 is not too hard to achieve

Even if you think 11,000 might be too high, it’s not actually that hard to achieve nowadays. With campaign completions up to Mod 9, 420 ilvl Armor, Rank 7s, Bondings, Purple Artifacts, Green Insignias, Green Pets, Blue Artifact Gear and Ostorian Rings you are already knocking at the door of 10k. If you then join a decent guild, let’s say level 14 with three boon structures at level 6, you’re almost there. Now is that a lowbie or not? It’s already very close to 11k, but also very early in the progression.

I think one key is that while I build a character from scratch here, I do it very efficiently. I do not go out without VIP for example, because it creates so much wealth solely through the daily Enchanted Key. It’s going to land you everything on the list above. If not directly, then through the ADs you’re going to make by selling the drops.

Let’s be efficient

My approach with dungeon runs is pretty clear as well. There’s no need to make it hard on yourself and try them at the minimum requirements. More importantly the progression in its current state simply doesn’t require it. You can comfortably build up more gear first and live a happier life. Just grind through the campaigns until you have completed a majority of them, and see what VIP and events are able to generate along the way.

I get it’s a very specific approach. Most players on their first character probably don’t want to go through the campaigns for five to six weeks before meeting their first dungeon boss. Nonetheless I feel like it’s the smoothest way to the top.


That’s why the intention of the project probably is more accurately described with testing how fast you can go through the progression solo. Everything the DC owns has been achieved by only playing that one character. There’s no help from a big account involved, no alternate characters, not even pray dummies.

But if you asked me whether all of the growing pains are accurately represented in the project, my answer would probably be no. We don’t truly look through the lowbies’ eyes, but I feel like I’m still getting a sense of how painful certain elements of a game are if you can’t just simply skip them by investing AD or using other accelerations.

We might have to agree to disagree, but at least you know my thought process behind the approach now. In any case make sure to share your own thoughts in the comments, specifically what you would make different or would be interested in.

The Lowbie Diaries Vol. 35: Another Month has Passed?!
The Lowbie Diaries Vol. 36: Finally a new Chapter in the Progression
The Lowbie Diaries Vol. 37: Here We go Again!
The Lowbie Diaries Vol. 38: Gearing Up
The Lowbie Diaries Vol. 39: Dread Ring on One Weekend

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10 thoughts on “The Lowbie Diaries Vol. 40: To Lowbie, or Not to Be

  • August 22, 2017 at 11:58 am

    I’ve been playing for four months an average of 3-4 hours a day, doing 2 dungeons 2 skirmishes and sometimes 2 pvp a day. I got in a GH soon after 70 with boons. I haven’t wasted any money. I’ve had VIP since I hit 70. I have every campaign boon except most of chult, half of skt, and most of pvp. I only just hit 11k a few days ago. So I’d agree that 11k isn’t lowbie level. I don’t feel like a lowbie or newbie anymore, I give out far more advice than I receive, and I can comfortably do all content except fbi, msp, and t9. Also I’m a crappy TR, if I were a DC i’d probably be doing fbi, msp, and t9.

    • August 22, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      The difference in experience is astounding. I only ran leveling dungeons pre 70 and no dungeon since then until very recently. VIP + GH 14 and currently trying to progress in the River District. Yet I’m at 11k as well. I don’t feel the char has done much so far, /played is 6 days, 7 hours, 20 minutes, 7 seconds.

    • August 23, 2017 at 12:59 am

      Well, j0Shi has presented you in these diaries the way to get to 11k much faster than you did, yet you say that you are advising people to follow your path, which feels too long even for youself? Also the title referenced ‘lowbie’ as a starting point and over time it is inevitable that the toon will become more advanced. As a side note 11k is pretty average nowadays, because with the new mods, the access to higher IL gear becomes easier, so I do think that at the moment it can still be called ‘lowbie’ (please also differentiate it from ‘newbie’, because it is not the same).

      • August 23, 2017 at 4:27 pm

        Never said I advise people to follow my path.
        Never said it feels too long for myself.
        Never even read anything on this site before I started reading it a couple months ago so no clue what the earlier articles in the series said.
        Never said I was the one who made the complaint who prompted this article.
        Never said 11k wasn’t average, I said it wasn’t lowbie, average comes after lowbie.
        I’m not advocating he drop the series or start over, I don’t care one way or another if he continues these diaries with an 11k, I’m just simply agreeing that 11k isn’t a lowbie.
        All I said was that I agree with what prompted this article as it took me a lot of time to reach 11k with my first char and I feel I’ve managed my time rather ideally. I log on, do AD dailies, do campaign dailies, and maybe a tia or demo here and there, and log off. No wasted time. The only difference between me and a 14k+ is the grind/money it takes to refine everything to max and familiarity with the top 3 dungeons. If I were a brand new player seeing a lowbie diary about an 11k, I’d laugh and wonder what I’m supposed to do as a 4-5k newly level 70, which is the type of thing I see on reddit/zone chat/ally chat all the time. So as I said before, 11k isn’t a lowbie. At that point unless you bought your way there you’ve spent a lot of time and should know what you’re doing. As you say it is inevitable that a character will get more advanced over time, and at 11k it’s not a lowbie anymore, just like if he continued to 17k it wouldn’t be a lowbie anymore.

        • August 24, 2017 at 1:24 am

          This is the main point – as a 4-5k beginner, you should not start reading from chapter 40.

  • August 23, 2017 at 5:58 am

    I’m 11,6k TR with 5 months behind me. I’m in big guild and alliance. And i have to say that I am seriously a lowbie. Average ilvl of ppl around me is something like 14-15k for mains and 12-13k for alts.
    As i play for fun, i usually don’t run daily two dungeons and skirmishes, i log on 4 chars to pray, but just a few times per day. I have some AD from VIP, selling Trex fangs and other activities, but i’m certainly no rich. Also I only done like a half campaigns.
    11k is a lowbie. Sure you have some power, you can run old campaigns and dungeons but it’s nothing impressive. Average ilvl grows constantly as new modules brings better and better items. From my perspective one can now get to 11k through doing campaigns and buying cheap eq from AH. Almost like getting 70lvl but on bigger scale. After it, another step begins: earning AD, buying, refining, farming. You need to get and upgrade good companions, eq that is rare to drop and expensive to get from AH, legendary mount, insignias etc. This is what i would consider a grown character: no more clear milestones, other than made by yourself, just slowly growing ilvl.

    • August 26, 2017 at 2:43 am

      And thats where you go wrong with thinking.
      In comparison you might be lower. Just think of IT like this.
      You own 1.000.000 USD. In respect to someone who owns 100.000.000 USD you are a very poor person.
      Feeling poor doesnt Mean you ARE poor.

      Other example;
      In order to Kill a Boss you need to do 100k DPS. you are dealing 110k while others are raping the Boss with 500k DPS. In this case you might take a lot of Flac for dealing low damage. In this case we see the difference between Being viable and overperforming.

      Other example
      Tier 1 dungeons require about 6k ilvl (might be slight higher, not behind my pc atm). Are you a lowbe when you go in as 11k ilvl? According to you it is. Ik guess you could even solo it as 11k

      Last example
      I also play Swtor and there is a raid where every person needs to Kill his of her own Boss within 2 minutes (else the fight resets). I have been in quite many pugs where they would ask a lower geared person to sit idle and let a higher damagedealer take out 2 targets.
      Take in mind that you could succesfully Kill your target as a lv48 tank (lv50 was the max back than).
      Also The person who was asked to sitout would have been able to Kill his target within 1,5 minutes.

      Morale of the story. The powercreep and gearupdates might make you feel like a lowbe. There is a difference between feeling and are’ing. Being mediumly geared in An environment where most of a lot are high geared might make you feel like a lowbe.

  • August 23, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Many thx for this post joshi.
    Just to clarify myself a bit more. I didnt had any issues with the name lowbe diaries as it dus start out as such.
    My only quarrel was the mentality of treating 11k ilvl as if it is barely enough for tier 1 and 2 dungeons (meaning up till Etos).

    I fully agree that reaching 11k isnt that hard to do. My alt has almost 10k with him recently at lv70 and could be higher if i payed focus on getting it up.

    Anyways. Keep on the Good work! Enjoying your posts

  • August 25, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    As someone who’s been playing casually for several years, completing most of the campaigns, and whose main hasn’t even hit 10.5k, I’m fascinated by what completely different worlds we live in. 🙂

  • February 1, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    This is a bit old but here is an example I ran into this week. A person in our guild, a newer player but has been in guild a bit and for a dragon flight happily ran off to green. I inspected them to see if they might be a candidate for the green kill and was shocked to find them wearing some rank 5 and even lower enchants. Without VIP, which many do not have, access to r7 enchants is a bit of a challenge and now that r5’s don’t drop everywhere, those are a bit harder to come by. If they are less that 11k their options to make AD are lower and it takes a fair amount of time to save up the funds for RP/VIP/Mounts/companions etc…myself I would cut lowbie causual player level around the 9-10K range (including guild boons) and free pets that drop in events or other places rather than the green versions of the pets you might know to be best.

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