I decided to write some out of character (ooc) notes here, for those interested in how it was to play as a pacifist. Some things will become more difficult over time, and there will be odd little things that I might mention here that wouldn’t necessarily be put into the story, because its about game function, meta information etc.
I’ll be updating this as I go along with each set of levels, so check back for more information at a later date if it interests you.
When I first started out on this journey, I thought that it would be really difficult, and really challenging, and in many ways it was, and yet in other ways it was far easier than I had envisioned. The leveling this early on is actually pretty easy, the difficulty comes when stopping yourself doing the things you have gotten used to doing automatically, such as hitting 1 when near an enemy, or remembering not to smash eggs or eat anything that comes your way.
If I power through heart quests and events early on, I can usually get from level 1 to level 11 in perhaps 30-40 minutes, but playing as a pacifist not only limits what you can do, but slows things down somewhat because you generally cannot complete most heart quests on a single run, but have to do some of it, then come back when certain items respawn. To get to level 11 on my pacifist took roughly around 3.5 hours, which really isn’t bad.
The other thing that became clear was that doing heart quests to level was, along with exploring and gathering, going to be what gives the most experience. I managed to get roughly around 70% of Caledon Forest heart quests done, which is pretty amazing if you think about it, that so many were possible to complete without killing or harming anything.
The other thing that became clear when I tried to craft new armour, and ended up being one of the rules I added later on, was that almost all crafting includes creature parts. Leather, blood, fangs, venom, etc. Only Giver’s or Zealot’s armour is made without it (in the case of heavy armour at least) because it is crafted using snowflakes, not body parts. I am not sure how you would be able to play a class that wears leather armour. Running around naked might be a bit too much of a challenge. Runes and food also can be dangerous to your passive lifestyle.
What is becoming abundantly clear to me now is that in general, I have not found leveling any more difficult than usual really, it is just slower. Things take longer to complete, and I have to go back to heart quests one or two times to get them completed. For some heart quests, you can only complete them when a certain event pops, like the apple gathering in the orchard in Queensdale, or gathering the ruined grapes near Beetleton, and even then, you have to do that event several times to get all your heart filled up. Patience really is one of the things you may need for this, though because there are so many maps of the same level, it is likely possible to just skip those ones and go elsewhere. I worry though that this won’t be so easy once I get past a certain level.
Another thing that became clear was just how many events require you to kill or damage things in order to get any credit in that event. I basically gave up doing most events because of this, because healing doesn’t count, only resurrecting a downed or dead player does. Try to stick only to gathering type events, as at least you can do for the gold reward.
Human error is also a problem. Because things take longer, I was finding myself partially switching off into auto-level mode, and as a result accidentally had him consume something for a skill point, only realizing afterwards that it had been meat. I mention it here, because I won’t be putting it in the story since it was entirely my fault and not something he, as a character, would ever have been dumb enough to do. (I got rid of the skill point from him by purchasing something from the mystic forge vendor and tossing it in the bank for an alt).
That being said, the other problem was combat against items. Trying to damage a single target without damaging other creatures around? That is darn difficult. Most melee weapons seem to damage more than one thing, even if they don’t specifically say so (hence the story about the drake). Likewise even if you have managed to sort out a single target situation with an item, there are likely to be mobs around, which puts you in combat, forcing you to keep ahold of your weapon. This could potentially lead to you accidentally hitting one of them. In general, I never have a weapon equipped, especially not after the drake.
I have also found that money and loot are also problems. I wasn’t really aware of just how much of a player’s income in terms of currency and items comes from killing things. I know, I know, it is sort of obvious, but it didn’t really occur to me until I played for several hours and only had gathering items and a tiny bit of coin from heart quests to show for it. Playing a pacifist is not something to do for a great increase in income.
The last thing that I wanted to mention came about quite unexpectedly. I came across a couple of players roleplaying around the hunters lodge in Queensdale. Always nice when that happens. After checking it was okay to join the conversation, I had my character ask them about the human/centaur war and the different ways they might be moved to fortify rather than throw lives away. Their answers were interesting and will likely give my character a new goal to pursue amongst the others. Just wanted to make a note here that it was not npc in game that prompted that part of the story.
Age at hitting level 20 is: 13hr 15mins
I had problems starting this off actually, because the roleplay story he was sort of rocking there didn’t really fit in with where I needed to go to level. Because I was playing him as a roleplay character, this ended up a problem until I decided that no amount of delaying would move this forward. I think I found a satisfactory result, but yeah, it took me a while to really decide what he would do in this situation.