Ever since the devs introduced those Campaign Buyouts and the Knox’s Adventurer Recruitment Order, I asked myself whether the shortcut is worth it. Can it get you to an endgame viable toon in reasonable time? The obvious answer is no, because while the ZEN items get you to 70 and mostly up to speed in terms of boons and campaigns, the toon still lacks all of its gear. On the other hand the game has progressed in a way that Chult, Strongholds and the seal store already offer nice starting packages that are very easy to obtain.
Got Myself a Paladin on Black Friday
So I went out on Black Friday and got myself an Oathbound Paladin. It’s a class that I hadn’t gotten into anyway, so it made sense on multiple fronts. With the 40% the whole package is 9,000 ZEN, which seems like a fair deal for a ready-made rank 70. There are two scenarios I’d like to discuss here, because using the ZEN store to buy yourself an alt or your very first toon are two very different things.
I first started to plan the character in our Ratings Simulator with the gear I have on my account. I was actually mildly surprised that the character hit 11,000 item level with Rank 8 Enchantments and no guild boons. Remember, 11,000 is the requirement for the epic random queue. I’m not sure this is what you would call endgame viable, but it’s most certainly endgame ready. So assuming this can be done with other classes as well, getting an endgame ready alt seems to be a check. In case you can indeed instantly supply all necessary gear, enchantments and refining points etc., you don’t even need to farm anything on the character itself.
Endgame Ready: Check!
It’s obviously not so each when starting from scratch. New players for example don’t have Hunts gear that they farmed with other chars or two Heroic Ring of the Companion +4. That’s why I created a second loadout “Budget” that goes full blue gear from the basic vendors. The only exception are the artifacts, which are really super easy to level, and the Sellsword, because the tool only supports active companions in purple or legendary quality. This build comes in slightly below 11,000 item level. Again without any guild boons.
In that case you need to farm a bit for the necessary items, but generally I don’t see anything that’s causing a major headache. Nothing is super expensive or super hard to get. The biggest challenge while building both loadouts by the way was to hit the Armor Penetration cap. Depending on what gear you can get, you might not be able to avoid slotting Dark Enchantments.
Is it Viable?
In terms of viability you could probably argue that a Paladin, or support in general, is able to contribute more than a DPS on lower item levels. I haven’t run too many dungeons with my new OP so far, but the experience was mostly positive. It definitely feels like the character can tackle most content already. So in case you want to jump right into the action I’d recommend going with a tank or a healer. That’s however not only true when buying yourself a char. Chances to get in groups are always higher on a support build. So the experience on other classes should differ and the same amount of effort and cash might not get you equally close to endgame content.
New Players Should be Cautious
Theoretically you can buy and farm an endgame viable toon in reasonable time. I can absolutely recommend it for alts. If you bring up an in-demand class during a major sale and can supply gear and enchantments, it’s really convenient. You can pretty much instantly start running all content minus Tomb of the Nine Gods.
New players however face a tougher decision. 150$ is a hefty price tag and you still need to do some grinding till you can jump into all relevant dungeons. Without any experience, you additionally risk picking a “bad” class that albeit endgame ready might not really be viable. And it goes without saying that the best way of learning your toon and all aspects of the game is to go through the full progression and story from 1-70 at least once. So overall, although tempting, it might not be the smartest move to get your first character through the ZEN market.
Have you ever bought a full character? If so, what’s your impression on its viability in endgame content? Share your thoughts in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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