Farewell to the Arena. I have decided its time to hang up my Galea and finish with Gladiatus. The problem with online role playing games games is that they have no obvious end. There is no clear exit point at which you can leave the game with your head held high. Gladiatus is a fun diversion but it is also pretty shallow. I knew from the start that I wouldn't still be playing this time next year so I set my own personal goal that I would try to achieve before leaving. I decided to pitch for the top spot of the beginners league (Circus Fighters, level 1 to 10) or as close to it as I could get. As I worked my way up the ladder I noticed the same few players jostling for the top spot. They were all level 9 with astronomical skill levels. To take on these players and win was my personal goal.
At one point the reigning champion even challenged me. I didn't know why - I was several levels lower and he utterly annihilated me. Never mind. Things would be different when I reached those heights.
I was doing pretty well or so I thought. I worked my way down from number 10,000 to about 700 and was beginning to gear up seriously for my assault on greatness. After another successful arena bout I checked the standings again expecting to be somewhere in the 600s. Instead I found I was number 1300. In fact I was number 1300 in the levels 10 to 19 legue. You see I had taken my eye off the ball, hit level 10 and graduated to the next league without ever getting a crack at the top spot of the lower league.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. At first I was stunned because I knew I was still much weaker than those at the top of the "circus fighters" yet I had leap frogged them into the higher league. I now realise that in order to achieve my goal I should have worked hard at advancing my character without ever increasing in level. Combat prowess in Gladiatus is more skill based than level based. In addition there are no level restrictions on uber gear providing you can get your hands on it. Since training and equipment can both be bought with gold even low level players can turn themselves into formidable fighters by earning the cash to pay for training and gear.
You might wonder how a player can earn gold without advancing in level since even working in the stables will earn some XP. I reckon there are two ways: Firstly If a player has a paying account they get a daily wage. The second way is to challenge fighters who are much lower in level than you. You can steal some of their gold but will not get XP for such an easy win. That explains why I was ganked by the reigning champion. I suspect he regularly trawls through the lowbie ranks picking on the weak to stuff his coffers.
I though about playing on in the higher leagues. Things seem to be a bit more exciting - there doesn't seem to be many dormant accounts and I was challenged several times by players trying to progress. Nevertheless I decided to stay true to the spirit of my original goal. I hung up my gladius and transferred leadership of the Rudiarius guild to the next ranking member.