Vampires as a Playable Race in EQ2
As many of you know, SOE released the Freeblood race of vampires in EQ2 yesterday as a “premium” race that isn’t unlocked, but is bought from their Station Cash shop for 2000 SC points, or $20 at the regular price for points. The race also has associated goodies specific to that race: A special animation unarmed fighting style (500 points), a race specific house (1500 points), and a race specific mount that gives a 65% speed boost, makes you look like a swarm of bats, and once the new expansion comes out will be a flying mount to boot (2500 points).
Some people don’t like this. In fact, our very own Stargrace announced that this is the last straw for her and she’s leaving EQ2 for good. I replied in the comments to her post linked that I really don’t care about this new race — my character slots are full, I’ve already got all the classes I’m interested in playing (and a few that I’m really not) covered, so the $65 price tag for the vampires and their associated fluff meant nothing to me.
In retrospect, I wish I’d added that I’ve bought the drow, warforged, half-elf, and half-orc races in DDO and that they’re pretty much the same cost as SOE is charging overall, so if they’re “good to buy” in DDO, they can’t be “bad” in SOE, but that would have been pretty irrelevant unless I was trying to persuade her not to quit EQ2, which I’m not. I’m very much a “play what you want to” kind of guy, and while I love EQ2 and wish people not only wouldn’t quit and that more people would sign up and play, if she wan’ts to leave, that’s definitely her prerogative and I’m not gonna gainsay her in any way. Wish you all the best, SG, and definitely hope you’re happy no matter where you’re playing!
But now with all that prelude said. . . I had 5300-ish SC points in my account yesterday due to recent “double cash” time periods, and since I didn’t want to have to wait until January or February or whenever to see what the race was like, I did what earlier in the day was unthinkable to me and I bought another character slot (1000 points) unlocked the race (2000 points), and bought the “special unarmed attack animations (500 points). This leaves me a balance of 1800-ish points, so I could buy the house if I want, but I’m only about 30 days out from gaining the Mistmoore Crag Estate as a veteran reward, and I never actually visit my own houses except to initially place my sales crates and to pay their upkeep, so it would be a pointless waste to do that, IMO. and I didn’t buy the mount becuz I didn’t have the point balance available, and also becuz I think the 2500 SC price point is ludicrously high. I haven’t bought any of SOE’s other mounts from their shop and I doubt I ever will — I can get a 65% mount in-game easily enough without dropping $12.50 to $25.00 on it.
Still and all, had I not had that SC balance available already, I wouldn’t have bought anything at all. Pretty graphic demonstration that I have a hole being burned in my pocket, isn’t it?
But anyway — I played with the character creator for both male and female looks and tbh didn’t really care for either, but the female was a bit less objectionable to me, so I ended up with a female toon. Class selection was rougher for me, since as I mentioned above, I’ve already got all the classes I want to play covered with a few extras. I thought about going Templar since that’s the only healer I don’t have yet, but the race is oriented toward the Scout or Mage archetypes and I wanted to take advantage of those.
So going down the list:
- Necromancer — makes sense that a vampire would be one, but I already have one and don’t really like it all that much.
- Conjuror — Don’t like necro, doubt I’d really care for conjie either.
- Coercer — My main, so I don’t need another.
- Illusionist — Never was interested.
- Warlock — Already got one at 90.
- Wizard — Already got one that I’m devoting a lot of time to. Level 37 Wiz, 88 AA’s, 74 Sage, 320 tinker, in case anyone cares that I update on that, btw.
So, that put the mages right on out for me. Scout perhaps:
- Assassin — Tried one before, don’t really like the stun/stealth/backstab dance one has to do when solo.
- Ranger — Never wanted to be one.
- Dirge — Got one.
- Troub — Never wanted to be one.
- Brigand — Got one and don’t particularly care about it one way or the other.
- Swashbuckler — Hm. I actually kinda liked the swashie a little more than before I betrayed to brig, even if it was only at level 12 when I betrayed. Add in that it’s a “good” class and I’ve never actually done the Kelethin noobie experience. . . .Looks like we have a winner.
So…. I now have a level 2 Freeblood Swashbuckler in the Nursery area of Kelethin. It was late when I did all this (possible sleep-deprivation induced impulsiveness?), so I don’t even remember what I named it. Shanto-something, I think. It came with a “basic” hand-to-hand animation already equipped in the appearance slots, so I did the 1st 2 fights with that on to see what it looked like, and I rather liked how it looked. Then I equipped the “special” one I paid the 500 points for. The animation itself looked the same to me, but there was an added spell effect look that made it seem a little more dramatic. Still didn’t think it was very impressive overall, and feel like it was a waste of the 500 points I spent on it.
I “released my inner demon” and felt that it looked simply hideous, so I changed back to regular form and removed that racial ability from my hotbar. I won’t be using it again.
Then I looked at the racial abilities. Definitely geared toward either being a mage or a scout, though the scout stuff would also translate well to a fighter, methinks. Nothing to help out with being a priest, though, but then the racial benefits are always so limited as to not really matter. I’ve got an Ogre Wizard, a High Elf Shadowknight, and a High Elf Brigand — I know of what I speak here. Still… that lifetap melee proc that is selectable later on looks like it could be semi-yummy if it scales well and if it’s affected by potency and is crit-able in the higher levels, but other than that… really standard fare.
So my conclusion is. . . it’s a race. Nothing in its standard package that looks like it’s overpowered or has an advantage over any other races. The mount looks like it would be nice since it’s usable at level 1 and will eventually allow Freebloods to bypass the flying mount quest that every other race will need to do in the expansion, but I still think 2500 points is just way way way too much to ask for any mount. The special animation isn’t anything compelling. The inner demon form is kinda sad, imo. The house I don’t care about since I’m about to get a bigger/nicer one for free in a month anyway. But SOE did cryptically say that the vampire “lair” will have an additional “special feature” that will be added in January. It’d have to be *really* special to convince me to drop 1500 points on it over my 7-year vet reward house, so for me that’s not an y kind of draw to the race.
Final summary: I spent a lot of points so you won’t have to. If you simply *must* be a vampire for whatever reason, then go ahead, but otherwise there’s nothing compelling about the Freebloods at all to recommend them over any other race. And don’t waste your money buying their fluff items either.