Category Archives: EQ 2
A Random Night of MMO Gaming
This past week I had a rather odd night of gaming. I sent an email to a friend the next morning detailing it, and in re-reading the email I thought it showed exactly what kind of “Nomadic Gamer” that I am, so you get to read it now too:
Watched tv with the wife until 10. Mucked about on the internet until about 11. Finally decided to actually log in to a game and settled on. . . . . EQ2 for the 1st time in over a year. Looked at my coercer and while the thing said “your AA was all reset” my AA’s were all still in place. It also said I was awarded 25 bonus AA, and then to top it off sometime between the last time I logged in and last night they re-balanced the AA curve so I had another 71 AA’s I could assign to boot.
Once I got the additional 96 AA’s done, I looked at my gear since I was getting a lovely message saying “some of your gear is locked” and well….. let’s just say if I took all of my gear off it wouldn’t have made any difference to my stats – every last piece of gear I have is legendary or fabled on the coercer. I actually ran a lot of instances on that toon back in the day, though apparently since I really haven’t played for 3 expansions, the level 90 mastercrafted gear is better than my legendary drops from the hardest instances in Paineel. Gotta love gear creep, no?
Options to unlock gear are: buy an unlock token for 40 station cash, or a pack of 5 for 150. Since I have 21 gear slots locked, I’d need 640 SC just to unlock the current gear and. . . meh. Other option is to sub. Also meh. Camped to desktop and found that somehow I’ve lost 2 character slots, so while the toons are still in the selection screen, they show locked since they’re over my limit. Apparently re-subbing would open them back up. Said “meh” to myself and exited the game. No point in playing if you have “no gear,” ya know?
Logged in to Vanguard next. 12 character slots for free, and I’m even using 8 of them, but 7 of those toons are still in various stages of the Isle of Refuge. Didn’t initially see my druid toon, so opened up the character creator and. . . all race/class restrictions are gone. Nice! But then I didn’t feel like bothering to make a character and didn’t remember what all was in my list anyway and didn’t want to make a dupe, so…. back out. Realized that I needed to scroll the list and oh look there’s the druid. Logged it in. Level 9 and I have 2 buffs, a self-heal, and 3 attack spells. Wow, that’s refreshing after logging in to EQ2 and having 96 hotbar slots open and about 90 of them actually filled. . . . . .
Ran to a mob area and killed a few, but then was tired so I exited out and went to bed. This was about midnight. Woke up at 3:24 with a headache. Tried to simply go back to sleep but just couldn’t get comfortable, so got up, went to the bathroom, took some Tylenol, and mucked about on the internet until about 6 when I decided to see if I could get into SWTOR. But ran into the same issue as the last time I tried to log in – they don’t log in with email address anymore, but account name, and I don’t have the 1st clue as to what my account name is. Clicked the “forgot my account name” button and it said “okay, sending you an email” but it never showed.
Decided to log in to Rift, but while the launcher opened fine and updated, when I clicked “Play” it crashed. Repeatedly. Went to the Rift forums and apparently for Win7 x64 people, a security update that M$ pushed out on Tuesday is the culprit. Uninstalled that and then Rift launched. Played my level 14 rogue in order to get it to 15 so I can transfer it off of Faeblight. I don’t recall why I wanted to free up a slot, but do recall that since I’d made the 28 slot bags for the toon that were now character-bound I wanted to transfer it, not delete it. So it’s now level 15, but haven’t transferred it or anything yet, becuz as I was getting ready to do that. . . [My 3-yr old daughter] woke up and it was 7:20-ish anyway, so time for me to get up too.
3:15 of sleep last night, and I don’t know why. I never get headaches, so to wake up with one. . . . too weird.
SWTOR Early Access and Other Sundry Stuff
So… It’s 2:15 pm in my time zone. I still haven’t received an early access email for SWTOR, yet I was able to log in this morning at 7:00 am. My 1st character auto-joined my guild and everything. I reserved some names for myself and tonight plan to actually go back in and create the characters’ appearances to match my ideas for the names.
Still can’t get over the fact that I could log in 7 hours ago and yet still haven’t received notification. Too weird. and yes, I checked my junk and spam folders — it ain’t there. Go figure.
Some useful links I’ve seen:
Even though I let my EQ2 sub go, it lasted a few days after the new expansion. I logged in to check out the new look for Freeport. It definitely looks nicer than it used to — better colors and lighting, no more dead trees — feels like it’s more alive. I was a bit surprised that the “racial ghettos” were just plain turned off — I’d have thought that also would have been redone, but no biggie. I got an email saying the door to my Mistmoor Crag estate had been moved, but even though I went to the inn it said it’d been moved to, I only found doors to the inn room housing. Not that I cared much and looked too hard for it either. I thought it odd that that door had moved while the portal to all the other specialty housing had stayed in South Freeport, byut. . . devs decide what devs decide, no?
Sadly, nothing really made me go “this is awesome and I should keep my sub going and log in a lot” so I have let the subscription lapse. I may come back sometime and buy the expansion so I can check out a Beastlord, but. . . who knows? I did love the game, and don’t know why it just doesn’t “have it” for me anymore. Perhaps it was just burnout from having played it more or less exclusively for so long.
On the Rift front, I’ve re-discovered the joys of the melee rogue yet again. I shot up from level 38 to 43 in about 5 hours over this past weekend. I had a bunch of rested xp, which helped, but I also decided to scrap the “melee ranger” build, since it looks like it’s designed more for level 50 anyway, and go a bit deeper into Bladedancer and Assassin as a hybrid. I’ve seen variants on this called “BladeSin” or the cruder “AssDancer,” and thought they looked interesting. At 39 all the base points for the 2 main souls were where I wanted them, and I started adding in Riftstalker for the Attack Power bonus and (eventual) healing on kill, though currently I really don’t need it. Build is here if you’d like to see it.
It’s pretty much a single-button macro and the parses on solo mobs jump all over the place, ranging from 350-ish to 700-ish, depending on which cooldowns are available, hit rate, crit rate, etc. Even with that dps being a bit spotty, I’ve soloed even-level elite mobs with it, so I’m pretty impressed with how much hurt it lays out. The 40% poison proc rate plus Leeching Poison makes me more or less invulnerable to groups of 3-4 solo mobs, and I can pull entire rift groups including the nerfed “boss” of the cycle and come through just fine. Amazingly non-squishy with that healing poison on. Downside is the build has no range, but between RS’s teleport and Flash of Steel I can still usually close gaps pretty quickly.
Got into a dungeon finder group last night and tested out my Marksman/Ranger group build to see how it’d do. Early on the tank had a bit of trouble with aggro, both with me and the healer, but once he got settled in the run went smoothly. the overall zone wide parse wasn’t terribly impressive, but I still felt like we killed mobs really quickly and my parse was the highest ZW, so I won’t complain. Got 3 nice gear upgrades from the dungeon too, including a new chest piece that looks nice enough that I changed all my appearance slots around and re-dyed all my armor to match it. I didn’t get a screenshot for this post, and I’m not actually sure when I’ll play Rift again, what with the “New Shiny” and all of that, so you don’t get to see, but. . .hey it’s free to read and you get what you pay for 😉
Interest in EQ2, More Rift Stuff, and More SWTOR thoughts as well
EQ2 stuff 1st: I decided to buy the new expansion coming out early next month and re-subbed to EQ2 in order to re-familiarize myself with the game. I played a couple of evenings, found a guild of “old-timers” (ages 30+ IRL) to join, had the “Thorg Armor” crafted for my level 90 toons, was very disappointed that it was WAY better than the other armor pieces that I either endlessly ran instances ot get enough tokens to buy or else was rare drops from those instances, and also finally ran the Cella instance on my SK in order to complete my Mythical Conversion quest. All in all fairly productive time.
And after that I simply wasn’t interested in logging in again. I don’t feel like leveling up alts, I don’t feel like running instances. Frankly, I don’t feel like logging in at all. EQ2 wasn’t boring to me, but it was uninteresting. So I canceled the subscription, canceled the pre-order of the expansion, and I think I just might be completely done with EQ2 after all.
Rift dropped patch 1.6 recently. The only thing in it that’s really affected me is that there’s a new level 50+ zone added for my capped toons to play in and some of the souls in mage and rogue were re-done so I had to re-allocate some points. I’ve done some minor exploration of the new area (see the screenshot 😛 ), but right now I’m more interested in leveling up my 2 non-capped toons on Faeblight, so my mage is now level 32 and my rogue is level 38 and both are steadily climbing.
Something I actually like about Rift is the way the skill trees seem to have enough “good stuff” in them that there’s almost always something just a point or 2 out of reach that you want to level up so you can get it. Even if that “just out of reach” thing is on a different soul tree. Right now on my rogue, for example, 1 build I’m working toward is a “melee ranger” (also called the Hoku spec). It has 23 points in Bladedancer soul, 24 points in Ranger, and 19 in Assassin. I’ve got the 23 and 24 in BD and Ranger, but only 3 in Assassin as of yet. And there’s a nice skill called “Puncture” that I get with 6 points in the soul, so it’s only 2 levels away (since I get 2 points at level 39) so…. there’s incentive. More “good stuff at 12, 15, 18, and 19 points as well, so no goal feels like it’s very far off. And thus my interest is still piqued and Rift keeps me logging in, even if not on my capped out toons that I don’t want to endlessly grind instances on.
Finally, SWTOR Beta. I was in it 2 weeks ago, but not last week, and then again this week. No character wipes yet, so I even had rested XP on the ones I’d logged out in cantinas. TBH, since I know i plan to play as a Trooper at launch and didn’t want to spoil any of that story, I wasn’t all that excited about logging in this weekend. But since I had the bonus xp sitting there and I did kinda want to see the animations for the dual-bladed lightsaber, I fired up the Jedi Consular and played with it.
Due to having the rested xp and my penchant for “grinding” any red mob between me and a quest objective (no avoiding mobs for me) and also that I got in a group for the “Chamber of Speech” heroic quest, well….. at the point the story seemed to think I was level 7, maybe approaching level 8, I was already level 10. Once I hit 10 I decided to see if I could go up to the fleet and get my advanced class, and. . . yup, sure could. So suddenly I had these nice passive skills as a Jedi Shadow and a nice Blue-level dual-bladed lightsaber. It started green — the consular color — but we all got the pre-order crystal in the mail so I slotted that in and it turned it black with a yellow outline. I tried to get a few screenies, but the beta client doesn’t do them and apparently it somehow disabled my Windows thing too, as when I tried to paste into MS Paint it didn’t work either. And no, I don’t have any other things like SnagIt or whatever, so. . oh well.
My next fight vs multiple mobs back on Tython was kinda fun as the toon would flip the saber back behind her to block attacks. I don’t know that it was actually blocking or just animating that it was, but it did make it look pretty cool. Sadly, this did break some immersion, as the next series in my story line sent me to go craft my 1st lightsaber. Except I already had one I’d been given up in the fleet. But I still got up to “The Forge” and said “Finally! A lightsaber!” just before crafting it. And after crafting that (single-bladed) saber (which wasn’t as good as my dual-bladed one so I didn’t use it at all) I went back to my master and the Jedi Council who I’d already talked to with the saber-staff hanging from my belt and they made a big deal that since I *now* had a lightsaber that meant I was no longer a Padawan. Oops!
After I’d done that, I didn’t really feel like “testing” anymore. Anything I do will be wiped anyway, and I’m really only interested in the Trooper class to start and didn’t want to go past the level 10 I already did 2 weeks ago on it and just be repeating content once the go-live happens. All in all, still enjoyable, but I want the launch to happen before I do anything more.
My only complaint about this beta was that the “Next Target” and “Closest Target” keys never worked for me. I asked in chat and was told they were buggy, so I ended up just click-targeting everything or letting the “auto-target-back” feature move me on to the next mob that was attacking me. Not really enjoyable as a melee class with a forced close-in camera so it was hard to see or click on things behind me, but not the end of the world either.
Rift Pet Peeves
Getting the obligatory “Love Rift and have canceled EQ2 and EVE for at least a month while I focus solely on Rift since it’s so much friggin’ fun!” out of the way. And now that that’s said, there are several things that bug me — either features missing, features badly implemented, or things I just plain don’t like. This isn’t a comprehensive list and the TL;DR version would probably be summed up as “Copied WoW when they should have copied EQ2.” And then my personal conspiracy theory that since Hartsman came from SOE and EQ2 that to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest he avoided blatantly copying the better features from EQ2 so as to not be sued or something.
Oddly, this might end up more or less sorting out for myself why I’ve always loved EQ2 yet couldn’t really get into WoW. So here we go:
Missing things are:
- Appearance Slots — C’mon, how many games have these now? I like my sets that I craft for myself and don’t want to break up the look. The “level capped rainbow look” was a running joke in EQ2 before appearance slots we re added in. Heck, even DDO has appearance armor anymore. How could any game ship without them anymore is beyond me.
- Shared Banks — You allow 6 toons per server, yet each has an individual-only bank and has to mail anything to an alt? Really? EQ2 shipped with a shared bank 6 years ago. . . I know the technology is out there. . . . .
- Guild Banks — I’m still scratching my head at how such a polished game is missing this feature. Especially since. . .you guessed it. . . EQ2 shipped with them. Sorry to harp on this EQ2 thing, but um. . .Mr. Hartsman. . . you were THERE and saw how popular these features were and ARE in that game. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
- In-combat sprint — Granted there’s really no death penalty at all, but it’s still nice to be able to sprint past a mob or 3 in a high density area after it’s aggro’d on you.
Badly implemented things are:
- The UI — It’s HUGE. I’m told there’s someplace in the settings where I can scale it down, though, so I need to look for that. Still… I’ve never cared for the WoW UI and this one is pretty much a straight copy across from it. Your party window with its massive portraits and small health bars don’t help when I’m playing a healer either.
- The mounts — for the love of god, stop making me recast it every damn time I do something. You had it right in EQ2, Scottie — make me lose the runspeed when in combat, but don’t make the frakking thing go poof and need a 2s recast just becuz a grayed-out mob looked at me funny. An option a la EQ2’s recently added “don’t show mounts just let me look like I’m running fast” wouldn’t be a bad thing to add either.
- Player Faction on the PvE servers — EQ2 got this one right too, Scott. It lets EVERYONE on the server play together. We chose a PvE server becuz we don’t want to fight the other side. If I want to play with my friends and I like my Eth while they like Dwarves, why can’t we play together? Oh right, becuz you have your stupid PvP in my PvE server too. Newsflash: People who choose PvE servers don’t want PvP. Even in “pure PvP games” like Eve and Darkfall something like 80% of all players never leave the non-PvP areas. PvP is a *niche* and shouldn’t be on every damn server including the PvE ones. And if you must keep it this way, at least let me add cross-faction friends so if someone logs on I can see that to know to switch to an alt in that faction so I can go play with them. This whole “never the twain shall meet except across the point of a sword” is utterly ridiculous on a PvE server.
There’s more, but this is long enough and I’m actually itching to log in and play so. . yeah, the negatives really don’t outweigh the positives in any way shape or form, but. .. while I’m a fanboi, I can still say that it’s not “perfect” either 😛
Rift Headstart with a Side of Destiny of Velious
Due to a recent change in policy at work, I had yesterday afternoon off, so I figured I’d use that time to jump into the rift headstart. I’ve decided to go with the Multiplaying.net crowd’s “Circle of Trust” guild on the Faeblight server, so when I 1st logged in I picked that shard and. . . estimated 5 hour queue. I expected a queue, but 5 hours? Yowza! So I started clicking around on various other shards and found one with a mere 20 minute queue on it and started to wait on that one.
While I was waiting I logged in to EQ2 since it was “Free Server Move Day” for up to 5 toons and I’ve been wanting to move at least a couple of toons off Oasis and over to Antonia Bayle. I’d actually done the prep work for them to be able to move in the morning, so at this point it was largely just a matter of logging in the toons I wanted to move, grabbing the coin, and using it. Sounds easy, but my EQ2 client tends to crash when it’s supposed to go to the character selection screen, so there was much restarting of the client. On the bright side, this let me watch the queue for Rift easily since it was sitting behind the EQ2 client, so when it crashed out . . there was the queue countdown!
Once the queue was done I made a toon on (I think it was) Dimwood server and started running through the tutorial zone. realized about halfway through that since this wasn’t my “preferred server” that one could argue (and I am “one”) that I was wasting my time doing it, but it all worked out becuz they brought all the servers down a few minutes later for “performance tweaks.” I still had 2 more toons to move in EQ2 so I logged back in there to do that. Once done, I went back to Rift andf checked Faeblight and it was only showing a 40 minute queue!
So I selected that and pulled up Hulu to catch up on Castle. I’d missed 2 of the 3 past weeks, after all. The counter fluctuated a bit and actually went up to over an hour, but then started to drop at about 3 positions per minute and was actually only about a half hour, all told. So I still have to catch the end of the episode I was watching later, but such is life.
Surprisingly, the tutorial zones were fairly empty. I guess with the throttled login queue keeping people logging in relatively infrequently and only half-ish picking a faction that it made it seem. . .there were people around yes, but at the end of the zone the public groups for that fake rift event was only me and 1 other person 3 of the 4 times, and we had 3 people on the 4th time. Yes, I made 4 toons in order to reserve my names that I wanted. With the removal of the racial characteristics other than a little fluff spell, I found during the open beta that I prefer the Eth (Human) sprint ability to the Bahmi (Barbarian/Orc) leap, and I didn’t like the Kelari (Elf) fox illusion at all, so. . .I have 4 Eth toons.
I’ve already run the tutorial zone many times in the beta, so I just blasted through with each character, which easily gets them to level 6. In the actual starting area I immediately ran to the mailbox to get their mounts. Grabbed the harvesting skills I’d want for the planned crafting classes and started trying to get as many resources as possible, since that’s been the bottleneck on the crafting in the prior betas. Between last night’s session and an early morning one today (baby woke up and once I had her back down I knew I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep before my alarm went off) I have the ability to craft items to level 11 for all of them now, but the characters are only level 8 or 9, so there’s a bit of growth to go before I can be “fully kitted out.” Which is a good thing, IMO.
This morning there was an armorsmith getting server discovery dings for the T3 crafted items. Pretty impressive to be making level 23 gear already, I thought.
As it is, for me I’m going to try to get my toons all to level 11 at a minimum this weekend to be fully geared up. I will probably try to get the “main” (my mage) up to level 16 and do a few runs through the Iron Tombs as healer (love that Chloromancer!), and if I have time, might try to get 1 or 2 of the others to level 13 to be able to start their soul quests. Time will tell on that.
Happy gaming wherever you find yourself!