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New Year, New Toon, New Guild (Well sort of)!!!

Well the Holidays are finally over and now its time to focus back on the important things in life…EVERQUEST 2!!!!!!!!

I have been tinkering around with my 3 main toons and getting them leveled and tradeskilled up, its been a long and sometimes boring process. I am more of a solo player vs the group aspect of the game, dont get me wrong i love the occasional group or raid to get the blood flowing, but 98% of the time i am solo. I feel that being solo i can work at my own pace, if i want to stare at a mob and work out some strategy before jumping in i can, in a group thats not so easy, espically if you have someone like i use to be they see a mob and RUN straight for it and pull everything in site…hehe (done that one too many time) !!

But since the New Year is here i have taken a break from my older toons and made room for a new toon on the same old server but in a different new but old guild for me, i know that sounds confusing, so i’ll explain.

See i was once part of the Looony Toons guild in Crushbone , one of the founding fathers so to speak, well after sometime i was growing boried with the role of a leader and wanted to be lead, had alot of things going on in my RL that was affecting my EQ2 life, so i made a decision to step down and leave the guild to look for a more raiding guild, at the time all i wanted to do was raid and get the uber gear and become a ledgend.

Yes, i made a new home and fell in love with my guildies who have been the best friends a person could ask for in game and out of game. i still felt like i have had a peice missing from me, so on Monday i made a deciosion to create a new toon and tag him back into the old guild that i came from and work with them for a while. Now for anyone who is in the guild i am in now, dont worry – Chubby, Cinder, Kuzab and the other 2 alts are not leaving the guild, i just needed a change of pace and visit some old friends for a while, i will still be on my older toons and getting them where they need to be but i will also be working on this new toon and guild to help get them to GL 90. Just spreading the love guys !!

I have been very impressed with Looony Toons the last couple nights, last night they had over 20 players on for a majority of the night, it was great i havent seen that in a guild in a long long time and felt proud that i was at one point in my life that i helped create this guild, they have done so much ove the last couple years and have built the guild into a strong force for the citizens of Norrath. Also i didn’t releize this till last night that i created and join this new / old guild on the guilds Anniversay, so ironically one of the Founding Fathers returns on the night that the guild was origionally created serveral years ago!! 🙂

Anyways, alot is going on and i am here to partake in the fun festivities and get a new toon off the ground and into a raiding guild as this is what they have developed into again another ironic thing i have found, i left to goto a raiding guild that fell from raiding to create a new toon to go to my old guild who is now Raiding!! Lost yet!!

So the next post i have with my update progress should not be so confusing, the new toon is a ShadowKnight, since i just love the pure raw abilities of the SK class,and he is sitting at lvl 16 with about 12 AA’s, i am in the process of becoming a citizen of Freeport as i feel that Neirek is just too confusing to be able to raise a new toon. So if your on Crushbone look for Chubbers the Kerra SK, i’m sure you’ll see me around, hit me up for a PUG or just to chat.

Until next time, Happy Hunting in Norrath or where ever you call home!!!

~Chubbylilbuddy / Cinderbella / Kuzab / Chubbers / Wonderboyz / Kryptonion / Chubetta~

Crawling to 90

So i have been working on getting my alts leveled up, My main finally hit level 90 a few weeks ago and still needs to be leveled in tradeskill of sage, but that can wait my alts need a little TLC too so that’s why I’ve been focusing on them.

Now i have come to the conclusion that once you hit the lvl 80 marker the next 10 levels to 90 seems to be dragging, i am hitting the higher level areas for max XP bt still seems like i am crawling to 90. i know there are potions on the marketplace but honestly that feels like cheating, cheating legally, but still cheating. I would rather have it crawl than cheat to gain 10 levels.

So the alt i am working on now just hit level 83, so 7 more levels to go before they reach 90, the good thing about this alt is that i have already leveled him to max tradeskill Alchemist so once i get past these 7 levels i will have my first maxed out toon, except for AA.

I hear folks all the time i hit 90 on my 30th toon man that was easy, ok ok where and what the heck are you doing, i play every night of the week for at least 4 hours a night if not more on other nights, been playing this game since launch, how do they do it? Are there classes out there that are easier to level than others or are they hitting the some special XP that only a few know about.

So whats your thoughts on the marketplace and the potions available for XP & tradeskill XP or where have you found that takes the grind out of leveling. Are others just using the system as it was designed to or are they finding the loopholes that the developers have forgotten about. Let me know what you think!!!

Until next time Happy hunting in Norrath

~CHUBBY~  (Travels of Norrath)

Torn between worlds, every gamers growing problem!

Currently i have been having a difficult time deciding on which MMO to play, i am a die-hard Everquest 2 player and can be found on the Crushbone server every night until the wee-hours of the morning. But recently i have been getting that blah feeling, i have completed all the quest with in the last expansion that basically are solo or heroic, i have not done the raid content or the group instances just yet as i just don’t like grouping with just anyone or PUGs, i do have a great guild “The Knights of Marr” behind me that gets together and works on knocking out these types of Zones, instances and group quest. We are not big enough or at least we do not have the active numbers to do the raid content that i would like to do, but they are a great bunch of people that i can call family.

But enough of the mushy things, the main thing is i have grown bored with Eq2, i do not want to cancel my subscription or stop playing eq2 as i love what SOE has done and has evolved the game over the years, i do however want to find something that i can gain as much passion for as i have with eq2 over the years. I have tossed the idea of going back to World of Warcraft, i have seen some new screenshot of the upcoming expansion and things look awesome. i originally left WoW due it it being too cartoony and felt like there were more 12-15 year olds playing, and didn’t want to deal with all the drama that was happening on the server or in the chat, plus the folks i original started playing WoW with left the game and i didn’t have the companionship of my friends or a guild to fall into the players, so i went back to Eq2. As i mentioned before that i have recently seen new pictures of the upcoming expansion of WoW and wanted to jump back in, but i am torn between all the MMO’s and the time that i will need to direct towards playing as i still want to continue playing the current MMO’s that i am associated with.

I also have an account with Star Trek Online, which i think is a well rounded game for as far as i have progressed (Lt. Commander 2), i grew up with the original series or at least the re-runs and fell in love with the movies and different spin-offs of the series. When i heard that they were making a video game, i was excited and could not wait for it to be released, to me it was one of those must have games and i have not been disappointed so far.

So this is where it brings me now, my delimia per say, what to do, do i re-enter the world of Azeroth and work my way up to my current expansion “Wraith of the Lich King” or do i just wait till the expansion comes out and then re-enter this ever changing world or do i just scrap the idea in general until i can manage the time to play all the MMO’s that i want.

I guess only i can make that decision and i need to consider the pro’s and cons of my choices, i will still find the time to enter the world of Norrath and Deep Space for any exploration and adventure, it’s just the time issue since there is one of me and 4 games, if not more that i want to continue to play…… where did i put the human replicating device……hmmmmmmmmm wonder what this button does…(click) AhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhEwwwwwwwwMmmmmmmmZzzzzzzz…………

Well until next time happy hunting in all the worlds that you may call home.



Casualization ?= Lack of Depth

Everquest 2 came out with its fifth full expansion earlier this month, and in previous posts we looked at the depth to tradeskilling and the addition of pvp content that it brought to the game. There’s something else it brought too, something you might not have noticed if you aren’t a denizen of Norrath… major changes to the way statistics affect your avatar.

This is a much bigger change than you may think looking in from the outside, but to illustrate I’ll give you an example. My assassin is a burst dps scout class who can use poison and sneak attacks to kill foes. Pre Sentinel’s Fate I had to balance many stats to remain effective at my role: Strength affected my melee and combat art damage, Agility affected my avoidance of incoming damage and determined the size of my power pool, Intelligence made my crafted poisons more deadly. Post Sentinel’s Fate, Agility determines my melee damage and my avoidance and my poison damage and my power pool. Choosing gear is trivial when the only stat that matters is Agility, the scout gear is the one that has the highest. Other classes have experienced similar changes in how statistics affect their roles.

This also comes with a redesign of effects on equipment. Pre Sentinel’s Fate there were separate effects for melee and spell bonuses that affected critical hit rate, bonus to critical damage, bonus to normal damage and so on. These have all been consolidated. The changes come on the heels of the renaming of all spells/abilities in the game to numbered versions, clearly marking the update to a lower level spell as II, III and so on.

The effect of all this in my mind is to make the game a much more casual experience. A new player coming in doesn’t have as much to learn to be effective at their chosen class. But is that a good thing? Does the game benefit from reducing the depth of the stat and combat system, or does it lose something from it? I would argue it loses a lot. A game that has lasted five years has a strong player following and a mature story. When you play a game long enough you become immersed in it, emotionally attached to it. Some of that is lost I think when the system is changed out from under you. The skill renaming especially leaves a bad taste in my mouth, because previously the advanced skill names had flavor and felt like a new skill even if they were only an upgraded one. I see no problem with allowing a mature game to mature. The changes to Everquest 2 don’t approach Star Wars Galaxies NGE in terms of raw system changes but they are still a major difference from a month ago.

How do you view simplification/casualization in the games you play? Does it benefit the game as a whole? I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts.

Spheres of Progression

Something that excites me about a few games is that they see an opportunity to become something more than a group and grind or a race to the PvP endgame and take it. I’m talking about the games that offer different and interesting ways to progress, beyond the classic “kill ten rats” style adventure treadmill. Today I wanted to call attention to a few of my favorites.

My favorite example of this is Vanguard, which is a game that suffered from great drama but also offers great rewards to those willing to look past that. Vanguard has three progression paths which it calls spheres, and the reason I think it works so well is that the mechanics of the game were designed to accommodate them from the beginning. In addition to the adventure path Vanguard has a fully developed tradeskill path, complete with quests and levels and a strategically satisfying method of crafting. Unique among games I’ve played is the third sphere, Diplomacy which plays as a card game tied to storytelling and allows for interaction with some npcs that would otherwise seem to be just filler for cities in a meaningful and rewarding way. Each of the spheres has levels and equipment, and Vanguard goes a step further with an inventory system that allows you to manage your clothing for each sphere separately and then let the game trade between them as needed. You can approach Vanguard easily as a new player and never touch the adventuring side of the game, I really believe the experience is that rich.

Some games grow into an additional path, by popular demand. I would place the development of Everquest 2’s tradeskills in this category, and the things that Domino the tradeskill developer has done to encourage players is truly amazing. With the addition of tradeskill epics in Rise of Kunark and with the last two expansions featuring long quest progressions that offer a way to experience the new content through the eyes of a craftswoman tradeskilling in EQ2 is easily as rewarding as the adventuring side of the game. Kudos to them, and wishes for many more ways to use crafting to explore and shape the world of Norrath in the future.

Some games have multiple paths not because they are designed to have them, but instead because they are designed to be a sandbox for player innovation. EVE is a game that by virtue of its skill system and specialization in ships and equipment allows players to train to be combat pilots but just as easily the same character could train to be a miner, or a merchant or even an inventor. The possibility to carve a niche for yourself in the game are limited only by the amount of time you are willing to put into learning the skills and making the effort. Your hard work is sure to be rewarded.

What are other examples you have, and how have multiple progression paths in games affected you?