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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)

Tradeskill musings

Spent some time earlier this week finishing the Tradeskill Epic quest on my carpenter in EQ2. Working through the quest this time as a low level adventurer made me think about how tradeskills seem to be ubiquitous in MMOs today, but take on very different shapes and purposes.

I think the reason tradeskills are so different from game to game is that everyone expects something different from them (developers included.) In some games the tradeskill is a personal affair, and allows you to make items to use yourself and enhance your own experience. In others, the tradeskill is an integral part of the larger economy and in extreme examples player crafters supply most of the goods that keep the game moving. In order to keep items rare some games choose to make high barriers to crafting, while other games encourage it to the point that crafted items become worthless in normal gameplay. I thought I would touch on a few examples from games I’ve played.

EQ was where I started, and many of my experiences in other games are colored by that time. In EQ there were many different crafting skills that players were unrestricted to learn (with the exception of poison and potion making that were class restricted.) The barrier to making items was very high, in cost and attention to detail. Most items required some enemy drop to create, which tied crafting to adventuring. Making items was an exercise in patience, with many control-clicks required to pick one item off a stack and move it into a crafting container. I had pages of recipes I printed from EQtraders and Zam to assist in my crafting. Quests for crafters were few, but they did have a few that required many skills that gave major rewards. It was grindy and ultimately not as rewarding as it could have been, but I enjoyed it all the same.

In Vanguard, things were very different for tradeskills. Here there are quests and advancement paths that allow you to craft and not need to adventure to progress. I’ve written before about the three spheres of advancement in Vanguard and the great thing about it is that each sphere has its own quests, advancement path and equipment. The barrier to entry is low too in Vanguard because advancing skill through repeatable quests doesn’t require harvested materials, only fuel and solvents. Vanguard goes a step beyond and allows you to make homes and ships using your skills as well, allowing you to make real impact on the game world in a small way. It is still grindy, and the customization possible in making items is poorly documented in game which can be frustrating, but there’s alot to like about Vanguard for tradeskills.

I played Lord of the Rings Online and attempted to be a crafter in Middle Earth as well. In the game you collect items from resource nodes and enemy drops much like in EQ2 and Vanguard, and instead of a mini game style system for the actual combines you click a button and then wait. The crafting there is much like in WoW, with flavor all its own like farming hobbits and master dwarvish blacksmiths. I found that it really didn’t hold my attention the way that Vanguard and EQ2 have because removing the fun of combining items leaves the tradeskill as an exercise in harvesting which I don’t really enjoy. The WoW style market system in LotRO is also unintuitive to me coming from EQ2, which didn’t help with resource planning.

Most recently I’ve been getting into manufacturing in EVE with a friend. EVE is a game where ships are 90% player crafted and the game’s economy relies on robust corporations supplying the demand of non crafters. The barrier to becoming more than a hobbyist is quite high in monetary cost and in skills needed, and the ultra-capitalist system the game is founded on means that someone will always be more efficient at manufacturing than you for advanced items. That said, with the economy so reliant on player made goods there are many opportunities for people to make good money by watching the market and supplying items. In EVE you can make crafting into a full job if you wish, making it less of a space exploration and combat game and into a market simulation. I’m not that hardcore of course, but I’ve enjoyed the complexity of the system all the same. When you build something in EVE, you feel like you are making a difference to your corp, yourself or the galaxy as a whole.

In EQ2 tradeskills have hit a good median point between being intolerable expensive grinds and fluff. Harvested items are plentiful and their sale on the broker is encouraged by them not having value to npc merchants. Each avatar is restricted to one specialization, which limits the total grind and allows character advancement to become collecting rare recipes and class specific enhancements. There are group tradeskill instances, tradeskill specific gear (though no separate inventory for these) and for recent expansions quests that allow a non adventurer to participate in the lore of the game. It includes lots of elements that I think other designers would do well to take note of.

How do you approach tradeskilling in the games you play? Are there unique system examples that I’ve missed here? Let us know what you think.