Almost Half Way There : EQ2

The other good side to having your blog broken is that the time I would often spend writing was spent gaming instead. I have continued on my EQ2 journey with furor and much attention. Playing an MMO like “the gold old days” again has been a ton of fun. I am playing both on Test and on live (for the extra character slots) and while I have jumped between several classes frequently I have clearly landed on my Warden as my “main”. For now. He is level 48 on the test server and currently following “The Golden Path”, in Lavastorm.

I don’t know what that means, but people always congratulate them so that must be important.

Still, I have spent a lot of time on my Coercer, who is a Freeportian – opposite to my other characters who are Qeynosian – and I find that to still be the biggest barrier. The Coercer has a 6 room prestige home with a patio held over from my live, testserver playing days and I’d love to let all of my characters live there. Seems as though this is not possible – or at least, not easy. This is a bit of a surprise considering how most other parts of the game have been completely streamlined for the player experience. Take, for example, Druid travel spells. The Warden is a melee subclass (when specced correctly) of the Druid class – meaning at level 25 they get the all important teleport line of spells. Many a day were spent paying coin to a friendly druid for such a port. Well, no longer is this necessary as anyone can port if they just  click a bush within a druid circle.

Automation is not just causing lost jobs in the present day.

This is a fair compromise – the Druid still gets the benefit of being able to cast that spell and travel from anywhere, whereas any other player still has to travel to the rings to get benefit. I suspect that the wizard spires work similarly. It is not a big complaint as I suspect with auto port to housing and the like this minor convenience is still nice to have for me, and doesn’t put anyone else out. Still, I am finding that it is the “little things” about the game that still bring me a lot of happiness. The benefits that each race gets is pretty interesting. Take the Erudite, for example, who has a self buff to identify magical creatures. A blue hue for damaging magic types and a green outline for healer types. This is extremely handy when looking for a pet but also is just a clever little fun function. My Warden has tracking due to the half elf racial, and I suspect it is one of the more important ones to have for a solo-adventurer these days. Nice to find the exact mobs you need and/or any named mobs in the area for treasure.

Feeling blue? Good – I’ll charm you. And then you will kill and die for me. This was almost a poem.

I keep getting sidetracked on instances as the Coercer with his charm ability, and invisibility – can get pretty far in exploring and there is a real sense of danger. On a random encounter with a real, live human being on test (which is admittedly extremely rare for me) he tried to explain a self-mentor ‘chronomance’r thingy where you de-level and solo instances for pretty good XP. This would be a better way to explore these dungeons (as long as I can really solo) because by the time I find bosses if they aren’t green I can’t usually win – and if they are grey then there is no loot. And loot is always fun. I will have to explore this feature better to understand it. And by explore, I will just Beetlejuice Bhagpuss here so he can explain it in the comments. Will save me navigating a google system that seems to recognize info from 2009 in EQ2 as up to date. “Bhagpuss, Bhagpuss, Bhagpuss!”)

I love him so much I should marry him. Or her. It.

My new, greatest toy which has completely changed the game for the better is the level 30 mount quest – a Mountain Salaraptor that has an incredibly fun and effective leap ability. I can jaunt across entire zones, relatively safely but much more quickly. This has made the game much more fun AND convenient. I suspect flying mounts will be even better but there is a certain joy of bounding across a landscape, and reaching peaks and areas previously barred from travel. It very much reminds me of the Super Leap ability from City of Heroes, which was amazing too. Another thing EQ2 does exceptionally well is letting you use the skins/graphics you like best. Don’t like the updated models? Turn them off. Don’t like riding a dinosaur around? Equip your horse (or whatever) in the appearance tab – keep the leap, stats, etc but change the model.

My 2H Warden is now a dual wield Warden. LOVE LOVE LOVE

I figured that part out quite by accident – on a forum – but I have always enjoyed playing dual wield characters. Wardens can’t. They can use swords, and blunt, and shields, but not two one handed weapons. This is where the appearance tab shines – I can use an offhand weapon in my shield slot and my shield looks like that weapon. It strikes and swings like that weapon. It does NOT change what the shield abilities do, but just the graphics and the swings. This alone has made me get back to leveling my Paladin as I always played dual wield Paladins in my pen and paper campaign, I just loved the theme of it. Now that I can do that in game as well I am excited to see how that looks. It doesn’t change the core, fundamental gameplay but it really allows me to customize the game to what I want to see and experience. It really is amazing.

Does this match?

It’s probably a really good thing too – or else you end up with outfits like the above. EQ2 does do a good job of varying the sets but you can really tell when a player is in between two. The appearance tab changes this if you can be bothered. Since I am wielding two weapons I feel like it doesn’t matter how bad the rest of me looks.

Now that my “main” is 48 I found two heritage quests – one of which required me to ask for help for the first time, which I thankfully and luckily received from a very happy and willing test server person who enjoyed the change of pace from whatever they were doing. I also ran out of quests in Lavastorm with 4 levels to go before the next “Golden Path” step. I either missed a quest hub or need to go explore more of Norrath. Either way, I am not short of options and am very thankful that I took the plunge to explore this game. It really is easy to come back to, is a lot of fun to play and level in, and there is a lot of depth and interest to hold even the finest connoisseur of MMOs.

And me too.

3 Comments

  1. bhagpuss

    I’m at work and I hate typing on a tablet so very briefly you need to visit a Chronomancer in either Qeynos Harbor (opposite the outdoor broker) or East Freeport (behind the big dockside area with all the banks and vendors). You can pay a small amount of status to have your level reset in 5 level increments. You can also get a daily quest there too.

    It’s pretty self-explanatory. Use the level range guide I linked earlier to pick your level for a dungeon or zone. You will be overpowered to some degree when levelled down so I would aimto have the bosses you are killing con yellow. It may depend on your gear and if you have a Merc though so you’ll have to experiment.

    And that’s enough thumb typing!

    Reply
    1. Isey (Post author)

      OK – great – does this mean you can solo what was meant to be group instances? Just by the way it shakes down in the process, you become OP?

      Doesn’t your Pad have voice to text? I mean, sure, that may sound weird at work re-reading what you said there out loud….

      =)

      Reply
      1. bhagpuss

        Hmm. Never thought of voice to text for stuff like that. It would be completely weird at work, but I might be able to find a quiet corner somewhere… What I’ve always wanted, and have looked for plenty of times but never found, is something that would output voice-to-text to in-game chat in MMOs. Got any suggestions?

        Anyway, back to the topic at hand, yes it most certainly does mean you can solo group instances, dungeons, whatever. As I say, you’ll need to experiment and it makes a huge difference if you get a Mercenary (did you buy that option from the store?) but even with no merc you will be a lot more powerful than an actual character of the level you mentor to.

        I’m not exactly sure how it scales you down but it doesn’t do a great job of it if your goal is to be exactly like a lower level character. It may depend on how good your gear/spells are and it definitely depends on how far above your mentored level your real level is. A max-level mentored down to, say, 50, becomes a superhero. A 50 mentored to 40, though, might seem pretty similar to a real 40.

        Also you get to keep and use ALL your higher level abilities. It doesn’t switch anything off, just scales down the damage output. That means you’ll often have a whole load of abilities and actual character of that level and class wouldn’t have got yet.

        Seriously, go play around with it. It’s a lot of fun. The only awkward part is that while you can cancel your mentoring anywhere by typing /unmentor, you can only change your mentored level by visiting the Chronomancer. As a druid with ports, though, that isn’t all that much of a problem.

        Reply

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