Expansion #11 for EQ2

I wasn’t sure what to expect this year for EQ2’s latest expansion. Our major story arc for Age’s End finally ended in a recent update. SOE Live had its keynotes yesterday, revealing the plans for the coming year. What’s coming next has me interested and excited. While I’m looking forward to the journey to 100 and new abilities and stuff, it’s the zones that really have my attention and bring up a lot of nostalgia from EQ1. For the 10th anniversary, we’re taking a journey through multiple expansions from the EQ1 universe, including Luclin (Ssra temple) and Ykesha (pirates, ahoy). The overland zones for this expansion are essentially making up the Ocean of Tears, which is especially memorable in my past life, as it were. More on that in a sec. I also find it cool that we’re returning to where everything used to start for us on the Isle of Refuge.

In my early days, I had many exciting adventures as I entered new zones. My first journey through the aptly-named Ocean of Tears was no exception. I had just leveled high enough to venture from Neriak to Freeport with no problems. I witnessed my friends take down Sir Lucan D’Lere for the paladin epic. I got a few nice pieces of gear from them after the battle was done and I was directed to the docks, where I would make my first journey from Antonica to Faydwer. The boat stopped at an island populated by wood elves. I knew they were supposed to be hostile, but from the boat, they conned dark red, but indifferent. I thought, “okay, I’ll just hop off and see what’s up here.” This is where I found out about one of those little glitches in the game, as the wood elves were actually scowling and one of them started wailing on me. In a panic, I ran back on the boat, somehow expecting to get away. I ended up dead on the boat. That was the last I saw of that body and all that was on it. I did try to swim back to the spot where it should have dropped off the boat at the zone line, but I ended up not finding it and zoning myself into Butcherblock mountains, where I then found dwarf guards, who gave chase and eventually caught up with me. Needless to say, I was pretty devastated over having lost all the cool stuff I was given, but it wasn’t long before I was laughing and joking about it, as I would with many other comedic deaths that would ensue.

I can’t believe it’s now been 13 years since that happened. I’m getting old. :p

Thoughts on EQNext

I’ll start with my favorite part of all this: EverQuest Next Landmark. Anyone that knows me is very aware that I’m an avid builder of various structures and things. The brief sampling of the tools available the player blew me away.

On to the game itself. I like the art direction with the characters. Some say it’s like this game or that game. I don’t particularly care. It’s a nice upgrade from past models. The dynamic questing and emergent AI sound pretty awesome and the layers of landscape mean there’s a lot to explore. Multi-classing is something I’ve missed for a long time. It was great in Final Fantasy XI, but that game was a bit too time consuming for me. If I had to guess, there probably won’t be levels and only a handful of skills for each class.  Levels have always been a problem, especially in old games like this. No one wants to jump into a game only to be met with a ridiculous amount of levels to grind. I’m hopeful that I can get back together with some old friends and not have to worry about being too high or too low for whatever. We can just jump in and do something (if I’m not lost in a build project 😉 ).

#MyEQStory

With the upcoming reveal of Everquest Next, there have been a lot of stories popping up about people’s experiences in EQ. I thought I would share my own.

Everquest has been a part of my life for the better part of 12 years. My story actually begins outside of the game, on a message board, where I met some fellow gamers. We were looking for some good multiplayer action. Someone mentioned this game they had been playing called Everquest. It had released its first expansion, Ruins of Kunark. We all started brainstorming on ideas for what server to play on and what to name our guild. We started a website with a roster and everything. Everyone had their copies of the game and we were just about ready to log in and form the guild.

I had the game installed and ready to go. I played the tutorial zone to get a feel for the controls. After that, I went to login to the server and make my character. There was just one problem. My onboard video card was incapable of running the 3d textures.

A few months passed and I got a hold of a new computer. I got in and started my magician character, a dark elf in the city of Neriak. Unfortunately, most of the guild was mostly good elves, so it would be a while before I could properly meet them. There was one guildmate on the evil side who helped me get started and showed me the ‘newbie log’ in Nektulos Forest. It was a really dark and scary place back then. There were no in-game maps, so I was very careful not to wander too far from the walls or off the dirt paths.

On my first day in, I did some exploring and found this strange pyramid with a green glow. Around it, there were random piles of bones. I got close to one and it suddenly sprang to life! I panicked and did my best to run away, but it caught up to me. I would later gain some levels and exact my revenge.

Once I reached level 10, I started hunting in Commonlands and made my way to Freeport to meet up with my friends. When I met them, they were killing Lucan D’Lere for the paladin epic. They gave me a few items of twinkage to make life a bit easier. They told me how I could get over to Faydwer so I could hunt with them over there. I hopped on the boat and started making my way through Ocean of Tears. The boat stopped at this island of elves. I /con’d them and they were indifferent, so my curious mage hopped off the boat and started to get smacked by this one elf. In a panic, I ran onto the boat, hoping it might leave and I might get away from this angry elf. No suck luck. I was slain on the boat. To make a long story short, my body and all that lovely equipment I got was lost forever. Revenge was later exacted.

I decided to keep leveling around Commonlands and all those zones. I eventually made my way to Kunark where I met my friends and spent a lot of time in Lake of Ill Omen. Continuing the series of unfortunate events, I found myself alone on one end of the lake, face in my book, when something tapped me on the shoulder and took me out of my meditative state. It was a ridiculously tall Sarnak skeleton named Xenevorash. Of course, I got my revenge at a later time, when a friend was working on their monk epic.

Over the years, I would meet and raid along with other guilds and join a couple of raiding guilds. One guild even carried over to EQ2, where I would meet more people. I would meet some EQ1 folks in person. To this day, I’ve remained in contact with my original guild and we occasionally play one game or another. I still hop into EQ1 once in a while to say hello to some old friends who have been playing since around day 1 or earlier.

My story continues in EQ2, where I play a necromancer / carpenter / tinkerer, who builds some crazy contraptions and vehicles every summer.

My Return to Norrath (EQ1): DING! Level 100

ding100

When I started back at level 85, I was clumsy and unsure of what to do. I started remembering things. Once I hit level 96 (which was only about 12 days ago), I really started cruising. Now, I’m better than I ever was. 🙂 I solo’d a couple of named that were a bit higher than me. It’s only going to get better as I rack up more AAs.

I’ve been asked what I would do after hitting 100. My level is pretty much secured for now. The main thing I’m going to do is relax and play a little less.  The way I’ve been playing, I’ve had no time to set up my broker to sell stuff.  I’ll work on my AAs and Tradeskills.  I might work on an alt. I have a few different options, including some toons on a 2nd account. EQ2 had a game update recently and I haven’t had much time to explore that content.

I’ve been asked if I would raid. One of the people I play with is practically begging me to get back into it. I’m still not sure. My history with raids is not the best. I know I’m a good player and I can do my job. I just don’t have much patience for failure. :p I’ve sat around, trying to work on the same encounter 8 or so times. It’s not fun. I would be running with a fairly decent group and it’s always nice to get more upgrades. I’m definitely taking my time to think about it this time. Every other time, I’ve just said okay, got into it and got burnt out or had drama.

It’s a trap!

Actually, I’m a trap.

EQ000019

This year for Bristlebane Day, the prank in EQ1 takes place in the guild lobby. On zoning in, you receive a tell from Bristlebane, “You’ll be MUCH easier to draw like this.” This spike trap is one of a few possibilities for appearances. (Casting spells causes the spikes to shoot up.) Other folks appear as claw traps, chests, gelatinous cubes or invisible with only their weapons showing. The funny thing is it actually helped cut down on the lag in this zone.

EQ000020

Happy Bristlebane Day!

A past and future comparison

As I’ve been partaking in anniversary celebrations and such in Everquest and Everquest 2, I thought it might be interesting to look over my 2 main characters, both named Deveryn. Both are summoner classes. I went for magician in EQ1. I might be talking about 2 more similar classes if Dark Elves were allowed to be conjurors in EQ2. I think it’s worked out for the best though. I’ve been playing both and I love the necro. Conversely, I find still myself favoring the magician over the necro in EQ1.

dev vs dev

Both are obviously very dashing. 😉

They both got their start in Neriak (my favorite city in either game), however neither one currently resides there. (In EQ1, it simply isn’t possible. In EQ2, living in Freeport became more convenient.)

Both were born in August (8/20/2005 and 8/24/2008). I don’t know how I got the dates so close. Neither is an original Deveryn either. I actually created the very first Deveryn around December of 2000. However, due to having a crap computer at the time, I was unable to get any further than the old tutorial zone. I would later delete that character and he would be lost in a server merge forever. In EQ2, it was simply a matter of playing with 2 different groups of people on two different servers. I would eventually transfer the older to retain some items. The transfer would need a new name. Being a High Elf Conjuror, I decided he should be Deveryn’s “evil” twin Nyreved.

Played time for each current iteration is 193 days in EQ1 and 198 days in EQ2. I believe Original EQ1 Deveryn clocked in over 365 days. It’s worth noting that there was a lot of downtime, between medding and sitting on ships and having my character sit in bazaar or just waiting on other people to show up for something. Yeah, excuses. 😉

Both are very skilled craftsmen. In EQ1, I’ve been working on all possible skills not restricted by race or class, but that character is most famous for being a Brewer (and a stingy one at that). In EQ2, I took up Carpentry as my main trade. Tinkering is my secondary. Adorning was later picked up as it was made available. One comparison that shows the difference in difficulty between the games is I have all tradeskills maxed (across 9 characters) in EQ2. In EQ1, only Brewing is maxed.

Both have their own dirty little secrets. While working on his baking skill at the same time as his epic, EQ1 Deveryn developed a taste for the racial meats, including his own.** EQ2 Deveryn keeps a little Frostfell (Christmas) room in his basement. There’s also a memorial to his lost love down there. He sleeps down there too.

EQ1 Deveryn now owns a house (seen here) in his guild’s village. EQ2 Deveryn currently has 10 houses. If I factor in alts who hold a lot of stuff for him, the total is 20 (+2 unclaimed deeds, +1 player-made dungeon that’s in the works). Both main houses are equipped with bars. Sadly, both are lightweights when it comes to alcohol tolerance.

In EQ1, I’ve been in 5 different guilds. My current guild has been around for all 14 years. They used to be part of an alliance of 5, which included my first guild. In Eq2, I’ve been in 4 guilds, including my own personal guild, which exists as a tribute of sorts to my first EQ1 guild. I’ve met at least one person from each game in real life. Of all the people I’ve met on the games, I’ve played both games with 4 people.

**I have a funny little story to go along with my EQ1 cannibalism. It’s rare that I take the time to roleplay my characters at all. At best, I make a little backstory or something. In EQ2, I tell the stories with furniture. This was one of those rare moments when I tried to get into any kind of character. It was almost like something out of Hannibal (Silence of the Lambs). (To be perfectly honest, I just love a good practical joke.)  I had some spare gnome meat and decided to make some gnome kabobs. I ran into one of my gnome necromancer friends and decided to give him one for giggles. He blindly accepted the trade. Not even 5 seconds later, the character got hungry and the chat message pops up, “*Chomp, chomp, chomp*. soandso takes a bite of some gnome kabobs.” He was freaking out and yelling at me. I was laughing because of the awesome timing. He actually had food ready to consume, but this must have gone to a priority inventory spot.