The longest running joke in my life

A few people that know me through gaming know what this is. It’s been my retired status with SOE games. It started with me deleting my epic 1.0 magician back when I first left EQ1. This character would be lost forever in the first server merge that occurred over my first break. Eventually, I returned and had some wonderful friends catch me up again. Since then, I would adopt the policy of never deleting anything or giving away too many possessions. At this point, you can tell where I’m going with this. It’s different this time, though there are some familiar elements to it. My poor old system can’t really run the new game I thought I would play (Landmark).

As is usually the case when I leave one place or another, I occasionally get struck with a bit of curiosity with what’s going on after some time has passed. Around the 28th of March, I decided to peek at the EQ2 forums. Lo and behold, I have two messages in my inbox from a SOE employee. On February 28th, barely a few days after I left and before I made my last post, I started getting invites to SOE’s Community Council. I had a good laugh over this and eventually accepted their invite. It’s something I’ve been interested in doing (though I didn’t know it even existed) and I guess I’ve put together enough reasonably expressed ideas and opinions to be considered. So, here I am again, slowly getting back into the same routine with alt hopping for tradeskill goodies and working on one toon or another. They even put in a patch that makes my summoners’ lives easier with improved taunt/detaunt abilities for everyone (including pets).

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Breaking down a big re-entry barrier (EQ2)

EQ2’s Free-to-play system went live about 2 years ago. It’s undergone a few changes here and there, but has generally been one of the most lenient systems around with one exception. The biggest complaints people have made about getting back to EQ2 was the fact that any old gear would have to be unlocked for a fee of 40SC per piece or they were essentially naked.  With a potential of 22 slots to unlock, this meant it cost up to 8.80 to resume play.  That’s already half the cost of subscribing for a month. This cost multiplied substantially when you factor in any alts people might want to play and any fashionistas that had several appearance outfits that might need to be unlocked.  (I sorta had this problem with my main. Thankfully, he mainly wears robes and cloaks, so unlocking those wasn’t as big a deal.) This is all before you decided whether or not you were going to get caught up on the expansions.

As of October 1st, that restriction is gone.  Hopefully, it’s not too little too late for getting people back into the game. Of course, the question for a lot of people now is “why subscribe?”, as that was a key difference between the two main levels of subscription. There are still plenty of other reasons, but perhaps they need to look at adding some more perks to the gold level subscription. They’re adding a 15% bonus to dropped coin and 10% to ground mount speed. I think they should consider adding an xp bonus along with that.

EQ2 Heroic Characters: More details revealed.

EQ2 Producer Holly Longdale recently released some interesting news about the heroic characters, slated for release in the very near future.  They will essentially start out as or get upgraded to a fully geared character at level 85 that you can play for free until level 86. After that point, it costs 3500 SC to unlock that character and continue on your way to level cap (currently 95) or you can try another until you find one you like.  Before anyone gets sticker shock, it’s important to note that existing accounts will get to make or upgrade one character in this manner for free between October 1st and 15th.  A more detailed FAQ is also available.

At the moment, I have no plans of creating any new characters, so I think I’ll just upgrade a character that can be tough to solo up, like my coercer.

The Sleeper awakes! (again)

Today, there’s a new Game Update in EQ2, Darkness Rising. In it, we see the return of Kerafyrm. He’s looking very badass these days.

Aside from furthering the storyline of the Age’s End Prophecy, we also get some nice toys in this update. Character Advancement Templates (CATs) have been added, which allow for easier management of Alternate Advancement Abilities. Prior to this update, you could only change your build at home. Now, you can do it anywhere and you can hold 3 at a time, as well as share them easily with friends.

Stay-at-home crafters finally got their wish granted with the creation of new personal depots, including the much sought-after fuel depot. I’m one of those people with a small army of crafters (one of each). I and others have been begging the devs to add this for the past couple of years. It took some time, as they had to make a guild hall version first and test how the game would handle these depots, but that day is finally here. 😀 The most exciting part of this is my Carpenter main doesn’t have to lug around 30 different fuels. That’s about 3/5 of one bag.

In an effort to provide everyone with more content at the top levels, a few dungeons from the Desert of Flames expansion were updated with level-appropriate content. Their plan is to go back every so often and update more old content that generally sits around unused, while also providing new content. I think it’s a great move on their part, as one of the biggest problems in MMOs is content being outdated and out-leveled too quickly. With new players showing up all the time, it also gives them something they may have missed out on while coming up in the levels.

New avatars will now be roaming the world, as Prexus, Solusek Ro and Drinal were added. There’s also a practice area called the Arena of the Gods, where guilds can practice fights against weaker versions of all avatars and gain some loot in the process.

Finally, there’s the addition of Loyalty Rewards in the form of a simple set of Daily Objectives. Complete two of seven simple tasks that are generally part of your everyday routine and you get a token reward for that day. Tokens are good for purchasing various house items, a couple of houses, level-appropriate gear (nothing too powerful) and a few items from the veteran rewards pool.

As if that isn’t enough, Friday is the start of Tinkerfest, my favorite holiday where I build crazy contraptions. Next week is SOE Live, where we get to see what’s next for EQ2 and finally get a peek at EQ Next!

Moo! Mooo moo moo Moo? Moo.

One of the more entertaining characters in EQ2 has been the Meatbeast, a cow that walks around on its hind legs, bearing some resemblance to a T-Rex. Aside from being a mob in the game, it’s also a deity pet for those following Bristlebane, God of Mischief. Hailing it gives you one of a few random responses similar to the title of this blog. Long-time fans of the meatbeast have been clamoring for a meatbeast mount. That day has finally come. In the marketplace, there are male and female bovoch mounts. On April 1st only, there will even be a pink version available for purchase. If the idea of riding a cow wasn’t amusing enough, a few people in the EQ2 team have put together a little behind-the-scenes video of how they went about creating the meatbeast mount. Enjoy. 🙂

I have to agree with some of the comments that suggest advertising with videos like this. One thing I’ve always appreciated about both EQs is the sense of humor displayed in quest texts and characters. This time of year is no exception as we prepare to celebrate Bristlebane Day on April 1st, where both games will have little graphical tricks being played.

2BR for Sale in Indigo Hollow, Neriak

SOE recently announced on the forums that along with the upcoming beta testing for the next EQ2game update, they will also be testing out sales of player-decorated houses through the marketplace in the latest addition to the Player Studio category. I’ve been waiting for this for quite some time. The current implementation of this feature is a bit like selling a real house. You put one of your own houses on the market with as much or as little furniture as you want. Once its sold, you no longer own it and all the items go with it. The only difference is multiple copies of said house can be purchased. All items in the house become static and can only be hidden away. I feel like I have some sort of advantage, having dealt with a real sale and real people, as well as some people who wanted me to decorate in-game. Other people are caught up in questions of using Station Cash and rare items. I’m thinking about how to use the least amount of items (available for free) to make some of these places look nice and liveable.

Happy Frostfell!

With the Christmas season, comes the oldest holiday event in Everquest 2, Frostfell. This old favorite features its own zone as a hub for most of the activities. It’s a frozen bay with many islands. Scattered around the place are presents to harvest for crafting goods as well as snowballs and fruitcake to toss at each other. Questing includes various encounters with Mr. McScroogle and it wouldn’t be complete without an attempt to get him to see the error of his ways.

Of course, my favorite part is all the ice / Christmas themed furniture made available each year. Unfortunately, the items can only be made or purchased during the event. Due to the real holiday activity and birthday celebrating, I only get enough time to collect components and a few items here and there. Thankfully, this year’s event was delayed a week and pushed a little further into January, so I might get to plan and execute something interesting.

Below is a picture of the tavern room in my guild hall. My favorite part of this is how easy it is to just pick a layout file and load it up. Someday, I might get some other holidays incorporated into the space.