Even though EQ2 may not have it’s fingers grasped so tightly in me lately, I did log in and find a pleasant (and also saddening) surprise with their set up of Erollisi day, which is Valentines day pretty much. There was no shortage of house items, two merchants stood outside the Inn in Qeynos Harbor (they may look familiar, I suggest you go in for a peek and watch their head-bobs in sync for yourself) with flowers, heart shaped pillows, and boxes of chocolates for sale. The price has gone up significantly from what I remember house items (from vendors) first going at, 1g50s-2g each piece, with well over 20 different types of items for sale. I of course bought one of everything, and two of the pillows and boxes of chocolate.
Checking my mail also proved to be a little fun, a secret admirer apparently sent me a rose (everyone in game should have gotten one) with directions to the two quests that also focus on the holiday. Unfortunately after buying the house items I wasn’t really in the mood to play any more, and logged out without experimenting with the new quests.
The reason why I say this is saddening, is that Eq2 has been concentrating on providing the quick little things that satisfy their customers, rather then the big picture. So many of my friends have now left in preference to Vanguard, which is basically still in beta when you play it there are just that many bugs. Yet they still would rather that then play in the boredom that is Eq2. Unrest is still not in game. EoF was a very nice expansion — for some. Here’s where it failed.
If you were already level 70, with a nice set of gear, who raids fairly frequently, there was just enough content and quests to get you your extra 50 aa, and to complete the few raids that there were, and then you were done. Two months after the expansion came out. Clockworks is a joke with crappy gear. Freethinkers was slightly challenging, but once you got the tactics down, it was a breeze. Emerald Halls is very difficult, and fun — however the zone is so full of trash mobs that drop nothing at all it makes it annoying and frustrating to work through just to get a chance at the names who may or may not be up. Inner Sanctum has been revamped a few times now, after people complained it was far too easy to farm the fabled class gear. Mayor Mayong being the only ‘real’ challenge in the zone.
Then there’s the gear. Very little of it is actually upgrades from KoS. Also, with KoS we saw the introduction to relic gear — where at least you had a chance to roll on the type of armor that your class wears, for example, leather. Chain. Plate. With EoF however, there is class specific gear, where you may see 10 coercer pieces drop and not have a single coercer in your guild to take advantage of the loot. It takes a lot longer for anyone to get anything they actually need. You start to get doubles fast, and unless your 24 person raid force has 2-3 of the same class, things start to go to waste, and you could be waiting literally months before you see your specific piece drop. Frustraiting.
EoF was great for people who wanted to start new characters. Who had alts. Where they could explore each of the new zones and the instances as they leveled up, and earn their aa along the way (which is so much easier now that they start at level 10.. imagin being level 70 and having to try to max out those aa from named and quests and collections that are already very grey to you, while the level 10 can do it all as they level). The fact that the level cap was not raise, seemed like a good idea at the time, it gives people a chance to catch up. However, with the mentor system in place, there’s no reason why the level cap should have stayed at 70. Having your friends catch up is no longer an issue.
I can’t speak for other servers or other players, just what I’ve seen and experienced myself. On Lucan D’Lere the server is practically dead. The 5 ‘hardcore’ raid guilds have diminished down to one. Players, leaders, and members leaving for other servers and other games. Where as I saw Eq1 running strong when I joined it after it had already been live for 5 years, I do not see the same for Eq2 and SoE is going to have to implement drastic measures if they want to hold their audience. Vanguard may be buggy, but it’s also a huge new world, with unique methods of battle, harvesting, crafting, diplomacy, and various other things. It’s complex, which is what the hardcore Eq2 crowd is looking for. Games like WoW may have a huge player base, but the game is not complex lets be frank.
Anyhow, that’s enough of that rant. It was nice to be back in Eq2, but I don’t see it keeping me there any longer. I’ll be keeping my account open since I’ve got station access (for now) and it lets me play both Eq2 and Vanguard, we’ll see where it goes.