Thoughts on House of Thule #EQ

If you believe everything you hear on channels, House of Thule has been met with mixed reviews. Personally I really love this expansion but it’s because of a few key components that not everyone appreciates. Number one after having taken a long  break from the game I found it very easy to get relatively caught up as long as I was level 80+ due to the mote gear vendor. While not everyone returning will know this – there is a vendor in the Feerrott who sells ‘mote gear’ and basically using a new currency (dream motes) will allow you to purchase gear in tiers. Earning reputation will unlock higher levels of mote gear, and this currency (like all currency) can be purchased from players selling in the bazaar. Or you can earn it from doing tasks and missions. Because it’s the current currency, there’s a lot of it for sale and it’s much cheaper to use mote gear for the first little while then it is to purchase gear from the bazaar. Mote gear was a HUGE upgrade over my fabled planar gear and the gossamer stuff I was wearing so I was only too happy to find this vendor.

Spells in HoT level 86+ rank II are actually obtained by means of a quest much like they were in Gates of Discord with rune turn ins. The system has also been improved slightly. Number one you can pick and choose which spells you want to obtain instead of having to get them in order and number two the items used to obtain these spells are all tradeable between players and you can sell them / buy them in the bazaar (while the spells themselves are no trade). Another method of allowing returning players an easier time of catching up. While I am sad to see that spells are not dropping from mobs in this expansion it IS nice to know that I’m not missing any of them (unless I chose to raid and obtain Rk III spells).

The basics of the expansion are quite simple. There are a number of tasks you must do for progression (T1-T4) and in order to request these tasks you’ll have a number of quests to do for a number of NPC. The quests are quite lengthy but incredibly worth it. You earn not only experience and the ability to request the tasks on your own, but there are also trophies that are rewards (as well as achievements) that can be placed in your home and grant extra buffs to players (if you’ve got your trophies running, they use the tribute system). Last night I finished off the series in House of Thule itself, and gained a trophy that allows me to raise my max str. as well as my actual str. While not incredibly useful to my enchanter it’s just one of many trophies and I look forward to obtaining the rest of them. Plus these trophies are house items – and hey who doesn’t love a good house item.

If it were not for the fact that I am a returning player I am not sure if I’d enjoy the expansion as much as I am. Of course the housing would have me transfixed (how could it not) but the progression may be too ‘easy’ if I were on par with everyone else. As it is I have less then 300 aa (lots of players have over 5,000 now) and since I’ve returned I’ve leveled not only my necromancer to 90, but the enchanter to 87, and a boxed bard to 76. On that same note if everything were incredibly difficult I wouldn’t necessarily have stuck around either, so perhaps this is a good compromise. That’s also not saying that everything is easy, it’s certainly not. Tier 4 is incredibly difficult, and a lot of the missions you request have little quirks that make them even harder. Thankfully I’ve been playing with a few friends who make all of this much easier and a LOT more fun.

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself! I’ll see you in Norrath.

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