Tag: eq

EQ2 Celebrates 12 Years of EQ1 #EQ2 #EQ

Ah, my old nemesis from EQ1 and I can’t even call it my nemesis because I actually never managed to see Quillmane in game in all the times I attempted to. Famous for their pegasus feathered cloak which is used in the magician epic SOE has continued with the humor by spawning angry mages at the end of the EQ2 event. Yesterday I spent some time in EQ2 doing the EQ (confusing eh?) 12th anniversary quests. Mostly because I wanted the awesome house items that go along with it. I really wish EQ had put some house items in game with their anniversary tasks, but alas I’ll just have to be satisfied with augments.

The only instance I really had troubles with was Lavastorm, but I toughed it out playing a shadowknight and coercer together so that I could get the title at the end of the event. Now that I’ve gotten it, it’s simply a matter of farming the pieces I want (Guk for the level 90 gear, and Enchanted lands for the pegasus cloak which just has an incredible graphic). Each instance drops a fabled adornment, a common piece of jewelery, and the chance at the rare drop from that EQ1 encounter. You also get two tokens which can be spent at a special vendor in Antonica. Doing all of the instances once gave me enough tokens for every item that was not a plushie – plus two plushies. I’ve added them to my museum on Antonia Bayle, and I’ve started collecting items for the coercer on Oasis since at this moment I’m still split between both servers.

I also participated in my first public quest yesterday – and it reminded me of public quests  in Rift and Warhammer except for one really important factor. EQ2 is not made for these sort of quests. What I mean is that there are very few spells that land on anyone outside of your group / raid and you won’t always be invited to one despite advertising. This was the case with my warden who landed (literally) on top of the PQ (public quest) in progress. I was not invited to the raid, and I couldn’t heal anyone or do anything but throw a few little nukes at the encounters. My buffs are useless for anyone not in my group and over all the experience was incredibly poor. Thus since my participation was deemed poor, my rewards were poor.

The second time around went much better. My first PQ was the Ring War (I believe that’s what it’s called on Oasis at least) and the second one was SG (not sure what that stands for). SG is the least popular of the two public quests, and I was invited to a raid without issue. Basically you battle hordes of mobs that swarm the raid and there’s an actual strategy to the encounters. We did wipe once, but revive places you right where you need to be, so it was nothing to get back into the fray. I healed for all I was worth, and managed to score a piece of legendary gear. Not that bad I suppose considering we only had one raid worth of people around.

The quests were fun but without the ability to cast heals outside of group I feel that healers really get the short end of the stick on these. I’d like to see a special flag applied while inside the blue marked map that turns your heals into AoE heals – the problem with this is that classes like shaman may see far higher returns in participation because of how their heals work. They are wards, and prevent damage from coming in. In other words a ward gets used up first before a regular heal will land. Based on the damage being done to players I doubt this would be much of an issue in a raid situation, but you never know. Hopefully we see some sort of “join public group” option in the future to make participation easier on players.

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself! Woohoo for Friday!

Oh Give me a Home, Where the buf– Gnomes, Roam! #EQ #EQ2

Enough posts of doom and gloom – anyone who has followed me for the past 6 years knows that it’s not my typical style of writing, and I really don’t enjoy it. Today I want to talk about one in-game aspects that I absolutely love and wish more games would incorporate – housing.

Out of the games I have played EQ2 and EQ have some of the best player housing. Note that I said of the games I have played because I realize there are a few other older ones that have done it quite well too. I really like the fact that players can “own” a little piece of the game and personalize it; beyond their player characters. Even if you’re not really interested in housing chances are you’ve at least attempted some decor and have a storage space set up. Or gotten a friend to decorate for you.

EQ2 and EQ even take this one step further by allowing you to display trophies that you’ve collected in your battles. Turning weapons into house items that can be mounted on the walls. Trophies of raid encounters that you can display in your guild hall. I don’t like LotRO’s housing as much as I do EQ2 and EQ simply because they don’t really let players be creative. They allow you to “hang” furniture on hooks which are set out in specific locations across the house. Sure, it’s customizable in what you actually put in each spot but don’t expect any unique home creations that way.

Yesterday I felt the housing bug creep up on me. It’s the one thing that I can’t seem to find in any other game I play to such a satisfying degree. Could I play EQ2 JUST for the housing? That seems a little silly to me. I meandered around EQ1 looking at all of the homes that have gone up since House of Thule has been live. Wow. Some amazing creations by some talented players. I saw everything from wedding chapels to garden gnomes to GIANT garden gnomes. Walled in yards, fountains, a lot of wandering house pets, I saw it all.

Couple that player generated content with the books that EQ2 added some time ago and you have yourself one very vibrant role play community. I absolutely love these player written books, I must, since I own over 300 of them written by various authors. We need more of this stuff in our games. That’s what helps separate our Single player RPG’s from the MMO’s and gives them life.

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Yesterday Was Huge

I can’t remember the last time I had such an eventful day gaming so I’m going to go through each game one by one and my thoughts on them. The ones I’m playing, of course. Pictured above – my new home in EQ1! Doesn’t it look awesome. I need to purchase more trees for my lot, but so far I’m incredibly happy.

EverQuest (1): House of Thule went live and with it came a level cap increase (90) which of course also means new everything. Player housing was also released, and it’s just great (refer to my video yesterday for details). I spent a good chunk of time playing with my housing, and since I have the collectors edition I also had a lot of neat things to claim, including two paintings for the home, two mounts, and a few mercenary contract items. The down time was painless and I’d say out of all the updates yesterday the smoothest. I spent the morning watching the SOE Ustream event during the down time, and really appreciate the time and effort everyone put into it, especially since some had been at the office since 1am.

EverQuest 2: GU 58 went in yesterday. Some 5 room homes were given balconies which look really dang cool. I find it a little amusing that a 5-room home now has more item space then a T1 guild hall. I was a little put off by the fact that you can now purchase a 200 item expander from the market, as opposed to the 100 item expander (that don’t stack) crafted by players. $12. After playing both EQ2 and LotRO which have fairly elaborate markets, I feel that turbine does a MUCH better job on their price points. I really enjoy the new currency tab but wish it was shared across all characters so that I wouldn’t have to keep putting currency into my shared bank for alts. The new mount tab is also nice – but I still wish we had a quest item tab to clear out even more inventory space. The update had a number of bugs that still had to be worked out, and there was down time this morning for that. I haven’t tired the new zone yet, but new content is always good.

WoW: The game changing update 4.0.1 went in yesterday. The game didn’t come up until 9pm EST and then of course I had to disable every single AddOn I had until they’re updated. I like the changes to talents although it requires me to re-learn every single character I have which is not exactly fun. My single target dps is up on the shadow priest, but down in AoE damage. It felt odd to play her. I’m considering going holy instead of discipline, but I haven’t really decided yet. I went from 21,000 hp to 29,000 hp which was a nice change. I love what they’ve done to the talent window, the UI changes in general are nice looking. The graphic updates are quite nice. Azeroth is being plagued with earthquakes, and it’s giving me incredible bouts of vertigo, but a neat live event for the onset of a cataclysm.

LotRO: While there isn’t a huge patch going in right now – there is an incredible sale where you can purchase some quest packs for 75% off – and what’s more is if you actually quest through these packs you’ll make the turbine points back. Even though I have VIP access until February, I’m going to pick them up because – well, it’s just a fantastic sale and I know I won’t have a VIP account forever. The sale only goes on until midnight tonight, so be sure to take advantage of it. My Minstrel hit level 32 yesterday doing a few skirmishes, and I’m really excited about exploring further.

Happy gaming no matter where you find yourself!

Why so Much Emphasis?

After reading a number of early morning blog posts left over in my RSS reader from yesterday, I found myself wondering: Why do gamers put so much emphasis in what we and others are playing. Especially others. Why do we even care? Every day I read a post from one or more authors that includes some sort of semi derogatory remark condoning a group of players simply because of how they choose to spend their time. Or, to be more precise, where they choose to spend their time.

There are those who have made up their minds that everyone who plays a free to play game must be a certain ‘class’ of gamer. How dare they actually enjoy ‘the grind’ that comes with a lot of these games. Don’t they know that in the long run they’ll pay more for their “free” game then some people will pay for their monthly subscription?! Then there are the WoW gamers. Don’t even get me started on these people. I have heard everything from how close minded they are to how stupid they must be, simply because of where they choose to spend their time. It’s as though we as gamers have moved into certain categories and stereotypes not based on who we are, but because of where we play.You ask a fellow blogger their game of choice and suddenly your opinion of them shifts slightly.

So I ask again – why does this aspect of a person even matter. Why are we so keen to judge someone based on a persons decision to spend their free time where they wish. I have even heard people go so far as to say they do not like a particular person because they play certain games that they are not fond of. Really? Are we so shallow that we are now making character judgements based on video games?

I simply don’t understand it.

In my opinion it doesn’t matter where you play, so long as you have fun. In fact voicing my opinion about any other ‘type’ of gamer is a moot point because when it comes to how others are spending their time – my opinion doesn’t matter! It’s their time, their money, and what I think of the matter is completely irrelevant. I refuse to classify a person based on whether they’re playing EQ2, EQ, VG, LotRo, WoW, WAR, DDO, Darkfall, Wizard101, Runes of Magic, EVE, Alganon, Fallen Earth, Lineage II, Allods, Champions, STO, Free Realms, Aion, FFXIV, SWG, Guild Wars, AoC, or any other game.

Go play, and enjoy. Don’t like it? Move on and find something you DO enjoy. It’s a game. They’re supposed to be fun. There are SO many games out there and despite what others would say about them all cloning one another there are always unique factors to each and every game – you may be surprised at what you end up playing and enjoying. I implore gamers to make their own decisions about what they like and don’t like, and refuse to be classified into a category of gamer simply because of where they spend their time.

SOE Fan Faire Updates – 2010

Since I’m not actually at Fan Faire this year (pout) I’ve been watching EQ2 wire for their updates.

They released some of the concept art of “EQ Next” – be sure to take a peek.

Here are some key points from the Community Address that happened last night:

EverQuest: House of Thule releases on October 14th. It adds a plethora of new dungeons and content, as well as the addition of player housing.

EverQuest II: Destiny of Velious releases February 8th and, amongst other things, will introduce flying mounts in most zones. It is unclear which zones are being configured to allow this. Say what you will about Brenlo, but this was an initiative he pushed for. Glad to see it’s coming.

EQ2 Extended — Beta launches August 17th. New optional free adventure service. Live subscription remains unchanged. Yadda yadda.

FreeRealms coming to Mac and PS3 in ~2 months. Currently 13 million players (unknown how many are paying)

Clone Wars Adventures — shown at E3, targeted at FreeRealms crowd. Based closely on the Cartoon Network series and will have heavy cross-promotion.

Magic the Gathering strategy game will be something quite different. It’s not a TCG.

DC Universe Online – Releases November 2nd. PC and PS3, Action-based physics. Newsworthy bit: Pre-ordering will be huge and allow you to play as Batman, as well as get a basketful of free items. Shown the astonishingly good trailer from last week featuring Lex Luthor.

Be sure to take a peek at the rest of the SOE Fan Faire info they have posted, I’ll be taking bits and pieces and mentioning them here for readers to get the information out. Am I excited? Eh. I am VERY excited about EQ player housing. EQ2 flying mounts? Not so much. Also, after browsing through the schedule for Fan Faire, I was sad to see there are 0 panels on Vanguard. There’s a 2 hour live quest, but that’s it. Figures.

Simply Not Enough Time

Ellithia is sporting the Shard of Love headgear that dropped for us earlier this week – and that’s been the extent of my time in EQ2, which hasn’t happened in literally, months. I haven’t logged in. It’s not that I don’t have things to do in game, because I certainly do but I just don’t have enough time lately to do everything I want to do. Isn’t that always the case?

EQ2 is always my home base, and I’ll always return there. Especially after I glanced through this HUGE list of patch notes that are currently on test. Wow. Some pretty amazing stuff is finally getting fixed. This has been a very long time coming. Earlier this week I also transferred my 80 swashbuckler over to Antonia Bayle, so I can get back into boxing. I had closed my second account for a little while but decided that 12 alts was simply not enough, so I’ve got both accounts once more.

Vanguard is my home away from home. It’s the game I play for pleasure with a few friends when we all happen to have time, and I really love the game. The problem is it’s not one of those duck in real quick for a minute or two games, so it looks like it gets a lot of back burner time.

Aion is what I’m playing a lot of lately, mostly for work. I play during the day, when it’s quieter then normal and I can’t say I’m hating it. Leveling is slow, quests are grindy but it’s beautiful and still new, and I’ll be sticking with it.

Torchlight and Dragon Age are still on my play list as well, but I’ll probably be playing those more on the weekend when I’m not busy with other things. The weather is getting much colder and it’s almost time to hibernate for the winter. No doubt my adventures there will be fun as always.

NaNoWriMo is eating up a lot of time. I’m just over 12k words right now (although I completely slacked yesterday and didn’t do any writing – today I should be making up for it) and I’m excited about my story. It’s something that I’ve been meaning to write for a very long time, but simply never got around to. Now that the motivation is there I just need to stick with it for the month of November. I’ve also been very excited watching all my friends work on their stories, and the inspiration and motivation that bounces off of one another is fantastic.

There are five games that are on my “dang I wish I had more time” list currently. These are the Lord of the Rings Online, Fallen Earth, Wizard 101, EverQuest and Dungeons and Dragons Online. Thankfully DDO is free to play, so I don’t exactly feel like I’m missing out by NOT playing right now. The Lord of the Rings Online recently extended their special Mirkwood promotions until mid November, so I’ve been debating whether or not I want to get in on that and plurge on a life time just because. It’s one of those games I’ve really enjoyed playing but just can’t seem to find the time. Fallen Earth I managed to score a 15 day trial for, and never logged in – sighs. Wizard 101 is something I should be playing a lot more of next week, fingers crossed. EverQuest currently has their closed beta ongoing for Underfoot – and if I could convince a few of my friends to play with me, I’d probably be there a lot more. I really love EverQuest, always have, even 10 years later. It’s just not fun for me to play alone.

After the list of “I wish I had more time” games, there are a few games that I wish I could simply afford to take a peek into every so often, even if I don’t have the time. These include Warhammer (I loved the game, but lacked friends to play with), Free Realms, and Champions Online (which I played a few times but honestly never got into it, I was right about it simply not being the genre for me). Of course there’s those games I’ve tried but never stuck with (and I’ve tried them multiple times), EVE and World of Warcraft. I even bought the latest EVE game and never actually installed it (it went on sale for $5 if I recall) because I just don’t have the time right now to learn another game. I’ve played WoW off and on since release, and I just think it would have been neat to make it to the level cap at least once. My highest level is 50.

Don’t get me started on all the free to play games out there that tickle my fancy.

There really is just not enough time for everything.

What Feature would YOU add?

Eventually if you play a number of different games, you’ll come across a point where you think to yourself ‘I wish such and such game had THIS feature!’ It doesn’t matter what the feature is exactly, but you’ll think it and you’ll feel a little dirtier thinking it depending on what “it” is. Now, there are a couple of directions you can go with this thought.

Number one, it’s common for games to “borrow” from one another and add popular features to their game that may have shown up elsewhere ‘first’. This only makes sense, why would you NOT add a popular feature to your game, even if someone else is using it. It’s not the developers who cry ‘we had that first!’ but the players who typically shout ‘oh yeah, well THIS GAME had that feature first! So it must be better.’ In the end it doesn’t really matter.

Second of all, if games only used unique and different features in their games we’d have even more indecision on what to play because no one game could possibly house everything you would like to see.

What feature have you seen in one game but would love to see in another? Would this feature changed whether or not you played either of those games? Feel free to name some that are realistic (ie: you could actually see them being implemented in your game) and some that you know there’s absolutely no way you’d ever see in your MMO of choice.

One of mine would have to be from world of warcraft. I would absolutely love to see EQ2 with a built in calendar much like WoW has (you click on it from the mini map) that tells players what world events are going on, and when they start. You can click on each specific day of the calendar and it will tell you everything you need to know about this event.

I think this would be fantastic for events such as the moonlight grotto that comes once a month, Frostfell, and every other holiday event out there. When a special promotion is going on (ie: doubt exp weekends, SC cards on sale) that could also be mentioned.

Of course it’s not good enough to simply swipe another games idea, you have to improve on it and make it better. So how about allowing guilds to customize their calendars and add events to it, raids. Then players know what is scheduled without having to always log over to their guild web site, and it gives officers and leaders a neat place to write things down and keep track. The general calendar could be something simple and edited by the community team so that developers don’t have to spend hours and hours working on it once it’s released to the game, and things like Antonia Bayle’s server wide roleplay events could eventually get added to these calendars for players to look at while they’re in game.

This feature may not be for everyone, but it’s still something I would one day absolutely love to see (and yes, I’ve left /feedback about this before). Lets hear some other features out there, it doesn’t matter what game you’d like to see it in, I want to hear them all!

WTB Some Time

I love my job, I really do. Being able to write about something I enjoy as well as something I’m passionate about is a great gift that I try to make sure I’m aware of constantly. On my web site, I write for me and I love talking about my adventures, thoughts, friends and anything else that happens to cross my mind. The only time any of this is difficult is when it all seems to happen at once. These days there are so many games out there, that I simply don’t have enough time to play everything I want. It’s a shame, because I’d really love to.

EQ2 is my ‘steady’ game even though I’m barely playing it these days (it’s due to being crunch week and no other reason) it’s the comfort game that I know inside and out, and I like that comfort factor. However. It’s not the only game I want to play and certainly not the only game I am playing.

I’ve been having an incredible urge to continue playing EQ, which I have waded in and out of for quite some time now. Problem is I don’t enjoy playing EQ alone (where as in EQ2 I have no problem wandering around on my own) and it’s difficult for me to make friends (especially when I waver to and from games). I have my 81 necromancer that I’m considering leveling a little, she’s fairly close to level 82. I’ve always wanted to hit “end game” in everquest, and with the expansion NOT raising the level cap in November, it may very well be a possibility.

Vanguard is another one of those “if I only had more time” games. I seem to be in a rut with my blood mage, and I’m slowly running out of areas where I can just dip in for an hour or two before calling it quits and feel as though I have gotten anything acomplished.

Last month I won a free copy of Age of Conan, I think I found the time to play once during the month that came with the game, and then it sat neglected. For some reason it just does not appeal to me as much as I wish it had. It may be because I’m not really a melee person, and it felt uncomfortable. Either way, it’s one of those “I wish I had more time” games – along with many others.

Lord of the rings online – I really enjoy this game, a lot. It’s familiar, it’s beautiful. I want to continue playing but for now my account lays dormant because once again the greedy time monster has taken all of my time away, and I just don’t have any to spare or to warent spending a monthly subscription for it.

So what AM I playing? Well, my current play list includes EverQuest II, Vanguard (barely), Free Realms (barely), World of Warcraft (please don’t shoot me, it’s easy to dive into for an hour and feel like I actually acomplished something), Wizard 101, Aion Beta, and some DDO.  I want to be able to devote more time to EVE, but that learning curve is so far over my head I may as well actually be playing from another planet. I’ve been having fun in Aion, but again – not enough time to play everything I want to play, and to get work done as well as real life things (plus I can’t actually sit at my desk for too long before I start to get sore from health issues).

While I am excited that there are so many games out there (don’t even get me started on console games and finding time to play those too!) there are certainly moments where I wish the selection were smaller. Am I the only one?

Random Game News

Well, there’s lots of news going on out there – to start things off, the newest Wizard 101 world is going live today! What a great Canada Day gift to players. I’m excited about this world for a few reasons, number one you can level up through it just as you would level up a character, so for those who have completed it all – it’s time for alts, and time to run quests for house items. It will also impliment a crafting system, bazaar, and the new 18+ chat system, and a few other goodies. Speaking of goodies, be sure to check out Tipa’s site for some wallpaper goodies! I love how fast things come out of test for players.

Of course there is also the discussion about the Chronicles of Spellborn becomming free to play – I dipped into this game only VERY briefly, and didn’t enjoy it. I’m not sure why. I don’t even think I made it past the tutorial, but maybe I just know my comfort zones, and tend to stay within.

I am looking forward to the next Aion beta weekend, from July 2nd to the 4th. I have no idea if I’ll actually manage to drag myself to the PC to play, but we’ll see. It would be nice.

I spent some time on the new EQ server yesterday, Mayong. For those who have been living under a rock, this new server is a 50/51 server – you log in and create, and achieve level 50 instantly, as well as 51 aa to your name. You also start out with all of your spells (and I do mean all) as well as some gear and backpacks (there are more packpacks waiting for your in the bank if you’re looking for them). You don’t start with any money, so you’ll want to farm some especially if you plan on using a mercenary.

The server was absolutely packed last night, I had problems moving around. It was fantastic. There were four general channels, and people were advertising for groups and guilds all over the place. PoK was packed, it was easy to tell who had been a long time player and who had returned for the free 30 days and didn’t know about the guild lobby yet.

There were of course raids also going on, and I saw a few system messages about encounters that were being taken down. I didn’t stay for too long but I did create myself a beastlord, enchanter, cleric, and bard. Whether I will actually stick with one of those or head back to Drinal I am unsure.

In EQ2 (the brief time I played) I collected some more red shiny and decided to do a little crafting and put items for sale which was nice. Not going to be purchasing anything super expensive over the next little while, but hey it’s better then nothing.

I hope everyone has a fantastic day today, it’s the first of July and thus Canada Day! Get out there and enjoy it for me.

Feel the Love (again)

So much has gone on over the last few days, I figured I’d jumble it all into this one post. To start, I know I’ve been quiet on the Twitter front (and in general) lately, but real life has been slightly difficult, and will probably continue to be so for the next few weeks. Nothing much I can do about that. As I’ve watched all the wonderful and amazing blogs and fan sites for various games crop up over the past three years I’m wondering if I want to keep up with my own. While I do make it a fairly good habit to write every day (and I just crossed the 1200 post mark not too long ago) there doesn’t seem to be much desire for ‘hey I love the games I play’ posts as opposed to everything else. Now, I know these moods of mine come and go (in regards to writing) and it’s spring (almost summer) so I’m feeling the itch of change, I’m sure this mood too will pass and I will indeed continue writing. I need some new avenue to venture down.

In other news, by now most people have heard that Alan “Brenlo” Crosby is moving over to a new position on the EQ2 team. It’s not so different then his current position, and Greeblen will be taking over his job. Congratulations to both of them for the promotions. I had a blast interviewing Brenlo (as well as other members of the Community Team) in San Diego when I was down earlier this year, and I’m sure he’ll do a fantastic job. That being said, Bruce Ferguson (who I also interviewed) will be moving to a new project. Wonder what it could be.

If you enjoy playing EverQuest, or (like me) play off and on remember that this weekend is a bonus experience weekend from Friday May 22nd until the morning of Tuesday May 26th! I will be in game on Drinal, probably working on that hand augment quest. I intend on dragging Wpus and Ultann with me because both of their characters are just inches away from level 85 which is the current cap. We’ll see how that goes.

Vanguard had some pretty big changes happen this week, including a level cap increase to 55, new zones, new quests and all sorts of other goodies. I do still play my bloodmage on Seradon (as well as other characters) but just never seem to find the proper time in between everything else. I’m going to try to find some time to explore the new content, as my bloodmage is pretty close to the old level cap of 50. We’ll see how that goes. I also saw that you can now do spell crafting which would be pretty nice.

In EverQuestII we’re all eagerly awaiting GU52, and there’s a preview out for one of the new Kurn’s Tower zones. I’m not sure if it sounds exciting or just frustrating. If you remember The Crucible (which it makes reference to) there’s puzzles to be solved and books to be burned that require more then my little trio (most of the time). We’ll just have to wait and see.

Game wise for myself personally I spent some time yesterday helping Hamal level, and he inched his way to level 66! We did the Crucible (mentored down to his level) flawlessly, and also managed to do Scion of Ice, and Necrotic Asylum (which happened to be the daily double). He got a few upgrades, and we got a few more discoveries. We also headed to Obelisk of Ahkzul and my mystic gathered together enough shards to get her T2 breastplate which means I only need shards for two more pieces, her hat and shoulders (for tier 2 that is). I played the paladin earlier on in the day and inched her to level 73, and the dirge later in the day who is closing in on 76. I spent far too much money buying adept3 skills for her but they were really needed. Getting resisted on practically everything (I took her to Obelisk, where the mobs were orange) is not fun.

Tomorrow is the start of an early weekend, and I may (hopefully) be feeling well enough to travel to Upper Canada Village to take those pictures I have been talking about forever now. We’ll see how it goes (fingers crossed). I hope everyone has an amazing Thursday, no matter where you spend your time.

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