Tuesday, March 13, 2012

MMO Potpourri

Potpourri. Ah the evocative scent of air-freshener sprayed over garishly stained woodchips! Unforgettable, unfortunately. Let's bin that and have a few random thoughts instead.

This EQ2 news just in on the long-promised Update 63  contains several surprises, like a two-point hike in the level cap, bringing it to an idiosyncratic 92 for example.. There has been some muttering that the EQ2 engine or database or prime directive or something makes it very difficult to add any more levels and that 100 may be the theoretical maximum. Eking them out at one or two every other GU should see us through to EQNext.

I'm very glad to see them, anyway. I love new levels and these come as a complete surprise. So does a new overland zone although only because I haven't been paying attention, I suspect. I hadn't heard any hints about Skyshrine instances having solo modes either. That's a welcome innovation. New Beastlord warders, dungeon maker themes and tradeskill apprentices will all get used in this house. In fact, it looks like an excellent package. I can hear the complaining already.

The only drawback is that it lands on April 17th. There must be a significant chance of Guild Wars 2 beta weekends around then. Which I wouldn't have expected to be an issue, what with the million sign-ups and all, if it hadn't been for today's big announcement. Guaranteed beta weekend access and three-day headstart means pre-ordering is mandatory chez Bhagpuss. Only the Standard Edition. I have enough places for dust to settle already so I don't need a pottery Charr and the extras in the Digital Deluxe Edition look, frankly, pants.

Lucky I have most of the second half of April off work. Now if they'd just settle a launch date I might be able to book my June holiday.

Everquest the Elder goes Free To Play this Friday. That'll be fun. They're allowing a full 24 hours of downtime and I bet it still won't be enough. It doesn't include the Progression servers, on which Legacy of Ykesha and LDON have just gone live. I hopped on and made a Froglok (see what I did there?) just to prove I could. No plans on playing him. I will be leveling my Necromancer this week, though and come Saturday or Sunday or whenever I can actually get in I'll be making some new characters on my Silver accounts and basking in that glorious New Start Chaos. If anyone turns out to give a damn that a 13 year old game just opened the doors for freeloaders, that is.

Played a little Loong today. It really is gorgeous. I swam across a lake from the level 10 starter area to see what was on the other side and found myself in a level 65 area. A bit random but pleasantly trusting of the player's ability to adapt, I thought. I'm struggling to find what to do next there. If there's another quest hub I can't seem to find it. that's how I came to be swimming a lake in the first place. I'll just go exploring. Something will turn up.

That leaves the little matter of visits to Dragon Nest, Aerrevan and Wurm, some City of Steam before it goes away for a month and plenty of EQ2 and Rift on my to do list for the rest of this week. Oh, and Clone Wars. I saw the press release about the ten million players and thought it was really about time I at least logged in and had a look round. Ok, I'll be honest. I read the bit about punting JarJar and wanted a go on him. There was a lot more going on than I'd imagined. I thought it was all mini-games but there seem to be explorable MMO-like areas, there's decoratable housing, quests and all sorts. I will be investigating further. Never seen so many SC Store signs in one place before though. I'm blase about cash shops as a rule but the blatancy took even me aback.

That's all for now. Time to go train those otters.

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