Friday, November 8, 2013

The Goldilocks Zone : EQ2

It's been a somewhat frustrating week on the blogging front for me although clearly not for the rest of this corner of the blogosphere, where debate has been raging on such perennial topics as Achievements and Payment Models. The frustration comes from not being able to join in due to being in the annoying part of my work-cycle where I'm working eight days out of ten.

As far as those debates go I'll probably have to settle for the comments I made in the various threads. By the time I have a chance to sit down and weigh in at ponderous length with some posts of my own the moment will have passed. Never mind. I'll catch the train next time round. It's not like these topics are going to go away, after all.

Of course, it's not long since I was opining that I would rather blog than play these days. Oh heavy irony. It can, I suppose, only say good things for the state of MMO gaming right now, or at least my perspective thereon, that when I get home from work I'd rather play than write about playing. It's certainly not that I've lost the desire to blog nor run short of things to blog about. Entirely the opposite.

No, it's that even with no new MMO on the go right now I find myself still strongly motivated by and highly engaged with so many of the old ones. WvW in Guild Wars 2 is eating up most of my limited playtime, with EQ2 clamoring for attention from the sidelines.

Speaking of EQ2, Syp had a mini-rant today about another old favorite, Challenge. As rants go it had nothing on J3w3l's five-star boiler burster already linked above but you could still just about see the steam coming off the page. I was nodding away as my own experiences in The Secret World came back to me. A brilliant MMO almost ruined in places by badly-judged "challenges", in my opinion.

So how does EQ2 come into it? Well it just so happens that these past few weeks I've been working my way through the main timeline of the Chains of Eternity expansion that I got free when I ordered the upcoming Tears of Veeshan, which launches next week. It's been jolly good fun, with the difficulty pitched just about right.

Last night I completed what you might call phase one, wrapping up all the main quests in the first of the two overland zones, The Eidolon Jungle. My Berserker did all the overland content solo but for the rather good "Advanced Solo" instances he needed to call on his trusty friend-of-convenience, Dok-Tok the metal merc.

The instances were just right. Not too long, which was always my problem with Rift's Chronicles, not too unbalanced, which tends to be an issue in TSW. The rewards were useful and appropriate for the effort required. All in all, a very enjoyable experience. Solo dungeons done right.

As for whether solo dungeons should be encouraged in MMORPGs in the first place, that's a topic for another post entirely.


  1. I am going to attempt to start actively commenting on your posts. You've been in my RSS for forever, but since I don't see you on Twitter and this is Blogspot, I often ignore commenting. Sorry!

    I sincerely wish I could get into EQ2 again. I hate that I missed the free characters since both of my characters are roughly 60, and neither is especially exciting (Troub and Fury). There is so much to love about the game but it is also so much more daunting than most games, both for its age but also for its overwhelming amount of content and abilities!

    1. Hi! Nice to hear from you :P

      I really should use my Twitter account. I've had one for years but mostly because I am the last person in the UK not to own a mobile phone I've never really got started with Twitter, but that's not really much of an excuse any more, what with me walking around with both an iPod Touch and an Android Tablet on me and wifi being everywhere...

      I'm kind of concerned that it would end up being yet another thing eating into what seems to be ever-more-stretched game time, though.

      And yes, EQ2 is now ridiculously intimidating in terms of pre-existing content. I was thinking about starting a Channeler when they appear with the new expansion but I don't know that I have the willpower to start all that again...

  2. Haha, I love a good rant.. Good for the soul to gt it out in the most unceremonious way possible

    Also not sure if it's me but that challenge link seems to go to the TAGN achievement post as well

    1. D'oh! Thanks! Corrected. I was really having an off-day with the cut'n'paste when I wrote that one, it seems.


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