Yesterday I read the patch notes for EQ2's weekly update. They're are always conveniently released well ahead of the downtime, which gives everyone plenty of time to rent their garments and anoint themselves with ashes before reality arrives to spoil everything. It's always best to vent your paranoia about how terrible change is going to be before you get to experience it first-hand, I always find. Reality can be such a letdown.
I read the notes at EQ2Wire as usual. I used to go to the forums for the news but of late I've relied on the estimable Feldon. The EQ2 devs themselves are mostly to found explaining themselves on Discord these days, apparently. I guess Reddit is passé.
EQ2Wire, as has been observed many times, is a reliable and accurate source such as many MMOs must wish they had. I was a tad surprised, then, to see Feldon out himself as a virtual ex-player. In his own words, he has "barely played EQ2 in the last few years", which is why he's advertising for a "Staff Writer", one who does.
It did cross my mind for a moment to apply, although I have had a lifelong rule never to do for money anything I also do for pleasure. As it happens I'm not qualified anyway, since I have neither an Ascended Class at Level 10 or the pre-requisites for an Epic 2.0 (much less the weapon itself).
I do have a Level 94 Warlock that I'm trying to nudge towards 100, though, which was why a couple of lines in the patch notes bothered me somewhat:
- Removed bonus experience multipliers for defeating encounters from all previous expansion zones.
- Going forward, bonus experience multipliers will only be applied to zones in the most recent expansion era.
Of course, no bonuses of any kind ever apply to the xp you earn from quest rewards. Most of the time I'm out playing my lower level characters the regular way I get little benefit from the permanent 60% xp bonus I earn from having three max level characters on the account, or even from the Vitality (100% rested xp) I almost always have running.
That's why, when there's a bonus XP weekend, everyone swigs their pots and rushes to the best bonus xp Heroic dungeon they can manage. Or they used to. I guess that's over and done with now, along with the Powerleveling services provided, at a fee, by bored Shadowknights all Norrath over.
Whether it's either a good or a sustainable thing, guiding everyone into the relatively small number of zones in the current expansion, I guess we'll have to wait and see. This patch also added "Expert" versions of all the instances so the number of "current expansion zones" very nearly doubled overnight. Not that I'll be seeing any of the Expert ones - it'll probably be three more expansions before I poke my nose into the regular Kunark Ascending Heroics. Take me that long just to get the Resolve.
Anyway, that was what spurred me to get the Warlock out and finish off Level 94. Seemed much the same to me. Slowish but then it always was. Certainly no slower than last time I took him hunting.
He dinged 95 and that meant time to visit the bank. There are four key levels in the 90s: 90 itself, 92, 95 and 98. Those are the main steps for gear. Moving from one to the next can be a huge upgrade.
|Now that's what I call an upgrade.|
I fiddled around in the shared bank, trying on hand-me-downs but there were surprisingly few that fit him, which is how I ended up on my Berserker, going through his bags and boxes. And that was when I had the brilliant idea.
|Try and stop me!|
Not much is the answer. Not much at all. A pittance, you could say. So little, indeed, I would call it a nominal fee. Oh alright, it's 50DB per row of 6 slots. And as an All Access member I get a 10% discount, so 45DB for me.
Also, as a Member, I get 500DB per month, so if I wanted to I could add eleven rows of six slots to my Wardrobe every month, effectively for nothing. That sounds like a good plan. Only I don't need to wait because I'm sitting on over 15,000DB on that account alone from previous Triple SC weekends and general long-term miserliness.
I doubled all my slots, from six to twelve, for every kind of item the Wardrobe will hold. Then I went through my bank and tried on every No Trade piece of gear in the Dressing Room. I transmuted the ones that were so ugly I couldn't imagine ever wearing them even for a joke and added all the rest to my Wardrobe.
|Gotta have more hats...|
He didn't have the skill though. After some extensive
Well, now it's later. All the adornments popped out neat as peas and the plain clothes popped into the Wardrobe. The whole exercise took me almost three hours, much of which was oohing and aahing and gosh-wowing over the amazing designs and styles I had locked away in my bank vaults. Many of them I'd never even seen before because when I'm out questing and I get a reward that's not an actual upgrade I tend to just huff a bit and throw it in a sack.
Which is a terrible shame because EQ2 has some superlative fashion designers, it seems. So many particle effects! So many sheens and glows and moving parts. What a waste it's been, leaving them all locked away all these years.
I learned a lot today. For one thing, I have strongly revised my opinion of EQ2's new Wardrobe feature. It may not be the very best I've seen but it's up there. It's more flexible, more practical and a lot cheaper than I had been imagining. Yes, you have to pay to expand and yes, it's per character not per account, but with so many of the best-looking items being No Trade that's as it should be. An account-based system would make a nonsense of the entire concept.
I also learned that it doesn't matter how long you've been playing an MMO, you never really, fully understand the systems. Yesterday I was struggling to get to grips with even the basics of the strange mechanics in Revelation Online and today I was doing the same in an MMO I've played almost without a break since it launched well over a decade ago.
Most importantly, though, I learned that, no matter how an MMO might change, it's always more fun if you change along with it rather than digging in your heels and begging it to stop. Some changes are bad but the really bad ones get changed again. Keep the faith and keep going and it will all come right in the end.
And I get to dress like a pirate, whenever I want, which is all I ever really wanted.