Saturday, 8 July 2017

It's A Boot Time : EQ2

You might not think getting to Level 10 in an MMORPG much of an achievement. I'd agree with you, although longtime veterans of EverQuest and its contemporaries could give you an argument, I guess. As far as EQ2 is concerned, however, reaching your tenth season, as the roleplayers used to say, is something to be celebrated.

That's actually going to kick me in the small of the back...
When my Conjuror dinged 10 last night not one but two banner headlines flashed across the screen. There was the regular accolade for hitting double digits that the game hands out on any server - usually in the first hour or so, if you haven't been slacking - but there was also a second pat on the back for doing it on the new, time-limited progression server, Fallen Gate.

I say "pat on the back". It was a bit more than that. More like a kick up the backside.

As has been observed elsewhere, Daybreak chose to sweeten the progression pot this time around with a variety of rewards that apply not only on the new server itself but to any character on the account, regardless of which server they call home. The most prominently promoted of these has been the execrable Pedipowered Posterior Punter.

This abomination has the effect of a mount (29% ground speed bonus) and it goes in the Mount slot but visually it's a back item. As a Fae with wings it looks terrible. Even more terrible, that is, than on anyone else.

The "Leaping" effect also seems to cancel my Fae "glide", a short, aerial coasting effect that kicks in every time I hit the space bar. At least it doesn't cancel the Fae "featherfall" racial trait that eliminates falling damage.

Fortunately, the joke mount, which I am never going to use on any character that has anything else to ride, obviously, isn't the main cross-server benefit of playing on Fallen Gate. If you get to Level 30 there's a boost for the newly-added Familiars that looks worth having. There are also account-wide rewards for completing any Heritage Quest.

I'm a bit hazy on what those rewards might be. From a modicum of research it appears to be infinite access to the HQ reward itself, for free, in perpetuity for any and all characters you might make on that account... always providing the vendors that supply them are a) present on your server and b) present in game.

Any color you like so long as it's orange.

At the moment the Inheritance Merchants are disabled due to some exploit or other. I fully expect that, if and when new Progression servers appear, those Merchants will be on vacation in much the same way the /claim window on Fallen Gate is miraculously empty.

Well, almost empty. For some arcane reason (appropriately) there's single item left in my claim locker: the Arcanna`se Effigy of Rebirth. I believe this has survived because somewhere in the small print of the sales literature for the last expansion it stated that this freebie would be useable on TLE servers.

Should be applied to inventor.
Of course, no-one said it would work there.

I'll save claiming my effigy for the Live server (actually I'll probably forget to claim it at all and even if I do I'll certainly forget to use it...) but it made me think about the whole outlawing of claimable items on Progression servers. The intention, supposedly, is to avoid tainting the pure, retro ambience with all the fluff and powercreep of later expansions. It's an explanation that doesn't really bear up under even the most casual scrutiny.

Anyone who's played EQ2 for a while - even a few hours - has access to a number of rewards that include things like speed boosts and xp potions. These weren't in the original game, true, but then neither was the Lucky Wolf Paw, a 17 % speed boost, charm slot item that the game virtually gives you in an attempt to lure you into taking up a tradeskill. Neither could you buy all your Expert crafting books from 1-10 from a vendor in the crafting hall when the game first began - or for a long time afterwards.

After swimming my wings lock in the downward position which makes me look like some kind of steampunk angel

The cloth of the supposedly "original" game is riddled with such holes in this unconvincing reproduction to the point where you wonder if it could possibly fool anybody. As for potions to improve the sluggardly rate of xp, excluding the large number of free ones veterans can claim might come across as more "authentic" if you couldn't just buy the very same potions in unlimited quantities from the Daybreak Cash Shop. Could there be some connection between those two facts? I wonder...

Oh well, they have to make money somehow. And I'm finding the leveling speed on Fallen gate just about right anyway. I looked at the xp potions for a minute or two before realizing that, no, it's not about the cost - I don't want to go any faster.

There are worse places to settle down.
So much for Adventure. When it comes to Crafting, as yet I still can't see any difference between tradeskilling on FG and the way it works on a Live server. The bald statement in the official FAQ that "Tradeskilling should look similar to the original EverQuest II launch" seems to be out-and-out nonsense. I'll persist a little just to see if that changes but I think it unlikely.

Apart from that I imagine I'm done with Fallen Gate for now. Or, rather, FG will become yet another server on which I have a character who I like but rarely play.

Perhaps the most useful thing about the whole exercise has been the discovery that I enjoy playing a Fae. Conjuror, I'm not so struck on but being a little floaty thing with butterfly wings? That works for me.

Might have to buy another character slot...


6 comments:

  1. I got level ten last night as well. I feel as if I can now go back to playing my other EQ2 characters as well now I made the "boot" deadline.
    I'll keep playing her, but since the quests I'm getting are reliably 3 or even four levels over my head, I'll need to get in a guild.
    It helps that I went through the Frostfang Sea area to around level 20+ in the past, so it's all familiar. It being familiar is a problem because I just can't stand this area. I'm so happy with my Antonia Bayle Qeynos characters and I'm pretty sure the travel bell to get out of Frostfang is through a level 20 spider cave, bah.
    I rarely get to use my Atheren character name (though I made it up myself back in Galaxies days!) so the character is one I don't want to abandon. It's gonna be a slog.

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    1. Grats!

      I quite like Frostfang although the endless whiteness does get a bit much. Of the four official starter areas I like Darklight Woods the best but it's not very convenient for a Qeynos-based character so I went to Frostfang this time.

      The bell *is* through a spider cave but the spiders are completely non-aggressive. There's a passage from the starter area to New Halas (up the tunnel behind the rolling rocks) so you can easily go from the Level 1 area to the bell area without encountering a single aggressive mob.

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  2. The only time I played a fae with any regularity was probably when they first released... that was Echoes of Faydwer right? Christ it's been a while since I've thought about EQ2. I remember I made a Bruiser and it was hilarious to watch this little sprite kick the shit out of mobs so much larger than him. These TLE servers make me want to play the game again, but I know I don't have the time to devote. If I did, it would make more sense to take my 95 Brigand up to make level or start working on my 90 Paladin, both of which have sat unplayed for a few years. I know that I feel like I want to play it, but when I actually do I don't play for long. Paying the sub might motivate me, but I really should focus on something else. I still enjoy reading about it though, and you're one of the few who still do. Kudos.

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    1. One thing that's surprised me is that just about everyone on my blog roll and/or Feedly who I know to have played EQ2 in the last few years seems to have made a character on Fallen Gate. It's not a meaningful sample but it does show how strong a card nostalgia is. There are even a couple of people trying the game for the first time and seemingly enjoying themselves.

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  3. I just wanted the mount for a toon on AB. In fact, to counter that sentiment of not wanting to delete a toon, tho' not nearly as strong as yours,I rolled a race I figured, rightly, I'd never want to play for the long term -- a froglok. All that damn hopping. Will be no problem deleting his bouncing chicken butt. (Yes, I only spent DBC for the slot. ha!)

    -- 7rlsy

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