Thursday, June 18, 2020

Secret Agents : EQII

Yesterday I dinged Overseer Level 20 in EverQuest II. It came as a bit of a surprise. I'd all but forgotten Overseer had levels.

There was an Achievement, naturally. There's an Achievement for everything these days. That's something else I tend to forget, although I really shouldn't. Achievements came relatively late to EQII but even so they've been around for more than a decade, having been introduced in 2009's GU53. I ought to be used to them by now.

Would've been nice in December '19.
I notice how those original patch notes seek to reassure EQII's notoriously nervous subscribers: "Some harder to complete achievements will offer non-stat item rewards" (My emphasis). Of course, they were just softening us up. As you can see from the screenshot, things have changed. You can get some very nice gear from Achievements, now.

In fact, almost all the Blood of Luclin achievements come with item rewards that were, at least when the expansion was new, about as good as a solo player was likely to find for the slots. It didn't last. The speed of travel being what it is in MMORPGs, even though I knew about the benefits, I'd already found better gear from post-expansion updates before I managed to complete many of the achievements for the original content.

Looking down the list in-game, I see there's still some stuff there I should be working on.  The eminently achievable (ahem...) Wracking my brains, for example, rewards a choice of blue adornments that would come in very handy. Those aren't easy to come by.

I bet you only get to choose one.
There are also rather a lot of titles available by way of Achievements. I really like titles. You can never have too many. I should probably make an effort to work out which achievements have rewards I'd like, then decide which ones I might be able to finish, and then actually do something about it. The last bit's the hard part.

I could also put together a whole post about achievements. And one about titles. Now there's a plan...

But this is supposed to be a post about a few things I noticed when I dinged 20 in Overseer. Back to the plot...

Achievements related to the Overseer system can be found in the Quests tab under Overseer Quests (Since Darkpaw can't decide whether they're called Missions or Quests I'll carry on calling them whatever I feel like at the time, I guess). I spent a while tabbing around, trying to find the one I'd just got - "Level 20 Overseer" - but I couldn't find any trace of it.

This would appear to be a bug. The system records all your completed achievements, or it's supposed to. You can filter them out but they're displayed by default as a de facto record of your successes so far.

In the Overseer Quests tab, as you can see, I've racked up a total of 6/38 achievements for the category but the only completed one on show is the very first, the introductory Welcome, Overseer. Then there are what must be the next two upcoming achievements, due to land with the as-yet unnanounced Season 3: Level 25 Overseer and Season 3 Overseer.

There's a lot to unpack there. Firstly, the completed achievements are missing. Secondly, there are already achievements in place for the next season, which we haven't officially been told is coming. Thirdly, it looks as if Season Three will only have five new levels, not ten. And finally, thirty-eight Overseer achievements have already been created and are sitting somewhere out of sight, waiting to make an appearance. What the heck could those be?

Moving on to the reward for reaching Overseer Level 20 itself, that also gave me some food for thought. What you get is a pack containing six Fabled-quality agents. But don't get too excited. You get to choose just one of them.

Also, if you keep up with your Overseer missions, you'll already have most of them. I  had them all. Most of them on several characters. Some I had copies of sitting in the bank. Two copies. Or three. When you do your full quota of Overseer missions every day they soon mount up.

It did make me wonder whether there were any I'd missed. Logically, there must be. Even after all this time there are several traits I don't have an agent for. Unless there are traits that can't be matched, which would be an odd design decision. Also very annoying.

I went to the wiki to check, something I'd never bothered (or even thought) to do before. Here's the complete list. Scanning the names it turns out I'm missing quite a few. Surprisingly, mostly not the good ones.

I have Ricorin and Shrehz
From Season One I'm missing three of the four Celestial-quality agents: Alexandrina X`Aphon, Klirgain the Mangler and Xiang Jie.  That's entirely understandable. Celestials are by far the rarest drops. I wouldn't expect to have all of them. Still, one out of four seems low.

Season Two does better. There, I have two of the four Celestials. The pair I'm missing don't even have images or links on the wiki, suggesting they're sufficiently rare that no-one has yet been able to add them to the database.

I have, as I said, all of the Fabled agents. I also have all of the Legendary ones, most of them many times over. The strange part is what I don't have: the Treasured-quality agents. No, wait, let me correct that: I have two of them. Two out of twelve.

The way it works is this: Treasured agents have no traits, making them all but useless for running missions. Legendary agents have one trait. Fabled agents have two. Celestials also have two, but the hard-to-get ones. You can usually convert agents into the currency that allows you to buy some of the mission rewards.

You might think the reason I don't have ten of the twelve Treasured agents is because I just converted them to currency the moment I got them, but I don't do that. I have an obsessive and pointless need to complete the set on at least one character, so every time I get an agent I don't recognize I stick them in the shared bank so my Berserker can check whether he has them or not. If he doesn't, he adds them to his collection.

And he doesn't have these! How did that happen? I've been swimming in Season Two Legendary and Fabled agents, after all. Shouldn't I be positively drowning in the lowest-level ones?

Maybe, but clearly I'm not. And I have a theory about that. 

Missions come in the same four flavors as Agents: Treasured, Legendary, Fabled and Celestial.

Celestial missions take fifteen hours with an even longer cooldown. I have two, which I can do approximately every other day.

Fabled take ten hours, also with a longer cooldown. I have five of those and I do them as often as the cooldowns allow, which is somewhere between every day and every other day, depending how well I time it.

Legendary missions vary from two-and-a-half to five hours. I have eleven of those. I do them as fillers to make up the available spaces left after I've taken all the available Celestial and Fabled quests. I can do them every day, if needed.

That leaves a mere three Treasured missions, which I presumably got right at the beginning of Season Two. I never do those. Never. Why would I?

Well, to get the Treasured agents to complete my set! That would be why. It very much looks as though Treasured agents might only drop from Treasured missions. Maybe each quality of agent only drops from the matching color mission. I never thought to pay attention to that. I will now!

If I'm right, I have to decide whether I want to complete my agent collection enough to forego any chance of getting drops worth having, probably for quite a while. On the positive side, I would presumably acquire a lot of duplicate agents to be converted to currency, so I could buy some of the drops I'd missed out on.

I'll give it some thought but I think I can probably limp along without a full set of agents, somehow. Anyway, there's Season Three to think about. We have evidence it's coming and I imagine it can't be that far away. That'll bring a whole new set of agents, I bet.

I guess I'll save myself for that.

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