Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stop Twisting My Melon, Man! : EQ2

Miserable day outside. April showers? April steady downpour more like.

That's a real fruit. Who knew?
What could be more welcome on such a wet, grey day than a little harvesting? Gathering if you prefer. It's relaxing, soothing, and profitable. I like to gather, mine or harvest in all MMOs that allow it, which is most of them and I've always particularly enjoyed EQ2's implementation. Simple and elegant, there's a zen-like quality as you move from node to node, depleting each with a series of satisfying sounds and animations, occasionally (very occasionally) slavering at the Skinner Box reward of a Rare, signaled by a DING! worthy of Pavlov himself.

My semi-precious!
Rares in EQ2 have always represented money just lying on the ground. Perpetual revenue-generators for adventurers willing to take the trouble to skill-up their gathering skills, Rares represent a broker staple. Crafters can never have enough yet they don't want to spend the time, suffer terrible runs of luck with the RNG or just plain die too often to find all they need out in the field. Frequently some fad or bug pushes the price of a particular rare through the roof and so it is right now.

Who's the joker with the small change?

The recent update, although no full expansion, did bring two new levels for crafters as well as adventurers and along with the levels came new recipes requiring new harvests. We got a full new tier of harvests, including rares but according to EQ2Wire one of those rares, Osmium is bugged so that it drops 90% less often than it should. Since Osmium is used to make Level 91 and 92 Expert Level Mage spells and Fighter Combat Arts, and since you need to have scribed the Expert to get a Research Assistant to make you the Master version, and since not having the Master version of your new spells is like having the wrong knot in your school tie, this has not gone unnoticed.

Last night the cheapest Osmium on the broker was selling for at least 80 plat. I know, because I sold it. Today the cheapest is 102 plat. I'd undercut that if I had any more but after several hours zipping around Withered Lands on my trusty flying disc I still haven't turned one up.

Dice loaded
It's been a very pleasant day all the same. I completed a number of quests I'd forgotten about, acquired a pet Stormwing Whelp and found many Rares. Just no Osmium. The meditative trance did tend to suffer as various passing elementals, giant bugs or carnivorous plants attempted to rip my head off, but a powerful ratonga berserker laughs at such impertinences. Alright, squeaks.

Not every would-be gatherer can shrug off the advances of a homicidal treant so easily, of course, and there have been many bitter complaints over the years about SoE reneging on their contract with crafters by putting all the nodes in the middle of packs of angry animals, where only adventurers could reach them.

I thought this would be the case with our latest top-end gathering zone, Withered Lands but I was surprised to find that nodes pop up in the safe areas around the Steles, where uncorrupted satyrs maintain small pockets of Tunare-sponsored green-lawned calm among the general corruption. All types of nodes spawn there and the areas appear to be discrete "fields", meaning that as one node is depleted another will spawn in the same area rather than beyond where the wild things are.

We Bought A Zoo
This means that any gatherer, regardless of his or her adventure level, can safely harvest in the Withered Lands. Well, you'd probably want to be able to fly, which would mean being a level 85 crafter, otherwise you might have some difficulty getting to one of the Steles intact. Or at all. You only need to get there once, though, since each Stele has a horse stop and once that's opened you have a free, invulnerable, automatic ride to and from the zone-in camp any time you need it.

I found more nodes faster in that safe spot than I found while roaming, if only because cutting up huge beetles with a sword takes quite a long time. Being able to gather safely in a final-tier zone is surprisingly generous and very welcome. It still isn't getting me any Osmium though.


  1. Sounds like a nice way to spend a rainy day :) EQ2 has so much stuff to do, love the variety the game offers. GL on finding more Osmium!!

  2. Hrmm, not showing my name beside my post (kaozz), maybe my brower is messing up, gah! Just testing!

  3. It's showing up fine for me - I get that when I reply here sometimes though. Not sure why.


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