Saturday, March 24, 2018

Triple Trouble : EverQuest, GW2

Super-annoying busy work schedule means no time or energy to post. Worse, there's been quite a lot of stuff going on I'd have liked to post about. No point pretending that's going to happen but hey, this is an MMO blog. All I have to do is wait a while and all the same topics will come round again. And again. And again.

That's pretty much how my gaming is right now, come to think of it. Every day this week has been the same: GW2 dailies on three accounts, followed by a bit of a runaround in WvW, if there's a good Commander tagged or an enemy zerg's threatening one of our keeps.

Then it's over to good old EverQuest for the last hour before bed. Thanks to all the publicity about the 19th Anniversary and having to log in to take some screenshots for my post about it, I somehow found myself leveling a Necromancer on Vox. And loving it.

Elite Ledge camped! Oh, wait, I'm the only one here...
EQ is insanely relaxing. It just is. I'd forgotten how much. Coming home from work, too tired to do anything that demands urgent movement, EQ's stately (some would say funereal) pace is exactly what I need.

With the current 1.5x XP bonus, an hour is just about right to get to Blackburrow, do a level, then Gate to Plane of Knowledge, sell my loot, buy my new spells and camp, ready to do it all again the next day. No doubt things will slow down in due course but I dinged 12 last night and I was still trucking along happily.

Vox seems like a delightful server - a lively, chatty, good-natured crowd, much more mixed in level than I've been used to seeing in  EQ for years. I had absolutely no plans either to play EQ again right now, or to level up a new character, but what the heck...if it's fun, stick with it.

That's Tipsy Teena in the red dress. She runs the Aniiversary Naked Gnome Races.
Why she's at the chessboard I have no idea.

Next thing is to work put how to make some money on a new server. I used to be good at that, once. Baby needs new shoes - and everything else!

Back in GW2, I did at least manage to clear a very long-standing goal the other night. For a long time I've been one Achievement short of the Meta for Triple Trouble, the mega-event that was so controversial when it was added to the game just over three years ago.

Back then it was the closest the game had to raiding. Along with the revised version of Tequatl it changed the ethos of the game and not, in my opinion, for the better. Now, of course, we have actual raiding, the horse is out of the stable and away over the hills and there's no point trying to bolt any doors. Anyway, these days Three Headed Wurm is just another map meta so if you can't beat, beat 'em.

Which is what I haven't been able to do. Until this week. TT may be on farm status for some but in my experience it still fails a lot even if you join experienced guilds for an organized run.

Case in point, it's failed every time I've taken my ranger there for about the last year and a half, although that's probably fewer than ten times in total. I only do it on a whim, when I happen to hear a guild advertizing a run.

This time it was [QUTE], who run it most days at 8PM GMT. I've done it with them before and while they know what they're doing the random selection of passers-by they attract generally don't. It looked very much as though it was going to fail on Wednesday night too but somehow we managed to pull things out of the fire at the very last second.

I got my 50AP and my title and I never want to do it again. Then again, since I have three accounts, I probably will. But not for a while.

That's all I've got for now. Normal service will be resumed around Easter, I hope, when I finally get some free time. I'm off to play some more EQ, then watch Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated. Season 2 is so good...


  1. By this point, the horse that escaped over the hills got jumped on by tons of rabid player wolves and ripped to shreds. They also followed the trail back to the stable and now are baying at the door.

    Welp, you get what you aim to attract. I hope they pay well.

    I wouldn't know. I'm still giving all my GW2 money to the VPN that lets me play at all.

    1. Well, supposedly we should all be using VPNs as a matter of course these days. Even the mainstream media is pushing that line. I was thinking of geting one, if only so I can watch the current Season of Supergirl.

      As for GW2, it's a lost cause. It's just WoW with no real tanks or healers these days.

    2. As a longtime WoW player who switched to GW2 half a year ago I can't see how this even remotely resembles truth. It'd be nice if you elaborated on what exactly pushed you to this conclusion.

    3. I mean that GW2 is now a quest-based MMO with raids and dedicated healing, tanking and DPS classes. The quests are called "Achievements" or "Collections" and the classes are called "Builds" and there still isn't a full trinity in operation but its very much closer to that than the original mold-breaking conception.

      In game people talk about "quests" "tanks" "healers" and "raids" without nuance these days. Five years ago anyone mentioning "quests" in open chat would swiftly be told that there were no quests in GW2. Trying to hold that line today would be pointless and I haven't seen anyone attempt it for a long while.

      If you have only seen GW2 in the last six months you have only ever seen the version that looks and plays like the kind of MMOs ArnaNet set out to replace. It was really not like this at all when it started. Whether it's better now than it was then is another matter. Lots and lots of people really loathed the way GW2 played at launch and said so very loudly before they left. The game began to reverse direction within the first six months but the speed of change has continued to increase ever since.

      The main difference that remains between GW2 and a regular MMO is, as far as I can see, the decision to abandon Dungeons. Fractals sort of replace that aspect but not entirely. Other than that it feels much the same as most other MMOs I play these days. It used to feel very significantly different.

      I actually prefer some aspects of the current direction - especially the revamped healing and the addition of interesting quest chains.

    4. I should perhaps clarify that my original comment on "no real tanks or healers" was ironic. I meant that, having previously had NO tanks or healers, GW2 now has them, but that by the standards expected of someone used to playing a tank or a healer in WoW they still would not pass muster as "real" examples of those archetypes. It was just a joke that I was fairly sure Jeromai, whose comment I was replying to, would find amusing.

    5. As far as I know, toughness aggro and healing power were in game since the very first day, so didn't really create dedicated tanks and healers later. What they actually did was creating content with them in mind. As for quests (I assume you are talking about collections), they are sparse enough to not call them paradigm change.

      Overall, I don't think that dedicated roles and "quests" make GW2 copy of WoW. Gameplay is absolutely different, progression (or, rather, lack of gear part of progression) is absolutely different, there is actual world content that feels absolutely different (actually, WoW is trying to turn into GW2 in that part with replacements of dailies feeling like static events and random invasions which look like poor copy of meta events). It's fine to dislike streamlining of the game, but I find your comparison over-exaggerated.

  2. I stuck my head into EQ on a whim a few weeks ago. It is so much faster paced now than what I remember. I've gotten a necromancer into the 40s, which is 20 levels further than I ever managed back in "the good old days" of launch era EQ. My understanding is that I'll hit a soft wall at some point post 90, but for now I'm having a great time.

    1. I think that if you're able to make yourself comfortable with the UI, the controls and the general day-to-day gameplay then EQ these days is very accessible indeed up to around the 70s. Given the vast size of the world, with multiple zones across many level ranges and umpteen races and classes that play very differently, there's a huge amount of entertainment to be had before you hit the real solo slowdown. I'd say that comes in the 80s rather than the 90s but it's still months, if not years, of fun solo content.

      Of course, if you can find groups in the 80s and 90s it will be a lot different. I never could on Luclin-Stromm, where most of the population and the grouping is at the cap, but on Vox I'm noticing quite a lot of LFG notices for the 80-100 range. Maybe I should consider transferring servers with my 94 mage...


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