Monday, May 11, 2020

Busy Making Progress : EverQuest II

Something unprecedented has happened to me in EverQuest II. Less than six months after the launch of an expansion I have a character who is on the verge of being overpowered for that expansion's solo content.

I wouldn't normally reach that stage until at least the preamble for the next expansion, something that begins, these days, with the Yun Zi panda quests in late summer. By the way, I have only just this moment discovered, as I checked I'd remembered his name right, that Yun Zi is an actual giant panda at the San Diego Zoo.

The character who's on the cusp of being more powerful than the content intended for him expects him to be is my Berserker. The main way I can tell is because he can mostly now ignore the scripts of solo instance bosses. A lot of what they do he's able to shrug off and some of it they don't seem to manage to do at all.

He's a long way off being able to slice and dice them in seconds, the way he can most solo content in any previous expansion, but fights that took ten or even fifteen minutes when he was working through the signature quest line now don't last long enough for his ascended abilities to refresh after one use. That means he's carving through most bosses in two or three minutes.

As for regular mobs, he's now able to round them up in packs and AE them down in seconds.

The upshot of all this is that instead of thinking of solo instances as difficult prospects needing a good block of time, they're becoming light, knockabout fun, suitable for a wind-down at the end of the evening.

The difference between this expansion and all the previous ones going back many years is undoubtedly the Overseer system. I've been doing all available missions religiously every day since it was introduced.

Most of the rewards aren't particularly thrilling but all of them are useful. I have never been so well supplied with potions for a start.

There are plenty of good drops from the Overseer Missions, too. That's how I've been able to upgrade his gear from the Signature questline as well as improving many of his combat arts. I've even been able to make and fit several of the desirable Adornments.

A few weeks ago I would have been content to get all of his gear to 160 resolve but the arrival of both Season Two Overseer missions and the Diaku Corral instance means the solo benchmark is now 165 or 170 and I've even seen one 175 drop, although it wasn't one my Berserker could use.

With the addition of elements like the free mount we recently received, a significant upgrade to the one I was still using from the Planes of Prophecy Signature, and some reasonably diligent use of the infusion mechanic, my Berserker now has almost two hundred million hit points and a hundred and ten thousand Potency in open world content, rising to well over half a billion and nearly two hundred thousand respectively in instances.

What all this means is that the prospect of running instances repeatedly to get drops I might want is
now an attractive one rather than something I'd prefer to avoid if at all possible. The faster the mobs die, the more fun it becomes.

The irony is that the gear that drops from bosses and instance mission rewards generally aren't anything I can use any more. Still, there are other drops, not least Adornmnents, that are still worth having and there are lots of collects to find and complete.

This is probably the first EQII expansion I've played approximately as the developers intended since... well, quite possibly ever. Even ten years ago, when Mrs Bhagpuss and I played the heck out of Sentinels of Fate for months, I still never got all that far with the instances.

It is true that what I'm describing is pretty much a solo game in which a lot of other people also run around doing stuff. I have the feeling, though, based on what I've read and what I've heard people say in game, that it would probably be feasible to move from where I am to the bottom rung of group content without falling flat on my face.

If I wanted to. Which I don't. At the moment I'd rather get as close as possible to "finishing" my Berserker and then move on to my Necro. Then, if I'm still feeling it, either my Inquisitor or my Wizard. Not to mention I still have a Shadowknight I was meant to be levelling.

By which time we should be about ready to start ramping up for this year's expansion and all this effort will count for nothing as we turn the corner and see the next flight of stairs leading up...

But isn't that always the way of it?


  1. Gear getting outdated with updates is one of the reasons why I focus on leveling alts instead of getting better gear on most MMORPGs I play.

    Also Holly works for Blizzard now.
    Yeah, I know it's not related to the post, but I did not see you mention it on your blog.

    1. I knew about Holly but not sure I did mention it here, come to think of it. Maybe in passing but not in a post as such. I think I probably just talked about over in the comment thread at TAGN.


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