Sunday, March 21, 2021

I Just Got A Magic Wand

EverQuest II has so many features and functions. It's all too easy to miss a few. Even the good ones. There's one I've done nothing with until quite recently: the option to morph your combat pets into any number of curious shapes and forms.

It's done using something called a petamorph wand. It's a physical item. It sits in your inventory. You have to click it to make it work. The effectl lasts a couple of hours and then you have to do it again. 

Over the years there have been many requests to turn the wands into spells or abilities so they can be scribed into a spellbook and free up bag space. Not happening. They remain stubbornly tied to the material plane.

I don't know how many there are. A quick google search suggests anything from a few dozen to several hundred. Let's just say it's a lot.

I have fifteeen. I should say my Necromancer has fifteen. No doubt there are a few more scattered around in various bags and bank vaults, here and there, but the only character I have who actually uses the wands is my necro. 

That's because she's the only pet class I play these days. I used to play a Conjuror and a Beastlord but they're both on another account. One I don't play much any more.

I have a channeler, too, another pet class. On the right account this time but very odd. I don't really understand how to play him and I don't plan on learning. So it's down to the necro. Isn't it always?

In EQII, fighting pets already change appearance with alarming frequency. Some classes, like necros and mages, get several different pets and each of those gets a new look every ten levels. 

Originally you were stuck with whatever the game gave you. Each time you levelled up far enough you'd get the next version of the summoning spell but until then you took what you were given. At some point quite early on that was changed to allow you to select from any appearance you'd already unlocked. 

You still have to keep to the right line. An tank pet can only look like another tank pet, a scout like another scout and so on. Pets also change appearance based on what quality the spell is. A master pet looks very different to an adept pet of the same level. If you don't have the Master scribed you can't pick that appearance. Obviously.

When I mostly played on the Test server I spent most of my time as an Iksar Necromancer. I also had a gnome magician and later, on Freeport, I levelled a human magician close to the then-cap. For all of them I picked a pet appearance I liked for each and stuck with that. It was enough for me.

As time passed I moved to other classes. Ones that didn't have pets. I spent a couple of years mostly playing a ratonga bruiser and then I settled on the ratonga berserker who's been my focus character for the last few years. I didn't think much about combat pets or what they looked like.

Even so, I knew about petamorph wands. They turn up not infrequently as quest rewards. They feature in holiday events and giveaways, where I tended not to select them if given the option. If there was no choice the wands ended up in bank vaults somewhere, unused.

When I made a new Iksar Necromancer and levelled her up, a couple of years ago, I was happy to follow past practice. Mostly I let the pets keep the looks they came with. Some I liked, some I didn't, but I never felt strongly enough to do much about it. Not until I got this one, the one in the picture, at 117. 

Not the black cloud with glowing eyes. That's Oor, the peculiar mercenary. Quite cool, if somewhat distracting.

No, the one on the right. The current max level Undead Knight. The tank pet. I think it's a grimling zombie. I know it's short, ugly and has its head on wrong. It  also stares. At you. All the time.

I took one look at it and decided it had to go. I could have replaced its appearance with one from another pet but I wasn't all that struck on most of those either. It occured to me to give one of the wands I had lying about a go. 

I had a look at the few I could find. None of them seemed particularly inspiring. I tried them out. They all looked better than the grimling but they also all had their own drawbacks. 

The drake looks pretty but iksar necros and fey drakes are not a natural team. Also, flying tanks are awkward in action. So are things that scuttle along at your feet like beetles. I seemed to have a lot of beetles.

The one I picked in the end was the lamia. Iksars are really quite nasty and necromancers are really quite evil. It seemed like a match. I can't remember now if I already had the wand or whether I had to go and buy it or quest for it. I got it, anyway, somehow.

The lamia is already one of the default appearances for a necro pet. Unfortunately it's the ranged magic-user, something I'd only use if I was grouping, which I never am. It does seem odd that the spell-related appearances aren't transferable between pet archetypes but the exact same models can be grafted on with a wand but that's EQII for you.

Since then I've been slowly acquiring petamorph wands as I happen across them and passing them on to my necro. They're pretty much all tradeable within an account (Heirloom in the jargon) although they bind to the character that equips them. Quite a few are openly tradeable. They go for a very wide range of prices on the broker.

Most of mine come from holiday events. I've been meaning to look into getting more but it's one of those things that goes to the back of the queue when I'm spending time in Norrath. I've also been meaning to post about the topic for over a year now but I'm aware that to do it justice would take more research time and effort than I care to spend on it. 

This is just a sketch of that post, really. I find myself doing that more and more, these days. It's probably just as well. Who wants to read five thousand words on petamorph wands? Who wants to write them? Don't answer that.

This morning, though, I finished the new three-part Overseer quest that came with the Chronoportal event and I thought the rewards were good enough to make it worth at least mentioning again. There's the wand, of course. There's a mummy plush for your house or tomb. And there's a very nice non-combat pet; a disembodied hand. 

Everyone likes a severed hand that skitters around like a spider. Don't they? It's a great pet for a necro or a warlock and in keeping with most EQII pets it's wonderfully characterful. It taps its fingers, scratches itself and it wears a cameo ring. Well worth making the minimal effort required to get it.

There's also a title; "Chrono Defender". Not the kind likely to stop someone in their tracks but decent enough. Would suit a guardian or a paladin rather well.

Then there's the aforementioned Petamorph Wand: Age Of Turmoil Clockwork. It's a an old school gnomish clockwork, all tarnished and rusty. It has a fiery furnace in its middle, its eyes glow and so does the lamp in its head.

The clockwork has several animations. It does that one where it flops forward, pivoting around the waist to stare at the floor. Occasionally it does a 360 degree headspin and now and then its whole head pops off, flies into the air, does a somersault and lands neatly back on its shoulders. The only problem with all of that is the loud clanking it makes. Could get annoying after a while.

It would suit a gnome magician perfectly. If I had one that's who I'd give it to. Since I don't the necro gets it. She has the one the berserker got but now she's doing the quest herself so soon there'll be spare. It gets like that with my team.


I'm toying with the idea of making a Vah Shir conjuror. I bought the extra character slot when Reign of Shadows began but I still haven't used it. I don't think a Vah Shir would look right with a clockwork pet, though. Some sort of cat would be much better there. 

Maybe I'll use that slot to make a gnome conjuror and make the Vah Shir a bard of some kind like I originally planned. Oh, I don't know. This is what always happens.  

Choice paralysis. There's so many things I could do in EQII I end up doing none of them. 

Oh well, it took me years to start using petamorph wands at all. I guess I can wait a while longer to decide who gets the next one.

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