Wednesday, November 30, 2022

I'm Coming! I'm Coming! Just Give Me An Hour To Get Dressed...

 As Wilhelm noted, today marks the launch of EverQuest II's latest expansion, Renewal of Ro. It's just as well he mentioned it. I'd forgotten and, somewhat surprisingly, Daybreak don't seem to have sent me a reminder.

There was scheduled downtime lasting five hours before the servers opened on the new lands. I'm guessing it went to plan because by the time I finished walking Beryl, cooking her chicken and feeding it to her, it was half an hour past the appointed hour and there were three instances of the opening zone, Raj'Dur Plateaus already up and running.

For once, there was no frenzied scurrying, trying to find out how to get there. The Message of the Day gave clear instructions. All we had to do was find a magic carpet in one of the home cities and we'd be whisked away on our great adventure.

I had been planning on finishing the Panda quests first but it occured to me that, based on previous expansions, as soon as I got there I'd be junking pretty much everything in favor of the free catch-up gear lying on the ground next to the first questgiver.

That indeed proved to be the case. The stuff in the box is 390 Resolve, a huge upgrade from the 315 of the Hua Collector's gear, even though that's only a matter of weeks old. At this point, I really can't see the point of the Panda quests, or at least not of the equippable gear they reward. It's hard to see who would use it, except maybe people who don't buy the expansion but still play endgame from the last one. Does anyone really do that?

Of course, the Tishan's gear itself is only a stopgap. The rewards from the two quests I took at the docks are upgrades to it. Then again, if you don't equip the starting gear, good luck doing those first quests unless you're in full raid gear fron the last expansion!

Gearing up from the box is not a simple process, as I learned to my cost several expansions ago. There are numerous Adornments to check, fit and replace, some of which are Lore and clash with things you're probably already using. I imagine it's going to take me an hour to get myself sorted out and that's just doing the bare minimum.

I'm also beginning to get a little desperate for a new mercenary. My current one is from the expansion before last and while he's still keeping me upright, I think it might be asking a bit much of him to go one more round. I was excited to see this cheery-looking fellow hanging out his shingle in the dockland area but sadly he wouldn't do more than pass the time of day with me. I hope he'll be more communicative when I've done... something. Not sure what, yet.

Since an hour was about all I had, if I was going to get this post done before bed, I had to content myself with a quick explore around the harbor and a very tentative peek at the desert beyond. Again from experience, I know that without the new gear I'll be one-shotted by the first aggressive wildlife that spots me trying to sneak past.

The canyon at the back of the docks led to what looked remarkably like the open sea and was, disturbingly, strewn with dead sheep. When I cautiously poked my nose around the cliffs I found out what had been kiling them. Vultures.

And that's as far - and as close - as I got. I already have a quest to kill those vultures, along with some non-aggressive mites I passed on the sands, but both of them would very definitely be picking my bones within seconds if I was rash enough to take them on.

That's going to have to wait until tomorrow, after I've sorted out my gear and done the dozen other necessary things one always has to do at the start of a new expansion, the first of which is going to be deciding who to take through the Signature line first. I'm leaning towards my Necromancer. It's been far too long since I played a pet class in EQII.

Then again, my Berserker's already there...

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