Fair warning, this is likely to ramble a bit.
Tuesday saw the release of the fifth EQ2 expansion – yes kids there are other MMO’s out there that don’t have War in the title anywhere and they’re still going strong. From all accounts the launch went pretty smooth, to be honest this has become expected from the EQ2 dev team so hats off to them for raising the bar.
Some initial impressions:
Logging in on Tuesday night I had to spend the first 30 minutes or so organizing my hotkeys since you now automatically get App1 versions of your level 50+ spells/combat arts just as you did pre level 50. Sisca was a few levels behind in the Alchemy thing so was missing all of the level 68+ CA’s and I had apparently missed some of the lower level ones as well. Acsis was also missing a good 10 levels worth of spells since my Sage was only level 61.
I ended up taking the long way to the new airship landing since I forgot that I could use the house item you get for the shiney collection quest from the world event to port you right to the landing pad in Sinking Sands. Once there I joined the throngs lined up, many riding their new bear mount, waiting for the boat…err airship. I was a little worried that the crowds were going to make the new area unplayable but I had forgotten about EQ2’s world zone instancing system and there were already 3 versions of Moors of Ykesha to choose from when our airship started to pull out. There were still plenty of people there but it never really impacted performance and I didn’t feel the frustration of 20 people camping every spawn. We were able to move through the zone and the tradeskill quest lines as fast as we wanted.
Last night I managed to finish off the first series of tradeskill oriented quests as well as a couple of the new tradeskill daily quests. The tradeskill quests require you to craft level 70 items which are a bit of a challenge at level 61 but I was able to get the 4th tier on every combine. I was a little worried about attempting this with a level 50ish crafter but then I realized that even if you only get the first tier of quality you can complete the quest it will just take more combines. The other worry is the fuel costs but the reward seems to be configured so that even if you only get the first tier and have 4 times the combines you’ll still get your fuel costs back. If you can do it in fewer combines you’ll net a bigger profit.
The so far the tradeskill daily quests almost seem like an exploit. The first was to collect 10 each of 2 different sea shells that were easy to get with little risk of getting in agro range of anything. Of the 2 I did last night the hardest was the mail pickup quest that required me to run to the 3 major “cities” of the zone and click a box. The other required me to harvest 6 berry baskets that were at most 1000 feet from the quest giver. Both of those netted me some faction and 25g, not very exciting quest wise but a quick 50g profit.
Speaking of profit after completing all of those quests I ended up about 4p ahead over 2 nights. Since we really just started playing in Kunark over the last week getting this kind of coin is new to me but if this keeps up I can see why they priced some of the guild hall amenities the way they did.
After 2 nights of running around I still haven’t found the starter for the adventuring quests or the new adventure dungeons though I have to admit I haven’t looked all that hard as I was focused on completing the tradeskill stuff. I’m trying to avoid looking it up but I may have to see if I can at least find a pointer to the quest starter.
Overall I’m really liking the expansion so far. It was kind of nice to be able to get tradeskill XP for doing something besides staring at a workstation for hours and I’m especially eager to try out the new tradeskill dungeons. The new adventure dungeons sound cool but I think I’d rather wait and put together a guild group to do those first instead of trying to 2box or duo them so they may have to wait a bit. Still it’s nice to have that kind of content sitting there and waiting for us.
I like the idea of the daily quests but I’m also glad that, unlike WoW, there isn’t anything that I feel I have to have that makes me feel forced to make sure I grind my dailies to get cash. Right now at least, I look at them as an option to pick up some extra cash now and then. What I’m curious about is what level you can start them and how the money scales. If I can pickup 25g a day with a level 20-40 character that’s going to make equipping them much easier. Of course that’s also going to make the economy for lower level items go haywire, or should I say more haywire since the prices for lower level items is already outrageous due to transmuting.