EverQuest Epics

Ogre Odyssey

Last night we had originally planned to spend a leisurely evening killing some storms but Lore’s new Mystic, Crystalshade, was still in Sundered Splitpaw and she needed one more quest to get the glowing shard that would allow her to teleport back. So I started the storm killing with Klubya while she headed in to try and complete the solo quest in the Arena. Unfortunately, she’s never been a great soloer and hasn’t really gotten a handle on the Mystic yet so she was unable to take down the multiple encounter.

After killing off one last storm Klubya gated back and we decided to tackle the hideout mission again since it was the quickest that we had done. This basically involves going into an instance, slaughtering gnolls – any day you can slaughter gnolls is a good day as for as Klubya is concerned – then using the ever present explosive barrels to blow up their supplies. 30 minutes later we had blown up the last of their supply crates, woot, done lets get out of here…oh wait, it didn’t count for her shard?!?.

Unknown Ululations

A cast of 1000’s

If I’m going to start posting more about my adventures in the various games I guess I should give a quick rundown of my various characters.

Everquest 1:

Bjoern – Level 30ish Dwarven Berserker created to play with the Tuesday night Nostagia group. No last name yet but I’m thinking of something like Ta’Rock.


Soaridor – Level 53 Drakin Mage created to check out the new race and, due to the increased speed of leveling, ended up joining the Friday night Nostalgia group. Currently replaced by Sisca but I may start alternating depending on the needs of the group.


Sisca Mainacier – Level 56 Human Monk, this was my original character in EQ, created back in October of 1999. I recently moved him over from The Tribunal when Nostalgia was working on Vox/Naggy. While I thought the tactic we came up with for Mage pulling Naggy was cool – basically the druid would cast her translocate spell on Soaridor and I’d run in and aggro the lair and get them to just outside then accept the TL to clear agro then gate back to the where I had bound just outside the throne room – I thought having a monk around would be more efficient. Besides, Sisca was still 51 since I’d held him there for the express purpose of pulling Vox. Got him to 56 so far but after the trip to Old Sebilis last week I’m thinking that depending on who’s available and where we go Soaridor’s DPS might be more beneficial at times so I may start platooning them.

Unknown Ululations

The WoW is gone.

Last night I spent some time making sure all of my various alt’s in WoW have emptied their mailboxes in preparation for canceling my account.

Around May I started to get bored, as did Lore I think, and we sort of put the group on hold for awhile. Both Lore and I have hunters that are at 67 and the temptation is there to make that last push to 70 but she said she just couldn’t muster the energy and she has a much higher tolerance for these things than I do – every time I consider it my head starts hurting.

So today it ends.

I may be back at some point but I have to say that nothing I’ve seen coming out of WotLK is making me think that will be what brings me back.

Site News

Site update.

I’ve been planning for weeks now to start posting more I’ve just been trying to figure out what direction I wanted to take the site.

I think that I’ve finally decided that I’m mainly going to use it to post on my current experiences in my various MMO’s along with the occasional opinion piece. I’ll probably be changing the categories to reflect this over the next several days.

I’ve also changed the site theme because I’m no longer playing WoW (more on that later) but I’m not completely happy with the new one so there may be more updates later.

Now if I can just convince the wife to chip in with her point of view we might get something going here.

EverQuest Epics

The Great EQ2 Tradeskill Riots

For those that don’t keep up with EQ2, especially the changes that are on Test, last week they implemented a very major change for tradeskillers. Basically they removed the tradeskill instances that had been present in each of the starting villages and moved the tradeskill stations into various shops around the major city zones (North Qeynos, South Qeynos etc.). Needless to say this has created quite the uproar in the crafting community as they feel they’re being yanked out of their comfortable instances and put on public display for no good reason. It doesn’t help that the city zones are some of the laggiest in the game, even when there are no people in them.

If you’re interested in watching the uproar check out the In Testing Feedback forums of The Development Corner section on the EQ 2 Forums, especially the Tradekill Changes, Feedback and Playtest thread.

As you might have noticed they did a play test of the new system last night and, while it lived up – or possibly down – to the players expectations as an unmitigated disaster from a gameplay perspective I also felt it was at least beneficial. After about 30 minutes of testing Glendral, the tradeskill person, basically called a halt and gathered everyone around for a Q&A session. For the first time the reasons for wanting to make the changes were given…they want to make the tradeskill community a more intregal part of the overall EQ2 community. This sounds like a noble cause but, if you play the game, you might be a bit confused I know I was. You see I already think of our crafters as an intergal part of our community if for nothing else than their breadth of knowledge about the game in addition to their good humor and company. If what they’re actually trying to do is make the crafters a more “needed” part of the game then they’re going to have to work on making the items they produce more valued by the adventurers and that’s a whole other issue.

Personally, I think they’re worried that a new player, or worse a reviewer from some website, will log in to the game and find the two major cities all but empty. I hate to break it to them but this has been the case almost from the begining. Adventurers rarely go to the city zones except to pickup a new city writ and instead conduct all of their business in the smaller villages. The crafters spend most of their time in the tradeskill instance, also located in the village of their choice so any business conducted outside of the instance is conducted in that village. Once an adventurer decides to go off hunting he leaves directly from that village or, at higher levels, zones into the “harbor” section of the city proper and immeadiatly uses the bell to be on his way. So I think the real goal here is to use the tradeskillers to make these under-utilized zones look busy. If that’s the case I think it’s a pretty crappy way to treat some of your most loyal players.

I’ve tried to remain positive though, especially since Glendral really seemed to want to get the player feedback and I know from having met many of the dev team that they really do care about the game. I just think that sometimes they get focused on something and lose site of their players.

After the break is a copy of the posting I made in the feedback thread, I’m posting it here as kind of an open letter to the EQ2 Dev team.


Industry Insights

Breaking into the games industry

I was originally going to write about the new ideas for death penalties the folks over at Sigil are implementing for Vanguard. However, triggered by Moorgard’s thoughts on landing a job in the industry and spurred on by Michael French’s recent opinion piece on Next Generation I decided the time was right for my “Breaking into games” rant.

Reflective Reviews

Mini-Review: Titan Quest

I spent some time with the demo version of Diablo III…err that is Titan Quest over this past weekend. Since I haven’t finished the game, and haven’t even explored the multiplayer aspects or the map making tools available in the full game, I don’t want to give a definitive review but I thought I’d throw my first impressions out there for anyone that’s interested.

Industry Insights

EvE TV, a primer for game TV?

When I first started watching soccer, football for the rest of the world, I had no clue about the rules or the nuances of the game. I started out catching BBC America’s weekly recap/preview show and eventually started watching full English Premier League matches on what’s now the Fox Soccer Channel. The thing I liked most about the match commentators is that they didn’t feel a need to talk down to their audience. They would show the offsides, with a yellow line on the field, and sometimes give you a “obviously offsides”, or “close call” type comment but they just assumed that if you were watching you understood. The same with penalties, the most you’d usually get was something like “obvious penalty but I’m not sure it warrants a card” and it was left up to the viewer to decide what the actual infraction was.

As I said, I knew nothing about the rules of the game so you’d think that this kind of coverage would have been frustrating but in reality it allowed me to learn the subtlties of the game much faster. I had to watch what was happening, think about what the commentator said and try and relate the two to figure out what was going on. This kept me much more engaged in the match and I started to see plays developing. As a result I now find soccer much more entertaining than, say, American football.

This weekend I found myself experiencing that same engagement watching people play a video game that I have very little interest in actually playing myself, EvE Online. This weekend, and again next weekend, CCP is running a series of in-game PvP matches and they’re streaming live coverage of them over the web via a service they’re calling EveTV.

Design Deliberations

MMO Crafting and Me

The recent articles by each of the three members of the MMO Round Table, Moorgard, Nerfbat and Aggro Me, got me thinking about my experiences with crafting in MMO’s.

As anyone that knows me can tell you I’ve never been a huge fan of crafting in most MMO’s. EQ1 crafting was so tedious that I’d find myself nodding off after only 5 minutes. WoW wasn’t that much more exciting but at least I didn’t risk carpal tunnel from all the clicking and dragging. At launch the actual act of crafting in EQ2 was entertaining but having to spend hours doing sub-combines to make the components that you could then use for the final object you wanted to make was annoying to say the least. About the only system that I was able to tolerate for any length of time was the one in DAoC and that was only because I just had to have my components, go to the proper crafting station and click on the button to start it. I could then walk away and do something else while the crafting process completed. If I didn’t have anything else I wanted to do though it was boring as heck watching that little bar fill up.

The recent changes to EQ2’s crafting system have actually made that system entertaining for me, I have a couple of characters that have a higher tradeskill level than adventure level even, so thinking about the new system and reading those posts got me thinking about a perfect – for me – crafting system.

Miscellaneous Madness

Do you know where yours is…

Towel Day :: A tribute to Douglas Adams (1952-2001)