Category Archives: EverQuest Epics

Musings on the world of Norrath

Soldiers of Fortune

If you have the new Age of Discovery expansion you can now hire mercenaries to help you out if you have to solo or to fill in a needed spot in a group. Lore and I have been using them since the launch and I have to say they are game changing for a small guild like us. Now when we only have 2 or 3 players on we can still field a full group and do some of the harder instance content that has been denied to us. On the solo side they made getting Sisca, Acsis and Casis from 85 to 90 much easier than it had been getting them from 80 to 85.

I know that on first glance the price for hiring and their upkeep cost seems prohibitive – 5P to hire and 50G an hour upkeep at level 80+ though it does scale with level – but it’s really not. In the month+ that they’ve been out I’ve pretty much had one up on all of my characters and I’ve still banked well over 200p just from selling loot to the merchant – not even trying to broker spells and such anymore. You’re much more likely to get a chest drop with a Merc since you’re technically in a group so you tend to get a lot more high value loot to sell.

So if you’re interested here’s a list of the various classes and where to find them:

  • Qeynos Harbor :  Wizard, Paladin, Troubador, Swashbuckler, Templar, Monk
  • Freeport: Warlock, Assassin, Brigand, Dirge, Inquisitor, Guardian
  • Neriak: Shadowknight, Necromancer
  • Gorowyn: Berserker, Defiler (no cure on abilities)
  • Kelethin: Ranger, Warden
  • Halas: Conjurer, Mystic

Classes no merc available: Beastlord, Bruiser, Fury, Coercer, Illusionist

In Qeynos they’re in Fish’s in Qeynos Harbor, easy enough to sneak in the backdoor if you’re evil. The only one that might prove a problem to hire is the Pally since he’s standing outside.

In Freeport they’re at the tavern in – I believe it’s East FP – it’s right on the water and there is a bell that drops you on the back porch. Again, easy enough to get into if you’re good and want to try one of those classes.

In Gorowyn they’re right up the first ramp from the lower level and of course the Sarnak don’t care about alignment as much.

In Halas they’re in one of the wooden roofed buildings – not the stone ones – that look like great halls and, much like Gorowyn, the guards will ignore you.

In Kelethin they’re in Josalyns Pub and, again, the guards here ignore you.

In Neriak they’re just past the first gate at the entrance from Darklight Woods. These are the two that will be toughest to get if you’re not evil since that gate is guarded by 2 level 85 epic x 2 raid mobs. It can be done if you have an evil friend that’s either a Conjurer with call of hero or has the call of veteran vet reward token. They just need to summon you to the area over by the forge and you should be able to hail them. Be careful though there is another x2 guard inside the tower that they’re standing outside of. If you need help getting to one of these try to hook up with Lore or myself and we’ll get someone over there to summon you.

The good news is that if you replace the merc with a different one for whatever reason they’ll be available in either Qeynos or Freeport depending on your alignment should you want to hire them back. This means you only have to do the whole sneak around thing once. If you do it at low enough level they’re even relatively cheap at 5s per hire at level 20. You could take a new character around and hire them all so that they’ll all be available as you level if you wanted. At higher levels this could be costly at 5p per hire but, as I said, you tend to make up the cash pretty quick (I know this probably won’t work for Reyder since he tends to squeeze every copper so hard that the guards have a warrant out for him for assault on Antonia’s likeness).

(Crossposted from Revellers.GnomeDepot.Net)

Ding!

FINALLY!

EQ2_000120

Almost 4 1/2 years after launch and I’ve got my first max level character. In fact this is my first max level character in 10 years of playing MMO’s.

Even scarier is that the next day:

EQ2_000022

Acsis only took me almost 3 years to cap.

Shortly after that Lore also managed to ding 80, I’m not sure what her played time is but I did manage to snag a screen shot of her ding

EQ2_000020

I also managed to get Sisca to 80 in Alchemy over the weekend so now I just need to get Acsis 10 more levels of Tailoring and I’ll go from 10 years of no characters at any level cap to 2 characters with both tradeskills and adventuring levels capped.

We also started doing the daily quest for Void Shards and managed to get the first 2 pieces and by the end of the week we’ll have the third. I think our next goal is to get Lore’s mage caught up and I wouldn’t mind getting my ranger leveled so we have a scout class to give us some versatility. I’d also like to spend some time mentoring guildies to see if we can put together a group and maybe start in on some of the TSO instances. I also want to get the crafting epic done with Sisca and Acsis is about halfway through the harvesting cloak so he’d like to finish that off as well.

So still plenty left to do and I haven’t even started in on my other 12 alts 🙂

Robot Wars

Friday night Lore had to babysit a server upgrade so she wasn’t really going to be able to devote her full attention to gaming but she did want to get some play time in. We decided this would be a perfect opportunity to check out the new tradeskill instances from TSO. She could craft and if something needed her attention it wouldn’t be a big deal for her to stop for a few minutes.

Since she hadn’t really gotten any of her other tradeskillers through the introductory quest line in the Moors she brought along Serrenial, her 80 Provisioner. This matched up well with Sisca, 67 Alchemist (Sage line), and Acsis, 52 Tailor (Outfitter line), giving us coverage of all 3 of the base skill lines. So off we went to isle of Mara.

Apparently the Gnomes in Steamfont were having an issue and could use the help of some skilled crafters so Acsis fired up a portal and we headed off to see what we could do to help. When we arrived at Gnomeland Security we spent several minutes running around looking for someone to direct us before we realized that there was a new doorway that led to an underground research workshop. Zoning in there we saw this giant dragonbot on a rampage tearing up the place. Talking to the foreman revealed that they had built the dragonbot to help defeat the bot that had gone haywire and driven them out of Ak’Anon all those years ago but, again, something had gone wrong and he was malfunctioning. Not to worry though, they had a cunning plan! They would just build a bigger and more powerful bot to beat up the bot that they had built to beat up the first bot. Gnomish logic. Oh well they were willing pay good money, they were providing all the raws and I had a druid to get me the hell out if it all went horribly pear shaped.

Continue reading Robot Wars

The Shadow (of) Odyssey

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:

Continue reading The Shadow (of) Odyssey

Mission Accomplished!

Despite the title this isn’t a political post.

Since Lore had to work almost every night last week I started out the week doing the D.I.R.T.Y. quests to pick up some more of the furniture available from the vendor. Since I was going to Loping Plains anyway I swung by Kelethin and picked up the writs with both Sisca and Acsis because, with the guild halls, we can use all the status we can get. I also really want to get the harvest chest amenity, which is 5 million status up front.

After doing the first round of writs I realized that Acsis had almost 1.5 million status and Sisca had another 600,000 so with the 2 million we already had in escrow we were getting close. I became very focused on getting to 5 million and spent most of the week doing the D.I.R.T.Y. quests and a round or two of writs every night.

On Friday I realized that I was halfway through 67 and 70 was within reach so I became focused on reaching 70 before the release of The Shadow Odyssey. Either Lore or I have said in the past that we wanted to push to level X but we always managed to get side tracked by something – finishing off some gray quests just to get them out of the book so we could start, grinding up tradeskills so that we could catch up our spells and gear to make easier etc. – but for some reason this time I decided to force myself to stay focused.

Continue reading Mission Accomplished!

Where everybody knows your name…

When I was a kid my parents were involved with a wide variety of groups from garden club to bridge groups to bowling leagues while I was involved in scouting and church groups. As an adult, back before the spread of the Internet, I was in my share of bowling leagues or softball teams. I also was a member of HAL-PC (the Houston Area League of PC Users) back in the early 90’s and not only participated in the BBS message boards but also attended the monthly meetings and other social gatherings. All of these things were really about finding a group of people that you enjoyed hanging out with and creating an excuse to hang out, laugh, joke and talk about the things you had in common.

While listening to a recent Van Hemlock podcast [27 August 2008]  I came to realize that, for me at least, MMO’s in general and specifically the guilds or groups of friends that I play them with take the place of those social gatherings. They are primarily an excuse to get together and laugh, joke and talk about our common interests and maybe pick up some new interest.

Even the hardcore raiding guilds could be considered the natural evolution of those social structures. If you’ve ever been around a bowling alley on league night you’ll realize that while many of the leagues are an excuse to get together and drink beer, some of them are actually very intense and competitive with their members spending a lot of their time perfecting their game. (Hmmm…there’s a whole other post in this.)

Since Lore and I are hoping to grow our guild, The Revellers on Permafrost, I think I’m going to try and use this realization to craft our recruiting message to be something other than the standard “friendly, casual, group of friends” message that most casual guilds such as ours end up with.

So if you’re looking for a guild on Permafrost that’s more like popping in to your local pub than clocking in to your second job. Where you can find someone that can help you with your tradeskill questions or put together a group to help you finish off that heritage quest that’s been in your journal for months or just find someone to chat with while you run around harvesting/soloing. In short a place “Where everybody knows your name…” (NORM! – and if you get that you’re probably around the average age of the guild). Check out The Revellers either at our website or in game.

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?!?.

Continue reading Ogre Odyssey

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.

Sisca
Continue reading The Great EQ2 Tradeskill Riots