EQ2: Ice, Snow, and Orcs

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It’s been quite a week in EQ2 for me. I thought after a week my curiosity would wear off and I’d return to my regular gaming habits. But truth be told I haven’t touched Guild Wars 2 since I started on Fallen Gate. I started the week at level 5 and have slowly fought my way to level 13.

At the beginning of the week I found myself doing more tutorial quests. One actually taught me about gathering and collectibles and gave me a nice materials chest for my bank so it wasn’t a waste of time. The boat I took from the Isle of Refuge was destroyed and I found myself in a very cold and desolate world of the Frost fang sea. Orcs seem to thrive here though because there are plenty of those all over the place.

Leveling from 5-9 had me doing quests for a band of travelers as they prepared to move to their next step on the journey toward New Halas.  I collected things for them, I found missing children , and I  even tamed some snow lions to get them through to the next leg. After all of that they still just sent me to the Great Shelf on my own. They didn’t even give me a lion for protection.

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One of the things I’m finding is that the quests in EQ2, at least in this revamped starter island, are actually interesting. Each quest hub has a few quest lines that all tie together and form a coherent story for that particular area. I can’t even say that there is a main quest right now except getting to New Halas but the collection of side-quests really works for me. I especially like that I haven’t found a single one and done quest. Every quest giver has had three to five quests. It makes me feel like I’m actually helping this particular NPC instead of running around from person to person. Oh and I can’t forget to mention how much I like the little conversational flavor text for your character. Essentially their just next, yes, no, accept buttons but it’s so much more entertaining to make snide remarks instead of just blankly agreeing.

Let’s talk about quests for a minute on Fallen Gate. The quests have been out leveling me by a lot. I know I said I wanted to play this server and see all the old content but I did not expect to be level 13 and have all my available quests be level 16+. Was it like this at launch? Is this intentional? Maybe I’m just a spoiled millennial gamer but I’m not complaining, it makes accomplishing said quest a little victory all of it’s own.

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Getting to level 10 felt like such a slog. I had a collection of gear and some skill books to use at level 10. I managed to find a repeatable quest where I slaughtered orcs and turned in the quest over and over again for about an hour until I finally dinged. I also received this hideous mount, the Pedipowered Posterior Punter. At first I didn’t get it, putting the mount on makes my Froglok walk instead of hop  and he looks like a creepy marionette. And then I jumped…straight up a cliff. It’s been quite a useful tool for exploring and avoiding some encounters.

Levels 10-13 have had me take part in a war between the Orcs and the Dwarves that live here. There’s orcs of ever flavor, magic orcs, warrior orcs, lazy orcs, necromancer orcs, you name it, the Frost Fang Sea has an Orc for it. The nice things about leveling so slowly is that I’ve honed my orc killing techniques.

I can’t help but feel like I might be going about this leveling the wrong way. I’ve made it to the Cragged Spine and have been doing level 16 quests when I can. It’s been a slow go and I haven’t seen all that many people around me to group up with . Nevertheless, it’s been fun. I have my own little goal of completing all of the quests here, getting to New Halas, and leaving for the mainland. I think I still have a while to go but it’s definitely been an adventure so far.

 

 

 

 

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Baby Steps on Fallen Gate

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Since the Everquest 2 Fallen Gate has launched I haven’t had as much time to sit down and play as  I would have liked. But I did get to play a little over the past couple days. I chose to make a froglok coercer and go around the Isle of Refuge enslaving every mob I saw.

It all started on a boat, as all good tales do, with a thinly veiled tutorial on how to do MMO things. Like opening chests, buying and selling to merchants, and of course, killing rats. My biggest surprise right off the bat was that I had 4 inventory slots, just 4, and it stayed that way until level 3 when i picked up another 4 slot bag. It looked like I was either going to be going back and forth from the merchant to sell things often or just not pick up every piece of junk that dropped. I chose the latter.

Combat is harsh, I can barely take on 2 mobs at the same time even with a charmed creature fighting with me. It’s gotten to be a fun little dance of mesmerizing and rooting targets when I aggro one too many. But at the same time it takes a long time to down each one. Not excruciatingly long but long enough that it’s noticeable. I’m sure re once I have a few more skills to press it won’t be as noticeable.

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I made it to level 5 and completed  all of the isle of refuge and set off for the Frostfang Sea. Mostly because it sounded cool. Maybe that wasn’t the greatest choice as my boat was attacked by orcs and I seem to be on another tutorial island. It even told me how to gather and fight things again. But I quickly moved past all the level 1-4 quests and am on my way to a new area of New Halas.

So far the leveling hasn’t been too much of a turn off. I knew it would be slower than the live character I made but right now it doesn’t seem too bad. The chat is lively with people looking for groups, guilds recruiting, and the general chat making the same jokes about some new game called World of Warcraft. It was also nice to see people in the isle of refuge instead of walking round a ghost town on the live server.

I’m enjoying myself so far. I’ll definitely be playing a little more over the weekend to get a better feel for the game. One thing I really like is that the quests are in chat bubbles instead of a separate page to read all at once. It feels more like a conversation between the NPC and your character as opposed to the NPC just ordering  your character around.

A Newbie in Norrath

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I learned last week that Everquest 2 is launching their 2nd Time Locked Expansion Server Fallen Gate next week and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve never played EQ2 or Everquest for that matter so why would I be excited to play an 13 year old game? Well it’s mostly because I’m just so curious.

I just don’t know all that much about Everquest 2. Every once in a while I’ll read something about it but if it wasn’t for me randomly finding it on steam a few years ago I probably would have never known it existed. I’ve had this fascination with the concept of progression servers since Everquest announced their’s a few years ago. I like the idea of taking an old game with so much content and rolling it back to the beginning and slowly working it back up. So I’m both curious to see what EQ2 has to offer and starting fresh on a progression server.

Fallen Gate will be a different TLE Server than the previous Stormhold and Deathtoll servers. The first wave of progression servers had the player base vote on whether or not the next expansion should be unlocked and Fallen gate will unlock each expansion every 12 weeks.

The past week or so I’ve been playing around on a free to play account on the current live servers trying to decide if I like the game enough to pay a sub for it. From what I’ve experienced so far I can see myself playing this. I like how many different races and classes there are and I can be a frog, I don’t know if I’ve ever played a game where I can play as a frog. Even better I can play as a magic frog and have my own little frog clone to follow me around.

I’ve been fooling around with a handful of classes that look interesting. With the free to play account I only get 2 character slots so I’ve had to say goodbye to a lot of characters. I’ve tried playing some of the more familiar classes like ranger, beserker, and wizard but the less cookie cutter classes look like fun too. So far I’m really digging the Dirge with it’s buffs as well as it’s debuffs and melee skills. The illusionist has also been fun to play around for a few levels with and they get their own clone pet as well. The more frogloks the better. I still want to try out the Coercer for a few levels before I make my decision on what class to play I just love the name of the class.

Something that took me by surprise was that there was voice acting in the beginning area. Not all of the NPC’ have voiced dialogue but a good amount of them do. It’s just not something I was expecting to see. I don’t know how much more of the game is voice acted outside of the beginning area but it’s a nice touch. Also the graphics aren’t terrible. They don’t look as dated as I thought they would and don’t detract from the game.

I know I’ll be in the extreme minority on this new progression server as someone whose never played the game before but I’m looking forward to learning and playing a new to me game. I’m hoping that with this server I’ll be playing the old content in a meaningful way instead of rushing through it on the live server. I think this is what excites me most about it getting a fuller experience of what EQ2 was and is. Plus, the nice thing about the All Access Day Break subscription is that I can try their other games as a member if EQ2 doesn’t end up being my cup of tea.