Monday, November 29, 2010

Played Lately: Everquest 2 Extended

  • Even in the face of the WoW craziness, I would be remiss if I did not give Everquest 2 Extended its due. There is a lot more to the game than I ever give it credit for. And SOE has been working hard to pull out some of the deliberate obfuscation. So with some extra time on my hands, I headed back to EQ2X to get reacquainted with my inquisitor.

  • Did you know there is crafting in this game? Okay, that is a deliberately stupid question, but I have a point. Each time I've tried to play EQ2 (and I have tried several times over the years) I have always run into some boundary that I could not surmount, only to have better luck the next time I signed up. Whether it has been a professional breakthrough or SOE polishing the game, I cannot say. But the big stumbling block I finally overcame this time was to play the tradeskill game.

  • Oh, I've tried it before, but it has always been a pain in the ass for me. All of the various harvesting skills, all myriad professional options, and the stacks of mostly useless gear you craft to level. It never clicked for me before. But this time for some reason, I dove into leveling my tradeskill alongside my adventuring profession.

  • I have a theory about why it worked for me this time: the quests. Right from the start in New Halas, I was given quests to gather resources and take up crafting. They gave me a goal and I went for it like a rat after the cheese. And then there were the crafting questlines in New Halas itself as well as those in Butcherblock Mountains that actually tell a story, only you solve the problems with a workbench and some tools instead of swords and spells. Someone put a lot of effort into giving people who love to craft a reason to go out into the world other than resource gathering. And I am hooked. I've even fallen into the trap of completing the daily tasks and work orders for bonus experience and faction.

  • In fact, I was so hooked on crafting that my tradeskill level has outstripped my adventure level. And although I loved the look of my New Halas armor, I put it all in the bank so that I could show off my crafted steel armor set. I find myself in the position have having to catch up with my adventuring so that I can gather more resources to feed the tradeskill machine.

  • Crafting in most games is something I do so that I can have an advantage of some sort. In EQ2, I'm doing it because it is fun. You win this round, EQ2.


© 2010 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

6 comments:

  1. i can't say i played a ton of eq2x, but what i did play was grating. The movement itself felt restrained and and slow. Stiff. The quests were by the numbers, and I didn't get too far. All the while there was a nagging feeling that somehow I was missing out on something since I never played eq.

    Then it made me system restore.

    I did not bother downloading it again.

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  2. @ Hunter - After reading all that, I can't say I blame you. EQ2 is definitely a game that you have to take on its own terms, so it will not be for everyone. No matter how much SOE tries to make it so. But I've always found just enough each time I've tried to make me want to come back and dig deeper.

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  3. I really need to play more of this. I plan at some point to buy some station cash to upgrade to silver at least.

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  4. @ Jayedub - I actually think Silver is worth the price. It's like they bundled and discounted a bunch of seperate unlocks into one package. Good luck finding time to play though. I feel swamped myself.

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  5. The crafting is the biggest hook for me in EQ II.

    1. Because anyone can gather anything, it's one of the few games i know of where you can make a profit by gathering mats from the AH and making stuff out of them. Even as a silver that can't sell anything without paying 15c a pop real cash, it means I can buy crafting mats dead cheap off the auction house.

    2. Until pretty high levels, the best gear in the game is crafted (at least from what i have read). Certainly I have been able to craft gear for my guys that makes all their quest rewards look stupid.

    3. The crafting system itself is deep and entertaining.

    4. Crafting and gathering quests provide a nice break from normal adventuring. Heading into a zone just to look for nodes is to approach it in a very different way then you would when looking for quest targets. Plus, gathering quests mix great with normal adventuring quests.

    The wall I have hit is actually mainly the adventuring game. It's very smooth up to a point, but I have found that i eventually struggle to find solo quests.

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  6. @ Yeebo - The last time I played, I ran aground on one of the quest zones. Can't remember which one. I hope the crafting helps me power through. :)

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