- The regularity with which I make these posts borders on the comical. I'm tempted to exercise my copy-and-paste skills and call it done. However I love you all too much to resort to such trickery. (Well, maybe I don't love that guy over there. He smells funny.)
- Inspired by the recent announcements from Tipa of West Karana and Stargrace of MmoQuests that each was packing up and moving over to the Antonia Bayle server, I decided the time had come to try Everquest 2 again. When I joined up earlier this year to harass Exeter from LootBot 3000, I rolled a new character on Antonia Bayle and had a lot of fun doing so. Of course, that only lasted a month as EQ2 always frustrates me around the twenty day mark. But since there was already a character on AB and I hadn't completely forgot how to play, I decided to give it another go. I thought I would make a few observations about my return. Don't be too surprised if I touch on topics raised by Wolfshead's in his First 15 on the game. That elephant just wandered in here and I can't avoid talking about it.
- One of the things that has constantly frustrated be about EQ2 is the slow pace of combat. I have many spells of wildly different effectiveness on long cooldown timers. Enemies constantly resist my spells and they are very effective at disrupting my spellcasting. I never know when I start a fight whether or not I'm going to survive it. From the perspective of a former WoW, it is terribly frustrating.
- But as I step back from that bias, I see that combat is not slow, it is deliberate. Each fight should be a struggle. I'm an adventurer, not a bug exterminator, and combat should be challenging. When joining one of my very, very rare PUGs to quest, I noticed combat went a lot smoother and more efficiently. EQ2 definitely rewards people for helping each other out.
- While I've come to respect EQ2's combat system, I'm starting to despise the crafting. Somewhere between falling behind in my harvesting skills and the overly complicated crafting game, I have lost all interest in pursuing it anymore. I understand that many people sing its virtues so I would never ask SOE to throw it out. However I've got far too little patience for it. Of course, I barely had patience for LotRO's crafting and that was a click-and-wait system. So it's not EQ2, it's me.
- One thing I have taken a greater interest in is my house. I only have a one room tenement in Gorowyn, but I've had some fun messing with what few decorations I have. This latest holiday, Tinkerfest, has been a boon in that department. I collected a bunch of housing items pretty quickly and put together a little gnome sized alcove for potential visitors. Not that I have any friends, but I like to be prepared.
- Another thing Tinkerfest gave me was quick access to another questing zone, the Steamfont Mountains. I was able to clean out the lower level quests there within a few days, but I've been stymied by the big ones. So I decided to have a little adventure and see where I ended up. After a quick boat ride and a travel bell (What?!?) or two, I found my way to the Feerrott. The EQ2i Wiki tells me this is a parallel leveling zone to Steamfont, so I feel pretty lucky to have found it. Especially since I was aiming for the Enchanted Lands or Zek. It is kind of cool to set out on an adventure and have no real idea where I'll end up. I probably couldn't find my way back to Gorowyn if I didn't have a portal spell, but I feel accomplished just the same.
- As I've been writing this, I found new impressions from Spinks of Welcome To Spinksville and Ysharros of Stylish Corpse about their time in Everquest 2. I see a lot of the fun and frustration I've had mirrored in their posts. SOE must be doing something right if so many people like me want to give Norrath another chance.
© 2009 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.
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