Saturday Night’s for Fighting

Saturday night! Rock and roll, beer, and women! The mantra of the young man—for me, it was turkey potpies while I watched the news—the wife and kids were visiting relatives, and I was not cooking for just me. As I sat at the table I realized there was a raid scheduled tonight, so I quickly finished dinner and sat down with a large glass of iced tea (sugared of course),  fired up the TV on the other monitor, and logged into Teamspeak for the second raid since my return to Everquest II. We were off to the Laboratory of Lord Vyemm. As far as progression is concerned, at the end of the run I think it is safe to say we have this raid on “farm status.” However, it was fun none-the-less.

At 6:00 we were in the Bonemire, stuck on a wall, waiting for stragglers. I took a look around and snapped a few shots. I even got the zone-in clickable, in case you’re in the area with 15 or 20 friends.

I also made good use of the time and adjusted my video qualities and display, sacrificing titles and guild names for visibility–this is evident in the screenshots throughout. I sacrificed video qualities for stability–I could have turned off the TV on the other monitor, but I was really into the movie, Ghosts of Mississippi.  The game lags on balanced or higher, and is much worse in raid zones, so I have to play without seeing all the neat bells and whistles.  The entire time I was thinking, “I can’t wait for my new system. I will be able to run my TV and EQ2 without lagging at all, even on the higher settings.” On a side note, MMO Evolution just wrote an article about the “tech” rich and new systems–I don’t fall into the “rich” category. 

By 6:35 we were inside the “Labs” proper. A Labs run seems to be the EQ2 equivalent of what many guilds in WoW did with Molten Core—it is a ubiquitous raid across the servers. I started the raid 20% into my 29th AA. I was 75% into level 68. The first room of the zone netted me about 4% XP. It was nice to see the bars moving, and I hoped to level this run.

We began to clear trash, and that hope fizzled a bit when I realized I was getting mere tenths of XP points on these level 70 plus epic x2 or 3 mobs. Biting my lip, I hoped there was plenty of discovery XP in the zone.  The Forge room did net me another 4%.

I tried to keep track of the named mobs—I really did. I keep a couple pads and a pen at the computer, and jot down notes so I can later identify screenshots, named mobs, items that dropped, etc. However, at some point I got out of order—I think it was the first mob—we bypassed what I assumed was the first named, The Slavering Alzid, and came back to him and his two friends later. I believe we started with this Uncaged fellow, who for obvious reasons we put back in his cage.

Here we are preparing for the Slavering Droag–

As the night progressed, we saw a lot of metal chests, as is to be expected. I was not planning on bidding for anything. I want to save my DKP for my two new toons, the berserker and mystic. In fact, at least one person in the raid was two boxing, so that holds some promise to be able to get both characters in future raids.

Buffing up during our ascent:

I could not keep to my “no bid” rule. I saw a very nice two-hand weapon drop and realized it would go a long way to helping me harvest in peace, at least once I get my final level.  I am hampered by the solo mobs in Bonemire and elsewhere when harvesting, and my guard does not deal much damage, so this looked like an ideal fix—and I won the item with the minimum bid. My willpower was tested, as a number of other nice plate drops came along as we progressed, but I held steady, opting for the one item and earned DKP for the two future toons.

Eventually we made it to Lord Vyemm. I enjoyed the fight, although it was the first and only time I died in the zone. He dropped a very nice plate breastplate—people on Teamspeak mentioned what a nice piece it was, and I toyed with bidding, but there was another lower-level guard in the group, and that character is his main, so declined and he got the cheastpiece for the minimum.  Here we are fighting the wyrmkin!

By the end of the run I had made some good progress with this character. He leveled towards the end of the run, hitting 69 finally. I picked four AA points—the run was over in just about three hours. The guild was going to hit something else, but I opted to drop group and go work a few quests with my duo. It was a fun and productive night and I look forward to running it again.

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