Highlights of the Shadow Odyssey

November 20, 2008

I have had a couple of nights with the Shadow Odyssey now and am intrigued enough to accelerate the grind of my new trio.  I have to admit I have had only one trip into a new instance, Befallen.  It was for about two hours and five deaths, but still was a lot of fun.  Figuring out the new instances is always a blast.

Other highlights:

  • Memory charm–reset your vitality to 100 percent. Technically, these are 5 year account rewards but were released with the expansion.  As if my leveling wasn’t fast enough.  I used the charm last night, earned levels 48 and 49 in short order.  Was back to 10 percent vitality by the end of the night with another 6 days 20 hours on cooldown. Two hour duration 55 percent XP bonus pots are also good stuff. 
  • Dire Bear mount/pet–I am happy to have a “free” mount.  I am also happy, near as I can tell, that there is no stat bonus to the mount making the guild mounts superior.
  • The lack of my t8 toons–not a highlight of the expansion, but an frustration for me.  I miss Gaff, my 80 berserker, and my illusionist trio.  I can’t bear to go grind out the new quests in the Moors without them.  SOE:  Give us a new, free character transfers.
  • New AA tree–when I moved Lurk I didn’t assign all my AAs so I still had 18 to put into the mix.  The new tree has some quite useful slots–increase tradeskill progress, power pool, and health to name a few.

The Guk group is in the late 40s, with 50 to come tonight, I hope.  Sinking Sands awaits.  I went around to some “classic” zones, Everfrost, Lavastorm, etc., the other night in a search for easy quests and got frustrated with the “kill ten x” format.  I left with a guildie, the esteemed Ghostfrog Ranger to grind grind grind.  Triple-up minotaurs do an XP bar good.


Shadow Odyssey in Hand

November 18, 2008

I have purposely kept myself ignorant about the new EQ2 expansion.  I typically choose to experience a new expansion or game when it is live rather than applying for a beta or doing a lot of advanced reading.  Warhammer is an exception, and we know how that worked out.

So as I write the install splash screens are rolling by–I wish they had included some text, as it would help pass the time.  I had to go two places in town to find three copies of the game.  Best Buy had one copy this afternoon, and it was opened so I passed.  GameStop said they didn’t get very many in this time, but did have three copies for me.  One is open, I hope it is the one they had on the floor.

More to come, I hope!  I just found out today that there is content for lower levels!

SOE is a Tease

November 14, 2008

So having started the game at launch on my main account, I am eligible for my five year reward today, per the MOTD in game.  I hit the /claim, and moused over the reward, hoping to see a listing of the item before I decided if I needed it in my bag.  No list.  So next step, since it reads “one per character” was to claim.  Nothing.  I looked in my window to see what I received and got the message “You cannot consume this item.”

A mystery.  Or a bug.  Wasn’t the four year reward fubarred too?

I have to add an edit here–I logged on at 6 am CST today and saw the “You may now claim your 5 year veteran reward” message in the MOTD.  They have now changed it to reflect the Shadow Odyssey launch as the time for claiming said reward.

Pathing and You(s)

November 13, 2008

Nek Castle is the devil.  It is the worse experience I have had with a multi-box group.  I led my three toons through the zone yesterday with some help from guildies, and had to manually manuever all three up every flight of stairs.  I felt bad each time everyone had to wait while I selfishly took the time to move everyone around.  I even sentenced group members to die while I was busy with my little army.

I will not be returning for the Missing Mask HQ, although I did pick it up…  Running the zone at level 40 netted me almost two full adventure levels and a couple AAs.

Culture Shock

November 12, 2008

The XP progression of EQ2 has become somewhat faster in recent months, apparently.  I am now faced with a dilemma unheralded in my experiences with both EQ1 and EQ2.  I am outleveling more content than is good for me.  In fact, I am missing a lot of the EQ2 I returned to see, and have actually stopped adventuring and done tradeskills to check my progress. My toons hit 40 in evening play over a two week period. 

I am not a power gamer (contrary to other’s opinions).  Part of my quick leveling is due to multi-boxing, three toons in this incarnation.  I can slay without pause, and complete relatively difficult quests with little or no help.  I can run around dungeons like Varsoons, Stormhold, and now Runneye and farm named mobs while steadily driving the XP train.  However, normally mundane tasks are moving me forward at such a pace that the rewards are no longer viable.

Case in point–in my drive for AA, another casualty of the revised leveling curve, I wanted to get the Polished Granite Tomahawk in Thundering Steppes.  In the course of grinding out totems for the giant language on three toons, I leveled almost three times, and completed giant mastery twice.  At that pace I was forced to reevaluate the need for the Tomahawk and left for new quests that would open up new tiers of gear as I leveled.  The need to grind harvesting on two toons to 90 also dissuaded me from finishing at this time, but the ability to move forward in itself was motivation to abandon the quest for now and level.

I don’t think I am dissappointed in the change.  However. completing in two weeks what took me almost four months at launch is certainly a paradigm shift for the game.  I am looking forward to the T6 and above content perhaps more than Old Norrath, but I am not getting much of a nostalgia fix either, having outleveled Zek without spending much time there.  I did a handful of quests in Butcherblock and the Enchanted Lands as well.  I gained another level by completing Foomby’s in about an hour and a half.   I have to buy my armor retail on Guk because my armoring skills can’t keep up with the adventuring XP.  I can only surmise I will be looking for quests to drive up AA when I’m sitting at 80, although past experience with capped toons suggests I will be leveling a new group.

Return of the EQ2 Armor Quest

November 3, 2008

With a surfeit of pent up sword and sorcery angst, I have waded into EQ2 with an eye towards progression, master chests, and AA advancement, in that order.  In a little over a week, I’m sitting at level 28 on my three toons, and have started my old master chest farming circuit–Stormhold, Varsoon, Runneye, and on to Cazic Thule and other T5 dungeons.  I chose a bit different setup than my old Crushbone trio this time–a sarnak guardian tank, a sarnak defiler for heals, and a ratonga dirge for the dps/utility spot.

I think I completed all the Timorous Deep quests along the standard progression track and moved back to Norrath before the weekend.  My weekend goal was to finish the class-specific armor quests for the three toons.  This was the first time I had worked on the Freeport version of the armor quests, and the first serious attempt I had made to complete them at all since the launch of the game in ’04.  Once you have an armorer and access to steel, the quest rewards just don’t compare.

There has been somewhat of a revamp to the quest line.  For my dirge and guardian, they worked the Custom Fitted Armor quest starting in the bowyer shop of East Freeport.  The defiler quest originates in the inn of North Freeport, Vassi’s Orders.  Reading what posts are still in tact under each step, I think these quests must have originally required a lot of grinding in Fallen Gate.  However, now all the quests were coordinated.  It is a huge improvement.  Despite different quest names and instructions, each toon needed basically the same mobs for all six steps.  It was a huge time saver.  I went from the Commonlands, into Edgewater Drains, and to Nek Forest for the last two steps.  No Fallen Gate or Stormhold, although I don’t know if or how the Qeynos versions of the quests pan out now.  In the course of working the quest I went from 23 to 27 and earned several AA points, bringing me to my Dungeons of Norrath circuit.  I only wish they had a weapon and helmet step to the quest line.

Ready for Stormhold!

Ready for Stormhold!

The armor looks great, which to me has always been a strongpoint of EQ2.  Unfortunately, I can’t play my three toons at the above resolution, but it sure is impressive in a screenshot.  Now I need to work the named mobs and the tradeskill instances.  Tier 4 will be here soon, and the equipment will be obsolete.