Sinking Sands

Morning is being a pain in the butt today…  or at least the whole trying not to fall back asleep thing is.  For whatever reason I really did not sleep that super well last night, and as a result I am super exhausted this morning.  Seems like a pretty horrible way to begin a new work week, so here is hoping that I figure out what switch I need to flip in my brain to wake the hell up.  The worst part is, that this is going to be an extremely stressful work week, so I have to get my act together.

The Sinking Sands

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I spent a good chunk of yesterday roaming around in the Sinking Sands region of Everquest II.  This has always been one of my favorite zones, and I try my best not to skip it on any characters.  I have a deep nostalgia for the region in part because I spent so much time in the Desert of Ro / Oasis of Marr area in Everquest.  This zone is like a nostalgic love song to the original zones, and there are so many points of reference and mobs that make an appearance. 

The only real negative is that the sand giants and wraiths are no longer dread worthy encounters.  I can remember the constant chorus of “Sand Giant to Docks!” as yet another one of these death machines came roaming through the zone.  Almost as a callout to that era, there is the ghost of a sand giant that paths right along the dock region named “Hatar”.  Additionally Lockjaw still exists, but this time has his own dungeon rather than being a world spawn that will decimate the masses.

I think one of my favorite things about the zone is it is completely flush with named spawns.  Each of them drops a single type of item, in flavors designed for each type of class.  So essentially if the mob drops a ring, then it will drop one for priest, warrior, scout and mage.  It feels like they have increased the spawn rate of these champions, because I can remember being out in the zone for days without ever encountering “Dune Digger”, a armadillo that spawns near the ramp leading down to the beach.  However over the last few days I have seen him up almost every single time I have passed his spawn point.

The Lesser Faydark

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I had made my way through the major quest lines of Sinking Sands when I noticed I was sitting at level 51.  I checked the wiki and sure enough that put me pretty much ideally leveled to start on Lesser Faydark.  Even dating back to the original Everquest, this has been a zone I disliked.  In that game it was mostly for the fact that it was populated with lots of things that could kill you almost instantly.  In EQ2, it is mostly due to my general dislike of “elven” and “fae” zones, and that it is annoyingly three dimensional.  It feels extremely difficult to traverse it because of the constant changes in elevation, and the tunnels that are used to connect things up.

Additionally this zone is populated with a lot of flying things… that often times do not want to lower to the ground into melee range.  Since I play almost entirely melee characters it makes it an extreme pain in the butt.  However since I have never really done the quest chain I figured I would follow the timeline guide and start with the correct NPC and follow it through until I just could not.  So far it is every bit as annoying as I remembered… since you hop around the zone wildly.

Another reason why I tend to avoid Lesser Faydark is it is off what they call the “golden path”.  Everquest has a really robust questing system, and so long as you say on the golden path you get these blue markers on your map showing you there region for a given quest.  However for whatever reason they decided only to apply these tools to a specific number of zones that make up the golden path.  So if you choose to stray at all, you are on your own…  thankfully I also have EQ2Maps which lets me search for what mobs spawn in what region.  I think that is probably the single best improvement they could do to the game, go back through and apply the golden path treatment to ALL zones.

At the point at which I ended my Everquest II journey yesterday I was almost ready to ding 54, which is not bad considering I started the day at 48.  Leveling in EQ2 is just a relaxing experience for me, and that is precisely what I needed yesterday.  I keep thinking I need to play the game more often, and while I always eventually cycle back around to it… I also spend a lot of time ignoring it.  I have been kicking around the notion of trying to set up a rotation of games, in that I always play this game on this day.  It sounds good in theory, but I am just not sure I can bring myself to follow a schedule.

Wrapping Up

This is going to be a relatively short post today, as I am still fighting sleep.  I need to get up and around and hopefully woken up in the process.  I hope you all have a great day, and that you are not nearly as drowsy as I am this morning.  I am not sure what I will be doing tonight, either venturing back into the faydark or over in Rift leveling fishing.  I have to say the patron gifts are an interesting carrot that ends up making me log into Rift every day.  If you are a patron you receive a large loyalty gift every week, and a small loyalty gift everyday.  They do not accrue over time, so you have to log in each day to receive it.  I find myself being drawn to log in each and every day for the promise of free stuff.  Speaking of which… I think I will check on that right now before I head on into work.