Good morning you happy people of the interwebs. Yes that is right… the top greeting block is back with a vengeance. I had been trying to wean myself off of it, because really the top block and wrapping up blocks are both crutches. However this morning I feel all groggy and discombobulated and I am crawling back to the greeting block like a warm blanket of sanity. This morning I feel somewhat like Frankenstein as I move around the house through my routine much like a reanimated corpse. Additionally I have a cat that keeps trying to help me write this… and she really is not taking no for an answer.
Sea of Spell Effects
Essentially by resurrecting the greeting block, I am delaying the inevitable… which is that I don’t really have much to talk about this morning. It is not that I didn’t do a lot yesterday gaming wise, because I totally did. First off I got up, blogged, cleaned up the house, changed the ferret cage, ferret playpen, and scrounged for food… only finally then settling down to play some FFXIV… all before noon I might add. So I feel like my morning was super productive, and this honestly lead way into an afternoon of productivity in game as well. At the point at which I blogged yesterday morning, I had just hit 30 on my Archer and completed the Bard quest chain.
Yesterday I decided to continue working on my Bard because quite frankly… I have been enjoying it far more than I have my Dragoon. First off… for those not familiar with the FFXIV bard class… it is quite likely the least bardy of all bards I have ever played. It is essentially a bad-assed ranged class that just happens to have songs they can play every now and then to add a group buff. The way the songs work in FFXIV is they consume mana while they are up, in order to give your group some sort of a regeneration of defensive buff. The first of these makes you every healers best friend, because you can play mana song.
Since at any given time yesterday we essentially lacked the perfect combination of characters online to do much of anything productive… I ended up getting into FATE groups and leveling at a shocking pace. The second character really does go so much faster. I started the day at 30 in Costa Del Sol and ended the day at 40 in Coerthas Highlands… just about to switch over to Mor Dhona. Before I know it, I will be 45 and decked out in part of a suit of amazing gear. At this point since I am making a lot of progress, I figure I will finish leveling the bard before I play anything else. I was the second 50 in the guild, so I am essentially playing a waiting game as folks catch up.
My rush to level a DPS is in part because our most stable group of players that are online on the time seems to be two tanks, one dps and one healer. So with me being able to switch hit to a dps… this gives me a lot more flexibility for making a viable group happen. At many times last night, had I a DPS we could have gone off and run Aurum Vale for fun and profit. However instead there was no real viable way to make a two tank party work. Though…. quite frankly this is something we probably should try with one of the warriors just not throwing up defiance and pretending to dps. I wonder if the dpsy warrior will strip aggro even if they are not using defiance… I guess this is something we should try to see how well it works.
I believe that tomorrow is the day that existing subscribers in Everquest 2 receive a free Heroic Character. Essentially a “Heroic Character” is something they are adding to the store that allows you to create an instant level 85 character with 280 aa points… the needed amount to start on the newest content in the game. For awhile they have offered 280 aa catch up baubles that came with the last expansion, but they are taking this one step further and letting you create a level 85 character from scratch, or take an existing character and level it up. At this point I am slightly torn on how I feel about this.
On one hand, there is no way in hell I will miss this opportunity to create something and apply some miracle grow for free. I figure I will use it to push my little Ratonga Swashbuckler up to 85, I had intended to use the 280 aa catch up bauble anyways on that character. I have always struggled to level any DPS characters in EQ2, so he was my attempt at doing that… since Swashbucklers tend to be a more sturdy dps. Even though I already have him at around level 55, I have stalled out because I simply hate not having flight. After a point you get tired of grinding tradeskills to 85 just so you can use wings on your characters. If they offered some form of a flight license on the store I would have snapped one up in a heartbeat.
The other hand I really dislike the way this feels. Essentially it feels as though they are saying that all content before level 85 is just not important anymore. They have made so many strides to improve the leveling process and while there are still some dead spots that never got reworked… the whole thing overall flows nicely. I just hate the whole leveling without flight thing. But as several friends pointed out… this is not really for me… someone who has time to level a character from 1-85. This is for my friends who have not been able to stick with any game that long… it lets them catch one character up to within a few levels of their friends and jump starts them into doing fun content already.
Try Before You Buy
I think the neatest thing that this is adding into the EQ2 experience is a “Try before you buy” concept. Essentially you will be able to create a new level 85 character, with gear and 100 AA points, and play them until level 86 to get a feel for whether or not you like the character. This is extremely key since so many EQ2 classes do not really come into their own until you have a bunch of levels behind you. For the most part all character play similarly from level 1-10 but it is not until the 40-50 range that most of them really come into their own as truly unique experiences. Being able to jump start a character and see if you like how they feel at level 85, should give players a better way of gauging if they like what their class will become.
There is nothing more frustrating than having spent many hours leveling a character that you ultimately decide you don’t really like. From what it sounds like in the FAQ you can play this character indefinitely until you hit 86… then it becomes progression locked. To prevent problems that this might cause, it is for the most part locked out of all public channels. It can’t sent tells, or trade, or do any of the things that might let a malicious player annoy others in the game world. Upon deciding to purchase the character you get a number of perks.
- A set of Level 85 weapons
- Level 85 jewelry
- Level 85 armor
- 20 Food and Drink
- Ammunition for Fighter and Scout Ranged Weapons
- 6 24-slot bags
- Variety of Potions
- A Pegasus Mount
- Renaming potion for your character (Upgraded or Purchased Heroic Characters only), just in case!
Now comes the bad part… this process is rather pricey. To create a new 85 character or upgrade an existing one… it is 3500 station cash. While there are various dodges and ways to get station cash cheaper… at face value this is $35 of cold hard cash spent to instant level a character. Essentially I feel like this is going to completely destroy the current Grey Market of Power-levelers… and quite frankly this is probably going to have really positive effects on the community. Right now almost all of the major public dungeons are rife with characters zipping through the corridors and pulling everything in sight… making it extremely difficult to complete any quests. Each time I have had to do the Sanctum of the Scale it has been a mind numbingly frustrating process because I simply could not get the spawns I needed.
I guess if it is perfectly fine for World of Warcraft to give you a free level 80 character for coming back to the game… then I can’t really say much against being able to create a level 85 in EQ2. Both games are extremely aged, and anything that keeps players playing them… and allows their friends to play with them… is likely going to be a positive in the long run. Now I am just trying to decide if I want to level an Assassin or Ranger from scratch, or to boost up my little Swashbuckler. I want a viable dps class so I feel like I should probably do a bit of research to determine which class I should settle in on. Part of me wants to go in a completely different direction and level a warden, since I miss access to my melee warden from my second account.
It is that time again, and once more I have squandered a perfectly good blog post by talking about nothing. I have a lot of things to get done today, so here is hoping I can remain focused and power through them. Tonight I hope to get my Bard up to 45 so I can get the majority of my ancestral armor. At that point I can start helping out in various dungeons like Dzemael Darkhold, and eventually Aurum Vale. I hope you all have a great day, and it is the beginning of a really awesome week.