Sunday, November 1, 2009

EQ2 Ding 4x20

My latest EQ2 alt, a level Iksar Necromancer named Stonara Dustwallow, just hit level 20 this weekend. This makes four level 20+ characters, though I've yet to finish my first 80 in the game.

Lyriana (Fae 76 Dirge/80 Jeweler)

My nominal main has finished those quests in the Fens that seem to drag on indefinitely, other than one last series in a mine full of goblins that are making her life miserable. In her spare time, she bought a large new house and has decorated a room to make an indoor forest garden. I was a bit skeptical about some of the cosmetic plant rewards when they were announced, but they are actually a lot of fun if you're willing to decorate a room around them.

(On the downside, my wife now complains that I've spent more time decorating Lyriana's virtual house than our real house.)

Kreejak Sholvah, Sarnak 35 Warden/48 Tailor
Kreejak gained a few levels working on the Night of the Dead event. I still love the melee healer playstyle, but I feel like he could really use an additional attack to work into his attack rotation. I should probably just bit the bullet and convert all of his exp into AAxp for a bit, as there's another attack on a short cooldown if I can get another dozen points or so.

Hopefully the Stargate fans of the server are amused to see the two words of Gou'ald I know in the guy's name. ;)

Feldev Fireclaw, Kerra 20 Wizard/35 Sage
Feldev (sounds much more like a respectable fantasy name, though in reality fel = feline and dev = developer as in PVD) was my attempt at a root and nuke caster, with a side business of making mage and priest spells for himself and Kreejak. The two of them would, in principle, be self sufficient since Kreejak produces the armor and Feldev produces the spells.

The issue is that I find the playstyle simultaneously boring and risky. The root spell is on a 6 second cooldown, and the effect has a chance to break on any damage. As a result, the best strategy is to root, wait a few seconds, and then cast your biggest nuke, with the root ready for immediate recasting if the attack sets the monster free. After trying it for a while, I decided that I would rather be some sort of caster hybrid instead.

Stonara Dustwallow, Iksar 20 Necromaner (Undecied Trade)
The EQ2 Necromancer is a very close match for WoW's Warlock - pets, DOT's and lifedrains abound. My tanking pet is a skeleton, while my mage pet is a zombie, so it's got the flavor of raising the dead down cold. Pet classes usually bore me, but the relative difficulty of combat in EQ2 makes having a pet seem more reasonable and less like easy mode.

One minor flaw I'm noticing is that the relative level of the pet compared to the mob is a huge deal. Against lower level mobs, the tanking pet is all but invincible, and will happily solo multiple enemies without any support from me. Against mobs that are even a single level higher, or tougher even con mobs, the tank takes damage very quickly. This will probably get better at higher levels when I start getting more pet healing tools via AA's.

On To the Character Cap?
Ideally, I'd continue to level Kreejak and Stonara, with Feldev providing spells for both of them, Kreejak providing the armor, and Stonara taking up a different profession for some future alt (most likely Alchemy for fighter-type spells or Armorer for heavier armor crafting). The catch is that EQ2 has 24 classes, but only seven character slots. If I keep using Feldev as my Sage, I'll be tying down a character slot with a character that I don't intend to take into the field.

In the short term, I'll need to audition some fighter and scout alts to try and gauge how many more slots I'm actually going to need. I'm done with caster alts, bards, and (probably) melee priests, but that still leaves 10 classes left to evaluate and compete for 3-4 character slots left on my account.

I'd rather spend my time on my existing characters, but it's still early enough that I could make Stonara become the account Sage and delete Feldev if I need the slot. I never thought I'd be at a point where the number of allowable alts would actually be affecting my enjoyment of the game, but there I am. Whether I hit 7 (or more) x 20 before I hit 1 x 80 remains an open question.

Finally, the more attentive folks among you may note that I've managed to fill four slots without using any Tolkien races. My future alts will almost certainly include a Ratonga and a Froglok (hopefully Frogloks will be allowed to start in the new starting area coming in February's expansion), and I will definitely make a new Kerra (some sort of Fighter, to benefit from racial tracking abilities) if Feldev gets the axe. I may end up auditioning tons of potential alts, but at least I'll get to look different while doing it.


Stabs said...

Superb screenshots, those characters look fantastic. Feldev especially, he's just gangsta.

Help! I'm getting sucked back in to EQ2!

Magson said...

Even if Frogloks can't start in Timorous Deep at creation, you can still run them there in about 10 minutes is all.

I've got a high elf brigand that I took to TD to start, once I hit L10 there took her to Darklight Woods to betray (did the quest lines there for AA while I was at it), then back to finish off TD once she's swapped to brig. Worked very nicely.

Conversely, my Sarnak Mystic started in TD, went to Kelethin to betray, did no quests in Gfay, simply went back and finished TD. He didn't have nearly as many AA when he hit 20, that's for sure...... But I've set him to only earn AAxp for a while and he's doing quite well now. Got his 40% runspeed and all his melee attacks anymore.