Monday, December 21, 2009

Blizzard Encourages EQ2 Marathon

My crowded December schedule made Lyriana's chances of hitting level 80 in 2009 pretty slim. Then Washington DC got hit with two feet of snow over the weekend, leaving me with nothing better to do than tackle those last few levels. As a bonus, Lyriana's milestone comes with the most misleading blog post title ever.

I first tried out EQ2 back in February, with my main concern being that I would finish the leveling game in a month or two. After all, the EQ2 forum trolls swear that the game is easier than WoW, and that the entire leveling game is irrelevant because you're at the cap in a week or two.

Instead, the game has lasted for nearly a year of part-time play to date, with more content remaining for ongoing work at level 80 (and/or on alts). I'm also at 127 out of 200 AA's (EQ2's version of talent points, distributed for exploration, quest completion, and killing named mobs), well shy of the current cap.

Overall, the game isn't perfect for the solo player. The Kunark expansion was tuned for players who raided at the previous level cap, and poor Lyriana has been a much different, more fragile combatant ever since. I might have chosen a class with a better reputation for solo ability (people say that bards are weak soloers, though see previous comment about the reliability of the forums) had I known what to expect.

Even so, there's plenty of meaty gameplay for the solo player to sink their teeth into. As this particular chapter in my adventures in Norrath draws to a close, I'm reasonably confident that there will be another. That's a win as far as MMORPG's go.


Jayedub said...

The title of your post had me thinking that the company Blizzard was the cause of the marathon, my bad!

Not based on any real facts or numbers, but from experience I think no other MMO has leveling as fast as the 1-70 in WoW.

Magson said...

Awesomely misleading post title! I lol'd.

Bards actually aren't bad as soloers, imo. I never have felt gimped with my dirge when soloing, though I'll admit to a bit of "hmm, that's 2 linked mobs, gonna have to change up how I am doing this" thoughts before some encounters.

And yeah, I don't try to take on named ^^^ unless they're well and truly green, but I'll take on yellow ^ named and not think anything of it either.

TBH, back in the 40's and 50's I felt like my dirge soloed better than my monk did, and monks are a "known leet solo class" after all.

Congrats on getting level 80! I see you're doing the Skyfire Mountains. I liked that area a lot and still take my coercer there from time to time for grins. Some of the little drakes are good caster pets. . . .

Stabs said...


Are you finished with EQ2 now or will you try the group content?

Green Armadillo said...

@Jaye: Not your bad, the double entendre was intended on my part. ;)

@Magson: Part of the perception issue may be character power inflation. I leveled Lyriana wearing the crafted bard-specific armor sets (I'm told that you couldn't get Str/Agi/Int gear at launch) and using at least App 4, if not Adept 3, spells, all of which were readily available in the current economy. I also had AA's, which were not available at launch. It's possible that the old content is simply more easy than intended with all that stuff, and I just never knew that I was playing easy mode. Either way, the jump to Kunark is very jarring.

@Stabs: Undecided. I'm definitely not going to make an effort to clear out all of the solo content before the expansion. My journey through the 70's was assisted by the Order of Rime quests and half a level or so of content in the Moors (the vast majority of which is still available), none of which were available at ROK's launch. I want some old solo content as a hedge in case there A) isn't enough solo content in Odus at launch or B) the solo content is tuned assuming raid-level gear that I certainly won't have.

That said, I have been experimenting with group content (as noted in my Twitter feed) if for no other reason than because I'd like to get the Fabled version of my Epic weapon. We'll see how well that competes with LOTRO for my time.