Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Reset Too Far

Lyriana hit level 91, leaving her a single level - about 1.4 million exp - away from EQ2's current level cap.  Armed with bonuses from vitality and veteran status, I'm pulling down 8000 exp per quest completion and a few hundred exp per mob.  This could take a while.

The last time EQ2 raised its level cap, back in 2010's The Sentinel's Fate (TSF) expansion, SOE provided only two overland zones for an increase of ten levels - the previous ten-level increase had added four overland zones.  This resulted in some absurd quest design, in which one hub awards nine quest completes for killing seven mobs just to hand out more quest exp.  Even with this extreme measure, players were level 90 within hours of the expansion launch.  The irony was that TSF had a variety of factions and repeatable quests solo players could have used to earn reputation.  It would have been a far better expansion with a smaller cap increase (2-5) and a faction curve that allowed solo players to continue leveling as they worked on daily quests.

(Last year's Destiny of Velious expansion did not raise the cap, despite adding two overland zones, and, again, offered robust endgame daily quest options.  This expansion too could have come with a few levels that continue into the daily quest grind.) 

The game's current cap increase - two levels - came with a single overland zone.  This should have been fine, except for a minor problem - an aggressive gear reset obsoleted every single piece of content that existed in the game prior to the current patch (other than an extreme hard-mode raid that was only marginally more rewarding than current, easier content).  As a result, all the factions I failed to complete last expansion are no longer worthwhile.  In their place is a single daily quest - once per day I can do a single dungeon (assisted by my mercenary) in exchange for a piece of random level 92 gear.  There are some other repeatable quests in the new zone, but these are pretty much pointless, as there are no factions or items associated with them - effectively, you're just grinding exp. 

There are some things I can do to speed the journey along.  I have some veteran reward potions stashed away, I probably still earn non-zero amounts of exp from last expansions' content (even if I no longer need the rewards), and I can always betray and/or mentor down.  (Or even group.)  That said, it does seem unusually wasteful to cast aside so much content, with so little to take its place. 


Yeebo said...

That sounds really awful. My highest toon in EQ 2 is level 45 or 55 (honestly not sure), and nothing you've written about the endgame has me in a rush to get there.

flosch said...

@Yeebo: Have you been to the Sinking Sands yet? If so, you're probably 55, if not, probably 45. (Though I'm honestly not sure and there might be alternate ways to go through the respective level range). I have to say that the Desert of Flames areas probably were my favorite areas in EQ2 (and the peracock club quest line was fun!) before I stopped playing and peaked out in the high 70ies entering the Moors of Ykesha.

I'd love to get back into the game eventually, but currently there are a few things that bother me. Hmmm... note to self: write a blog post about that. ;)

Bhagpuss said...

If you group on the appropriate new Heroic content leveling is no problem whatsoever, apparently. So I've heard, anyway. Not tried it myself.

What I did was mentor down and do Heroic content from Fallen Gate up to TSO dungeons. Did it solo, duo, and full group, with and without mercs. In just about every case it was much better xp-per-hour than doing quesyts in Withered Lands.

For me it was also about a million times more fun. Saving the real entertainment offered by the odd exceptional quest (or by the average quest in The Secret World) I would always rather just kill stuff at random to level. I also love mentoring down, and the Withered Lands gear reset made my 90 characters vastly more powerful than they ever had been before so I was able to do an absolute ton of heroic content that was completely new to me.

For those reasons the raising of the level cap suited me down to the ground. I'm really looking forward to the next cap raise, which should allow me to do all the remaining dungeons I haven't done (mostly Velious ones).

What does get on my nerves are the seemingly-endless AA resets that force me to redo all my AAs on every character. Since I absolutely loathe points systems to begin with and detest having to fiddle about with them, getting a warning on logging in that I need to reset my AAs is often enough to make me log out and play something else. They've just done this AGAIN.