I felt on Wednesday night in EQ2 that I was struggling a bit. Friyja was at level 28, and it seems like almost everything that I was trying to do required me to go up against Heroic encounters, and the last couple of nights I haven’t been able to put a proper group together. Oh, I had several Berserkers and Shadowknights who would’ve been glad to help, but nary a healer or DPSer of an appropriate level. I did get some decent harvesting in that was, alas, dreadfully short of precious Carbonite. But I did get a little bit, and huge loads of ash, belladonna root and whatever the Tier 3 skin is called. And food-making stuff for Rantry to turn into yummies.
I also upgraded all my combat arts to Adept Is as soon as I hit level 29. Some of these will get replaced sooner rather than later, but I felt it worthwhile to do it since I was feeling underpowered, and I think my DPS, at least, was a notch higher afterward. This did leave me almost broke – I’d had a nice little stockpile of 50g or so, and was feeling comfortably well-off; after buying most of a tier worth of Combat Art upgrades, I was down to less than 3g. This isn’t all that worrisome, since I’ll be moving on soon to a Tier 4 zone and my moneymaking potential should increase accordingly.
On Thursday night the misfortune thankfully turned around; my friend the Ratonga Shadowknight joined me again in attempting to slay Ott Stompgut, a fearsome giant, and his trained bears. Taking him on before led to a couple of gruesome deaths, but last night we had the assistance of a healer, and were able to put him away, along with the two other encounters required for the quest. Ott did get his revenge, though – we had to make our way back through his pass to get to the third encounter, and just as the inevitable fight was getting started, our healer’s computer crashed, and we wiped.
Nevertheless, at the end of the run the net result was very positive; Friyja is now halfway to 30, and has finished the Armor Quest chain. She is still only my second-farthest progressed character according to my own weird reckoning system, but she’s now numerically tied for the top spot. I’ve cleared out her appearance slots for the time being to show off the shiny red Feral Strength stuff, which I’m thinking will last me until I hit Tier 4. It lacks the proc effects that my old Tier 2 crafted stuff had, but the mitigation is better (close to the Tier 4 crafted plate armor,) and the stat bonuses are much better. Together with my new weapon, a two-hander that I picked up off the broker, I feel much more formidable, and better able to take on the remaining challenges in Thundering Steppes before heading off to… well, I’m not sure where I’m going next yet. The Quest Timelines page on EQ2i makes me think I should be headed next to either Zek or the Enchanted Lands. I have no particular preference and no knowledge that would prejudice me one way or the other, but I’m leaning toward Zek since I have the Orc Lore & Legend quest in my journal right now, and I’m told there be Orcs there. I still have probably a week before making up my mind, though, since I don’t intend to move on until level 32 or 33.
I fooled a bit more with EVE Online on Wednesday, running 2 more of the post-tutorial missions. I missed those the first time around; after going through the tutorial I immediately headed off and started mining. I should mention that the video trailers on the web showing off the new Trinity graphics engine do it absolutely no justice at all. EVE was a very good-looking game before, but now it looks really spectacular. I have decided not to start paying for the game again right now; I still want to get back to EVE eventually, but now’s not the right time. I will play around a bit more on the trial, though.
In settling-in news, I now have a living room that looks like it’s inhabited by actual humans. And working cable TV. And a toaster; that’s important. I still have a large number of boxes to unpack in the office; I unloaded about 20 of them the other night, but there are still boxes stacked chest-high everywhere in that room. Much of this is my distressingly large tabletop RPG collection, but there are also books of all kinds, office supplies, CDs and DVDs and computer parts in there as well. I’m considering paring down the RPG collection again via eBay once everything is settled down, along with several burdensome boxes of comics that I’ve been sitting on for several years. We’ll see how I feel about it in a few weeks.