New Worlds to Conquer

It certainly looks as though I will soon be among the unemployed, followed swiftly thereafter by joining the ranks of the underemployed. Fear not, though – we will be fine. It does mean we have to relocate, but that’s OK – we were planning and preparing to do so anyway, and this just shifts the timetable ahead a bit. And it gives me the opportunity to go back to school full-time, which I’m planning to do in the fall.

This does mean, however, that my gaming hobby is likely to take a hit, at least in the short term. But I have weeks ahead on the SOE titles that are already paid for, and some time left in WoW, and WAR and CoH time cards yet to blow, so I won’t lack for stuff to do by any conceivable measure. Even after that, there’s always Guild Wars, and very soon, DDO, that are free to play, along with others.

Speaking of which, DDO’s free-to-play deal is in Beta right now, so you can’t just jump right in yet. I signed up for it last night. I think the whole thing is potentially very exciting. I’ve long felt that DDO is an underappreciated game, at the same time saddled with a business model that didn’t fit all that well. Going with something more like Guild Wars’ arrangement, and with the recent addition of Hirelings to the game alleviating the absolute necessity to find PC groups, makes a ton of sense.

I said in the past that I would jump on DDO in a heartbeat if it were free to play, and I meant that. Turbine said that there was some marketing money to push DDO again once the move is made, and I think that along with the new model could really revitalize the title. I will be watching its Xfire numbers very closely.

Last night I took note of my stockpile of harvestables and characters. It occurred to me that EQ2 is pretty much the only MMO in which I have actually enjoy crafting as a dimension of the game in its own right. It’s not as easy as the crafting in WoW in a way, but in another light it’s easier, because the way crafting interrelates with harvesting is much more straightforward. And the process of tradeskilling in EQ2 tends to result in goods that are actually useful, if not to you, then to others who’ll buy the stuff off the broker. And the process itself in interactive enough to keep me engaged, but not so fussy that I tend to end up with piles of slag at the end.

After shuffling some inventory around, spending a half hour or so harvesting Tier 2 stuff in Antonica, and dropping maybe 10 gold on the broker to fill in the gaps, I ran my 7th-level Illusionist with no tradeskill experience up to level 20, selecting Tailoring as her field. This becomes my fourth crafter to hit Tier 3. I would like to get the rest that high as well, and everybody out of tier 1 in adventuring level as well (which shouldn’t take very long,) so that I can finally stop hoarding Tier 1 components once and for all.

Most of my characters are in adventuring tier 2 at this point, all but one on Antonia Bayle, a server I’m loathe to abandon because I have a Tier 6 adventurer there along with (now) four tier 3 tradeskillers, and a pretty large stockpile of harvestable components.

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