Of Station Cash and Beastlords

In a weekend otherwise eaten alive by Christmas shopping and preparation, saturday I sprang for 4 SOE points cards and applied two to my account and two to Alnilana’s. As previously mentioned, it was a Triple Station Cash Day, something that only arrives a couple of times a year. These were the $15 “Universal” cards, worth either a month’s subscription in any of the SOE games or 1500 Station Cash. Yesterday’s deal made them worth 4500 Station Cash each, if you turned them in that way.

This sets Alnilana (that’s Mrs. Ardwulf, for those playing at home,) up with a nice bank of points. We had already burned a card the other day to bump her to Gold so she could try out characters that required an unlock as a Silver (grrr…) but that’s water under the bridge. She now has the points for a few post-Gold unlocks as well as a substantial pile that will be left over after that to spend on whatever else she would like. Right now she is favoring the Wizard and Warden classes.

I had some points left laying around, so after the SC windfall I sprang for a month of Gold myself, grabbed the now-cheap Age of Discovery, and promptly made a Beast Lord to fill one of the additional slots thus granted. A later trip to try to grab one of the even more well-endowed cards from Wal-Mart didn’t pan out, but that too is no biggie… I still have a mound of points left over, and another 1500 SC coming at some point as a refund of the race and class unlocks I bought right after the big transition.

The Beast Lord is interesting so far, but I’m not in love with it. None of EQ2’s older pet classes play particularly like WoW’s pet classes, but this one does, only the pets are not as charming. I have him near level 20, so I’m curious to see how much more distinct he becomes as one gets into the meat of the game above level 20. Right now the Beastlord seems fairly formidable, but mobs in this level range aren’t a good judge of that, and neither are class abilities. Your initial pet is determined by your race, and starting at level 10 you can start taming new ones through a process that’s a bit fussier than it strictly needs to be.

I’ll get some (eventual) mileage of of Mercs and tradeskill apprentices, I think, and I also plan to play with the new Dungeon Maker a bit. We’re starting to see pieces drop for it. The Dunegon Maker is not a true toolset à la Neverwinter Nights, but that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of interesting things that can be done with it.

3 responses to “Of Station Cash and Beastlords

  1. I found the Beastlord changed fairly sharply in the 20s. It plays very differently from any EQ2 class I’ve played and certainly plays nothing at all like any of the other pet classes. I’ve level-locked at 30 to build AAs but even with plenty of those accruing and good armor and weapons I’m finding a lot of the fights pretty rough. I die more on my Beastlord than any EQ2 class I’ve played for years – he seems to be made of tissue paper.

    Part of the problem is that whereas I have no hesitation in concentrating on my specials and building charge in Rift or on chaining attacks in Vanguard, this is EQ2 for god’s sake! We don’t do that sort of thing here! I need to buckle down, learn the rhythms and play properly. I literally can’t remember the last time I had to play a class “properly” at this level, on solo content, in EQ2. Everyone said in beta that the Beastlord was a very different experience to play than any EQ2 class before it and they were right on the money.

    As for the pets being charming, well if you mean aesthetically then it depends entirely on what you tame. Go tame a beaver from Nek Forest or even an armadillo from Commonlands and you’ll have charm coming out your ears!

    As for the Dungeon Maker, the first slew were predictably just a whole bunch of mobs slung in a room, but this weekend I did two really good ones. One had turned an underground dungeon layout into an outdoors valley and the other had made a Djinn’s desert palace out of the Mistmoore layout. Great things will come of thiis. They do need to let at least the boss mobs drop actual loot, though. Very unsatisfying to kill several bosses and not get anything at all. If they even dropped a couple of Dungeon Marks it would be better than nothing.

  2. I’d like to talk about how great the sale was… except, like so many others (per the forums), I found a parental password set on my account (I’m in my 40s and don’t have kids, never set it up, never would) and couldn’t use any CCs. It took over 14 hours to get a response from SOE, which consisted of asking for more information, and then they finally fixed it — Sunday late afternoon.
    I did manage to get a single $5 worth using Paypal — before that broke. The other options ($20, for instance) didn’t work. And then, when I went back to buy a bunch of $5 increments, that stopped processing and kicked up a “error in processing” message. Again, the forums indicate that I was far from the only one who literally COULD NOT give SOE our money, even though we wanted to.
    Since i was going to buy enough SC to get a year’s worth of Gold sub out of it, I instead find myself with only 1 months worth. Which will be the amount of time I return to EQ2 — and then leave.
    I expected that they’d offer to let me buy whatever I was going to buy and they’d credit the SC per the sale, since all of this crap was their software breaking — nope. I got a “sorry you had a problem, have a nice day.”
    I’m a long-time SOE customer — EQ1 subs from the beginning until 2005 and EQ2 subs from the beginning through 2009. Periodic returns to both since. I just wanted to be able to use their sale to afford to come back — which apparently was asking too much. Hint to SOE: if a customer can’t do something because of your software and your scheduling, and they want to give you money, work with them and let them. Doing things how they did them in my case has soured an over-decade-long love of the Everquest line.

  3. I was hoping the Station Cash could be used to buy Burning Sea Notes in Pirates of the Burning Sea, but no such luck, sadly. I could have bought another month of captain’s club membership, but I only bought the month I have in order to get the premium upgrades. So I saved myself some money by not spending any. :>