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.