The debut of Norrathian Odyssey, my new vidcast series focusing on EQ2, is now available on YouTube. It will, over the course of multiple episodes, present the game in detail, but aimed at the novice and at those with modest experience with EQ2. So check that out and enjoy, and don’t forget to subscribe!
EDIT: The following play report has nothing to do with the video other than happening in the same game. The video is about character creation.
In-game, I had a nice leveling target and was moving right along with it. Then SOE had to have a 50% off fire sale on everything in the cash shop in every game of theirs that has one. Vanguard doesn’t, yet, so that left EQ2 (I do have EQ installed but I’m not the kind of fan of it that would spend money there.) I also happen to be subscribed as well.
So I bought two new character slots. And made a Necromancer. Even though I already have a Conjurer… but High Elves look silly in black. And of course, right when you start there’s a quest to hit level 20 in 14 days. Normally not much of a problem at all, but I figure there’s no telling when my ability to play will be curtailed, so I’d better rush.
And there’s a minor issue. EQ2 now has a slider that lets you allocate part of your regular (Adventuring XP) to AA XP. This is normally a great thing, since not enough AAs can indeed gimp you. AA XP becomes available at level 10 and something like a 50/50 split is normally a solid strategy. So I went straight to 55% as soon as I hit level 10.
The small issue is that if you do this right away at level 10, like I did, there’s really not enough questing content in Darklight Wood and adjoining Neriak to get you to 20 smoothly. Someplace around level 16 you’ll find yourself fighting uncomfortable level 19 and 20 mobs, some of them with an up arrow. Add a mercenary and the fights are tough but beatable unless there are a lot of adds because you’re playing sloppy (which mercenaries encourage.) But there’s still not enough XP.
So I’m sitting at level 18, doing the last couple of level 20 quests, I have my mount and am about out of stuff to do. Not a huge problem in EQ2; I can always grind (which I don’t mind in moderation) and there are other zones I could go to to do quests. I could probably manage the first round of level 20 quests in Nek Forest now.
Now, while the progression in Darklight Wood could be tweaked, this is really my fault because I knew this happens from running two other characters through that zone. I should have caught it; about 20% on the AA slider is about right. Don’t let this happen to you; wait until 20 to start seriously pounding AA.
I also bought a ton of other stuff, by the way: mounts, cosmetic gear and the Arcane Academy prestige house for Iskaaron, which will eventually be used as a guild hall for our little family (me and Mrs. Ardwulf) guild. After everything I still have 8K+ Station Cash left. I did consider the 12-month non-recurring Gold membership, but passed on that as it would have eaten most of my banked points, and I’m saving a bunch for Vanguard.