Back to EQ2?

On any given Saturday night, there’s a very good chance that Angela will be playing EQ2, and a pretty good chance she’ll be doing some quest with a bunch of old and dear friends of mine. Folks I played Ultima Online with, just to give an idea of how far back we go.

EQ2 never really ‘sticks’ with me but between a desire to reconnect with these old chums, and curiosity about the New Halas starting area, I re-subbed. Paradoxically I created a new character (since that bunch is all level-capped so the only way for me to join up with them is to get a character to cap, too). I chose a Barbarian Fury, which I’m told is a kind of offensive healer.

So, between about 11 pm Saturday night and 11 pm Sunday night, I managed 18 levels in New Halas. This is without any kind of ‘experience buffing’ and I’m not talking 24 hours of game play. A couple hours Saturday night, a couple Sunday morning, then a few more Sunday evening. That felt crazy fast to me!!

So far I have mixed feelings about New Halas. There’s still an awful lot of travel back and forth and quest hubs so far have lasted too long. I get pretty bored with an area before I’m sent on to the next. I do like the theme; early on you’re helping pilgrims ready themselves for the trip to New Halas, then later you’re involved in an epic and eternal struggle between blue dwarves (Coldain??) and orcs. Fun stuff, in that noob-ish way.

But don’t you hate it when you get sent to an area to kill level 10 mobs and see some level 12 mobs standing around, or an object that stands out, and you just KNOW that as soon as you go back to turn in a quest, you’ll be sent back to the same spot to fight those level 12 mobs or interact with that unusual object? That happens over and over again in New Halas.

As for the Fury, had I designed the class I would’ve turned its progression on its head. At level 18 I still have 2 direct damage spells and 1 debuff. I have plenty of buffs, and a vast array of heals that I never have reason to use. Angela tells me Furies get a lot more attack spells later on.

Since most new characters don’t bother (or need) to party, and early quests don’t require much (or any) healing thanks to constant ‘mini-dings’ it seems like an odd decision to front load the class with healing, cure, and resurrection spells. Honestly by Sunday night I was pretty damned bored of Heroic Opportunity/Deadly Swarm/Tempest over and over again. (Just to be clear, I’ve gotten upgrades, so really it’s something liked Deadly Swarm III/Tempest II, but as I swap these in, the key strokes don’t change.) Give us the attack spells early, and add healing spells when we’re high enough level to require healing and/or grouping!

I also still have not hit the city. I have had access to venders and a bank, but I have 3-4 collections that need turning in and a bunch of house items I’ve earned that I’d love to put in a house. I know I *could* just go to New Halas but I’m kind of playing it deliberately ignorant and just going where the quest chains aim me.

For all this grumping, I’m happy enough to be back playing. One thing about EQ2 is that returning to it is always very easy for me. I’ll have to re-acquaint myself with what all the skills/spells do, sure, but the mechanics are as familiar as an old shoe.

I’ll probably finish out New Halas then jump back over to my level 50-ish Berserker and see what I can do about getting him somewhere towards level cap. Unless the Fury gets a bit more Furious. Don’t get me wrong, the class isn’t weak, it just feels like every combat has me doing the exact same keystrokes. That isn’t true with the ‘zerker, but of course he has over twice the levels worth of skills.

We’ll see how long I last this time around. Maybe I’ll buy one of those $25 mounts just to drive @Longasc crazy. 🙂