My first views on Paniel Monday, Feb 22 2010 

Well I guess the enire EQ2 community is all in a buzz

Sentinels Fate is finally live and this weekend was a fantastic opportunity to really immerse myself in the new zones and get a feel for the new lands

I didnt acutally play EQ1 so really I have nothing to compare it to.   As far as the execution of launch – I would have to say my impression was that logistically speaking it was flawless.   I logged in first thing in the morning when I woke up – there was a 15 minute patch or so – and without further incident I was logged into game.

Now I am far from an elite player – I pottter about.   But I exprienced very little lag or annoying glitches in the zones.   My overall impression for execution was highly positive.

Turning now to the content – I have also been highly impressed with what I have seen.   The quests have not been highly imaginative – but I have connected enough with it to enjoy it.   The quests are not giving fantastic xp but there is certainly a bunch of quests to be done.   it feels like I am going to run out of quests before I hit 90 though.

On the other hand – Killy is yet to complete more than about 20 quests in the Moors.  An expansion behind I grant you – but plenty of xp and aa to be had right there.   *cheers*

I am impressed with the difficulty standard of the expansion content too – and by that I mean that it is easily able to be completed solo by a healer class – albeit at a slower pace.   I had a lot of fun duo with one of our guilds friendly mages *waves to Oli*    

I even tried out a couple of instances and absolutely had a hoot!!   Back in TSO, there seemed to be a massive focus on ideal group set up in order to succeed at instance zones.   Whether you completed zones or not highly depended apon the combination of classes and their gear.    My first impression of the couple of instances that we did in Vasty Deep seemed to indicate a changed focus in this expansion.  To me, it would appear that you would not necessarily require a perfectly balanced set of classes including bard and enchanter just to complete a zone.   I applaud that direction.

As I logged off last night, Killy girl was 84 Templar, almost 81 Jeweler with 204aa.   I know that there are people who are STREAKS ahead of that.  I think it is great that this game can appeal to so many different play styles – but I am quite happy to potter along and enjoy the zones with the little dorf :p

And yes – you are not mistaken – I did heal instances in Vasty Deep at 83 – trust me Labs was NOT pretty after we got down to the library and I was trying to heal damage from mobs 10 levels higher than me and was unable to cure any detrimentals!!   We absolutely did die – but OMG it was a bunch of fun – thanks to my Pax guildies for the giggles.   Most of the stuff that dropped was scout and mage worthy – nothing really dropped that screamed healer.

Missing Danonia and Arisha still – hope they come back soon!!

Other than a fun weekend in Odus, work and starting back at school part time is keeping me out of mischief …..

Happy hunting and crafting to all in Norrath 🙂

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And baby Shadowknight makes four? Tuesday, Feb 16 2010 

This past weekend was a wonderful chance to kick back and relax with a glass of Champagne and my EQ 🙂

After taking care of the chores and what not – I tried to avoid the heat and relax in front of the fan.

I had been pottering about progressing the dirges Epic and was quite excited, because I am up to the last steps to get her fabled.   I need to kill some mobs in Chelsith and Maidens Chamber, and visit the top level of Poets Palace.

While I was chatting with various in game friends on Saturday afternoon, I decided to make myself a character to relax and chill out with on my second account.   Something that when it is levelled could kill stuff for Killy.    I tried various dps classes, but none of them really captured my imagination.

I then thought about leveling another tank to team up with my Templar girl.   I was thinking about a warrior, but just could not seem to “click” with a zerker.    I rolled a bruiser – but just couldnt get into her either *sigh*.    I know I have a Paladin at max level already – but thought meh – why the heck not consider another crusader.

I had rolled an SK some time ago, and she remain parked on about level 12 or 13.    The lady Yyavdra – an elegant Dark Elf from Neriak was resurrected.    

Perhaps it is familiarity with the Crusader, but <3.    I had an absolutely fun fun time scooting around Darklight Woods and Gorowyn.    I logged her off last night at level 19SK with 25aa.     Already this little one has done a little over 100 quests and counting.   I have rediscovered my passion for questing, and she does indeed look the part in her shiny armours.

I adore the fact that it is so easy to move the slider between Combat and aa XP – Sometimes I have had her Combat XP up full, sometimes full aa, and somtimes 50/50.   I have used it to slow her levelling down when she was getting close to out leveling her quests.

At level 19, I have put her xp fully into aa for a bit – and I am heading out into the Commonlands & Antonica, and  *giggles* I wonder how many aa I can get her to before she heads into Butcherblock, Thundering steppes and Nek Forest.   Just nice to have a girl to potter around on.

So expansion time is here – servers will be down tonight for my normal play time.    Thank goodness for MarioKart Wii tonight :p   but I am really getting excited about what the expansion might bring.

A personal view – and I wonder if anyone else feels the same – but I would really like to see this expansion give us a good place to start out on good aligned characters.   I think Darklight Woods and Gorowyn are fantastic places to start.  There is atmosphere, and oodles of quests.  the zones are easy to navigate around (well except inside Gorowyn itself hehe).

When I was trying out the zerker – i really didnt like the quest lines in Greater Faydark so much.   Greater Fay is aesthetically beautiful, but sometimes feels like a pain in the ass to find your way around.    Maybe it might be worth recreating the zerker and making her in Gorowyn????  *giggles* a little Ratongan Bezerker.

Killy is, and always will be my main.  But one thing I just adore about this game is that there are SOOOO many options for approaching the content differently and there is so much to see and do.    Do I spread myself to thin?  Perhaps – but that is the beauty – that this game can be enjoyed on so many different levels, and satisfy many different playstyles.

Happy hunting and crafting to all 🙂

And then there were three…. Friday, Feb 12 2010 

I am far from an uber player – I am not one who has to pimp out my girls with all the very bestest of gear.

Many months ago now I rolled the cutest little Iksar dirge – and fell in love with the class.   She has mostly solo’d her way through the levels – with a little help from her “cousin” Nanytank occasionally.   Last week she was sitting at level 77 and a bit .. and I thought I should make the push to have her to 80 prior to expansion.   I enjoy questing, so it was not difficult for me to check out the quest journal and start things ticking over again for her.

Firstly there were some quests in Kunzar jungle to complete.   I have become so used to the resiliance of plate wearers (both Killy and Nanytank), that I was finding the dirge a little squishy.   Very quickly Nanytank came to the rescue, and quests were being completed in short order.

Almost level 79 and it was time to continue to work the faction quests in Jarsath working towards the port hammer.  Nanytya and Katyya were then joined by a guildmate who was also questing in JW.  Both my girls and also our guildmate Assassin were just starting the repeatables from the Dwarf just outside the shipyards – Killy always thought he was rather handsome!

It was absolutely incredible to see.   We were just three … but we absolutely ripped through those poor mobs between Danak and the Howling Stones.  We basically followed the road killing what we affectionately called Chickens, Tigers and Rhinos as we made our way to the scorpions.   Each set of these quests was giving sensational AA and GP for all three of our adventurers.  And in absolutely no time at all *DING* Katyya dinged 80 Dirge *cheers*

So now I have three girls at level 80.

The next order of the day was to start looking at Katyyas Epic.    I can never say it often enough, but I love my guildies.     I was talking to our guild leader about the dirge epic – his main is a dirge.    In five minutes there was a group of Pax running my girl down into Sebilis for her Epic starter.   One of our other guildmates had an absolutely terrible time camping mobs to get the starter to drop – but it took my girl less than half an hour before it dropped for her luckily.  

So between raiding this week and some work commitments, I have managed to advance the dirge through a significant part of her epic.   Speaking to various people, and killing various mobs to get pieces for her flute.   And now she needs to kill a bunch of bad guys in Chelsith and Maidens Chamber along with a few other lesser (solo) bits and pieces.  At that time, Lamentation of the Intrepid will be hers 🙂   I am sure she can get that done this weekend – so she will have her Fabled Epic just in time for expansion.  

She took the run to Leviathan when she was just 78 – so she has VP access already:)  The mobs she will need for her Mythical are then Pawbuster, Mayong Mistmoore and Xygoz.  Xygoz is soooo my favourite encounter in VP hehe.

Expansion is just a week away now – and I really am excited about it.   NDA is lifted and all the things I am hearing are capturing my interest.  It is going to be so great to see new places and new quests.  From what I hear there is a really good mix of Solo content and group content.

Time this weekend then to clear out Killys bank & backpacks, and make room in her quest journal to prepare.   In guild we are prioritising who is leveling which crafters – My first to be leveled will be my Killy girl of course.   There has been so much crafter content added in this last expansion that all of my girls are yet to do – so leveling them will not be a massive grind at all.

There really is so much variety in this game – there is enough to satisfy so many playstyles.  There is content to push the high end raider types – and the chronomages now mean that someone who plays mostly solo will still get to experience content and quests as they were intended (ie not grey)   It caters for the questers, the grinders, the crafters, casual players or dedicated hard core players.   This is why it always pulls me back in.   Bravo SoE.

MMO’s and Guilds Friday, Feb 5 2010 

Well – here we are in February.  2 months since my last post – and my how that has flown!   I have given thanks for a fantastic 2009, and am looking forward to an even BETTER 2010 🙂

Here in Australia it has been the height of our summer holidays.  There has been time with family, and time with special friends – all in all a wonderful couple of months.  Combine all the fun and festivities with a feeling that we are languishing at an inbetween while we wait for expansion – and this has meant I have not really been playing very consistently.   Our guild has however just recommenced raiding ….. so that has been a lot of fun 🙂

Over this last couple of weeks, I have managed to FINALLY get Kilanna to that magical 200aa.   Otherwise I have just been messing about, collecting items for transmuting on my Paladin, a little bit of work on the dirge, and pottering about on various other low level insignificant alts.  That is the gift of a game like EQ2 – so many options of things to do.

I was reading one of Stargraces posts over at MMOQuests today, and was starting to write a response.  Instead, I thought I would dedicate a part of my posting to explore her topic of Guilds, and talk about what my mmo and guild means to me.

Almost three years ago now, I moved Killy into Pax Fatalis.    I categorically state that my guild has made my MMO experience a much more rich and diverse experience than it otherwise would have been.   I have experienced content that I would not have without them, and I have achieved goals in game that I would not have without them.

I have made lifelong friends as some of my guildmates have become part of my everyday life.  Many of my guildmates live geographically close, so we get together socially on a fairly regular basis,  our last gathering had around 20 of us.   Some of my guildmates have been to my home and I have been to some of their homes.   I grant you this is not typical, but my family have met some of my guildmates and I have also met some of their family and friends.

Our guild has seen one couple celebrate the birth of their son, and they will soon enough celebrate their wedding.  We have also sadly seen the passing of one of our dearest members after he battled illness for 6 months.   Many people have come and gone, but the core of the guild have moved from EQ to EQ2, and have played together for many years.   We are far from a top end guild – but we have worked hard and achieved quite a bit this last year which is a source of pride, and brings a sense of family and community.

In this context then I say that I will never forget some of the experiences and friendships I have shared over the last few years.   They have absolutely changed my life.    Parts of the last few years have been among the most personally difficult I think I will ever experience in my life after my marriage ended.   It was a blessing to find a place to escape from some of that, and to have a sense that those closest to me were looking out for me.  To be able to log on at night, laugh with friends and have some sort of sense of belonging, with no pressure and no questions asked.  It is even my intention to travel overseas later this year to meet two of the most special brothers that have been a part of this journey.

The friendships, acceptance and support of some of my guildmates has been invaluable in helping me to come through the last couple of years to a point where my whole life is now flourishing.    It has been a long time since I have had such a strong sense of self and what I want from the future.  My career is flourishing, I am preparing to go back to school part time, I have the joy of watching my little baby nephew grow with my family, I have a bunch of amazing and varied friends, and have found a beautiful and comfortable apartment that I call home.

My point with this whole diatribe – I am not ashamed to say that my guild and guildmates are an incredibly important part of my life.  I accept that people may not understand that fully.  Such is life.

And then there is a very special lady that I met one night almost three years ago.  I had been reading her blog, and sheepishly started talking to her about raiding and healing.   We soon became firm friends and shared many confidences.   She metaphorically held my hand and cried tears with me as I dealt with some demons and found my inner strength.   We have never played together and dont even live on the same continent.  Our lives have gone somewhat seperate ways more recently, but I will always be honoured to call her friend.  I am not quite sure that this is what she had in mind when she wrote her own blog post but there you have it!

Who would have thought a computer game could change your life this much!