While some consider the acquisition of stuff to be distracting to gameplay, others of us know that it is actually a vital part of of the experience. Everyone needs a friend who is a go-to for whatever you need, their bags bursting with everything you can imagine, from obscure stuff collected forever ago to bushels of crafting materials. And I am that friend.
Hi, I’m MJ — I am a packrat, and I am proud of it!
And with all the talk lately about hoarding, I’ve come to better appreciate just how nearly perfect EverQuest II is for someone like me. EQII is truly a packrat’s paradise! Here, you are free to stock up on all the essentials (and you can decide what is essential) and non-essentials alike. And all this without having to resort to any microtransactions! Sure, there are a couple things that would make it even better, but I hold this MMORPG up as a model of item management. If only more games aspired to this.
Snow? Check. Good cheer? Check. Catchy tunes everywhere? Checkity check. Goblins and gigglegibbers in goofy get-ups? Great big check. New guide? Er…
Yes, it’s Frostfell time EverQuest II. And right about now is when I offer a guide to this wonderful winter event. Unfortunately, this year I won’t be. Actually it’s more of I can’t: I’m not being stubborn, there just isn’t anything to guide you through that hasn’t already been covered between the 2015 and 2016 guides. When the devs were passing out 2017 content, Frostfell was unfortunately skipped — or maybe it was out back recovering from too much celebrating last year! Whatever the scenario, there isn’t anything new to do, though there are a few new things to acquire or buy (eight new items at Santa Glug, five new ones at Gerbi Frostfoot, and three crafting scrolls.)
November: A month of colorful, falling leaves, Thanksgiving… and an EverQuest II expansion! That’s right, the 11th month isn’t allowed to finish up until we have our next serving of Norrathian goodness, and Daybreak delivered it to us on the 28th. Regardless of not yet finishing up the content in previous expansions, I couldn’t not immediately dive in and explore this new piece of EQII! I mean, me, not explore a favorite world? That’s crazy talk! With only two days (and interrupted ones at that!) to peek into and poke around, what did I find in Planes of Prophecy? Here are my first impressions.
Hop on the Plane
Luckily for me, you don’t need to complete the Signature Quest line (or in my case, even start it) in Kunark Ascending to be able to access the new zone, the Plane of Magic. If you are level 100 and own the expansion, all you need to now is how to get there. For that, you could do like I first did and hop from world bell to druid portal to wizard spire to find the way. Alternately, you could read the in-game mail that is delivered to every level 100 that tells you to visit any wizard spire. It makes sense: Travel to a Plane of Magic through a magical wizard portal! Obviously, I immediately jumped in a portal.
I am particularly fond of the number 13. And I am particularly fond of EverQuest II. So it is a happy convergence of favorites as EQII celebrates its 13th year this week. That’s thirteen years of adventures from Antonica to Zek. Will 13 be a lucky number for this MMORPG? I sure hope so! Norrath could use a little luck going forward after this past year. It’s not that things have been especially tumultuous (do you remember the heartaches and fears from 2015?); in fact, they have been a bit quiet. Too quiet.
The past 12 months have worried me more for the future of my beloved game than even the restructuring to Daybreak did. Will EQII make it through the next year? Maybe we’ll have a stroke of luck and the game will blossom again in 2018. Luckily, I still have some hope left that it will make it through, and I know I am not alone in wanting those adventures to continue quite a while longer.
All hope is not lost because despite the worrying parts, the year wasn’t all bad. There were still bright spots and positive things. As is customary this time of year, I take some time to reflect back on all that has transpired since the last anniversary retrospective. Join me for a look back to see how the game has grown and how it has changed. Then hop in and enjoy the Heroes’ Festival anniversary celebration before it disappears next week!
I may be disappointed with the lack of caring I feel is being shown to EverQuest II players by Daybreak/Columbus Nova, but that doesn’t mean I have stopped caring. I still do, even if I’m saddened. Thankfully, there are still EQII happy thoughts. And those happy thoughts are strong now! What better way to lift my spirits than with the festival celebrating my favorite holiday ever? Nights of the Dead has returned to Norrath, and I am going to revel in the glorious spookiness and collect all the goodies to adorn myself and my homes. I am celebrating Halloween in true Norrathian style, and you can too.
After years of growing, there’s so much to do and so much to get in this festival that it’s a good thing we have until Friday, November 3rd, at 2:59 a.m EDT to mummy-wrap everything up! With so much, where do you start? An awesome part about the Nights of the Dead event is that you don’t have to start at any one particular place; you can participate from pretty much anywhere (collecting candies), and even better, at any level (most quests scale). A reminder mail sent to everyone in-game points out where major event activities are transpiring, but it’s still easy to miss something. To help ensure you don’t miss out on any old or new content, here’s a guide to 2017’s Nights of the Dead.
Are we witnessing the death throes of EverQuest II? Of the whole EverQuest franchise? These questions have been at the forefront of my mind lately. Today’s EverQuesting started as a guide to EQII’s expansion prelude event, but I kept coming back to these questions. (The guide will come next week!)
Yes, I know that there are folks who have cried that EQ and EQII have been dying or all-but dead for years — and Next and Online Adventures are already deceased and buried. Yet during those years we’ve still seen some life in the first two games. They have persevered!
But now, I feel like I am witnessing the franchise’s final breaths. Me, the eternal optimist; me, who subsists on hope. And I started losing that hope because Daybreak’s actions lately appear to indicate that there’s no love left for one of my all-time favorite games, EQII. Between less dev interaction, less content, less communication, and just less enthusiasm for these two titles — yet a preponderance of attention on others — it’s hard to hold onto hope. At no other time has it felt as if Daybreak was turning its back on and all but abandoning the IP that gave it life more than it does right now. The IP that still has many fervent fans. My final two straws? The lack of any exposure at PAX West and the lack of enthusiasm for this year’s expansions.
Did you hear about EverQuest II multi-month Days of Summer reward event? If so, lucky you! Here is an event that was launched with so little fanfare that even though I am playing every week. it completely slipped out of my mind — even after I learned about it the first week! It’s also an event that rewards players with some pretty snazzy rewards if they complete each of the weekly quests, so missing out entirely will make you lose out on a familiar, level 100 gear, housing decorations, a prestige house, and more. So many goodies! That may be because this summer event is akin to prelude events before expansions as it is aimed at helping people gear up for the upcoming expansion. Now don’t you wish you knew more about it? Well here you go.
The good news is that even if you hadn’t heard a word about it until now, it’s not too late to start;
the event runs from August 2nd, 3:01 a.m. EDT, all the way until October 3rd at 2:59 a.m. EDT. [Edit: On September 28th, the devs announced that the event would now be permanent content!] The even better news is that players need not have completed the quest in the week it was first offered. You just have to complete them in order. I proved this by starting the event during this week’s week five quest. The bad news is that not only do you have to be level 100 to be able to see all of the rewards on the event vendor, you also need to own Kunark Ascending to complete some of the quests. The even worse news is that only those who have paid for membership can access the quests at all.
After a few years, it can be difficult for long-time EverQuest II players to get excited over the return of a festival; not only are there many festivals to keep track of, but most have been going on for numerous years. You can feel like you’ve seen and done all there is to one and might give little more than a cursory glance to check for a new item or two. And if little to nothing is done for a festival some year, it only exacerbates the problem. To spark interest and enthusiasm, Daybreak needs to tinker with the event formula each year to add something fresh beyond just a new reward or two. And tinker it did: Tinkerfest 2017 adds a whole new experience atop the regular fare, so even the oldest of veterans have reason to jump in and participate.
So what is new for Tinkerfest? (And what is Tinkerfest if you are new to it?) Here’s a guide to get on on the gnomish goodness before it leaves for another year; departure is set for early Thursday morning, August 3rd, at 2:59 a.m. EDT.
A new time-locked expansion server got rolling last week in EverQuest II — are you on board? I wasn’t initially planning to participate; my gaming time is at a premium with so many games and so many goals, and spare time is simply non-existent. That said, I now have a little Aerakyn Mystic fluttering her dainty dragon wings about the starting zones.
So how did I get suckered into joining this server? With the offer of a cool and punny mount that can be claimed on live servers! Now that I am there, however, I’m finding more reasons to stay. Perhaps I will continue my adventures there beyond the level 10 needed for the Pedipowered Posterior Punter.
Could Fallen Gate be a new home for me? Could it be for you? Read on to learn more about what this special server offers then you can decide if you want to join us there.
EverQuest II recently introduced a new feature with the release of GU103 back on May 10th called the Proving Grounds. That place is no joke. I can assure you that it is pretty aptly named; this little instance is all about showing you and your group what you are made of.
When this feature was first announced, I was pretty excited. Who doesn’t like new content, especially something with replayability? It sounded fun. Initially I had thought (hoped?) that the new Proving Grounds content would be a feature enjoyable by the majority of the population. What I learned — quite quickly — was that my hopes and reality were two very different things. And I learned that the hard way. Hard as in double-digit-death-counter hard. Instead of sinking my teeth into this content, it sunk its teeth into me! Now that’s not necessarily a problem. I enjoy a challenge, and I do so look forward to conquering this one and exacting some revenge. However, I just wish my first experiences with the Proving Grounds didn’t come with more disappointment and frustration than fun because I do think it’s a good idea filled with promise.
Did you participate in EverQuest II’s Beast’r Egg hunt live event this past week? If not, I’m sorry to say you missed your chance; it ended a few hours ago at 2:59 a.m. EDT. However, that doesn’t mean you’ve totally missed out! And that’s the beauty of this particular live event. Today’s musing are less a guide and more a love letter to a live event done oh so right.
While the event unfolded as I participated, it struck me how practically perfect the event was. So kudos to Daybreak for this one. EQII really knocked it out of the park with this Easter-themed event. Hopefully, we can see more like this in the future, both here and — if other studios take notice — in other titles. What’s so great about it? I am glad you asked! (Though honestly, I was going to tell you anyway!) Here are the winning elements:
Yup, it’s true. It was a sad day when Emily Taylor confirmed that she was indeed leaving Daybreak. When John Smedley’s tweet popped up outing Taylor’s move to Canada, I was in the middle of chatting with friends and fellow EverQuest II players. We were stunned. We know that the industry can be fickle, but Taylor had been a staple on the EQII scene. Known as “Domino,” she’d been in integral part of the Norrath crafting scene; she was responsible for penning many of the crafting signature quest lines as well as developing other parts of crafting, events, and housing. She was also well admired and appreciated by the community. Her loss would really be felt.
When we first read that tweet, our thoughts went to, oh no, what happened? followed very quickly by what’s going to happen? After the rough time Daybreak has had since the split from Sony (multiple layoffs, game closures galore, and clandestine management changes along with staff resignations), we understandably wondered if we were witnessing a step toward impeding disaster — a sentiment shared by other fans of the franchise. The uncertainty of the news was laid to rest when Taylor herself announced that yes, she was leaving. She informed players that her move was of a personal nature (she wants to shovel more snow?!) instead of any thing related to the studio. She also assured us that there were plenty of devs at Daybreak still working on the games — moreso, in fact, than when the name changed.
A long time ago, in a spring far, far away (2016 feels that way already), I noted that there is simply too much to do in EverQuest II. So much so, in fact, that it took more than one EverQuesting to try and list them! It’s mind-blowing the amount of stuff you can get involved in, from collections to crafting, decorating to dungeoning. And that fact is exactly what has placed me in my current conundrum.
You see, there are many things I still want to do in EQII. So many things. Normally I just play whatever I feel like playing in games, but that doesn’t seem to work in this case. I have to admit that when I log into Norrath I sometimes shut down when faced with the sheer volume of what I want to/can delve into. It is honestly too much for me at times. For that reason, I’ve decided to break with my usual traditions and try a new one: goals. Like with The Secret World, I think that setting some concrete goals will actually help me negate if not avoid the paralysis I often feel when I log in. And by writing them down, I have a handy place to reference them! I think that will be extra useful when I sit staring at my screen unsure of where to start. Even better, I can hopefully finally cross some accomplishments off my to-do list. As the clock ticks down 2017, I’ll be working on these goals.