everquesting

EverQuesting is an EverQuest Next, EverQuest II, and Landmark column by MJ Guthrie. [Follow this column’s RSS feed]

EverQuesting: Celebrate everything Nights of the Dead with our EverQuest II guide

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.

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EverQuesting: Is EverQuest II in a downward spiral?

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.

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EverQuesting: Guide to EverQuest II’s Days of Summer reward event

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.

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EverQuesting: A guide to EverQuest II’s Tinkerfest 2017

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.

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EverQuesting: Falling for EverQuest II’s new progression server, Fallen Gate

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.

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EverQuesting: EverQuest II’s Proving Grounds prove to be a tad frustrating

Prove it.

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.

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EverQuesting: The Domino effect on Daybreak and EverQuest II

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.

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EverQuesting: What I’ll do in EverQuest II, 2017 edition

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.

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EverQuesting: Ten things to do in Landmark before it’s gone

T minus 11 days and counting. That’s all the time Landmark has left. That’s not a lot of time. If you haven’t built all your intricate ideas yet, chances are you won’t be able to bring them to completion in such a short span. I’ve resigned myself to never seeing some of mine come to life. And if you want to try to visit and experience all the great creations out there, you’re going to be hard-pressed to pull that off. There just isn’t enough time; it is all going away much too soon.

You may not want to do anything at all as the sunset creeps closer. Perhaps you feel you have done all you can do in the game, and you feel secure with closing this final chapter. Perhaps it just pains you too much to log in knowing it will all be gone in less than a fortnight. I know some folks that have even uninstalled the game already. Me? Thanks to a video card fire, I am actually installing it now! I am getting it on my new laptop so I can enjoy every last minute I can squeeze out of my favorite building game because even if I can’t do all I want to do as far as creations, there are still things to do.

What are they? I’ll tell you: Here are 10 things you really should experience in Landmark before it’s gone. And if you have already done these, do them again to relive the experience — because once those servers shut off, it’s lights out for good.

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EverQuesting: Scoring our EverQuest franchise 2016 predictions

January 14th, 2016. On that date, I said we’d get to look back in a year and see just how many of my EverQuesting predictions were accurate. Well, it’s been a year… and man, it’s been a year. So of all those things I anticipated happening, that I wanted to happen, and that I thought needed to happen in 2016 for Daybreak and the EverQuest franchise, what actually happened? How many hopes survived the 12 months? When you tally it all, there were some fails, some near misses, and some right on the nose. Which game — EverQuest, EverQuest II, EverQuest Next, or Landmark — had the most accurate predictions, and which had the most misses? Let’s take a look at the 2016 predictions before we even think about creating some 2017 ones.

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EverQuesting: The loss of Landmark

Daybreak did it again. Boy, that phrase has come to mean a great many different things over the years. However, in this case it refers to the art of dropping some bombshell that makes me toss aside whatever I was working on for the week and focus on that explosion — and the resulting fallout. Sometimes it’s good. And sometimes it’s not. This time around we fell dead center into the “not” category. We are losing Landmark.

Remember when I said Daybreak needed a win this year? This is the opposite of that. This is Daybreak choking the last bit of hope and goodwill out of players like Vader faced with a lackey’s lack of faith. Disturbing, I know. Well, gee folks, Happy New Year? Forget about breaking games; I can’t help but agree that a more befitting moniker would be Sunset Games.

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EverQuesting: Welcome to the Daybreak family, LOTRO and DDO

Sometimes there’s news that just makes you go, “Huh?” At times it happens because said information makes no sense whatsoever; other times it surprises you so thoroughly you have no words as you look around wondering where on earth it came from. Last week we got smacked with the latter. Turbine’s announcement that Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online were breaking off under a new independent studio wasn’t so far-fetched, especially with Turbine’s professed focus on turning into a mobile studio. I heard that and didn’t really bat an eye, I just nodded my head and thought, sure, that makes sense. What was a jaw-dropping surprise was the announcement that Daybreak would be the new publisher. Who ever would have envisioned Norrath and Middle-earth (and Eberron!) becoming family, romping together in the same backyard and sharing a swingset? You never thought they would actually meet. No, we certainly didn’t see that coming.

But once I had a moment to digest the news and think about it (and after we finished with a few jokes, like Justin’s query on whether we should combine our columns to make EverLording), it made sense. And I can see it as a good thing for both parties. (Talking about the pairing of companies, not the columns!) Standing Stone Games and Daybreak both stand to benefit here, meaning their games benefit. Thankfully I don’t see any cross-pollination between the IPs, but I do see two studios growing and see two games continuing on instead of being shut down.

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EverQuesting: Frolicking in EverQuest II’s Frostfell 2016

Oh the real life outside is frightful
But Frostfell is so delightful
So who needs to work today?
Let us play, let us play, let us play!

There’s holiday treats and questin’
And Glug’s got some gifts he’s givin’
It’s here for just 30 days
Let us play, let us play, let us play!

The best kind of winter wonderland is an EverQuest II Frostfell Wonderland! Not only is the Frostfell Wonderland Village the home to the king of Norrath’s holiday festivals, it possibly ranks at the very top of all-time favorite zones in EQII. It’s full of the beauty of the season — with ice and snow to frolic in — without the worry of any actual cold or shoveling chores. And slipping on the ice here is an amusing antic you aim for as opposed to the painful accident you’d rather avoid in real life. Then there’s the music. Some tunes are so iconic that they transport players to memories within just a few notes, and the Frostfell theme is one of them. Just try to listen to it without having images of McScroogle and goblins in Santa hats dancing in your head.

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