Skillz

I played EQ for 4 years – I played a Bard and an Enchanter. The Enchanter got invited on all kinds of raids because he had abilities that were basically essential to raiding. On the other hand, the bard wasn’t essential, just handy. But groups that knew me were more likely to ask me to bring my bard, because when I worked that bard we could do stuff that the devs hadn’t planned for.

For many of the people who keep coming back to WWII Online, I think its because of the skills you can develop yourself. I’m not talking about twitch, although that is a part of it, our game is also a bit more cerebral than that. It’s always going to limit our appeal – people, by and large, don’t get that putting 50 rounds into the same spot on a tank doesn’t do anything unless there is something to damage at that spot. Balistics are complicated and its hard to understand why shooting a tank with a 5 degree slope can make it invulnerable…

I’ve been wondering why I can’t seem to settle in any other MMO since EQ1, and I think that’s it. DAoC kept me longest after EQ because the RvR involves both grey matter for team work and skills.

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I played Bard on Bristlebane in EQ (Khelor), went all the way too L65 with him and was the most fun I’d ever had in a game.

Bards where the ultimate utility player, jack of all trades and many didn’t see the power of the Bard until later in the game.

As you say, charm was a fantastic tool for crowd control and I think Verant really dropped the ball as the Bard was ultimately a pain in their side when it came to PvP (remember the bard who would train giants in Oasis Marr?).

I ended up as top bard for our raids and would be in the main group with the MT. Clocking up 90-110 dam shield really makes you useful when the mobs are quad hitting the MT. Course if he died, generally I was next to fall down :)

I actually grouped with other bards a lot — two or three bards could do some stunning things. And I was forever finding oddly broken things in songs.

One song that had the weirdest bug was Shield of Songs (or it could have been Niv’s Melody of Preservation, its a while ago).

Around the time of the first Fear Revamp, when they made it differently but insanely difficult, all the mobs in nearly-overlapping agro radiuses so that as they moved about they did overlap so that you had very little downtime opportunity between fights.

I hadn’t quite figured out the bug in the song at this point, and I went up with my guild, Prophecy. We spent 4 hours waiting for the breakin group to go through deaths and trainage to manage to get a rezzer in so that we could send the guild in, let everyone die, wait an hour while the monks and sks dragged corpses to the wall, and then all rezzed in.

We’d gotten buffed, manad, we were good to go, we started the first fight, and things went really well.

The next crowd of mobs was tough, and people started dieing. I had shield loaded, and I could see we were taking some nasty damage; I had a cool stringed instrument, so I twisted shield. It immediately made a difference, and my group was the only group to survive the fight + adds. They were thrilled.

As soon as the fight ended, afraid of bard-agro, I automatically stopped twisting.

Before we were done fighting the clerics were rezzing people in. There are a group of naked people, including bards, sitting not far from us.

My songs finish.

LOADING… PLEASE WAIT.

(aka the bard theme)

11 of 17 deaths I had that night were Cazic Thule death touching me.

Now, after the 5 or 6th time, I had it narrowed down. If I had shield of songs up when a mob from the cazic thule area did any kind of part-or-full magic effect on me or a group member then Cazic gained hate on me. But nothing happened until I let SoS drop. Nobody else got touched.

But the song was also keeping my groups alive, so they were begging me to keep twisting it. And it sort of became funny.

At one point one of the other bards got DTed. I scrolled back and low and behold, she’d dropped in a twist of SoS to “prove me wrong”. Nope.

The 3 zones that I hated where Plane of Hate, Fear and Growth.

Growth was the most annoying place ever for a bard. The times I would get charmed was unreal, I only ever went to PoG after it was broken and easy. I would duo with a Shadow knight up in PoG, fear kiting was great fun.

I remember when PoH was altered, we where forever agroing from upstairs, just a huge train, all you would see is the iksar monk feign death at your feet and … guild wipe, clerics frantically trying to camp out :)

I was a female troll shadow knight on Cazic-Thule server. Played up to 63, but my addiction to WW2OL killed her. I made her on a whim, trying to make the ugliest character (she had one eye scratched out, named ‘Prissy’). I had a great time with that character, got my epic. A friend has the account still. I don’t even know if I would know how to play it’s been so long.

I always liked fighting with bards, enchanters and necros; they would kite while I melee the beasts, until I got too much agro (not hard with my epic) then I’d feign death.

I remember how when I started I could only kill snakes and such, and I had a human warrior in Qeynos, and Fippy Darkpaw would come in and slaughter all the noObs. There were places to explore–my favorite was when I got in my 50’s, Plane of Growth came out and we went in to check it out. Damn protectors would tandem on you, and they hurt! I spent a lot of time getting killed (and killing) in there.

I think my favorite zone was Cazic Thule though. The lizard kingdom. Hard to get around as a big honkin’ troll, but lots of fun.

CT was great, until they changed it :(

My fav zones where Solusek A & B, I pretty much did 25 levels in those zones and could navigate them with no problem.

Could never get to where I wanted in Everfrost though, damn that zone was a pita.

OMG you mentioned Plane of Hate :(

I created my bard in the first 3 days of Bertox, April 16th 1999ish? And although my flatmates would say I power-levelled him, I actually spent a lot of time roleplaying him, so much so that I often found myself joined by Guides and GMs. My bard had a reputation on Bertox — people who met him generally remembered him. I was playing briefly again in 2002 and got a tell from someone who had seen me scoot past and remembered me from the original character back in April ’99 …

I also rolled a dis-interest character, to get the hang of it, but wound up sticking with him :)

When I started doing Hate there were a few bards ahead of me, I did my share of hate runs and then I was on the queue for bard armor. Raids went by and no armor dropped. After several months, and an incredible number of runs, finally a BP dropped – and went to a bard (Rabenherz) with several pieces of planar armor already, but who had barely been on the raid 15 minutes. Now – it was the right decision, I wouldn’t have taken the armor and left him without it, he’d done his share of raids, but you can imagine it rubbed – there I was with no planar armor, despite having been on every raid our guild did in those months, and he got his last missing piece.

Ok – Fair enough – Now I’m the only bard left.

3 more months went past, I was doing a hate raid 1-3 times every 14 days, and friends from other guilds were starting to invite me on other hate raids, and a really close friend was logging me in on raids outside my timezone. No hate armor. At the end of the 3 months my friend was playing my bard when a piece dropped (greaves I believe) but it was awarded to someone who was themselves present.

Now its starts to get crazy. My friends from three other guilds specifically started running raids to get me some hate armor. I’d seen hundreds of banshees killed, and my friend had played my bard infront of hundreds more slayings. One piece of planar armor had dropped.

I was /feedback’ing the stats on mobs killed etc after each raid, and was maintaining a thread with the stats on the forums, and every now and again Abashi would post saying “its just bad luck, we asked soandso to check and its all good”. He was adamant that the guy in charge of hate had gone and checked and it was all hunky-dory…

This was getting painful now – I was raiding Hate 2-3 times a week, and then taking multiple weeks off. Occasionally a piece of armor would drop when some hate-virgin bard would go up, I had 2 other people periodically taking my bard up, but none for me.

Needless to say this was all hindering my raiding elsewhere – the only sub-planar bard and I was having a hell of a difficult time in Kunark at that level.

Finally I was sitting on the wiz spires over in South Ro listening to friends organizing yet another hate-raid for me, and telling the other bards that *any* armor drop I got first call on.

And that touched my game-developing nerve… These were relatively new, genuine, non-twink bards who’d already been on a few raids, and there I am in their way. It was just so wrong. I hadda /camp. I was gonna take a few days off, but not playing felt so good. Nobody got any armor on the raid, which I felt bad about, those bards deserved some for helping me out.

I finally closed my account 7 days later – I’d returned all my “gifts” to friends and guild. And after closing my account I fired up EQ one last time to patch it so I could burn zip it up and burn it to CD or something.

And there in the patch notes: “Fixed a problem with Plane of Hate that caused bard armor only to drop from one specific spawn”.

A year later a friend talked me into going back and playing – I started a second bard, a Vah Shir. I had an absolute blast. I played for another year+ before discovering I actually still had my original account.

So I logged my old dude in tried playing him. It was bizzare, its like the character is cursed, maybe something about his character data does whacky things to the RNG. Rare’s don’t spawn or drop when he’s around, and sometimes even stuff that’s not supposed to be rare. But of all my characters it only affects him.

I have half a suspicion that its some kind of flag set by Sony as punishment for some of the “impossible” things I did with him :)

heh, I only got 1/2 my hate armour, kunark was the next place and I got my green armour much faster than the 1/2 bits of Hate armour I got.

My fav was the singing sword quest, was just a stupid quest and quite nerve wracking to hand in all the bits at the end to get that sword, well worth it though (or so I thought lol).

Still, it made the rune collection quest for Vex Thal seems simple and the hours on end in Temple Veeshan fighting dragons with their own unique style.

Wow man this is REALLY messed up, I started playing on ole Bert like three days after it went live TOO (I was a dark elf necromancer, at first, though my favorite character was a bard that I played much later).

What was the name of yer bard?

You remember Footsore? That couldn’t be you, he was way more crass than you seem, y’know, more like me heheh.

There might be a really funny reason you had guides and GMs all around, my buddy (who ALSO played a bard and an enchanter on ole Bert) got married to one from our server, and there was a couple of you he really liked (that original little bard “clique” y’know).

Hot dang, that explains a lot, Angus – now you’ve got me wondering which bard *you* are :) My bard was – and I warn you this was supposed to be a temporary name till I decided what I actually wanted to play – Kayfess (“kfs”).

Meeting Xailei Shiv (after whom there is a location named in EQ2 Commonlands) and later on Footsore (who always put on airs and graces around me and I didn’t see the less pleasant side of him until I started doing the forums after well over 18 months) were great RP material that kind of locked me to the character — I ran into Creon before the whole PGT camp, but the experience nearly put me off EQ, and then Foot came streaming over and Creon left :)

Didn’t guild until near 40 when I joined “The Company”, used to hang out with Rabenherz, Crag, Autumnmoon, Laccy. Footsore got me into “The Jesters Club” (NOT the Jokers), and eventually I joined Prophecy, left after Radek got a bit much for me, and then wandered until I quit. Kayfess got to 55, I started a second bard 18 months later and got him to 65 (Lungar).

All kinds of other names come swimming back just thinking about it. I was with Prophecy the day Cazzac /duel’d with Ballyleena (which cost him his job).

Oddly — one of the guides who used to follow me around in Kay’s latter days had been a former Bert player who remembered me from the first week who’d gone to another server when she got married to a GM.

You weren’t Sephana or Anad were you? :) Trying to think of the various Enc/Bard combos I know… :)

You remember how Mistmoore used to be for bards? You’d walk in, go down the ramp, kill a couple of inkies at the foot and go up that little slope to the left for a bit of safety – and then a few minutes later anciles would come piling out from the castle and destroy you because of some weird agro bug? Or did you miss that little era-of-wonder :)

Most of the bards I knew quit doing mistmoore fairly quickly because of that – but I actually did most of 35-40 in MM, partially because of that.

Oh man yer name game is re-activating old brain cells that have been dormant for a very long time heh.

You never knew my bard, I played him WAY after all that stuff, and I only played him up until this sad and lonely lady got all crazy on him ’cause I was roleplaying him as a “romantic hero” for my old girlfriend, who I always played sitting next to (and I talked her into playing the game by saying it would be “romantic” although I never actually was ‘cept fer that one time heh), that’s how I learned that romantic roleplaying stuff was a Really Super Dumb Idea (and that’s actually why all my characters afterwards were something totally unattractive and gross to women, like Ole Bald Angus HIMSELF, fer example heh).

I don’t think any of my incarnations ever hung out with you exactly, but I totally remember almost every name you mentioned (including yours) and we were prolly standing about two feet away from each other at MANY points in that game heh.

That’s so frickin’ freaky and awesome man ahaha.

Yah, you might remember at least one of my characters, but it wouldn’t be any big deal to you if you did or you didn’t, and I don’t like to have my current incarnations associated with previous ones, not ’cause of anything bad, but because I just don’t have the energy for all that at once.

Its still pretty amazing though, lotta awesome people came from that old crummy Plague God Server ahaha.

Go on :) Throw me some names :) I’m usually awful at names, but somehow in EQ names often stuck – heck I remembered Schezerhade for curing me of rabies in Ro on day #6 or so when I was being chased by a mummy :) Funnily, she also remembered me up until she sold the account – every 6 months or so we’d run into each other and she’d ask “Need a cure?” :)

Always possible you hung out with any of my alts … Heck. Erm… Naytan, Larimalae, Kayster, Krallzak, Curro…

Oh – and if you *knew* Rabenherz (“Always look on the brite side of life”, and other spammy macros) and wondered where he dissapeared to – he died of stomache cancer :(

Well, Mynn turned into a Lummie when she got banned from EQ for something, I can’t even remember what.

And Kelyna had a website for a while that Dundee used to read, which totally creeped me out, and I never told him about how me and Kelyna were buddies back when we both first played EQ, and how everybody (including my girlfriend) thought HE was a wood elf girl that was in love with me or something (even though he was very much a wood elf GUY).

That was back in the days when nobody was sure if a thief could pick a PLAYER’S pockets or not, man, the Real Life Dwarf HATED him ahaha.

And Bogmu went on to play WoD (Dundee’s UO emu, and that’s funny and creepy too, ’cause I went back there to check it out a long time ago, and everybody was talking about this awesome hero guy, and it turned out it was ole Bogmu, the first troll I ever saw in EQ).

I see guys named Korak everywhere and I always wonder if its the Real Korak, who was a totally awesome roleplayer (even though he didn’t suck at fighting either) and an all around nice guy to newbie Trolls and Ogres and everything.

And then there’s Thaddeus, the single most amazing and graceful and entertaining roleplayer I’ve ever seen, who was also one of highest level combat badass dark elves (and not some roleplaying loser like Raph makes us all out to be), he’s the guy that single-handedly converted me into a roleplayer from a smack-talking Half Life Whore, but he’s from England, so it was easy for him, y’know, you guys are all automagically classy and shiz.

That Thaddeus name is all over the place, which sucks, I wish he had something more distinctive than that, ’cause I’d love to thank him for all his coolness.

And of course Footsore, who was the bard-mentor of my real life buddy (I gotta ask HIM if he remembers you, I bet he’s gonna, I think you were actually Footsore’s mentor, or at least that’s what it seemed like to me).

Those are the loudest guys I can think of at the moment.

You already named a few that I knew really well though.

For da beerz!

So fess up – who were your characters??? Footsore went on to become Goadan and a few other characters…

You can still find Mynn, DaBogmu, Kelnya, Terrak, Aamthen, Bleys (Blazz), Tiamu, Creadance, Hydian, McManus – even Taroo – and a bunch of lurkers posting over at the Jester’s club :)

CALVIN DOWN! o_O!

Oh and — too funny by far – Bogmu was my first troll too… I had this roleplay thing I did where I got on the boats and told stories or made up songs to the people riding on them for coppers :)

And the if people wanted I’d bard-speed them to their destination, so for a while there I was a whole little roleplaying taxi service. After one such run I had dropped off some people and a wood-elf ranger asked if we could hunt a bit. We’d been killing bears at the far end of East Commonlands, getting ready to level and hit West, when a griff killed him, we went regrouped and were standing in a little griff-safe space and were about to head out when this huge beast came running over the hill.

Our panic-senses heightened by FOG (Fear’O’Griff) our instinct was to run. But this mob was behaving weirdly, and it ran right up to us fast and said “i nut gunna eats yoo”. Hi Bogmu, if you’re still reading :)

Sadly enough, I’m the guy that “for the beerz” actually comes from, and its not one of my proudest moments, that stupid joke wasn’t even hardly funny the first ten thousand times I heard a variation of it repeated back to me, I wonder exactly how many dead brain cells I’m actually responsible for.

What’s even sadder is that I never drink anything but coffee when I’m playing games.

I’m also the guy that came up with the name for the Jester’s Guild, while grouped with Kelnya, but then I never joined it ’cause it instantly had like 250 people in it that I never even heard of (and by that point I’d HEARD of lots of folks).

Plus the damn beer jokes were killing me heh.

Sometimes known as the Fisherman of Sorcery, sometimes known as a Gninja, people used to get all pissed at me when I made a new character ’cause they felt like I’d personally killed their old friend or something.

Fact is, I always play with my real life buddies, and they always come first, y’know, and I had a couple characters I couldn’t even play because I got so much spam from lonely folks that I couldn’t see my combat stuff.

Never really wanted to be popular anyways, I love making people laugh and everything but I’m all about having fun and playing games, y’know, and that shiz gets in the way.

The “for da beerz” version is widely hated, being mistaken for some type of l33t sp34k or something. But it’s actually just “for the beerz” as said by one of the rping trolls. And for me, as someone who spent a lot of time filling in the downtime with “character”, having any slogan was welcome :)

So c’mon – name some of your toons, or I’m going to go with “Sephana” head of the virtual shim hareem :)

Hey, that Sephana thingie sounds much better than anything I ever did, actually.

RAR! Bogmu knew who you were instantly :)

That’s freaky weird – you mentioning Foot made me do some googles, and I found Foot mentioning me in a number of places… First time I met him he was 10 levels higher than me already, I think, because I’d been dicking around doing RPish stuff.. He kept that sort of a distance and I would occasionally “bother” him with questions about bardish intricacies, and he’d always take forever to reply but come back with something fairly profound. I always figured myself a biteme annoying the guy :)

Yah, Bogmu is not just some guy I knew, he’s a real buddy.

Foot was just overloaded with nice people bugging him, but he always came to our rescue whenever we really needed it, and he’s a loveable dude, really.

There’s a lot of other folks that were great, but I either can’t remember how to spell their weird names, like Xiao and this guy monk programmer from Florida we all loved who drank wine when he played, but they were really quiet buddies and I don’t think they hung out with anybody ‘cept us.

And then there was a lot of great people that I hung out with that didn’t have anything to do with those guys, like McManus, and Aazimar, the guildleader from that All Dwarf Guild, man, we went fishing once and he had me laughing so hard I thought I might have to call an ambulance.

And then there was other guilds I was in on other servers, like the one with all my australian buddies.

I’m pretty sure you showed up just as I was ditching out on all those folks.

Never ditched out on da Bogmu though, I mean, who could, really, he’s too loveable ahaha.

Why? Because you haven’t really tried, mate.

I don’t quite understand that :) Once it becomes an effort – i.e. trying – that’s where my interest starts to dwindle.

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