I have work to do and I’ve already spent a bunch of time spell-checking the posts I wrote last night so I won’t spend over much time on this.
My Fury is now level 28 and a level 26 furnisher. Yes. You read right. Furnisher. I make furniture and boxes. I couldhave been a useful provisioner. But I elected the delights of making Pristine Light Ash Office Chairs and Conditioned Maple Broke Benches. Fwoah! Mark that one down to escapism.
But we’ve been playing outta Freeport and …I just find the contrast between the two experiences quite mind-blowing. This is not a slam of EQ2. Turn up the graphics detail and Freeport or Qeynos are very pretty. My not-top-end box can almost run Extreme Quality comfortably for questing, definitely not for combat and it balks at busy areas like the broker (and by busy I mean more than 4 people in the same 50m area).
Refuge island and the newbie zones have been modestly revisited and are greatly improved. But alas, SOE have also revisited Commonlands and Nektulos. Apparently, some debilitating plague has affected the land and killed almost everything.
Remember the terrifying hordes of orc camped on the very outskirts of Freeport? Now reminiscent of the two builders drinking coffee you find at the site of every major roadworks who, when questioned, will point vaguely in the direction of the Sun and utter something about ‘lunch’. The Common Lands just seems empty. Well, OK, it was never as much fun as Antonica. But what was done to Nektulos Forest is almost unforgivable.
Nekt was one of those awesome, immersive areas. Teeming with life. Like, hmm, I guess you could say, a forest. Now its a bit more like a wild-life preserve, and commonlands is a safari park. Just enough creatures to ensure you see something on your way across, but not enough to trouble you. We wouldn’t want scourge rats and skeletons in the same place would we.
I’m not sure when this revisit of these zones was done, but it has, in my opinion, impoverished them. But I don’t think its that big of a deal. I have two theories: either they were a practice run for EoF, where the layout is similar but less … barren (although there are spots where EoF feels a little too surgically convenient: the way granite backs live one side of the road and stone giants the other). Or this refit was done with the experience that lead to the layout of EoF zones, but with various constraints placed by existing content in the old world (like voice overs, legacy quests players already have, etc).
Looks like Granik, Gophur, Ramp, Toto and myself might be playing. I hopeI can twist their arms into our trying out a little Fae-party at least for 10-15 levels, if not all the way to the 20s and Butcherblock, maybe a little Crushbone.
Its been funny going back to Fallen Gate, Wailing Caves and SH. You get chance to appreciate just how refined Crushbone is. Ramp and I have had a couple of good groups in Fallen Gate, and its fun, but I found CB a much more entertaining and enthralling dungeon crawl/hunt.
In the end, we’ll wind up playing the new expansion zones regardless, but I really think the EoF starter experience has such finesse that its worth overcoming the oddness of the Fae face and having the experience. I can’t help but wonder if they made it Fae only because falling off Kelethin and dying as a non-Fae is still no fun. And another theory: the Fae experience is awfully reminiscent of WoW’s night-elf newbie experience. I simply boggle at the choice of Fae, I can’t help but wonder if some of the people who left SoE recently weren’t partly motivated by some of the background story behind how the Fae were chosen. But if we had Elves in G.Fay, I think The Eye Of Blizzard might have turned its legal gaze upon Greater Aldras, AHEM, Faydark.
Although I will definitely be playing for a good long while, don’t get all excited and rush to join us on Befallen. After this weekend I will be picking up WWIIOL again and spending more time back on the front lines. Understand that I am still, first and foremost, a WWIIOL crack whore (and now dealer, muahaha). I visit other MMOs all the time. EQ2, however, is the other game I play.