The Tattered Notebook: Tips and tricks to start the new year in EQII

The Tattered Notebook Tips and tricks to start the new year in EQII
Hellllloooooo fellow Norrathians! It is I, MJ -- the intrepid explorer, with a penchant for lightning and fire. And am I excited to be here!

Right about now you may be noticing a slight change in authorship of your favorite EverQuest II column. You aren't seeing things; through a marvelous confluence of events (and no, I don't mean kidnapping Karen Bryan and locking her in a dank cell in Freeport!), I have the opportunity to share my love of this game with you alongside another Norrathian denizen, Jef Reahard. And any of you who have seen me gallivanting about EQII's many lands on Massively TV every EverQuest Two-sday can attest to the fact I really do love this game. So it is with no shortage of glee that I begin my first Tattered Notebook entry.

Feastday, Blossoming 7, of the year 3897

Throughout my most recent journeys, I have noticed that there is a good chunk of population that has either returned to the lands after a lengthy absence (not unlike yours truly a few years back) or is pretty new. For both groups, there are a number of little things that may be unknown or forgotten; heck, I've played for a long time and am still discovering these things! So today I am going to share with you a few of the tips and tricks I have learned for a smoother Norrathian life.

EverQuest II screenshot
Your inventory is overflowing!

I don't know about you guys, but I've actually gotten this message a few times, especially when emptying the guild harvesters or my personal gathering goblin. Then it is really a pain because those harvesters give you everything in small bundles, anywhere from one to 10 items at a time (just as if you harvested them yourself). That means you could be moving 80 bits of each crafting material literally one at a time from your overflow to your inventory, making sure to place it on the right stack in your bags -- a very time-consuming and annoying process.

I would spend more time than I wanted doing this, until I (re?)discovered this little trick! Right-click on the item in your overflow and select "move to inventory." It pops it over into the first available slot and automatically stacks all those resources for you. You still have to click on each individual bundle, but at least you don't have to click and drag! [Just a few days after this column was published, an "empty overflow" button was added, so one click can now move everything at once!] Better yet, be sure to clear your bags or drop one in the bank and get a new one before you empty personal or guild harvesters!

EverQuest II screenshotGetting organized

This next tip is all about getting organized and finding stuff when you need it. Like I do, you probably have a large assortment of collectables on hand for alts and guildmates, not to mention all of the heirloom items sitting around for alts to grow into. Then, there is all the furniture; all your homes can't store all the housing items you have collected! So how do you keep things organized so you can find what you need without spending your entire gaming session searching? Labels! For really getting your inventory and bank organized, nothing beats labeling your bags and boxes.

I have employed this trick for many many years, but I am surprised how many people don't know about it. When a storage receptacle is in either an inventory or bank slot (it wont work if it is placed in another storage item), open it and then right click on it, then choose bag options and fill in the first line with whatever label you want. Of course, for labeling to work, you actually have to put said items in the corresponding bag or box.

EverQuest II screenshot
Local channel begone!

A fairly recent addition to the game is the local voice chat channel. This allows folks who are in the same area -- most notably, a private house or guild hall -- to join a chat channel with everyone else present. No longer must people to be in groups (which are limited to six anyways) or in the same guild to share a channel, and it also removes the hassle of trying to catch and add everyone to a private chat channel. Sounds pretty nifty, right?

Well, it is -- if you want to be in that channel! For a while, I was getting frustrated because I would be in the middle of talking to a guildmate or groupmate when I had the nerve to enter a residence or the guild hall. Immediately, I'd be switched from whatever channel I was in to the local channel. I kept hearing folks mumble about this and asking for a fix, but I just dealt with switching channels back manually. However, whenever someone dropped, it usually meant people had to repeat themselves for a bit to catch whoever was dumped back up. Then someone shared this hint with my friend, who in turn shared it with me: You can end the auto-join or leave the local channel permanently!

There are two ways to go about this. The easiest is to use the voice chat UI bar and click options (looks like the wrench), hit the voice chat tab, then uncheck auto-join. You can also go through the EQII menu button and go to options > SOEmote > voice chat and uncheck the the third box to end auto-joining the local channel. In both cases, you can also uncheck "enable" to disable the local channel completely. Now, you have the power to decide what channels you join and when.

EverQuest II screenshotAn expected journey

Last but not least, I encourage folks to enjoy their EverQuest II journey. I can totally understand the folks who have been around forever and have 10-12 alts above level 90 not wanting to do the lower-level content again. In most cases, they've done it over and over and over. And over and over. But for anyone returning to the game after a long absence or for new players, may I please recommend you avoid and ignore the power-levelers. Even politely decline when your high-level friends want to just whip you through a few dungeons. Otherwise, you really miss out on the game.

There is a ton of content to experience, and even when you go at a normal pace, you level so fast you miss stuff. There are more quests with lore and stories than you can possibly get to (it is called EverQuest, after all!). You can miss entire zones even. Don't cheat yourself out of the experience, out of the chance to really get into the game. If you aren't drawn in as you go, why would you stick around later after you hit the endgame?

Besides that, few people actually like grouping with someone who is just learning his class at level 90. At that point, there are so many skills on your hotbar it will take forever to figure out how they all work, whereas learning each as you get it gives you a chance to better understand them. And before you argue that once you've played one or two classes, you've got it down pat, consider this: Even within the archetypes, classes can play very differently. For instance, just because you play one high-level healer well doesn't mean you will automatically play another high-level healer just as well. There are differences in the focus of each class, how the heals work, etc. One friend with a multitude of level 95 characters expressed how surprised he was trying to get the hang of a Defiler after being a raiding Inquisitor for so long.

Don't short yourself. You have the game, now enjoy it. Isn't that the whole point of gaming, to enjoy yourself?

EverQuest II is so big that it takes two authors to make sense of it all! Join Jef Reahard and MJ Guthrie as they explore Norrathian nooks and crannies from the Overrealm to Timorous Deep. Running every Saturday, The Tattered Notebook is your resource for all things EQII and EQNext -- and catch MJ every 'EverQuest Two-sday' on Massively TV!
This article was originally published on Massively.