In this week's Tattered Notebook, I'll consider how merging tokens, towns, classes, gods, guild halls and more could benefit EQII. Join me past the cut!
I'm happy SOE merged Battleground tokens, and I'm also glad the team moved all currency to a separate area, but can't we consolidate these things a bit more? We have Void Shards, Marks of Manaar, Seals of Arad, Epic Tokens of E'ci, City Tokens, Elemental Tokens, and several other types of currency from world events or holidays. Can't we get a few of these consolidated, or at least have an in-game currency exchange NPC that would, say, give one Seal of Arad for 10 Marks?
The urban sprawl kills me. It's been six years now. The Baubleshire, Castleview Hamlet, Starcrest Commune, Big Bend, Scale Yard, Willow Wood -- do we really need a separate zone for every one of the original races in the game? I remember that, in the early days, doing the little tasks and quests in the hometowns was the best (and safest) way to level up to around 7. But that was back when getting to level 7 actually took more time than it takes to sneeze. Furthermore, a lot of the races have newer and better cities they claim as home. Elves have Kelethin again, Barbarians have New Halas, Dark Elves have Neriak, and Gnomes have the Tiger Pit on Kerra Isle. I kid, but one can dream, right?
One of the best changes in game was when SOE revamped travel and let you get to Qeynos and Freeport without having to cross through three or four little racial hamlets. I long for the day when we have our own Cataclysm and EQII's version of Deathwing levels each of these areas. Qeynos and Freeport are more than enough, thanks.
Twenty-four classes for 24 raid slots? Initially, having distinct factions in Qeynos and Freeport limited the number of available classes to choose from. But when that was relaxed, it actually made raiding a logistical nightmare, because now there were as many classes available as there were raid slots. The sheer number of choices makes class balance nearly impossible and invariably leads to some classes stuck carrying the title of "not necessary" each expansion. At the very least, fighters should be pared down a bit, because there will never be a need for six tanks on a raid unless it's specifically scripted into a fight.
Why do good races get all the nice healing deity buffs while evil races get all the DPS-friendly ones? Is it really necessary to separate deities into two choices and limit players? I'd love to see all deities get merged into one pool, so that players can select from every choice in the game. I know someone will say that a Dark Elf shouldn't be able to select Tunare for a deity, but is that any more unusual than a Froglok choosing Brell Serillis? Besides, I think all logic went out the window the day Gnome Monks were offered as a choice to players.
We've got 90 levels already, and that will only get larger. I know the leveling process has been shortened up quite a bit, but it still takes a long time for a new player to catch up to the rest of the server. I propose we merge a few tiers of levels. Heck, that's better than paying for levels isn't it? And while we're on the subject of grinding levels...
Reaching 250 AAs is much slower than reaching level 90, and unfortunately, it means players can actually end up outpacing their AAs. It's so bad that players who roll alts are actually level-locking early on to grind out AA before continuing the climb to 90, because it's painfully slow once you're level-capped.
Calling this stuff treasure doesn't make it so. Just call it "merchant fodder" and be done with it. For the time it must take to individually name each of these "valuable" items that drop, the only thing it accomplishes is to confuse every single new player, who will always end up asking at some point, "What's this looted curiosity treasure for?" A wave of "sell it" messages always ensues. The only person who ever cared about any of this stuff was my old guildmate, Faunis, who carried thousands of unique items around with him just so he could link them as the punchline to a bad pun.
Tier three guild halls
I love my guild hall. It's gorgeous, and I'm so proud of all the work that our guild did to buy it. But soon after we made the move and set about decorating it, we discovered that it was just too big. Rooms became so laggy that players would literally get stuck in the guild hall and repeatedly crash. We ended up having to remove a lot of items, which now means that a large percentage of the guild hall (mainly the rooms upstairs and in back) are sparsely decorated, if at all. There are times when I actually miss our old Tier two guild hall, because it seemed to be the just the right size for our needs and for the amenities that we use.
Spells and combat arts
I find it a bit better these days playing a healer, but when I was playing a Swashbuckler, I was overwhelmed at the sheer number of different things I had to click while in combat. It got to the point that I was so focused on mashing my multiple rows of hotbars, I could hardly watch the actual fight at all. It makes me long for the days of EverQuest when you had a limited number of slots for spell gems, and it was up to you to decide which ones you wanted to be able to use.
We don't need nearly as many choices as we have for small races. I say get rid of Gnomes. Let them play Halflings, or even more appropriate -- Ratongas. We could rename them Gnometongas.
On a serious note, if you have any questions about the upcoming mergers, Massively recently highlighted a few helpful links that provide answers. Good luck to everyone, and welcome to those arriving on a new server!
From the snow-capped mountains of New Halas to the mysterious waters of the Vasty Deep, Karen Bryan explores the lands of Norrath to share her tales of adventure. Armed with just a scimitar, a quill, and a dented iron stein, she reports on all the latest news from EverQuest II in her weekly column, The Tattered Notebook. Send feedback or elven spirits to firstname.lastname@example.org.