Window on the (game) world

As everyone knows — well okay, the three or four people who have heard me rant about it before — I’m a UI Nazi. Seriously. I’m not just concerned with UIs, or mildly interested in them, or even rabidly interested in them. If I can’t make the UI do what I want in a game, chances are I’ll eventually stop playing that game. That’s a hard theory to test though, since the games I’ve played that have had awful UIs were also pretty awful games generally.

Even when they’re reasonably well designed, UIs come out of the box looking pretty crap because they have to suit the lowest common denominator, or in this case screen resolution. And one thing even the best-designed UIs out there love to do (and I can’t name any good UIs off the top of my head, just a few decent ones) is waste visual space with unnecessary scrollwork, decoration, or just plain empty UI-element space.

EQ2 is no exception. When I saw Werit’s otherwise very entertaining video of his EQ2 heritage quest experiences, I couldn’t help cringeing at his UI. It’s not his fault, of course, it’s how the game presents it to you — and that’s after some customisation on Werit’s part. But now I understand that whenever I thought he was intentionally ignoring me in game, he was just probably not seeing the chat, because 17 million other chats were spamming to one chat window. (Which also kept fading — what is it with fading windows? Is it an FPS thing? I detest that with a passion. The last window I will ever want fading away is chat, because 99% of the game’s information — let alone the minor aspect of its bloody social side — is echoed in chat.)

And now Syp is also trying EQ2. My prediction is that it won’t stick for him — the game is too huge to adequately try out in a few weeks, which may sound like a good thing but has actually become a rather large barrier to getting any kind of new players. It can take several tries to find your EQ2 legs, and in my opinion the freaky, highly uncanny-valley, brown-dominated art style really doesn’t help there. (There are some gorgeous views and great textures in EQ2, but the art style is still weird no matter how you spin it.)

Part of what puts players off, I’m sure, is the yucketty (technical term), unwieldy, and apparently intractable UI. When you first log in, there are boxes and hotbars and crap knows what else all over the place — you’d think at the very least that, by now, there might be some kind of a default layout that loads based on the screen rez you’ve chosen in the game. Well, a better default layout, I mean. One where all the windows aren’t squished together in the middle. Some of the windows are opaque, some are not, and some fade when you’re not looking. It’s a mess, and it’s unusable until you’ve at least dragged a few elements here and there on your screen. That’s bad: you should have something usable right out of the box, even if it’s fugly; this is fugly and useless.

Fortunately, as Syp points out, you can load UI settings from other characters. They’re just text files, so you can even load settings from other people’s characters if they let you have that file. For my Test server characters, who occupy an EQ2 folder of their own, I just copied over my main character’s settings from the live EQ2 folder. Easy as pie — once it’s set up.

The first thing I do in any game is mess with the UI, and I’m constantly tweaking and messing some more. I’m using a couple dozen UI mods (all sourced from EQ2interface), and 90% of those are designed to replace basic UI elements like bag windows, hotbars, equipment windows and the quest journal. A couple of them extent the functionality of elements like the broker. I only have one mod that actually does anything in the strictest sense of the word, and all it does is allow me to cast heals and cures on groupmates without having to untarget, target them, then retarget whatever it was; given the number of debuffs that get flung around in EQ2, this is really handy though it’s not actually essential.

As I said I’m always tinkering with my layout, trying to find the perfect balance between being able to see lots of game info when I need it while still keeping as much screen space free as I can. When I see WoW-screenies that show a teeny-tiny visible window surrounded by scads of group info, raid info, DPS meters and crap knows what else people need to see in WoW I always shudder and wonder how people manage. Yes, I need my UI elements, but I also need to see the game. Most of them are worth looking at.

So here’s Fairuza’s more-or-less current UI layout. If you click through you can see it full-size, which for me is 1920×1200. After years of cramped screens, being able to have loads of stuff showing and still see lots of the game is a wonderful luxury.

Fair’s hotbars are in a constant state of flux, because the higher she levels the more stuff she has to throw on there, and I’m still looking for the most intuitive arrangement for me. The one where in the heat of battle I’m not going “OcrapOcrap where’s my healing spells argh!” but can still access her damage spells because nuking is what Fair does (yeah, she’s a healer, but a nuking healer. Best of both worlds, right?!) And because I craft and harvest a lot, I’ve also got hotbars with recipes (for doing crafting writs), hotbars with bag shortcuts, hotbars with gear-swapping macros, hotbars with pets, etc. etc. etc.

Targeting stuff is as close to the middle of the screen as I can get it without them being on top of the character. Lots of people like having stuff on top of (or very near) the character, but I can’t stand that, so this is my compromise. Remember, I don’t raid — I don’t usually see particularly urgent combat situations, so this works for me.

And most of my UI is taken up with chat windows. EQ2 spams a LOT of chat and I like to be able to catch up on stuff without having to scroll for 18 miles to see it. So on one side I have main chat, showing xp stuff, guild chat, tells and the crafting channel, with tabs for combat, sub-channels and narrative spam (e.g. “You successfully counter Burn Your Eyebrows Off crafting event!”). On the other I have tabs for NPC tells — quest conversation logs, basically — loot (mostly to see what I’ve been harvesting) and skill increases. Some of those tabs are a bit redundant and I could probably mush skill increases in with other stuff, but I’ve got it set up that way because it makes things easy for me and because I can. It just takes a while to get everything juuuust right.

The main point of this post is that although the default UI in most MMOs is poo, you don’t have to put up it. Taking the time to set up an interface you’re happy with and can navigate rapidly will be amply repaid every time you log in.

And yes — if people want, I can set up a default 1920×1200 UI for people to use in EQ2. Because I’m a giving UI nazi. 😉

Whatever happened to EQ2?

A little while back I hit level 70 in EQ2, which currently has a level cap of 80, at least until February when the expansion comes out and it goes to 90. Yay!, I thought, I might actually one day have a character at max level in a game. Max adventuring level, that is — not something I do often, let me tell you.

As it turns out, I was probably wrong.

I don’t know what’s intended to happen in EQ2 when you hit the 70s, but I know what happened to me. I got hit in the face with a brick wall, repeatedly. One with experience debt. One where a kill takes 5 times as long as it did 3 levels ago, where critters hit 3 times as hard, and where sudden death lurks around every unexpected add corner.

I’ve gone from feeling entertainingly overpowered to feeling horribly overwhelmed, frustrated, and about this >< far from /ragequitting the whole game. Furies — a sort of nuking healer hybrid — aren’t weak in EQ2, not by a long shot, and for once I feel confident in saying that anyone who finds them weak isn’t playing them right. Because if I can play one and do really well, then anyone with a modicum of actual adventuring skill can too. So, yeah, it’s not because I’m playing a weak class. It’s not because I don’t know my class — I’m not raiding leet, sure, but I’ve been playing this gal for a few years and I do have a fair handle on what she can and can’t do.

Like I said: I hit a lot less hard (aka critters have more health), they hit a lot harder, and I’ve gone from laughing maniacally at the devastation I was wreaking to sobbing sadly as I die, yet again, when a single add comes up and stunlocks me into oblivion. One stunlocking (or 30% HP–in-one-blow-dealing) mob at a time I can just about deal with. Two, apparently, spells x-p-d-e-b-t. Which, of course, takes much longer than it used to to work off.

I’ll admit, I’ve had a frustrating few game days. Unhappy with the idea that I’d have to kill 1,000 mobs to level I decided to mentor down a little and try some of my older quests. One of them took me into Solusek’s Eye, which is probably the coolest dungeon EVAR but is also a dungeon that spors dizzying views with instant death for the unwary mis-step. With my acrophobia that’s just not helpful at all; I’m at the stage where I can appreciate how neat the design is, but not yet at the stage where I can caper around on transparent walkways above molten hot mag-ma without feeling like I’m going to upchuck Christmas dinner. Unsure how to get from A to B, visible below me but unreachable, I eventually gave up.

A day later I unwittingly ended up in exactly the same place and trying to get to pretty much the same destination, only for another quest. Got there, looked again at the ramps I couldn’t reach and at the transparent stuff I’d have to run around on to figure it out, and went home. This, mind you, after 4 hours of doing the previous stages of that quest.

Like I said, my gaming world is currently made up of brick walls, and I have two black eyes and a nose bent out of shape to prove it.

Tried a third quest — also ended up in Solusek’s Eye. In the space of a week, Lavastorm has gone from one of my favourite zones to being a place I’ll quite happily never visit again, thank you very much. Tried a couple of quests in Sinking Sands instead, for a change of pace, but after 40 undead kills without a single drop I needed for a quest, I gave that up too. I may be old-school, but I despise the old-school kill rates. Don’t waste my time.

So, willy-nilly, I end up back in my level-appropriate content where, in the space of an hour, I’ve died 4 times, which is 4 times more than I’ve died in the past 15 levels or so. And I’ve managed about 4% of level.

This is not fun. If it continues to be not fun, I’ll stop giving them my money. It’s that simple.

Yes, I’m whining somewhat. Frustration is part of gaming and venting is part of my blogging. If you don’t like it, go read something else.

In fact, I do know what happened: past 70, you’re supposed to be doing group content and working your way into raiding. I guess that makes this look like the tired old soloer’s complaint, but that’s not really it either. I’ve never objected to group content and I’ve never asked for group-content rewards. What I’m objecting to is not an increase in difficulty but rather the excessive increase in everything. Stuff is harder to do and takes longer and has very rapidly become a mind-numbing grind, because you have to do stuff over and over and over again to get a fraction of the progress you used to for the same amount of time and effort. It’s excessive.

And I’m only at level 73. I dread to think what 74-80 are going to be like, assuming I have the energy to try to get there. Right now, that’s not a given.

Launch Daze

I’ve finally realised that I’ve outgrown wanting to be around for launch days — be they for entire MMOs or just for events in said MMOs. Most of the time launch day is laggy or buggy, which latter will generally mean the servers get taken down for some emergency hotfixes, which means you either get to stand around lagging or wait around to get back online.

Most of the time playing on launch day is more waiting than playing, and more irritating than fun.

I’m sure there are lots of people out there who will tell me that nothing beats the excitement and the shiny-new, still wet with dev sweat smell. Well, not for me. I’m misanthropic enough to dislike the crowds of ravening fans, be they pixellated or standing in the street with me. Waiting in line for a movie to open? So not me. Waiting in line to get a book on launch day? Please. I wasn’t there when A Christmas Carol was published and it’s still a cracking good story.

It’ll all still be there tomorrow. It’s not as impossible to avoid spoilers as people seem to think (especially since I don’t have a cellphone umbilical, which means I really can get away from the rest of the world), and most spoilers aren’t much of a problem anyway. And you know what? It’ll taste just as good tomorrow, too.

In the meantime, those of you who love the crush and bother of such things can rest assured you’re one step closer to the front of the line since I’m not in it. Me, I’m going to check out EQ2’s new Frostfell event. It launched yesterday (or the day before, I forget) and should be both stable and somewhat less hysterical now.

And here, have some dragon screenies for lagniappe. I took em, you might as well see em!

Dragon in Lavastorm
Tunare quest dragon - "Whaddaya mean, you don't speak wood elf?!"
Dragon motif in Everfrost
Being John Scroogeovich

En Garde!

No, not the play-by-mail game of the 80s and 90s (and if you know what I’m talking about, many props!). Rather, Syp’s thrown down the gauntlet to EQ2 players to give him 5 ways in which EQ2 is better than WoW. Since both games launched at almost the same time 5 years ago, it’s a good challenge.

I’m not generally a fan of numbered lists but this one does interest me, not in any spirit of WoW-bashing but more to examine why I’ve spent more time in EQ2 than in any other game since Asheron’s Call, my first MMO. We originally played it for a year in 2005-2006, then left for greener pastures. I don’t recall wanting to leave the game as such, I think it was more the lure of greener, shinier things “over there” — including various betas like Vanguard. I returned to EQ2 in April this year and have been playing it consistently ever since. The only game that’s lured me away for any length of time has been Dragon Age, and even that is on hold until I decide I’m willing to drag Kaitou’s bored backside through the end of the Fade section.

For the benefit of those new to this blog, you need to know the following about my playstyle to understand how I judge games: I am a crafter who adventures as a hobby; if it’s shiny, it must be picked up, no matter the danger; if it’s harvestable, ditto. I avoid raid-type stuff at all costs, primarily because I’m not motivated by the item-treadmill reward such raids offer, but also because I find them (much like other people view crafting) to be a rather tedious waste of time better spent doing something else. The only exceptions to my item-disinterest include anything that can be used to decorate a house or anything silly that can be used to decorate a player.

Snow White and the Shard of Love (I'm the dwarf on the far right)

So, the list, per Ysh.

1. Crafting. While the process itself is as repetitive and ultimately tedious (for many) as in any other MMO, the “sphere” of crafting, to intentionally borrow from Vanguard, really is independent from adventuring in EQ2. You don’t need to be a level 50 adventurer in order to be a level anything crafter, which was something that turned me off WoW both times I’ve played it. Crafting is the core of my gameplay, not the side-dish. There are many other things that fit into this category, like the plethora of crafter quests that are constantly being added to, that make EQ2 one of the few games that genuinely understand and cater to the crafting playerbase — not the adventuring playerbase that also happens to craft when they can’t get a group.

2. Guild Halls. Quite a few games have guild halls now, but not many of them offer the communal amenities EQ2’s guilds & halls can offer to their guild-based communities. Aside from being very grand buildings with tons of decoration options, guild halls can offer bankers, brokers (think auction house), crafting stations, adventuring/crafting writ givers, and a ton of other stuff that’s normally found in the outside world. The downside is that guild halls have become the social hubs of the game, emptying out city areas that were already underpopulated due to the weird partitioned way in which the two primary capital cities were originally designed. On the other hand, however, most guild halls are at least partly open to the public which means they can become genuine alternative meeting places.

3. Housing. Most other EQ2 players will mention this, I suspect, because it’s one of the most glaring lacks in WoW. If you like housing and you’re playing WoW, you’re SOL, to pile on the TLAs. Aside from the fact that it’s at least offered in EQ2, it also comes in eleventy-zillion different flavours — each city has its own distinct housing look and several different room-counts and layouts to choose from. In Freeport and Qeynos houses you can actually change the texture of walls, floors and ceilings. Furniture can be dropped freeform and moved as you please — there’s no x-axis rotation (as there is now in SWG), but you can resize, move stuff up/down, and rotate on at least one axis, all of which is a lot better than simply being given hooks to hang things on, as in LOTRO. (As an aside, that LOTRO system is one Turbine used in Asheron’s Call housing back in 2001 — time for a change, guys!)

4. Mentoring. Unlike many games, WoW still doesn’t have a system to allow players of disparate levels to play together. That said, since WoW’s focus is now entirely on getting people to max level as fast as possible, it would be silly for them to include any such system, but that speaks to a fundamental difference between the two. EQ2’s levelling used to be really slow, compared to WoW, even back in the vanilla days; the curve has been flattened quite a bit in the intervening five years, but EQ2’s motto is not, and hopefully never will be, “The Game Begins at 80.” This always jarred me in WoW, was one of the things (along with … well, #1-3 above) that turned me off the game, and is I think one of the major contributors to the bad side of raid-based gaming — you know, elitist jerks and gear snobs. (Who are starting to come out of the woodwork in EQ2 as it starts to focus more and more on raiding. Oh, EQ2, step off this path before you become Brown-WoW!) Now in EQ2 you can mentor yourself down for no reason other than that you want to be a lower level again for a while, which reopens up a ton of previously greyed-out content — and trust me, there’s a LOT of content in EQ2.

5. It’s not a Theme Park. It’s not entirely a sandbox either, but one of the things many people who try EQ2 often end up saying is “I didn’t know what to do or where to start!” This is a frequent sandbox-type issue, and actually EQ2 has become a little friendlier to new players over the years, but it certainly doesn’t put you on rails and send you out along the Ride To 80, even today. For the type of player I am this is a definite plus rather than a weakness, because once you get past that head-spinning stage you end up faced with tons of possibilities whenever you log on. It doesn’t always come down to the only choice being adventuring — and I know that’s not the only choice in WoW, but since so much of everything is tied to one’s adventuring level and since the game is by design slanted towards chomping through content, then adventuring and chomping through content sort of end up being most people’s default choice. Fighting stuff is very rarely my activity of choice in any game, and in EQ2 there’s still always more to do than I have time to do it in — which is exactly what I want from an MMO.

I could mention guilds as levellable entities, collections, appearance slots (so that you don’t have to look quite as ridiculous as you do in WoW), art style (it’s on the brown extreme but it’s learning to be more chromatic)… but I won’t, since we only get 5 slots. Go add your own to the comments here or to Syp’s.

Other bloggers to have joined this meme-in-the-making include Stropp, whom I may have had a hand in luring to EQ2 in the first place.  /halo. See also this Elder Game article kindly linked to by one of Syp’s commenters, since it’s an oldish post; good read!

Last but not least, Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating it today in the US.

Events, schmevents!

Or: Ghosties and ghoulies and long-leggity beasties.

I’m not usually a huge fan of events in MMOs. Let me qualify that: I used to be, and then somehow they got to be more of a chore than anything else. Much anticipated, much hyped within a game’s community, but then they roll around and you have to do eleventy-zillion things before zomg-time-runs-out!!11oneone! And somehow, imperceptibly, you slide from having fun at game events to feeling like you have to cover every last piece of an event with every damn alt (which for someone like me is a lot of alts) or you’re not getting your money’s worth, or your achievements’ worth, or whatever it is.

Happily, EQ2 is breaking that mould for me somewhat. For one thing, the events in EQ2 are either nice and long, or short and sweet but recurring. As an example, this year’s Hallow– wait, Nights of the Dead celebration runs from October 21st to something like November 9th; that’s almost three weeks to get your ghoul on which means that there is absolutely no hurry. Even the slackerishest slacker, like me, can manage to leisurely stroll at least ONE character through that in that kind of time-frame. As for the short-sweet-recurring ones, those would include the monthly Moonlight Enchantments event, which contains five different fairy-themed mushroom rings that you can visit with any or all of your characters, one at a time. Those only last something like 48 hours, if that, but if you don’t get there this month there’s always next month.

NotD app armourWhat’s even better about both of these events is that they offer kickass fluff rewards. (There might be useful rewards as part of the Nights of the Dead thing too, but that kind of stuff doesn’t tend to stick in my mind.) The Moonlight thingies let you collect tokens that you can use to buy a vast range of faerie/nature themed housing items, from grassy squares to full-size trees to pixie plushies, not forgetting various kinds of temporary mounts like leaf-strewn magic carpets or unicorns. The Halloween event includes a set of appearance-only armor, collection shinies that fight back, various housing items and all manner of other crafted, quest-rewarded, looted and clicked goodies.

Since it’s all fluff I feel no particular push to do them. I am doing them on various characters and I’m enjoying the events, but I don’t have this feeling that if I don’t run everyone through it, or run at least one person through everything, that I’ll be missing out. people_china_zIf there are any particular achievements linked to these events (other than the “Take part in seasonal events!” one) I’m not aware of them, which is just as well. There’s nothing quite as good for damping my enthusiasm than to have something be almost nothing but achievement-chasing — which was one of the things I really disliked about my brief return to WoW at the end of last year. That and the fact that suddenly the whole world and her dog was doing whatever event was going on at that time. Sure, people should do them and it’s fun to see people doing events alongside you, but when it’s the equivalent of rush hour at the beach I just end up wanting to pack up my plastic shovel and go home.

Not content to have had two events running concurrently, EQ2 has thrown in a few more for good measure. There’s the “find out what happened to that nice Erollisi goddess woman” event thingy, which is ooookay. The Plane of Love zone at the end might be fun, but I’ve only putzed around in it long enough to know that I was badly outclassed trying to be in there on my own; the quests that led up to that plane I found to be, frankly, extremely tedious, even if they did try to tell a story. For one thing the story was presented in massive chunks of NPC exposition, which is never the best way to present any kind of lore, and the quests themselves were of the run-back-and-forth across 8 zones variety that I’ve already railed about in the past. Pillar-to-post quest design is lazy lazy lazy, and if your story requires some kind of constant return to the quest giver then you should at least try to mix things up a bit so you’re not just doing A–>B–>A–>C–>A–>D–>A and so on. That’s just plain boring. All the same, even that event offers some fun but not must-have fluff/housing thingies, so you can be sure I’ll find a way to get through that zone someday.

Aside from all that eventy goodness, there’s something going on with the teleport spires that dot the Norrathian landscape, which is a nice nostalgic shout-out to those of us involved in the first spire-rebuild event some years ago. That one’s very quiet, but it’s still there and I’ve done a few repeating quests to earn some tokens to… buy more fluff items!

In any event (see whut I did thar?), the point is I can miss these things if they don’t appeal. I don’t think games should ever, ever,EVER hand out stuff that’s in any way important at these events, so that people don’t end up thinking they have to do them. Having to do a game event is like having to go to work for the holidays when you’d rather be on a beach in Maui — it doesn’t exactly fill a player with fuzzy feelings and enthusiasm. And yeah, I know, nobody is actually holding a knife to anyone’s throat in a game but if you make a reward required enough (by other stuff, by peer pressure, whatever) then you really are making something as close to compulsory as MMOs get.

So hand out fluff or hand out nothing — give out temporary rewards that make people laugh, give out decorations and appearance items and whatever else you can think of, as long as it’s more cool than important to have — that’s all fine by me. But most of all, make sure your events are FUN. Shockingly enough, that seems to be getting forgotten a lot of late.

Gotta go, I want to run the Haunted Mansion one more time! Got another vampire mirror to get!

EQ2 — Screenshottery

I don’t take nearly as many screenshots in games as I’d like to — just like in real life, I rarely remember that I have a camera available to document the great, funny or aesthetic moments. Just like in real life, I’m usually too busy experiencing said moments to actually take a picture. Still, I do hit that PrtScn button now and then, and now and then I have to clear out my screenie folders, which means I actually look at the screenshots I took. Some of them are fun, so I’m going to share them.

Many of them are in 1920×1200 if you click through.

The first two are from this year’s Halloween — or Night of the Dead — event, in the basement of the Haunted Mansion. It’s my first time doing this event and it was creepy fun.

That silhouette looks strangely like me...
That silhouette looks strangely like me...
Jeez, I'm crabby when I'm waking up
Jeez I'm crabby when I'm waking up

Some random landscape shots…

Jungly goodness in the Feerott
Jungly goodness in the Feerott
Dragon skelly goodness in Lavastorm
Dragon skelly goodness in Lavastorm
Looking up in the Naiad cave (Moonlight event)
Looking up in the Naiad cave (Moonlight event)
Entrance to Neriak. Fangs for visiting!
Entrance to Neriak. Fangs for visiting!
Dawn over Maj'dul... plus gnomish contraptions
Dawn over Maj'dul... plus gnomish contraptions

Hopefully when I get around to doing the Night of the Dead Maze instance, I’ll remember to take some pix. In the meantime, this should counterbalance yesterday’s 13 pounds of pure verbiage.

* * *

EDIT — I almost didn’t add this one, since it will only strengthen EQ2’s image as the Land of Brown, but it’s still fun. The hanging scarecrow pose is the equivalent of sitting when you’re not in a silly costume.

Hangin' with my crafting homies
Hangin' with my crafting homies

EQ2 Crafting, Part IV: Tips and Tricks

This is likely to be the penultimate installment in the series, with the last article covering harvesting. Previous articles:

Part I — Generalities

Part II — Getting ready to Make Stuff

Part III — The Crafting Process

Today’s article is a catch-all for what I may have forgotten to mention in previous articles, and also for what others mentioned in their comments, many of which were extremely useful. Thanks & blanket credit are due to all those who weighed in. Continue reading

EQ2 – 560 levels of leet

So, despite being burdened by parental visitation, I did manage to get my last character on Account 1 to 80 crafting the other day — 80 is currently max level in EQ2, though that’s only going to last till next Spring or whenever the next expansion comes out.

Before anyone accuses me of achieverism, I should point out that all the characters on that account were created in 2005, and were in fact somewhere around level 30-50 crafting when we stopped playing in 2006 (a couple were even higher). So 7 level 80 characters in 4 years is probably about right for my slackerish ass.

It was sort of a milestone, but I never felt compelled to get there other than to be able to make all the recipes I could get access to — or rather all the recipes I could get access to without a long-ass, chew-your-own-arm-off faction grind. I’ll eventually get most of them their epic thingy and their Master Crafter status, more to be useful to various friends and guilds than for the achievement itself.

And if you’re asking what next — well, there are 9 crafter classes in EQ2 (not counting the red-headed tinkering and transmuting step-children), and I’ve only got 7 chars on the old account, so I’m slowly working on the last two on the second account.

What keeps sort of boggling my mind is how I’ll get asked “But how can you bear to do that? It’s CRAFTING!? Clearly you don’t mind ultimate tedium and relentless grinding!” — By the same people who will stop at nothing to get all their adventuring characters maxed. Where, exactly, is the difference?

Sad fact is, if you get it you get it. If you don’t, then no amount of explaining on my part will convince you that the way I play is fun for me. And I’d better stop before this turns into another playstyle rant.


EQ2 “Shards of Destiny” Update Notes

snoopy_danceDowntime is scheduled from 6AM PDT to approximately 10AM (4 hours) — announcement here, and the patch notes are up here in the official forums. There’s an awful lot of notes there, so rather than copy and paste a ream of text (which I already did into Word so I could read the damn things more easily), I’m going to highlight the ones I find particularly interesting or exciting. So no, there won’t be much swooning over new raid content or stuff like that. Continue reading