Mounting pictures

Some people are great at taking screenshots, and I’m not one of them. For starters, while all the important moments go by with me saying “Yay!” in my chair, the last thing I ever remember to do is to hit the screenie key — I therefore have quite a few memories, but very few mementoes. Secondly, when I do remember to take them, they usually end up looking weird rather than “Oh my, I must play this game, that looks fabulous!” My poor warden is supposed to be flex-emoting in an amusing way, below… not sniffing to make sure she doesn’t need a shower, though I can understand how the viewer might be confused.


I do have a few nice  game landscapes, many of which I’ll cycle through as desktop wallpapers… And this may be part of the problem. I really enjoy landscapes and on the rare occasions when I do real photography (not often right now, camera ist kaput) landscapes and plants and things tend to be subjects I vastly prefer. People… meh. Maybe I was subjected to one too many studio tortures as a kid, maybe I’m just a curmudgeon, but I detest being photographed, and thus I’m not usually too keen to photograph others — even in games.

It occurs a little more regularly to me now, because sometimes I think “hey, I could post about this!” or “hey, this would make a decent pic for the blog!” — but I’m not practiced enough yet (or quite possibly, lack the general artistic skill) to make full use of those inspirations. I also suspect a fancy border thingy would help the pix I do post here, but that would mean… *shudder*… using PhotoChop — well, in my case the Gimp, because I’m too cheap to shell out for the big PS. I am just good enough at image manipulation to make complete hashes of them, though I suspect even I could manage to add some artistic framing doohickeys. However, if you routinely take stunning and apropos screenies of moments you’ll never forget, feel free to leave advice!


(Phallic monuments? I’m sure I don’t know what you mean. But see?! If I’d looked properly, I’d have reframed the screenie. As it is, I’m staring at that on my desktop these days and wondering if I should book myself in with a Freudian shrink…)

In other news, I’ve been thinking about mudflation in the last few weeks, since returning to “mature” games always forces one to confront how prices have shot up since the last time one played. Back in the EQ2 day, I had 20-ish plat and while I wasn’t stinking rich, I wasn’t too badly off. Now, that 20 plat is just enough to make maitre d’s laugh at me when I walk into Qeynos restaurants (so at least they’re acknowledging my existence), but not enough to get me seated. Some things are, surprisingly, much cheaper than they used to be — many basic crafted items are, because most people have the high level crafters they need and most of the population is high level anyway and because, as far as I can tell, crafting still remains an adventurers’ hobby that’s funded by adventuring, and not by actually trying to make a living from what one crafts. (There are of course quite a few exceptions, but even in a craft-heavy game like EQ2, it’s fairly evident that adventuring remains the great economic wheel-greaser.) And some things, conversely, are so stupidly overpriced that I have to wonder at our collective idiocy in these games.

Transmuting has been introduced as a secondary tradeskill since I left and, like enchanting in WoW, it requires items of a certain quality to be deconstructed in order to provide materials for making other stuff. This means that dropped loot of the right profile (“treasured”) is ludicrously overpriced, whereas crafted goods (which aren’t adequate for transmuting unless they’re made with rare resources) remain free of the hike. EQ2 combat arts and spells need to be upgraded, and one way to do that is via drop-loot books… which can be transmuted. So the apprentice IV version of a spell (crafted) is likely to cost you a few silver now, while the Adept I version (dropped, transmutable) will cost you at least 10 times as much — and trust me, the improvement to the skill between one version and the next does not justify the price tag.

It’s not so bad if you understand the underlying reasons for the ways in which prices evolve over time, but for new players — and there are some — it has to be quite baffling. That said, mudflation in EQ2 has been nowhere near as bad as that I saw when I returned to SWG, where prices had risen in truly ridiculous ways: stuff that used to cost 4,000 credits now costs 4,000,000 in some cases, and having a billion credits barely entitles you to a chair by the kitchen (at that same snooty-maitre’d restaurant, keep up with the metaphor over there in the back!).

What makes things difficult for the rare new player is, of course, that coin generation hasn’t changed much in-game, and so it can be pretty hard to figure out why level-appropriate gear costs 10 gold per piece when NewPlayer0002 is being paid 3 silver per completed quest. These days, being skilled at reading auction houses, forecasting trends and jumping on hot-item bandwagons seems to be as important as knowing how to cleave a kobold in half. 

What’s really getting to me, however, is run speed. There was a time, what I’ll call the PJ era (Pre-Journeyman’s cloak), when a +20% run speed was really quite adequate, and +40 was definitely like owning a Jaguar. Now, +40 is laughed at and a horse is totally 2005 — bears, warthogs, rhinos, and giant squid (for all I know) are where it’s at in the mount stakes. If it isn’t +60 AND shooting flames out of its ass, it’s just not a mount these days, honey. OR there’s the Journeyman’s cloak, which all new accounts (I think? created a certain way? anyway, it’s not hard to get) receive, and which provides a base +25% run speed. I have no idea if it stacks with a mount, because it does stack with class runspeed buffs, so my level 8 newbs are faster than my level 80 provisioner on her 9 platinum horse. That, as horsey people say, chaps my ass — to the extent that I wish all my old accountees had access to the cloak. My poor ranger, with her +16, just seemed to be running through treacle the other day, and we all know how I am with runspeed.

All is not lost, however. As long as I can figure out what sells these days ( transmuting stuff and collection stuff, basically), making the plat to buy mounts for my poor old ladies shouldn’t be too diffcult. And then, J-cloak or no, they can at least travel in speed, if not in the latest flame-shooting, strange-animal based style.

13 thoughts on “Mounting pictures

  1. Hee, it’s funny we both ended up writing about the same sort of thing on the same day.

    I know I never got off the ground with EQ2 because my character’s spells always missed (it was a coercer I think) and from talking to people in game, I gathered there was some item I coulud buy to upgrade the spells but it all seemed so very very complicated that I gave up and probably couldn’t have afforded it anyway.

    It felt like a lot of complexity to throw at a new player.

  2. The cloak is exclusive to the Recruit a friend program, and I’m shocked that it stacks with anything given that it isn’t available in game to existing players. Though it does take up your cloak slot, I’m not willing to take the thing off to wear something that has stats.

    As an actual EQ2 noob, I haven’t had too much trouble with the economy. Many things that I’d want to buy are expensive, but crafting rares are equally valuable. As long as I keep up with my harvesting, I am able to outfit myself (handcrafted gear, App4 or self-crafted Adept 3 spells) and run at a modest profit.

  3. I almost re-subbed to this game last night but then I remembered … damn, I forgot what I remembered but I don’t think it was happy thoughts.


  4. I’ve been very comfortable with the money end of things so far, although the boxes, bags and gear you’ve given me are partially responsible for that.

    But the ‘rare’ gathering drops, even for 1-9 crafting, sell for 3-10g. A few of those mean that I have 50-odd gold with no real effort, and I reckon it’ll be no trouble to keep that rolling.

  5. “If it isn’t +60 AND shooting flames out of its ass, it’s just not a mount these days, honey.”


    As someone who started EQ2 last year knowing it was an older game, the economy was a point of concern. I’ve found that alot of inflation in any game froms from people wanting to twink. In EQ, items level 30+ often sell for far less than items level 20 and under! High level players are catering to each others alts because that is what is most profitable to them.

    Its not as bad in EQ2 though as some others. I got enough skill books drops that people would pay for that I could generally afford my own upgrades and the occasional piece of furniture (/me smitten with EQ2’s housing system).

  6. Meh. The fastest mount I have is the old 45% warg for my SK and even that’s only becuz when I 1st got it I liked the idea of an SK on a warg. Most of my toons still use the 40% flying carpet you quest at level 47. And I still dismount to fight. Hate those awkward mounted animations. . . . .

    Seriously… 40% is plenty fast overall, what with nearly every zone having horses or carpets or teleporters anymore, it’s not like you’re ever that far from where you’re trying to go. I’ve never been able to justify the plat-sink that the mounts are.

  7. Tangentially, as a fellow with extensive Photoshop experience, it’s possible to do a LOT with a cheap older Photoshop Elements. I love my $20 Elements at home, and use it more than my $200 Painter. I did try GIMP, but to me, it’s worth the $20 for PSElements. It saves me time *and* GIMPy headaches.

    1. Oh, and you’ve seen my MiniPortfolio over on my blog. There’s a link there to a Photoshop tutorial for character painting. I know a few tricks when it comes to visuals (it’s my career, after all), so if you have some specific questions or ideas in mind, I might be able to help. 😉

  8. It never even occurred to me to get a screenshot 😀 how could I have missed this potentially fun activity.
    Will redeem myself immediately.

  9. I also prefer landscapes for wallpapers, rarely photos of persons.

    I recently had Rembrandt’s Night Watch and The Lady of Shalott by Waterhouse as Wallpapers, but in these pictures the scenery is about as important to the overall impression as the persons.

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