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Hudson's Hideout

Ramblings of a MMO player and Miniature wargamer http://1angrygamer.blogspot.com

Author: pvthudson01

EQ1: One week back

Posted by pvthudson01 Thursday May 28 2009 at 11:58AM
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From my blog, this is a repost that I will post up later this weekend

http://hudshideout.com/blog

Well it would appear a terrible thing has happened. I have gone back to EQ1 full time it is official.

I will simply sum it up as I have tried since 2004 with no luck to get away from the memories of this game, the zones, the music, the playstyle and I just cannot do it.

Even coming back to EQ2 I sat there and said "Man this is cool but its NOT EQ!"

So this week, with my faithful guild co-officer in tow, I went back to Norrath 500 years ago and now I find myself logging into that more than EQ2. The reasons are simple. Everquest 1 has always and will always fit my playstyle.I can list the reasons and they are many, but a few are:

I don't like to be guided along on rails.

I don't like my epics or my content easy.

I don't like questing.

I want the freedom to move about where I want.

I want to be able to buff people or alts.

I want a fast interface and the ability to macro and make my own commands.

I want my graphics ok but not so over the top they ruin my play experience.

I want vast content.

I don't want instances.

I want people that KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

I want the ability to have NPC's in my group (something that makes Guild Wars so close yet so far).

In short, I want my old game back. EQ1 has changed a LOT. The death penatly is virtually a joke now. When you die you keep all your gear on you. They have mercenaries that in some cases play better than players. They have FREE guild lobbies. We made Titans of the Old Lore on Povar with TWO people. And we got a free guild lobby. Granted it doesn't have the "ooh's and ahh's" of an EQ2 Guild hall but so what. We just want a place to hang our heads at night, tradeskill and port around. We also get a bank and the ability to store tons of stuff. And that odd Guild Banner thing.

I don't care how dead old zones may be, I will just work up to the places where people are. I have over 500 zones to explore and I am way behind the new stuff, but I actually started over.

I own a 63 cleric, 39 shaman, 41 wizard, 39 mage, 28 beastlord, 27 berserker and 41 shadowknight but I am starting over as a enchanter. The reason for this is that no other game has the mechanics of EQ1. I like my combat hard, I like multiple agro'd fights, I like not being to outrun a bad pull and I like locking down mobs in combat as an enchanter. The coercer in EQ2 was just not the same. In EQ2 I still found little things I didn't like ONCE more in trying to go back. The zoning, the tier system, the lackluster abilities, the combat. Meh. I just cannot devote all my time in that game. Plus it was really really boring. No one talked to anyone and everyone solo'd and a few groups could be had but honestly you didn't need that content unless you were a completist.

Nope, not for me. EQ1 has changed and sure the interface is a bit out of date but its just what I like.

One thing I love still to this date is the spell system. You buy your spells, you memorize them and you setup your spell bar but man you only have a few slots. You have to go in prepared to have spells loaded you will use during those fights. I love the fact I can buff the hell out of lower level players. I like that I can have fear again crossing HUGE zones that have mobs wandering and that I can kite once more or root and scoot or even fear kite again.

I like that the bazaar is a simple pop up window with traders that stand around all day and give personality to the AH system. In my day, making a funny trader name for a character that stood on that all important and coveted corner spot was a fun experience. I still have my trader character too, a little halfling paladin who somehow got to level 20 named Taxxe Evaysion.

It has taken me a solid freaking week to come back to this game after testing the waters in EQ2 again. From remembering to download maps off of EQ Map Fiend to redoing my interface, my chat and combat spam windows, and adding my hotbars for pulling, mezzing and more it has been a chore but all worth it.

EQ1 has even added VOICE chat macros that you can use in game. Yes, actual voice macros that when pressed say things in game in a gruff barbarian voice or whatever your race may be. And everyone hears it too which is cool. I can click "AGREE" and my barbarian shaman will say "I AGREE!" in group guild or a tell and other players HEAR YOU. It is so cool and a feature that NO ONE talks about.

There is so much in EQ1 that I still think to this day, even given the fact that post 2004 whiney MMO players probably just wont get this game, that it is still the BEST MMO out there. Argue until you are blue in the face but when you realize the additions to the game in over 14 expansions and the steps they have taken to make is "easier" then you have a win win situation here.

Last night, I got my enchanter to level 5 and after playing around with my interface logged in my 39 shaman to show my friend around the Blightfire Moors. Soon enough I was disease DoT'ing big awesome looking tree mobs and doing what my shaman does best: solo'ing with DoT's and rooting and man it felt so good. The freedom to play the game the way I WANT TO. Go where I want, fight how I want and not be hindered by today's modern MMO conventions of no kiting, no grinding, no loot on grey mobs and more dumb conventions was a huge weight off my shoulders.

I buffed my buddy and logged my shaman out and off he went, feeling like a hero. You can buy Clarity potions now, healing potions, gate potions and can even dye your armor. All the things that used to make the game SO HARD (WAHHH CRY) have been eased up a little. Buffs still matter, people still group and things are still active you just need to know where to look. It is not PoK anymore, it is the Guild Hall where people hang out. Entire raid wipes have been removed with the ability to summon corpses. Sadly as the population dwindles I cannot help to think that I will never get back to my glory days. I am starting over from the first baby steps. However it is not that hard anymore. With my account, which was activated in 2001 (I umm..sold my original account. *cough*) I have veteran rewards out the wazoo.

The first thing I got was a free Worg mount and man it looks cool. I got 3 bags, experience potions, a cool Nimbus Cloud effect clicky that surrounds my character in a lightening storm cloud, gate potions, a knowledge book that ports me to PoK and even Legends of Norrath boosters. I also got entire 3 piece sets of Defiant armor. Opening that box up I got three pieces of free armor designed to outfit me with good gear from the start in a few slots.

There have been a lot of complaints from high end vets about the camping that has returned in Seeds of Destruction and they are bored and blah blah blah. Every MMO has this and I have learned to ignore it. Power gamers and people that cap out a month in will always complain and moan. There is NOTHING you can do about it in this genre. For a now casual player like me, I don't really care. What I do care about is that people power game so much they forget to do what is fun in these games and that is hang out and kill mobs and see things. Some of these vets have been around all 10 years, granted. I have the utmost respect for them. I still want to raid sure, but I know I will never see the cool old stuff anymore. Makes me sad a little but then I remember there is a rich world to rediscover and the chance to actually PLAY in it now with the addition of mercenaries.

My old guild still exists, in fact many of them do. Firestormers, Blades of Law, Utopian. All these guilds STILL EXIST. They are just so far advanced they might as well be gods walking on Norrath. Me? I am not in a hurry to get there anymore. I am in this more for the mechanics and the playstyle.

That is where I stand one week in. My duo gaming partner and I are working up schemes on the best combos for leveling and have not really settled on any one thing yet. It has taken us DAYS to straighten out our banks, equip our characters (yes yes we twink a little bit but so what) and figure out where we want to go and see first. I used to take the easy route out in EQ1. I power leveled a LOT with a friends level 55 druid I won't lie. After 4 years the game became to me a system of seeing how to level alts the fastest by not actually putting any work into it. I was bored because I refused to grind AA. now I see though that I would take ANY of that back in heartbeat compared to what MMO's today offer. At least back then I was hanging out with buddies online and socializing and people knew their classes and did their homework and if you screwed up you DIED and you DIED horribly. While the death penalty has been greatly reduced in EQ1 now there is still a hint of dread but it is not as bad as it used to be.

I am not here to sell this game to people whose first MMO was WoW or something like that. I am simply here to tell the naysayers that I am not seeing through rose colored glasses. To me EQ1 is still the best play mechanic out there. Cry and moan all you want about the work you may have to to or not have to do (like setup the interface the way you want. Do some darn research for once and quit whining) but this game plays like a sandbox title more than ever now. I'm just here to vent about why I am playing what I am playing. Not looking for acceptance or backup, I just need to get these thoughts out there.

Anyone that has followed this blog since 2007 knows that it has been a constant struggle after leaving WoW and wondering why I was there in the first place to find a home. EQ1 is a hard road. I won't lie. Your worthless in that game unless you have AA out the bunghole but I really will not let that deter me. I think I need a challenge and I need it soon. For me EQ1 was always about the journey. I had 65 freaking AA's on my warrior tank back in 2003. Back then that was considered enough for me to get the things I needed to off tank in many raids on the lower end. Now? It is worthless. Games change and so do the people but the mechanics do not. Honestly the hardest thing for me coming back was understanding my veteran rewards, where to get my spells and how to setup my interface again.

I will report more next week because as usual I have a busy weekend. Take care all!

EQ1: Our plan needs people in game

Posted by pvthudson01 Thursday May 28 2009 at 9:53AM
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Mercenaries. So this system has turned EQ1 into a better Guild Wars for me.

The theory I had was simple. Two box and hire a merc for each character. I had enough plat sitting around from the old days (my account is after all 8 years old) so I got a level 2 character to the Bazaar and managed to dump everything into a shared bank slot.

Why EQ1 is still so fascinating to me is that people are STILL playing it. Even to this day. I am not talking about people that came back for double XP. No. I am talking about the SMART ones. Those hard core mo-fo’s (like that urban slang? I am down baby) that never LEFT to jump ship and follow the WoW easy mode hype. Those people that when you talk to them in game say things like “I never tried WoW how is it?”

Those types. Yeah, I know insane right?

To me it is like talking to a teenager today about music and mentioning Pearl Jam and them saying “Are they good? Which album should I buy first?”

My old guild on Povar, Blades of Law, still had a list CUT SHORT when I did the classic /who all command. After all this time EQ1’s interface works better than Champions Online beta. How sad is that. Anyway my old guild was going strong and so was Utopian. Amazing. Now who is the idiot? I am for leaving.

My Sony Station pass was not enough. I had to keep experimenting and buying and playing and buying. So now I have reactivated my old old shaman account so I can two box. Why is this? To hire another mercenary of course. Gonna have to cancel some comic books I think since this is starting to add up. That account will need Seeds of Destruction and Sony is making bank off me.

Our new guild, TItans of the Old Lore, is taking applications for OLD SCHOOL EverQuest1. I say old school because even though the game seems old to today's younger hand held MMO generation, it still is a game full of wonderment made even softer by Sony after this last expansion.

You can hire clerics, you can hire tanks. Sure this takes play, but that's what a guild is for. We intend to have a level cap each month, or maybe more. We want to encourage guildies to group but not power level. If you are interested visit us at

http://eq2.hudshideout.com

Our EQ1 players link is here

http://eqplayers.station.sony.com/guild_profile.vm?guildId=528280978689

The platinum I have on my oldest account is a joke in today’s EQ1 economy. I don’t think it will allow me to buy any decent gear but I need SOMETHING to help me along. What is new in the game for returning players? Any sort of armor quests? I do not remember. NO time to study up, with EQ2 taking the majority of my weekend getting both games up to speed in my brain is like studying for college courses. In fact I am pretty sure that I never studied for college as hard as I have crammed the past week on filling my brain with anything I could soak up about EQ1 and EQ2.

EQ1 mercenaries are one per CHARACTER. I want to play and enchanter in EQ1 to match my coercer in EQ2 who is about 500 years his ancestor. There is no way on Norrath’s green planet that I will be able to solo an enchanter at early levels in EQ1. I am too much a rookie now and too out of practice to pull this off even with my awesome skillz (again with a Z to be down with the lingo).

Mercenary time. The goal? Use a tank mercenary and a healing mercenary then two box a necromancer or something to that effect. Something that can just sit there and requires one or two keys to work. I don’t get my first charm until level 11 in EQ1, while coercers can start really stomping stuff way earlier in EQ2. So basically I will be a nuker up until then.

At any rate I am having so much dabbling in the two games with a Station Pass that I also managed to relax and test out Vanguard. I got my cleric to level 5 on the Isle of Dawn and while the game is “OK” it still runs like garbage every now and then even on my rig. There are still some weird interface issues and the character models remind of a beta for a game released in 2001. Still there is something about it that lies just under the hood that compels me to keep playing. I don’t think Vanguard could ever be my MAIN game because it just seems off, but I do want to see what is out there. The explorer and grinder in me and the hard core demon on my shoulder tell me to press on.

Enough of that though. My focus right now is abusing this EQ1 mercenary system to allow me to go and play the game like a decent version of Guild Wars but a whole world that is wide open and explorable now. I wonder if you could actually run a dungeon with mercenaries. How stupid would they be? Would they run off and agro the entire level? How do they handle corners? Me thinks a trip to Blackburrow may be in the making. Screw Crescent Reach I am gonna start in Qeynos and go old school.

EQ2: Charming, isn't it?

Posted by pvthudson01 Sunday May 24 2009 at 8:13AM
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I have a stable of characters I played off and on during the increased XP weekend in EQ2 and one of the them was my Coercer. Add a dash of nuking with the ability to charm creatures and use them as pets and you have the closest thing you will get to an Everquest 1 enchanter. This was what I was looking for in the class and why I did not pick an illusionist. I don't want to summon my pet plus illusionist pets look pretty stupid. They are also overplayed so I avoided them outright. Kind of the same reason I will never make a fury or berserker.

Charming in EQ1 was always a troublesome mixed bag. You either got what you wanted or you got yourself in big trouble, depending on how long the charm lasted and whether or not it broke in combat. That is the thrill and danger of using a class like an enchanter or coercer. In EQ1 this past weekend I also made an straight up enchanter since that game also had bonus XP but he is currently still in Crescent Reach. I just didn't have time to play both games.

In EQ2 I use my pets with abandon and they are good for other things besides combat. For example if I have to loot or destroy something and it is guarded by two creatures I charm one, turn it on its buddy and loot the object. Other times a charmed pet is good for gathering a bunch of mobs and AOE'ing the area down. Just be ready to root and scoot once that damage hits.

The mechanics of EQ1 and EQ2 are so night and day you really have to have an iron will to play both games. In EQ2 I have plenty of casting time and health to adjust my mistakes. In EQ1 I die fast if I screw up and my DPS is pretty lame. There are no specs in that game early on to adjust your DPS and it is pretty much a straight forward pull lower con and hope you live.

In EQ2 if my charm breaks I can stun the target and try to re-charm, root it and try again, mez it and back off, or simply nuke it down. The difference in the two MMO's is startling and you really see how HARD EQ1 was when you try to play a class in that game and solo. Mercenaries are a must and if you don't two box have fun finding a group. After 10 years though you can expect it to be empty and trying to form a xp outing is part of the challenge. Needless to say I am loving this class because it is full of tricks and with the ability to pick my pet (and the inherent dangers) it keeps me alert and on my toes.

Nowadays I can run two instances of Everquest 1 side by side in windows on the same computer. So if I want to two box I simply click between windows but where in 2002 it was fun (mainly because EQ1 was all we had) today it is a hassle. I prefer the crafting and world of EQ2 now and actually loved playing my coercer. What does this mean for EQ1? Probably that without friends to aid me and fight by my side the nostalgia is truly gone. Sure, I could experiment and do all sorts of crazy multiple character playing but I just don't have the energy or time. I have enough plat in EQ1 to hire a mercenary right off the bat but if I stick with my enchanter I will need a stable of them to form a group. Worth a shot but not over the weekend with limited time.

So it was I found myself in EQ2 most of the time leveling my ratonga shadowknight, my barbarian mystic and my human coercer. My rule of thumb this time around is get some classes to 20 and see what I log in the most. That character will be advanced the most with some alts on the side. On the side is a stable of classes I do not think I will like and my level 40 inquisitor always looms overhead taunting me with his group centric friendliness. I have all but forsaken my 37 monk since he was a button spamming fest. I don't mind tanking in EQ2 but my god cut back on the hot bar buttons. All I feel like I do is press a long sequence of numbers with no idea how it effects anything in game other than taunt and a few other stuns. Boring.

Our Titans chapter on Antonia Bale picked up steam this weekend with the addition of 3 members and achieved guild level 7. Only 73 more to go. I think. The game is so solo friendly now that I haven't really met many guildies face to face. Another issue with MMO's today but also a catch-22 when you read above and my problems in EQ1. For certain it is a predicament I am not sure how to fix. On one hand you ruin a chance to progress alone in an MMO, and on the other you make it watered it down and very anti social. In EQ2's case it seems that a lot of people are content with hitting 76-80 so they can raid or farm high end instances and be done with it.

While not the purpose of Titans in general, it will be hard should we grow to make people see all the content in EQ2. You level too fast and quickly with potions and extra XP to see everything the way it was intended in 2004. Our only hope is that people don't mind mentoring down to help others in the less played zones. Then again we don't like to recruit people that wouldn't. Our Lord of the Rings chapter uses level caps to keep people together but that game is fairly linear and two years behind on the content EQ2 offers. The world Turbine has is also smaller and easier to pick a leveling path in. While the guild wide level cap works like a charm in LOTRO, it would not settle well in EQ2. Mentoring is the primary reason we are not using it, you just have to find people that don't bitch about mentoring down to help out hang around and chill.

500 years ago in Norrath...

Posted by pvthudson01 Friday May 22 2009 at 10:42AM
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...there was a guild called Titans. Well ok, how about the year 2000 as you and I would know it. That was my first foray into guild making, leadership and what it took to make things work. Titans went on for a good long time and eventually merged with Clan Beyond on the Povar server and started raiding and blah blah and then merged with Dark Legion in 2003 to hit the Planes of Power.

I still remember running out to buy Planes of Power when it launched. 4 copies, each with my Fiorna Vie collectors Figurine in it. I still have those 4 boxes to this day.

Lately, I have been having a good old time starting all over with a crew of people in EQ2, but I wondered what it would be like to hit up EQ1 again. I don't have my old account so I would be broke and destitute.

Many bloggers do it so I won't go into details here. However with the failure of many MMO's to recapture my glory day feelings I give up. I got a Station Pass and re-upped EQ2, EQ1 and even Vanguard whee I now have a level 3 Cleric. Whoopty DOO.

Oddly enough when my buddy and I went to make a Titans chapter in EQ1, all we had to do was select create a guild and BAM it was done. Two people. I remember in the old days how if you wanted to start a guild in EQ1 it was a HUGE deal. Many MMO's today would be better off for that.

First you had to have 10 people agree to make the guild in a chat room offline. Then you ALL had to login and be in the same area. Then you had to wait for a GM to show up and approve the guild and apply the tag. This process would have you on pins and needles because it took a lot of coordination.

And you know what? GUILDS STUCK TOGETHER BACK THEN. It is not like today where you can make a guild so you get bank slots and name it something stupid like "MOESGUILDHOWZ".

So yeah I went back to Norrath and I will just hang out there with a little Vanguard on the side when we want a change. I don't owe anyone anything. We aren't leading any guilds just providing a place for newcomers or returnees to hang out. If it turns into something then fine. If not then fine. Myself and the four others that play get, if we are lucky, 3 nights online.

If I am going to be cutting back on gaming time I am doing it in a MMO that I know, one that is hard core and still works, and one that has a lot of content.I simply cannot stand the rejects that are playing these post WoW MMO's anymore. I'm ducking for cover and running back to something that is 5 or even 10 years old. If I have to keep playing my MMO's with these idiots that do not understand the basic concepts of agro, tanking or healing for one more week I will simply become more jaded than I already am. At least in EQ1 I can hire mercs now that shut up and do their job. So yes I picked up Seeds of Destruction. Figured why the hell not. The only thing I regret is giving that much money to Sony but what can I do.

Povar, Antonia Bayle, Seradan. Those are the servers in the respective games. One of my accounts is from 2005 and I have so much stuff to claim I do not even know where to start. Back in 2004 I had sold my original 1999 EQ1 account. I admit that was pretty dumb but I have others to fall back on. Unfortunately everything since then is tied to the one account that in Everquest has NONE of my plat. So I am broke. Oh well thems the breaks.

We have 2 people in EQ1 and about 9+ in EQ2. The guild in EQ2 is level 5 already. You know where to message me if you want in (miniauctions@gmail.com). But be warned: we don't play all the time and we are starting over to learn and experience the game. So no whining garbage about "WAHH I HAVE A LEVEL 80 on another server blah blah." So what? It is just levels. Do you want to PLAY and hang out, or stand around and brag?

 

REPRINTED FROM MY BLOG SITE AT:

http://hudshideout.com/blog/