Return to EQ II

If you follow me for very long, and most assuredly if you read my older stuff, you know I am a big fan and player of the game Everquest II.  In recent years though it has been mostly a love/hate relationship.  I have so many fond memories of playing the MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) game.  I started playing the game back in 2004 and have been a subscriber of the game on and off for the last ten years.

Recently they made the game free to play, and with that the need to generate money by selling literally every aspect of the game from potions, mounts, levels, skills, spells, items, etc….  I do not have a problem with that, other than some of the items are garishly horrendous in appearance.  But I do take offense when they turn around and give away free stuff to entice players to stay — sort of like a drug pusher on the playground giving out free hits of speed.  They are not that coy when it comes to offering free stuff in the hopes that players will continue to buy stuff in the game.

EQ2 Guys

The free stuff just keeps coming and they just keep offering more free stuff.  At one point, I just threw up my hands and walked away.  It became nothing more than logging into the game to see what futher free stuff was going to be offered.

I left for about a year but then asked a friend if he would be willing to come back, but only if we moved to the RP server and take nothing for free.  We start completely over with nothing other than our memories — which for me is pretty faulty anyway.

Our first hours back feel so liberating.  We are fighting 10th level orcs and having a challenge.  We are accepting nothing for free and will continue to accept nothing on these characters.  I am not sure if my friend will continue to honor his pledge or not, but for me I am not going to accept spells or anniversary items in the least.  I want to earn every xp point, every platinum coin, every spell book, every item on my person.

Fighting with the Guardian


Edit:  I created a new account, so I came into this game with no anniversary gifts or any legacy items in the least. I further found out that at the free to play, Bronze Level, you cannot interact with the chat channels.  I just turned them off, enabling only group chat with my friends. How joyous is it not to read the banter of teenagers blathering about politics or religion — a blessing in disguise.

I wish Sony would create a throw-back retro server that essentially start the game over, with no expansions added — release 1 every 6 months.  How cool and fun would that be — I even wish they would make leveling ten times harder, but I doubt they would ever do that.


WoW vs. Everquest 2; Returning Player Perspective

Last week I had the opportunity to try 10 days of WoW and also three days of Everquest 2. I played both games, familiarizing myself with the world and controls, then sat back and waited to see what game would draw me back.

I was really impressed with both the gameplay and styles of play that both had. Everquest 2 had so much going for it since I was only just recently unplugged from the daily regiment of playing the game. WoW was fresh and offered so much to explore since all of my characters were in the low 30s, 40s, and 50s.

I played each trying to decide on which game I should return.

In the end, I decided that both games were fun, but not fun enough to resubscribe. Even though I chided Sony for its silly subscription model of 3 days for five bucks, I guess I will take that over the 15 dollars a month that Wow or a traditional Everquest 2 subscription offers.

With two accounts with Sony, I can alternate (if I so desire) every couple of weeks and play a different set of guys. Also with some of the new rule changes (e.g. every character can now use the Research Assistants) it makes it fun to return every couple of week to pick up my masters.

So in the end, both games lose out but with a caveat that Sony will at least get 5 or 10 dollars a month from me.

WoW is really cool, but I found I was too far removed from the game to try and get back into it — seemed like the entire population was on the high level end and no one was there to start over.

Check out Episode 19 of EQual Perspectives

Head over to the EQual Perspectives tab and check out episode 19 of the show. This installment Karen and I really dish some tumultuous discussion on the new expansion and the battlegrounds.

Also check out Karen’s blog:

Head over to Twitter and listen to my rants and raves by subscribing to my feed: ShalimarTroy.

Troubles in Paradise

I invite everyone to listen to my new show coming out in the next day or two. EQual Perspectives 19 will ding this weekend sometime assuming everything goes well tonight when Karen and I record my show.

Tonight’s show will all be about the new Everquest II expansion, Sentinel’s Fate. Although I don’t want to ruin the surprise for everyone, both Karen and I are going to grade the new expansion.

Both of us have been playing the new game since it debuted on the live servers and although I have not talked to Karen extensively about her opinions, I bet there will be some difference in opinion.

I for one have made it well known it was not the best expansion that Everquest II has released. And perhaps I will go as far as saying that it may be the worse expansion that they have produced, aside from the Free updates.

So for all the low down on my opinions stop over at the EQual Perspectives tab and listen to show number 19

Join me on Twitter

Although I have been on Twitter for close to a year, many of you may not know this. I am constantly twittering (tweeting?) about my gaming experiences and my rants and raves about games.

Go to
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Go to “Find People” and type my handle: “ShalimarTroy”.

I have close to 1400 tweets, though most of them you will not be able to read. I am currently running my rants and raves about Everquest II and would be thrilled for you to read along with my thoughts and exploits.

Finished Recording EQual Perspectives 2010

Just finished recording an hour long show with Karen, otherwise known as Jaye Wizziefingers — also to many she is the cohost to the podcast “Shut Up We’re Talking”. Karen and I had allot of fun podcasting tonight and talking about a dozen Everquest II topics.

We touched only briefly on the new Battlegrounds expansion coming to Everquest II. Battlegrounds is the PVP expansion that will go live with the next series of updates. Some cool extras is that you can play against and with folks from other servers.

We also touched on the exploitation of WoE looting and the farming that is running amok on both the Guk and Kithicor servers. We both agreed in the end that it is a nice ability to sell the fantastic loot — it is just too bad that Sony just doesn’t make it lootable and dropable. Use the broker, that is what its there for.

Karen and I also briefly talk about what are characters have been doing since the last show — can you believe it has been more than a year!

I am off to try and edit the show into something cohesive and intelligible — I am all over the map like normal and it is pure chaos.

I will post the show notes and where its live when I get the information.

End of An Era, For Now

For those that stop by here infrequently, and perhaps for those few who stop here often, you may have noticed scarce activity on my thoughts and progress on my many hobbies at the Emerald Tablet.

Alas, I have been stuck in the world of Everquest II all summer and have toiled and wasted hours journeying in the world of Norrath. It was not a bad little excursion and I had allot of fun. One of the greatest accomplishments for me was finally reaching the end game on multiple characters. Up until this last expedition into Everquest II, I had never had the focus to complete a quest or stay on one character. I have dozens of characters in Everquest II, but none had ever reached 80th level (the maximum level as of this time).

Recently I found some interesting ways of staying focus and more importantly finishing quests that I started. Within short order, I had nine 80th level characters — Yes, can you believe that. I also found myself rather rich, with over 400 platinum coins. Sure there are others that have more 80th level characters and many that have thousands of platinum, but for me this was the “Jumping of the Shark”, or otherwise known as the beginning of the end.

Hopefully I will return to more writing and less game playing. My eyes are set on playing a couple of months of Champions Online, and then eventually returning to Everquest II in March of 2010 with the release of their next expansion.

In the mean time, I am still trying to sell my novel, “Amish Johnson and the Pegasus Chamber” as well as finish my many RPGs that I have been working with on and off since 1979!

So much to do, and so little time.

Troy Christensen