Monthly Archives: November 2006

Once, Twice, Three Times A Revelation!

When I got home from my bi-weekly card game last night EVEmon reminded me that my current skill training was done, so I launched EVE Online and saw in the message field:

Welcome to Revelations!

Revelations - November 2006

Revelations

Ah, yes, the first Kali update is out!

I was then prompted about the 62 Meg patch, which I set to download, then walked off.

I came back a while later only to be greeted with a message that the download was successful but the file appeared to be corrupted, please try again.

Erf, not more patch update problems!

It was late.  I was tired.  I started the download again and went to bed.

In the morning I had the same message.  Still, there was time enough for another try.  I launched the application again and went off to get ready for work.

The third time was, as they say, a charm.  Now I have to figure out what all these patch notes mean to me!   The list of changes is huge!

(The update worked the first time on my laptop while I was at the office today.  Another nice EVE Online feature, it actually runs well on my laptop and does not draw attention on the company network.)

November in Review

The Site

Well, with this post I will have posted something every day in November, ending up with more than 50 entries for the month.  And I have not yet dipped into my ever-growing “I should write this up some day” list of ancient history.

I have been thinking about hosting the site myself, but I am stuck on a domain name.  My first shot, tagn.com, is owned by some domain camper while tagn.net is The All Girl Network.  I could go with tagn.us, but I am old fashioned and if I cannot have .com or .net I will get cranky… although then I could look for tacgn.com.  So I am fishing around for ideas on a domain name.  If you have a suggestion, drop me a note at wilhelm2451 at yahoo dot com.

I am getting a lot more comments on the site, almost all of them very constructive or informative (even if unintentionally so in one case).  Average views per day more than doubled over October to a little more than 111.

New Linking Sites

A big thanks to the sites I found that put me on their links list over the last month:

And thanks to the other people who link items here… except for that hard core gay porn site that linked one of my Deadmines entries.  The URL started with “burning,” so I went there thinking it had something to do with WoW and… well… I am glad I wasn’t at the office when that page loaded.

Most Viewed Posts In November

EVE-Mon 1.1.4 Released
Kelethin – Then and Now
Fae’tal Error
Crafting in Kelethin
Back at the Workbench
Travel in Norrath – Voyage to Faydwer
Kaladim – Then and Now
Portal to the Commonlands
Fae’d Away!
Crescent Reach – Level 10 to 15 Quests

EVEmon remains the search term most likely to bring somebody to the site, followed by Crescent Reach.  The items between those two all share the distinction of being linked on the news page of EQ2-Daily.com, which has driven a ton of hits to this site.  VirginWorlds also linked a majority of the list, which helped as well.

Search Engine Terms

Odd search engine terms that brought people to the site in November:

noob hand signs
noob train
any idea where i can find a everquest 2
gamer would you date this guy? noob
how not to be a noob EQ2
hey noob want to fight

Traffic Patterns

Watching the traffic on the site, it seems that people spend their weekends playing, but when they get to work on Monday they want to surf game sites.  Traffic here spikes on Monday, settles down Tuesday and Wednesday, picks up on Thursday and Friday, and then there is a big valley over the weekend.

EVE Online

I did not spend much time playing EVE in November.  I did keep my training going all month and finished up Covert Ops and Cloaking training, only to discover that the covert ops frigate and the cloaking equipment are more expensive that I can afford at the moment.  I suppose EVEmon should have a feature to tell you how much the equipment a certain skill opens up is going to cost you.  I will certainly take this into account before I start in on the 197 day training plan that will let me drive the Caldari Leviathan!

I was considering dropping EVE Online since I have not played it much lately, but I signed up for a 3 month billing plan, so I am good on training through the end of the year.  And then Skronk, of our WoW instance experiment, activate his EVE Online account, so now I actually know somebody else in the game.  Maybe I will find time to play some over Christmas.

EverQuest

The Serpent’s Spine was very exciting for two weeks.  I played that quite a bit and wrote up my experiences.  Then Echoes of Faydwer came out and I haven’t looked back into EQ except to take screen shots.  I do want to finish documenting the path to level 20 in Crescent Reach, plus I have a few more topics about The Serpent’s Spine I want to cover.  I will get back to it, I promise.

EverQuest II

Echoes of Faydwer!  Holy fae wings Batman, I wish this was the game I purchased in November 2004, not November 2006.  Still, better late than never!  This has occupied most of my play time since the weekend after it came out.  It has also given me something to write about.

Quite a few people whom I know ducked out of EQ2 since Desert of Flames have been showing back up.  I hope this trend is widespread because I would love to see more quality expansions like this out of the EQ2 team.

World of Warcraft

The instance nights continue to be a lot of fun.  I have hit some good equipment in the last couple of runs, which is good, because I tend not to think about my equipment as often as I should.  This is probably an EQ2 habit where you used to get yourself a set of equipment that would last you ten levels at a stretch.

Other Games

I briefly considered using the beta key that came with Massive Magazine to take a look at Gods and Heroes.  Similarly, the issue came with keys and software to try out Star Wars Galaxies and The Matrix Online, but in the end Echoes of Faydwer won out.

Coming up in December

Ongoing WoW instance run reporting along with more posts about my experiences Echoes of Faydwer, including several more “Then And Now” picture sets.  More EverQuest if I can find the time.  Suggestions for topics are always welcome.

Podcast of the Day – Hero of the Moment

There is a great podcast out there to which you should listen.  WoW Podcast episode 7 is a great piece of work.

Generally I do not have any compulsion to listen to a WoW oriented podcast.  I don’t know why.  I listen to podcasts for other MMOs, even MMOs I do not play, but WoW seems so straight forward in some ways, and there is so much information about it on the web, that I seem to be sated when it comes to WoW.

This episode though, this is something new and different.  In addition to the usual hosts, episode 7 is a round table discussion that includes Brent from VirginWorlds, Brenden from FalconTwin (go listen to his “Now Playing” podcast while you’re at it), and Ryan from Massively Online Gamer.  This podcast is great because it strays way off the WoW-centric range and looks at WoW in the context of the MMO community in general.

**Spoiler Alert**

Listen to the podcast before you click “more.”  Or don’t.  Just don’t say I did not warn you.

Continue reading

Carpet Bombing Faydwer

While I am having a good time running around playing a fae, one thing is getting on my nerves.

There are too damn many flying carpets.

When I stopped playing back in January, flying carpets were still reasonably rare.  Seeing somebody fly past on one was neat.  Plus they fit into the whole Desert of Flames theme.

But now it seems like every nut from Nettleville has gotten his hands on a flying carpet, and they are all headed to Faydwer.

Look back at this picture I posted about the voyage to Faydwer.  There are three flying carpets on board for the trip.  You can see two in the middle of the deck and, while you cannot see the third carpet, you can see the toon in the “flying carpet crouch” clearly enough.

Carpet on the Ship

I hate to play the immersion card in every rant, but they look really out of place in Faydwer, and the place is crawling with them.  I see them all the time, and I have only really played in Greater Faydark.  I am just waiting to see somebody try and fly one off a platform in Kelethin.

Sony, why have you unleashed these threadbare eyesores upon us?

Razorfen Kraul – Round 1

This is going to be an example of why I should write up our instance events the day after we do them. Things are usually pretty fresh in my mind then, but now, three days later, it is all a bit fuzzy. Maybe the team will correct me on some items, or add things I have forgotten. Or maybe they won’t remember either and my version of events will become the accepted shared reality. I would like to complain that I was too busy to find the time to do the write up on Sunday, but I spent a few hours playing Echoes of Faydwer instead of doing it.

The first thing you have to ask yourself before starting out in Razorfen Kraul is, “Do I like the sound of squealing pigs?” If the answer is “yes,” then this is the instance for you!

The quillboars that inhabit RFK let out a very loud squeal of horror, rage, and remorse upon death. I play with the sound off and my headphones plugged into my laptop where I run IM and Skype, but Skronk runs open speakers and mic on his end, so I could hear every piggy death very clearly through our VoIP connection. That is actually saying something, because usually I can only hear the loudest and/or most annoying sounds from Skronk’s machine. Quillboar death is both loud and annoying, so adjust your sounds settings appropriately.

So we got ourselves together on Saturday night to play for the big bad wolf’s team and attempt to blow down the front door of the piggies’ house/cave and then kill them individually or in small groups. Simple murder for hire or an analogy for class warfare and revolutionary justice? You make the call!

The lineup for the night was:

29 Warlock – Bungholio
30 Priest – Skronk
30 Rogue – Blintz
30 Warrior – Earlthecat
31 Mage – Ula

We got on a little early but had to make a short run to make sure everybody had the quests for the zone. The first quest, “Blueleaf Tubers,” is picked up in Ratchet. The quest giver, whose name escapes me, stands next to the bank in Ratchet, so he is easy to find. Do not run off too quickly when you get the quest. You need to pick up a crate, a rod, and a manual from the pile of items next to him. These items are all required to complete the quest and the crate and rod are required to harvest the blueleaf tubers, but more on that later.

The second quest is “The Crone of the Kraul.” For this one you have to run past RFK, go down The Great Lift, and head to the little graveyard that is off to the left/north. There you will find a dead dwarf with a notebook. You pick up the notebook, read it, then head towards Feralas to where the alliance flight point is, right on the edge of Thousand Needles. Get the quest update from the night elf, grab the flight point if you do not already have it, then run back to RFK.

With quests in hand, we hit the instance.

A very short way into RFK you have a choice of directions to take. If you head one way you are on your way after all the named mobs. If you head the other way you can pick up the two quests that are in the zone. We decided to go through the named mobs first, then take a short cut to the quest side, saving us some time.

Inside

Inside

We also had out items for the “Blueleaf Tubers” quest. The crate contains a snufflenose gopher, or five snufflenose gophers, depending on how you look at it. The crate has five uses. If it thus represents five gophers, or one gopher with five lives, is not explained. When you click on the crate, the gopher emerges, but only if you are near some blueleaf tubers. This early on, the gophers could not be coaxed from their crates, so on we went.

In the named wing of RFK you fight your way through a selection of quillboars and their boar pets. Somehow it seems odd to me that quillboars keep their not so distant cousins as pets. It would be like humans keeping chimps as pets en mass.

Eventually you come around the end of the instance and end up in a four way intersection. From where you come up one side loops back left, one loops back right, and goes on straight ahead. Looping back to the right will get you to Death Speaker Jargba. Looping back to the left will get you to Aggem Thorncurse.

We went right first and fought our way up to Death Speaker Jargba then left to take out Aggem Thorncurse. Neither fight was very difficult for our group. I do not recall what Jargba dropped, but Aggem dropped a common dagger called Thornspike.

We then headed back to the last route, which headed uphill. This lead us to Roogus, who is just a name on my notepad, but who is listed as a named mob for the zone. We fought through him, the started a new action.

Just after that point, we hit a point where the gophers would activate. Skronk got a gopher out, then I did. When the snufflenose gopher is out, he starts to follow you around like a pet. When you use the control rod for the gopher, he starts to seek out the blueleaf tubers. We could not see any tubers, we were in a clear spot with some more quillboars across a long bridge from us. Skronk and I both activated the rods and off our gophers went.

Straight across the bridge and into the quillboars.

The last question on Skype before they got there was, “Do you think they will pull aggro?”

The answer, we learned very quickly, was “Yes they do!”

Skronk’s gopher, which set out first, pulled the group of three quillboars that was across the bridge from us, but only after being stomped on and killed in a single blow. The poor little gopher never had a chance.

But the three quillboars then came running for Skronk. As we were fighting them, my gopher ran into some more quillboars and, no doubt, got squashed as well, bringing us two more mobs.

We managed to fight and kill all of our new found aggro, but it was difficult. It was difficult because because we were all laughing. I was in tears I was laughing so hard. There was something about a poor little snufflenose gopher, minding its own business, being stomped by a gang of quillboars that was absurdly hilarious.

Eventually we stopped laughing, fought some more quillboars and a range of bats that are in a lower part of the zone, and ended up at Charlga Razorflank. She is the mob you need for “Crone of the Kraul.” She nicely left us 5 heads (or is that one head split 5 ways?) so we could complete the quest as well as dropping the Heart of Agamaggan shield. Earl already had a better shield, so it got disenchanted down to a large glimmering shard.

After that we looped back, killed the aggros in front of a big, shimmering portal, then killed the two level 15 gatekeepers who run the portal, which opened it up for us. This let us into the last and biggest named mob in the zone, Agathelos the Raging.

Here is Agathelos foolishly turning his back on us. Note the raid icon for sizing reference. He is a big pig.

You can be a big pig too

You can be a big pig too

He was also a pretty quickly dead pig. Or boar. Or whatever.

It was my lucky night, two instances in a row, as Agathelos dropped the Swinetusk Shank, a rogue stabby item if there ever was one.

Here we are in our traditional victory shot.

Sausage Time

Sausage Time

Now that we were done with the named end of the instance, we wanted to run back, pick up the quests in the zone, find the damn tubers, and get ourselves out of piggy town. We had a plan.

It had been noted somewhere that from near the location of Charlga Razorflank you could jump down into the canyon below which is where the two in-zone quests are, “Mortality Wanes” and “Willix the Importer.” We began looking for a place to jump down safely. The quillboars and their pets seemed to be pretty thick on the ground below us. Not to the extent that would wipe us, but we went looking for an easier spot. We traced our way back to one of the bridges over the canyon we had crossed earlier. Here we could see spots to drop in that would mean a smaller fight.

Only we could not jump over the side of the bridge. The game won’t let you.

We found that at one end of the bridge you could jump off the side of the path, onto the rocks that lead down into the canyon. Unfortunately, we made this discovery as a series of independent actions, leaving two of us, Bung and Skronk, on one side of the bridge and three of us, Ula, Earl, and myself, on the other.

Oops.

Things went awry from that point. We were now in within the aggro radii of the mobs below, so two separate fights began. Bung and Skronk tried to get over to us, but that ended up dragging a few more mobs into the battle. Slowly we started getting killed. After Skronk went down, we decided to gamble and use the soul stone, revive him, and see if we couldn’t finish off the last couple of boars on us.

We couldn’t. We got wiped.

If we had jumped off at Charlga together and just took on the nearby mobs, we would have been fine. Well, die and learn.

When you die in RFK, you come back at Camp Taurajo, which is a bit of a hoof back to the instance.

So we ran back and started heading to the quest guys from the entrance. This wasn’t a bad thing. “Willix the Importer” is an escort quest, so we were going to have to kill everybody between him and the entrance anyway. It also helped with the blueleaf tubers.

We slew our way to the quest point, then started looking for tubers. We all let our gophers out and they began searching out the tubers. They run along to a spot, stand there, then the tuber appears and you harvest it.

Ula’s gopher succeeded in finding the five aggro boars we hadn’t killed and got stomped, but for the most part the snufflenose gophers had an easy time of it. They do wander far and wide in search of tubers, so killing everything on your way in helps.

Once done there, we spoke with Willix and began to escort him out of the instance. As is usual with escort quests, he brought his own aggros, announced every so often by him stopping and intoning some line about the dangers of the area or how much the quillboars wanted to stop him. The last fight on the way out of the dungeon had an aggro that AOE’d and slew all the gophers.

The combat stats report showed the following:

Snufflenose Gopher:
Damage Taken = 636 (0.7%) #8
[Melee] = 243 (38.2%) 0/2 0.0% 121.5 Avg
Thunderclap = 217 (34.1%) 0/5 0.0% 43.4 Avg
Sonic Burst = 120 (18.9%) 0/1 0.0% 120.0 Avg
Shoot = 56 (8.8%) 0/1 0.0% 56.0 Avg

That pretty much accounts for our eight gopher deaths, since they appear to have about 1 hit point, thus die whenever struck by anything.

We got Willix to the entrance, got our reward, left RFK, and went about our merry way turning in quests.

We managed to get ourselves flagged on the way back to turn in the quest in Feralas. Ula sheeped the guard at the Great Lift, so we got flagged as a group. Fortunately we did not run into any level 60 horde toons, so we were spared any griefing. We did pass a level 37 undead player who, I noticed, clicked on each one of us as we ran past (I love that when you target anybody, it shows you who they have targeted) but decided that we were a bit too formidable to take on.

Not my best instance write up by far, but we plan to go back and run the named mob side of the zone again some time.

Our next target is Gnomeregan!

The Official SOE Podcast #9

Alan “Brenlo” Crosby, Christina “Kytherea” Delzer and Aimee “Ashlanne” Rekoske host this show with Jason “Pex” Ryan reading a big news segment. 

Topics Include:

-Thanksgiving and Brenlo’s cornbread stuffing
-Upcoming EverQuest revamps to the Ocean of Tears and the Commonlands
-Interview with EverQuest Lead Designer Travis “Rashere” McGeathy and Game Designer Jason “Maddoc” Mash
-The EoF Launch
-SWG: In Concept stuff
-Interview with Mr. Bubble from the Yivvits and Mr. Bbubble Podcast
-PS3 – ULDK Launch
Lore Sjöberg’s Wired Article – Complainers of the World Unite
-What are you playing?

The show was recorded on November 20th, 2006 and runs 1 hour and 28 minutes.  Show notes are now in the same forum posting as the links to the show.  You can get the podcast via iTunes or here.

Portal to the Commonlands

I was in the bank in Kelethin when somebody put up a portal behind me.  I turned around and saw this sitting there and went “Cool!”   

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

I sat there for a moment then thought, “I should jump in!”

Then I figured that would be a bad idea.  Level 15, alone, outside of Freeport… not a good prospect for a young fae.  Plus I want to explore the new zones, not re-run the old ones. (I have been tempted though.  I know those quests!)

Somebody who plays World of Warcraft is going to look at this and think, “Eh, looks like a portal in WoW.”

 It doesn’t.  It looks a much cooler.  It is very pretty.

Of course, five of these in a small area would probably kill your frame rate, but one was okay and very nice to look at.  I almost didn’t get the screen shot I was so busy just admiring the portal.