Daily Archives: November 6, 2018

Dateline Drustvar

I finally managed to get to level cap in Battle for Azeroth.

The moment hits at last

After an enthusiastic launch into the expansion when it hit, where I embraced the story and spoke lovingly about the look at feel of the zones in the expansion, I hit a wall.  Well, less a wall than some quicksand mechanics that seemed to be dragging me down the further I progressed into the expansion.

That ended up being the scaling system, which pegs off your item level.  However, difficulty climbed probably faster than your item level probably required.

The balance and speed of combat is a fine line.  Nobody wants to run around one-shotting every mob.  Well, okay, yes, we all like to do that once in a while, but it gets dull after a bit.

On the flip side, if every solo mob on the field turns into a protracted struggle that requires multiple passes through your rotation and some healing afterwards, the game can become a slog.  You kill one mob and look up and realize you need to go through that a dozen more times to get to your objective and the fun can start to wear off.

That was starting to get to me, which ended up with me spending some time playing EverQuest II, where I flip-flopped between one-shotting things with a hard glace and getting my posterior handed to me, often without any discernible logic.

Yes, I solo’d that no problem, why do you ask?

The coming of BlizzCon though, that started to turn my mind back to Azeroth.  The WoW Classic demo was really my intention.  But after playing that for a bit, I swapped over and started back in on my main in Battle for Azeroth.  As a bit of a pack rat, I found I hadn’t discarded some of my lower item level gear.

I also found some leftover Winter Vale candy in my bag

I managed to balance myself out to be able to carry on through Stormsong Valley, which I finished up on Sunday, getting both the exploration and story complete achievements.  Having already done Trigarde Sound, that left me with Drustvar.  By that point I was already level 119 and pretty close to hitting the final level.  So it took just a few quests there in order to hit the magic mark.

Once I hit the level cap, a few new options opened up for me.  I ran off to get the next foothold on Zandalar.  I also did the obligatory island expedition learning thing, so I am starting to see what people were complaining about.  And then I got the quest that I need to wrap up in order to unlock world quests, which will open up the faction grind that seems likely to eventually make flying a thing.

That quest

Having completed two zones, I am already honored with two of the three factions I need.  I suspect that running the quest lines in Drustvar will get me the third.  At this point I am also going to run some of the dungeons to boost my gear.  Since the rewards you get are always pegged to your level, I always feel like it is a bit of a waste to get dungeon rewards that don’t really help all that much.

We shall see.

The Burning Lands Expansion Coming to EverQuest December 11, 2018

Yes, this was announced last Tuesday and I am just now getting to it.  What can I say, I was busy and pretty much had last week all written by Monday night and then there was BlizzCon to write about yesterday.

We knew it was coming.  As sure as daylight savings time gets rolled back every year, so does an EverQuest expansion appear.  Or something.  What a horrible metaphor.

Also I posted about it like a month ago.

But now things have changed.  We have some more information and you can pre-order the expansion.  So what does the 25th EverQuest expansion, The Burning Lands, bring us?

Does this feel a little “Disney” to you?

Delaying this post means I can put in the replay of the live stream Daybreak did about the expansion.

The stream starts off with three people who look like they were in diapers still when EverQuest launched and who, as with the Chaos Descending live stream from earlier in October, spend the first chunk of time talking about the stuff you get if you order the Collector’s or Premium edition of the expansion.  But after about the ten minute mark an adult shows up and starts talking about the actual expansion.

Again, I couldn’t sit through the whole live stream, but I did watch a bit, enough to see both how far the graphics have come in this soon-to-be 20 year old game and how short of current they remain.

If you don’t want to watch the live stream though, some information has been posted.  The order page describes the expansion like this:

The longstanding peace between the jann is over, and war has broken out between the djinn from the Plane of Air and the efreeti from the Plane of Fire! What has sparked this dispute and who will emerge victorious? Will you survive the Trials of Smoke and help end this conflict?

It is time to head back to the Planes and unravel the mysteries that await you there!

Back to the elemental planes, as foretold by prophecy and a need to crank out an expansion for both Norrath based titles.

The bullet point summary is:

  • Luck Stat – A brand new stat that influences just how lucky you are! This stat will randomly increase the amount of gold in your split, the amount of critical damage you do, your chance to succeed at a trade-skill combine, and much more!
  • 6 Expansion Zones – You’ll adventure throughout the grand and fantastic environments and architecture of the Planes of Fire, Air, and Smoke!
  • New Raids, Quests, and Missions
  • New Spells, Combat Abilities, and AAs
  • New Collections

The Lucky Stat sounds like something new to optimize.  Six new zones seems about par for the course.  All the new stuff is, likewise, expected… though I hadn’t realized that collections, something I think of as an EverQuest II mania, had made it into the original.

Also as expected, the expansion is available in three packages.

I had to update this graphic finally!

The standard edition gets you all the expansion content, plus all previous expansion content.  So if you skipped last year’s Ring of Scale expansion, you get all that and anything else you might have missed.

And then there are the much pricier Collector’s and Premium editions.  I am not sure where I stand on these.  Over on the EverQuest II side of the house the upscale editions do deliver some significant boosts.  You can debate over whether any boost is worth $55 or a $105 in extra cost, but at least they seem more tangible that what the EverQuest versions bring you.  Going all in for the full monty Premium Edition of The Burning Lands will you get an item that teleports you to the new content, a house item that does that, a new mercenary, a stat boosting saddle, some cosmetic items, experience boosts, and familiars including the dread fire slug.

Not this however, this is a snail

That isn’t enough to sell me an upgrade to the base expansion.  But I am unlikely to buy the base expansion either, so I might not be the best judge.  I just know that I look at the EverQuest II upsells and I think, “Hmm… maybe…” while I look at the EverQuest upsells and think, “Nah, not worth it.”

Anyway, there it is, coming December 11th.  And how many 19 year old games are not only getting new content, but are able to sell it?  MMORPGs are strange.