Meanwhile, in Bizarro Norrath, I now have three characters at the new level cap introduced with the Blood of Luclin expansion. This is a feat so without precedent that I am not sure what to do.
And I am not just at the level cap for adventure levels, but also for crafting levels as well. I have three level 120/120 characters. And all of them have gone from level 100 to 120 since I got back into the game back in November.
The first, my berserker Sigwerd, was probably the biggest effort, since I opted to get him to Luclin the “hard” way, via the adventure versus the trade skill intro quest. But he was still there at level cap only a few days after the expansion launched. It took him a bit more time to get his crafting up to level 120, as he started at level 100, so went off to do the trade skill quest line in the Plane of Magic. But in the end he was there.
The second time around was a bit easier. I got out my other level 100 character, my paladin Vikund, and sent him on his way to Luclin. He did the Plane of Magic to get to 110. Then, because doing the access quest to Luclin unlocks direct access to the expansion, Vikund was able to go there, grab the gear upgrades from the box… I went on about gear for a bit previously… which made things go more smoothly when he went back and did the intro quests.
The third time through was with my templar Nehru, who is a copy of my first EverQuest II character, Nomu. Back when EverQuest II Extended came along, the free to play experimental server, SOE had a deal where you could copy characters from other servers, though they could only bring with them what they had in the bag and not everything in their bank. The price was a mere 1,000 Station Cash which, with the 3 for 1 bonus sales offers they were fond of at the time, made the idea seem pretty cheap. I copied a few characters. (Vikund was a copy as well, taking my second oldest character to the new server. There is clearly an exploration of my character paths post somewhere in the future here, if only so I can have it all laid out for myself.)
He was only in his 60s, but I had a level 100 boost token leftover from some point in the past, so I boosted him up back when the dragon even was going on, just to get him in on that. I didn’t think I would get to him when it came to leveling up. But then I was two characters in and he seemed like an interesting third.
That was because, unlike the first two, who were plate wearing tank types with healer mercenaries, making them somewhat impervious to most encounters, Nehru is a templar, which is a healer/caster type, and he had a paladin tanking mercenary. (Templars wear plate armor, like any good cleric should, but still.) I wasn’t sure how that would work out.
In the end, he ended up doing very well. While his merc’s DPS was nothing to get worked up about, geared up he was able to hold on against every encounter with Nehru healing him. Meanwhile, Nehru’s offensive spells had enough power to take care of burning down mobs. He actually moved through the encounters in the intro quest much faster than the two tanks.
It is a different sort of play style. With the pally and the berserker I was content to gather up all the mobs in the area and burn them down while my merc healed. I had to be a little more focused with the templar, if only to not spend all my time healing the merc. But done right, he moved along to the adventure level cap quickly enough.
On the crafting side he was a level 95 alchemist. I’ve been through the crafting without crafting thing in a post already this week, so I’ve mentioned how slow crafting writs get. Fortunately, there are some trade skill quest options before the Plane of Magic, so I was able to pop him up to level 100 with that, then to level 110 in the Plane of Magic, and then to 120 on Luclin. He pushed on and finished the whole quest path on Luclin so as to unlock flying. Now he can soar, as can my other two level 120s.
Speaking of flying, his path to 120 was made much easier as they fixed the flight path options. Previously you could only fly from Seru’s Ascent, the city hub where a lot of the quests are based, but not to it, forcing you to make the run through a hostile range of mobs. It wasn’t a long run, but you end up doing it a lot. The last update put in the option to actually just fly there rather than being automatically sent off to Grieg’s Spire when you clicked on the drone.
He might be my most useful crafter at this point, as alchemists make skill upgrades for warrior types.
All three of my level 120 have finished up the crafting quest, but have not gotten to the end of the signature quest line. All three are at the same stage too, where they need to do another instance run to kill a whole pile of specific mobs, which is not an enticing option.
So, instead I have been looking at who else I can get to the level cap. I have two more level 100 characters, left over from the various free heroic character offers Daybreak has given out.
One is probably a no-go. First, he is a berserker, which I’ve already done, and second, he is on another server, so won’t benefit from the handy dandy guild hall I have access to on the Skyfire server. (More on that in another post.)
But the other one is a level 100 shadow knight who is in the guild already. He also has an inquisitor mercenary, which is supposed to be close to the best balance between healing and damage. Having taken him out for a spin in the Plane of Magic, he might be the next candidate for the moon.
After that I still have the level 110 booster that came with the expansion, which would allow me to send one more character directly to Luclin. The question is, who? I have a few low to middle range characters about… a ranger, a swashbuckler, a troubadour, and a mystic… all of whom are fairly far along with their trade skills.
And if I get five to level cap, I will then have a 100% boost to xp for all of my characters. Is it then worth it to go back and level some up the old fashioned way, flashing through expansions until I out level them and then moving on? Do I start somebody from scratch with that big of a boost.
Anyway, I am not tired of the whole thing yet. We shall see how long this run lasts.