Tag Archives: Days of Summer

Friday Bullet Points Before EVE Vegas

Today is the start of EVE Vegas and when this post, scheduled in advance, goes live I will probably be on a plane for the short flight from Silicon Valley to whatever euphemism you care to use for Las Vegas.  Though, given the actual layout of the boundaries in the area, it is debatable whether or not I will spend even a moment in what is actually Las Vegas while I am in Las Vegas.  Call it a trip to Paradise instead I guess.

So while I am traveling I have some bullet points to post about.  This is good for current me, as these posts are easy to put together.  Future me, writing the month in review post in October 2019, will hate this because it is a pain to reference multiple topics in a single link in my usual format.  Current me is always burdened by the actions of past me and generally seems unconcerned about sticking it to future me.

  • One Week and No Cash Shop Apocalypse

The Pearl Abyss acquisition of CCP closed a week ago, on October 12th.

Together for reals now

So far the new owners have managed not to burn down New Eden with horrible game-breaking pay to win schemes.  Yes, they haven’t had much time, and they have an opportunity this weekend to spring that sort of stuff on us at EVE Vegas, but if you read some of the panicked threads on /r/eve after the acquisition announcement you might be surprised that New Eden isn’t already a cash shop dumpster fire.

  • No Commerce War in Perimeter

Back on Monday it looked like there would be something interesting going on in high sec with war decs sprouting between null sec groups looking to battle over the trade citadels in Perimeter, a system just one jump from Jita.  TEST even dropped a Keepstar in the system, a first for high sec space.

A Keepstar in Perimeter

However, Pandemic Horde, who previously held the Perimeter PLEX and Skill Injector market, announced to their pilots that they would be punting on defending this source of income, as well as any income from their home in Geminate, in order to concentrate on attacking the Branch region.  Branch is where GotG had to send the ratters and miners during the war in the north when Imperium forces were working to suppress such income generation in Fade, Deklein, and Pure Blind.

So TEST will be taking over the Pandemic Horde markets in high sec without a fight.  The TEST citadels are online and offering a very low tax rate, while the PH citadels look to be headed to destruction.  Hail to the new boss, same as the old boss, only at a slightly discounted rate.

  • 64-bit EVE Client on the Road Map

CCP has been bringing up the idea of a 64-bit client for over a year now.  It was part of the justification for shutting down the captain’s quarters and the built-in Twitch integration.  But I noticed earlier this week that the idea has made it to the Updates site, along with some other items we’ve been expecting, as part of the Winter update.

A 64-bit client would help players during large null sec fleet battles as it would be able to access more memory.  The current 32-bit client dies at just past 3GB.  And anything that would make those battles more viable would be good for CCP, since they are pretty much the only things that gets the company publicity lately, barring being acquired by yet another company.

When will we see this and the other things planned for winter?  I am sure we will hear more about that at EVE Vegas.  But, while winter may be coming, it doesn’t actually start until December 21 and runs until March 20 in the northern hemisphere, though emotionally I would accept any date in December as counting as winter.

  • No Monthly Economic Report for September… so far

The usual MER for EVE Online is running late this month.  Posting about the changes and economic imbalances has become a monthly staple here, so I hope they haven’t given up on it.  I suspect that prep for EVE Vegas has gotten in the way, but maybe we will hear something about that at the event.  With my luck it will probably get posted while I am driving to the airport rendering this bullet point moot.  But that is why I hid it in the middle.

  • Crimson Harvest Event Returns Soon

Holiday events are always a bid odd in New Eden since playing the game mostly amounts to being in outer space.  And, in any case, CCP has been sporadic in its acknowledgement of holidays for most of the life of the game, save for maybe the time around Christmas.  But they seem to be settling into a routine, with the Crimson Harvest event, a pseudo-Halloween thing, coming again to the game.

2018 Edition

As has become the norm, this event comes to you as part of The Agency interface where you will get tasks to earn points to collect prizes.  This year there is a mention of mining as an option in addition to combat as well as being able to construct your own cerebral accelerators.

I don’t know what that really means other than CCP is trying to make these events appeal to a broader range of players.

  • Days of Summer Ending in Norrath

And, as a “screw you” to future me of next year, I can’t even keep the whole post focused on EVE Online.

The Days of Summer event in EverQuest II which, among other things, yielded a comically overpowers armor set for my recently turned level 100 character, is coming to an end.

I’m here for the event please

As with baseball, summer seems to run well into October in Norrath but comes to an end eventually.  So if you want to get the last quest, which takes you on a tour of Lavastorm, it is time to head to the Sundered Frontier zone and pick it up from Yun Zi.  If you don’t pick it up now… well… I really don’t know.  Does Yun Zi and his vendor Pas Yu go away at the end of the event, or do they just sit there handing out quests and updates until next summer?  I don’t know if Days of Summer, despite having a seasonal name, is treated like a seasonal event akin to holidays or if it is different.  Welcome to Norrath.

  • Sinnoh Comes to Pokemon Go

It is like I don’t even care about future me.

In the land of Pokemon Go Niantic has unleashed the fourth generation Pokemon, the ones introduced with the first titles on the then fairly new Ninetndo DS handheld, Pokemon Diamond & Pearl.  So I now have the first starter Pokemon I ever chose, Piplup.

Best penguin ever

I realize that Niantic has only released some of the fourth gen Pokemon, and some are only available in certain regions, but the fact that I have Piplup makes me pretty happy.  I hate to evolve him, as I do almost all of the starter Pokemon, but at least his later forms aren’t as crazy bad as some of the starter Pokemon.

I think if I catch a Shinx and show it to my daughter she’ll start playing Pokemon Go again.  That was her favorite Pokemon ever.  Time to test that theory.

So that is it for bullet points.  Monday’s post will likely be some sort of news round up from EVE Vegas.  I don’t care enough to lug a laptop with me to post live updates, so my scribbled notes and vague recollections will have to do.

Level 100 in Norrath

It is always a bit of a problem for me in EverQuest II.  I find a zone that is about the right level that I can work though to the end… and then I am at the end and have to go someplace else.

The last time I checked in from Norrath I was wrapping up the Withered Lands.  I had finished the overland zone and had gone off to the instanced area, Skyshrine: City of Dracur.  There I had fell short of finishing up everything when faced with an ornery boss dragon, Ovilas.

Looking on at Ovalis

I couldn’t best him either solo or with a merc healing me, so it looked like I ought to find a new path in order to get to level 100.

I wasn’t badly equipped.  Sigwerd had made it up to level 70 when I took one of the occasional free boosts that Daybreak hands out and jumped him to level 95.  That boost came with a set of gear that was better than any drop I received over the length of the Withered Land and, aside from Ovilas there, I was able to face most foes solo.  Those that I could not solo were generally doable with a merc, though I did have to be careful not to pull half the zone.  I could still be swamped if I wasn’t at least a bit self-aware.

And so the search began.

This ought to be an easy thing.  You can Google the zones by level for EverQuest II and find a nice chart at one of the wikis.

But what is the right level and what you can handle and how you actually get there are always complications.  This is made more difficult by the fact that there is quite a bit of overlap when it comes to zones in a given level range.  95-100 covers several expansions worth of content, often gated by various quest lines and by levels of difficulty that can vary greatly.

For all the problems WoW has, knowing where to go generally isn’t one of them.  And, I suppose, this is another answer to the question about why their expansions have levels.  It doesn’t just gate, but also segregates content.

Anyway, in looking at that list on the Wiki I decided to hit the Tranquil Sea, only to find out when I got there that I had done a lot of the lead-in quests for the first part of the zone about two years back, when I had boosted Sigwerd to level 95.  He’d even made level 96 there.  But as to where to pick up after two years away, I was at a loss.

Feeling a bit optimistic, I then tried Zek: The Scourge Wastes, a re-use of the old Zek zone, one of my favorites back in the day.  It was listed as level 100 and it was on the list of locations available from the spires.  I was level 98, close enough right?  However, selecting that as a destination only informed me that I did not meet the requirements to enter the zone.  There is a quest to get there, and you can only get the quest after you hit 100.

Then there was another zone on the list… the name of which has already escape my brain… that seemed about right but you needed to learn the language of dragons which was a quest from the old days which involved a dungeon in Lavastorm and a quest chain that I looked into and then gave up on pretty quickly.

And then there was Cobalt Scar, where I started early on, gave up on, then returned to after the other paths did not seem so fruitful.  I think the problem was that I took the spires to the zone, and that drops you in one end of the zone, but not the end where any quests lines start.

Cobalt Scar on the map

This was not helped by the fact that apparently at some point I visited and started up one of the quest chains, so the camp part way into the zone that seemed like an obvious place to start… was not at all a place where I could start.  Eventually I got that sorted out as I found where I had left off, which was with the otter-like Othmir down on the beach.

Osh and Nika of the Othmir

The Othmir quest line carries on down the shore, dealing with the usual collections quests and a hostile walrus-like people encroaching on their turf, but then takes a dark turn as you are sent on down the beach into what becomes the Othmir version of The Walking Dead.

Zombie otter people attacking the otter people

There is a fairly sizeable set of quests where you help the surviving and besieged Othmir fortify their outpost them investigate what is going on, which involves travel through both time and space.  At one point I was sent off to another zone and somehow totally lost the thread of the story and ended up in the Tower of Frozen Shadow, which is in the Great Divide zone, which happens to be, for the most part, much lower level than what I was looking for.

Tower of Frozen Shadow

Game for anything that would get me along to level 100, I went into the tower, grabbed the inevitable quest, and became a bit lost.  I went to look up information about the zone and ended up with the walk-through for the original EverQuest version of the tower, which told me to go kill the big undead gnoll.  This actually turned out to be correct for the EverQuest II version of the tower as there was indeed a gnoll guarding the mirror that serves as a gateway into the rest of the tower.  The problem was that the gnoll was epic.  No, really.  All the mobs in the zone are.

Not the gnoll, but the same warning

Again I have run into the problem of being able to tell what I ought to be able to kill and what I should avoid.  Ovalis, up at the top, slaughtered my merc and I, so I was a bit concerned that this guy might wipe the floor with us, named Epic 2 full group raid mob that he was.

But it was no problem.  My merc and I killed him handily, no problem at all, barely an inconvenience.  So I carried on with the quest… until it required me to take on a whole room of such mobs.  That was a bit too much even for the merc and I, even when the merc was able to ress me mid-fight for a second run.

This is too epic

Thus thwarted, I turned back from the tower and began to look in earnest for the Othmir undead story thread I had lost.  Eventually I found it, got back to Cobalt Scar, from whence I was sent off to the Eastern Wastes, another zone in the Destiny of Velious expansion, to run down some quests at the Othmir camp on the beach.  There I met the leader of the Othmir.

King of the cute

They live alongside, and are constantly battling with, a race called the Yha-lei, which I can only describe as what murloc would look like if they lived in Norrath.

You know what you are

I did the Lore and Legend quest for them, the trophy for which is a trident described as “Glubble Bluggle Blurggle Bluggle Glubble.”  If that isn’t a straight knock-off of murlocs then I don’t know what is.  Unless they were in the EverQuest Scars of Velious expansion, we know where these came ceom.

Again, after being side-tracked for a bit with that I got back on the story thread, ended up back in Cobalt Scar, and seemed to wrap up the whole zombie Othmir quest chain… though the zombies seemed to still be swarming.  I guess that is how it always ends up.  But there was a quest chain out of there which sent me to a remote camp which, in turn, eventually sent me off to the New Combine fort where the spires dropped me when I entered the zone and into a series of quests that were almost at level for me.  At last!

Following those along for a stretch got me through level 99 and to the magic number.

Level 100 at last

At that point I finished up the quests I had opened and headed off to Yun Zi and his vendor assistant to pick up the level 100 equipment set that was available for characters level 100 and above who had completed the 2017 Days of Summer quest line.

While, as I said, the level 95 gear I got with the boost two years back was pretty good, this new set was a serious boost in stats.  I took before/after screen shots just to see how much of a boost it was.

Upper stats old vs. new

lower stats old vs. new

Aside from my shield block percentage, everything went up by a huge amount.

So, of course I made my way back to the Withered Lands to test all this gear on Ovalis, who had so soundly defeated me before.  Things went a bit differently this time.

Calling all crazy damage numbers!  Boom! Headshot!

He was no problem now.

Of course, I had just rushed into the instance to slay him, forgetting to pick up the mid-point quests so I could complete the zone.  But at least I had made it to level 100.

Which naturally left me once again looking for my next path forward in Norrath.

Norrath Nostalgia Tour turns into Literal Nostalgia Tour

One of the early themes on this blog was nostalgia for Norrath and the annual autumnal return to EverQuest or EverQuest II.  If you go way back to September 2006 you’ll find that to be the topic of the third post on the site.  So there is a lot of history/tradition here, and I have referred to it as a “nostalgia tour” off and on since that time.

As has probably happened more often than not here over the years, autumn showed up and I started thinking about Norrath. And, as also tends to be the case, I feel a bit lost as to where to go these days. It is hard to believe that EverQuest II and World of Warcraft were not even two years old when I started the blog.

Fortunately Bhagpuss had a suggestion for me and, as I noted last week, I started down that path by visiting Yun Zi and picking up the Days of Summer quests.

I’m here for the event please

Before getting to the current version of the event I had to go through and run the 2017 quest line.

Getting started

The event is, as the title notes, literally a tour of Norrath, with the 2017 version running players through various expansions with each quest.  This started well in my range of knowledge, kicking off in the Desert of Flames, where you had to head off to various points in the expansion to get updates.

Peeking in on the Silent City

I could not do the quest without some help.  I am not sure how I was supposed to divine the destination for the little icons presented (except perhaps the coin with the Maj’Dul faction on it) and I honestly did not have the patience to fly hither and yon about the expansion trying to guess.  But even with the locations from the wiki to hand I did have to fly around a bit to figure out where to go.

The next quest, which feature the Kingdom of Sky expansion, was a little bit more tricky.  I played EQII from launch until KoS, took a break then, and then came back with Echoes of Faydwer, so I avoided a lot of KoS.  I did end up running through it at one point, so it wasn’t totally alien to me, but I did need to use the waypoints provided by the wiki now and again to figure out where to go.

I do actually remember coming here at one point

After that it was off to Echoes of Faydwer, which was the great revival expansion for EverQuest II, where they decided maybe they should just ignore the lore from EverQuest.  With this they chose to embrace it.

In the Butcherblock harbor

That return to the lore proved popular and revitalized the game somewhat.  With that expansion, which came out in November of 2006, we’re into the era of the blog.

Welcome to the nut house

Having played through much of Faydwer repeatedly, I was again able to just travel based on the locations the wiki fed me.

The next quest brought me to Rise of Kunark, which might be the last expansion I played, or at least purchased, at launch. (I have the little pewter bear mount on my bookshelf still.)  I wrote a bit about my getting stuck in the waterfall, but otherwise was able to get around the expansion pretty well.

After that, however, I was in unknown territory.  The expansion list for the game goes on… and gets a bit strange… but they are mostly areas where I either haven’t been, or if I have been there, I did so without really knowing which expansion I was wandering around.  Still, some of it looked nice and I got a feel for the generally increasing level caps of the zones.

Somewhere pretty… not sure which expansion

But with my heroic boosted Shadow Knight (chosen because he can one-shot just about anything I’ve ever run into) and copious help from the wiki (I not only had to use waypoints but also look up how to simply get to certain areas) I was able to complete the 2017 series of quests.

That done I was able to start in on the 2018 set of quests.  For those I got out my level 96 berserker, Sigwerd, who I consider my “main,” even though I have four level 100s.  He is the one character I have leveled up the furthest in the old fashioned way.  He at least made it through Kunark before I used a free boost on him a couple years back.  I forget if it was level 90 or 95, but he made it to 96 and has been lingering ever since.

I chose him because the 2018 quests go back to the original zones of EverQuest II, so I clearly wasn’t going to need a character that could one-shot level 100 heroics.

While I wasn’t going to need directions on how to get the various zones, I still used the list of destinations from the wiki.  With that I was pretty sure I could find the landmarks, starting in Antonica.

Heading to Coldwind Point

I rolled through that, seeing the sights from so long ago, then it was off to the Commonlands.

Looks like a golf course

Nek Forest, on the other hand, was a bit more challenging.  As often as I ran through there, I was at a bit of a loss for some of the landmarks and had to wander for a bit before finding a couple of them.  This was as much because of the claustrophobic feel of the zone as anything.

The Thundering Steppes though, there I raced ahead to each landmark.

At the Shrine of Decay

I rushed so fast that I missed a checkpoint and only realized I wasn’t getting updates when I was way over in the Ruins of Karana, so had to backtrack and run through again.

After that the Enchanted Lands were a breeze, it being a smallish zone with landmarks I well remember.  And then Zek, a run which ended predictably at Deathfist Citadel.

I’ve been here before

And then I was drawn up short.  Apparently, in Norrath, summer runs with the baseball season, and the last three weeks of the event, with a zone each, had yet to unlock.

So I was all caught up.  Now I have to wait like everybody else for the event to finish as well as finding something else to do in Norrath.

Stuck in the Waterfall in Kunark

Last night I got into EverQuest II and, following Bhagpuss’ suggestion on yesterday’s post, I went off to find Yun Zi and the Days of Summer quest line.  Or lines.  there is the 2017 quest line and the 2018.  They are literal nostalgia tours, which is somewhat amusing since I used to refer to the annual autumnal return to the game as a nostalgia tour.

Anyway, uncertain how long the Days of Summer quests would be active, the autumnal equinox having passed already, I got right on with it, taking a tour through the Desert of Flames, Kingdom of Sky and Echoes of Faydwer expansions, areas that did bring some nostalgia.

Next on the list was Rise of Kunark, which honestly starts to get into the edge of nostalgia for me.  That was probably the last expansion I was at level… or close to level… and able to get into as it launched.

I took the spires to get there… the spires transport system is the one that I never think about because it wasn’t active until Kingdom of Sky… which put me in the mountains at the north of the Kylong Plains.  I had to get down to the docks for the first check-in point.  Fortunately I have a flying mount so that wasn’t too tough.

But as I flew out of the snowy mountains I espied a long waterfall dropping from the mountain down into a pool far below, which itself was the head of a small river that flowed to a small lake.

Coming out of the mountains I see the waterfall

Trust me, that geometric, translucent aqua blue area is water.  This is 2008 level graphics.

As a lark I decided to fly through the waterfall on my way down.  And there I got stuck.

In the water and drowning

I was trapped in the column of water, unable to move in any direction.  The game flagged me as being under water and the breath bar started counting down and rather more quickly than it does in WoW.

I found that if I tried to move around that I could regain my breath.  I didn’t seem to be moving at all, but apparently I was breaking the surface sufficiently get breath, so the bar would refill and go away, only to return and begin to count down if I stopped.

I was in quite a spot as, along with drowning, I was way up in the air in a game where a fall can kill you.  There was water down below, but given how the water up here was behaving I wasn’t keen to trust it.  But after a while of trying various things I figured I had to go one way or another, so I dismounted.

That apparently was enough and I fell down the waterfall into the pool below unscathed, bobbing along with the current.

Headed down some sort of water hill

This was an attempt at getting flowing water to act on players to they would be pushed down stream, something I expect did not interact well with a flying mount, something that came along later in the history of the game.

So I was saved from peril of the waterfall.  But it made me a bit wary later in the evening when, while touring the Destiny of Velious expansion, I had to fly through another waterfall.

Later in Velious

However, Destiny of Velious is when they introduced flying mounts, so the falling water was more forgiving.