Tag Archives: Kunark

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.

Helvetica Bold in Crescent Reach

Sometimes when you are looking for a guild name, you take whatever is in front of you at the moment.

Equipped with warhammers for reasons explained below

Yes, I realize that the font in EverQuest probably isn’t true Helvetica, but it was clearly influenced by it in some way.  While no fontophile, even to me the cuts in the letters C and T look more like Arial, but that traces its roots to an imitation of Helvetica.

But when Potshot and I were on and brainstorming guild names and he said “Helvetica,”  I felt he was on to something.  I responded “Helvetica Bold!”  I liked both the connotation that the word bold brought with it plus the font does look more like the bold version than the regular version.  Plus it seemed an absurd name, which is always a winner in our book.

And so a guild name was chosen.

Fortunately EverQuest has gone to the most simple guild creation scheme ever.  You bring up the guild window, enter a name, click “create, and you have a guild.  No charters, no fees, and no getting six people in the same room to swear a blood oath or any such nonsense.  Cogito Ergo Guildium.

Guild Creation in One Field

And as we learned before, there does not even appear to be a minimum number of accounts required.  Our guild on the Fippy Darkpaw server, created a bit less than a year ago, still lives.

I just hope it complies with the Naming Privilege Policy, which I did not bother to read before entering the name.  But given some of the other names I have seen, I am not too worried.

We needed a guild in part because Raptr seemed to stop tracking EverQuest after it went free to play.  Potshot and I both use Raptr to see which of us is in what game on a week night, a handy thing to have given we do tend to flit about from game to game.  But now, even when I launch EverQuest from Raptr, it does not show me playing EverQuest.

The guild solves that… sort of.  While we cannot see if either of us is playing, at least when we get into EverQuest, we can see who is online.  That can be tougher than you might think, as we are in the experimental stage with classes and so have a few alts each already, plus second account characters.

We have also been playing with the various starting zone options.  The tutorial remains overcrowded.  It is easy to find a group for the couple of group missions in the game, but there are often queues of people for the solo quests like the one requiring the key from the kobold locksmith.  Only one person gets the item each time he is killed, he has a five minute spawn timer (like Spider Tamer Gugan), and a lot of people want him.

So I gave Crescent Reach a try with a shadowknight alt I rolled named Wegnar.  The rewards for the quests on the Hero’s Journey path have certainly improved.  Even if you are running through the tutorial, I would recommend jumping out to Crescent Reach to run the quick quest chain started by Disgruntled Boawb.   You end up with a belt and a mask for the two quests in the series, plus doing the quest gives you the achievement Boawb’s Jealousy, which gives you a weapon and a shield as a reward as well.

However, the achievement reward window takes several seconds to load, so if you dismiss it quickly you may not see the choices being offered as rewards and end up with the default reward.  Not that the default reward is bad, but it may not be appropriate to your class.  Wegnar was too quick on the button and got the default 1h blunt weapon and shield when I would have preferred a sword.  Ah well.  Garfinkel, Potshot’s bard, wields a 1h blunt weapon for the same reason, though his ranger was canny enough to wait and got the bow.

The quest chain itself through Crescent Reach seems a bit shy on experience rewards to start out.  My SK got to the Boawb’s Jealousy quest and finished it while still level 4, but the weapon and shield require level 5 to use. (Though you can equip them visually, they do not apply.)

The zone in and around Crescent Reach does appear to be a hot zone, or so I heard, which means that experience is increased for killing creatures.

Zam forecasts these zones as "hot"

So when I joined Potshot in the bear cave outside the city at level 8, Wegnar quickly leveled up to 11.

In the bear cave

That meant no trip back to the tutorial for equipment.  He had dipped into the tutorial a couple of times for armor pieces, but now he was locked out of that.  On to the Plane of Knowledge armor quests I suppose.

Meanwhile, I also spent some time scouting with Wilhelm, my warrior, to see if there were some new zones (well, newer than the original launch zones in any case) that we could camp and explore.  He headed out to Kunark and ran through The Overthere, Firiona Vie, and the Swamp of No Hope.

Mosquito issues in the Swamp of no Hope

While I was occasionally in over my head in each of those zones (the PoK books in the first two seem to put you in unfriendly places) they each seemed to have some potential.  I will continue to look at the chart of EverQuest zones by level to see where else we might go. You just have to watch those zones that show huge level ranges, like the ones that go from 15 to 90 or the like.

There are, frankly, so many places I have never been in old Norrath that it is embarrassing.  There is more to the world than what was around in 1999.

Kunark Live on Fippy Darkpaw!

While there has been no official announcement of the vote results yet in the Time Locked Progression Servers section of the EverQuest forums, The Ruins of Kunark expansion went live yesterday on Fippy Darkpaw.

While the expansion took a bit to go live, people are able to get there now.  Pictures were posted to the forums (which I have borrowed, and would give credit if I knew where to link it) of people crowding in.

Into Kunark

Crowd on the Dock

There is a bit of annoyance in the forums that race change potions from the Station Cash Store are available on the Time Locked Progression Servers, allowing anybody to become an Iksar without having to start over.  The discussion, as it generally does, falls into the “not authentic” and “this isn’t a ‘classic’ server” camps.

Of course, the key metric for progress is how soon the next set of objectives will be met to open the next expansion, the Scars of Velious.

As of this morning there, 5 of the 6 bosses have been killed and 3 of the 12 required quests have been completed.  The report in the forums said that the first boss was down within 15 minutes of the expansion going live.

The Tally of the First 24 Hours

Defeated Bosses

  • Trakanon (by Twisted Legion)
  • Venril Sathir (by Ion)
  • Talendor (by Armageddon)
  • Severilous (by Twisted Legion)
  • Gorenaire (by Citizen)

Completed Quests

  • Orb of Mastery (by Seleking of Armageddon)
  • The Scythe of the Shadowed Soul (by Corpselover of Twisted Legion)
  • Ragebringer (by Dezire of Twisted Legion)

It looks like four guilds are competing to finish off the expansion.  You can see representatives from each in the pictures above.  The initial set of bosses were taken down by Twisted Legion within 10 days of the launch of the server.

I expect that all the quests will be complete and the last boss down by the end of this coming weekend.  We shall see.  With that timeline we could see Velious open up in early July.

As of this point, I have seen no formal announcement of any of this by the EQ community team in the forums or on the main page.

Crafting After Kunark

With the release of the EverQuest II expansion Rise of Kunark and the accompanying Game Update 40, there were some changes to trade skills. A few of these have changed the way I play, for better or worse.

Tools of the Trade

One of the joys of having a woodworker is that all of my characters are equipped with harvesting tools, the best of which shaves a full two seconds off of the time it takes do a harvest cycle on a resource node. There is a tool for each of the different types of harvesting, including a fishing pole for fishing.

The problem in the past was that you had to keep these tools in one of your inventory charm slots. That meant that you could only speed up two of the five harvesting methods (trapping, gathering, mining, foresting, and fishing) at any given time. For me, it also meant that most of the time I wasn’t harvesting, I would forget to put my hex doll or other charm slot item back into that slot.

Since GU40 and RoK, tools are only required to be in your inventory to speed up your harvesting ability. So now I can go into combat safe in the knowledge that I am not doing so with a fishing pole equipped!

Stacks and Stacks

Probably my favorite part of the update, the fact that raws and fuel now stack to 200 is a huge improvement for me. Storage and bag space is not such a big deal in EQ2, at least not compared to other games (WoW, LOTRO). But I still managed to fill up all of the bank slots on at least some of my characters. And one of the things that takes up a ton of storage space is raw material.

But since the rise from stacks of 50 (and it used to be 20 way back when) to stacks of 200, I have managed to free up a lot of bag and bank space.

As an additional bonus, bigger stacks means people can get more raw materials on the market, which might help stabilize market prices. Or it might just drive prices down to one copper faster. (I will never understand why people would bother to sell something for one copper, but that is another story.)

Window on the Craft

With the other updates, there is a new crafting window.

newtswindow.png

I like the fact that they put your skills right on the window now. I do not have to go through every once in a while to figure out if I have the most current set of crafting skills on my hot bar. And I do not have to remember which hot bar I loaded up with my crafting skills when I decided to revive crafting on one of my characters. (I seem to have put them all on different bars or in different orders with each character.)

On the other hand, it does not contain one thing I want, which is health and power bars. Since GU 40 broke all the old crafting window mods, I had to give up my compact crafting window with those bars and I am having trouble getting used to looking way up at the top corner of the screen (i.e. away from the reaction panel on the crafting window) to check my power.

And speaking of my old, compact window mod, I think the new crafting window is way too big. The middle of the window is mostly useless real estate. They should condense the section where the different quality tiers used to show up. SOE could simply make the icons smaller, say the size they appear in the hot bar, and condense down the window quite substantially.

I will keep checking EQ2Interface until somebody makes a crafting window I really like. Until then, the new standard one will have to do.

Low Quality No Longer Tolerated

This one confused me initially. You can no longer produce crafted items of less than pristine quality.

There is a post on the forums with all the details surrounding this decision, which you can find here.

I suppose the reasoning behind it is sound. Items that are less than pristine generally just get sold back to the NPC vendor. So why bother creating them at all?

There was a time, back in the early days of EverQuest II, when the lower quality tier items had reduced stats, but also had reduced requirements. So you could wear pristine carbonite armor only at level 20, but shaped carbonite armor could be put on at level 17. And it was generally better than the iron armor you were probably wearing. But with the disappearance of that, trade skill writs that required only shaped quality goods, and equipment that improved in stats as you leveled (interesting idea, but it confused way too many people), the need for different tiers of quality has passed.

So be it. But if they are getting rid of at least some of the interim tiers of quality (crude is out across the board, if I read that post correctly), I want them to go back and yank them out of the crafting window as well.

Back to Work

As this post implies, I am also getting back to work when it comes to EQ2 crafting.

My woodworker, ever in the vanguard of my crafting efforts, is back to making arrows, which are a steady source of income. The price of raw materials has jumped way up, of course, but he laid in a big supply back in the summer. (Well, it seemed like a big supply in stacks of 50. In stacks of 200 it doesn’t look like much any more!)

Now that I am back to that, I am back to plotting out a post on my philosophy on crafting, especially since these changes have mostly reinforced my own methods rather than causing them to change.