Playing EQ2 has given me some new insight into MMORPGs. Starting the game up again so late in the game’s life is not a real easy task. Nearly everyone around me has mastercrafted gear because their main characters are fueling them with tons of platinum and rares while I am wearing quest rewards back from level 10 at level 29. I do technically have 6 plat banked because it was given to me randomly by someone quitting the game but I am not really interested in using it until I find a character that I want to stick with until 80. I do not have a guild and I really have made no real friends yet in the game. It seems the pug’s I am forced to join if I want a group are full of very non social people or I get lucky and snag the last spot in a group where everyone knows each other and they seem to not need another in their click. I’m a personable player when I group and I have never really had any trouble making friends.
EQ2 has been a somewhat different experience for me though because it seems everyone is doing their own thing. The game is old enough at this point that fewer new players in my predicament are playing. EQ2 feels like New York City – how easy is it going to be to stop someone you see and become their friend? Chances are you either have to become so familiar with them after seeing each other in your daily routine that eventually one of you says Hi or you truly can go the rest of your days without talking to a single person. So that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m getting into as many groups as I can and I am adding the good and friendly players to my friends list for future reference. I’m noting their guild names and play styles so that when the time comes and I get an offer or I apply to join a guild I will have done my homework.
One thing that is constantly bugging me right now though is that I might never break into the raiding scene in EQ2. I’m no longer a “hardcore raider” by WoW’s definition but I do enjoy raids a few times a week in places that are fun. I like getting loot and I like to have my character look neat. In EQ2 most of the ‘neat’ looking armor comes from raids. I’m met with challenges around every corner though. I want to raid but finding a guild for a newer player aspiring to raid is next to impossible. Many guilds are full or have all the raiders they need. If I want to get lucky and have even the most minuscule chance of raiding then I need to make a class that is more rare than others at the top level – which usually means they are harder to level. I’m not really complaining though and hopefully you can infer my tone here is one of “it is how it is”.
With Kunark on the way I will have a rare opportunity. Many new and returning players will be creating alts to start their adventure in EQ2. Veteran players will also be more likely to roll new alts when Kunark comes out to experience the lowbie Sarnaks. Since I plan to play a Sarnak I am going to need to find an ‘in’ here with the community in order to ride the wave. As I said in a previous post this week I am trying to decide now which character appeals to me most. A Sarnak Bruiser sounds really fun but I have this dreadful feeling that I will be haunted with that decision forever given the current state of the game. According to what I have read Bruisers are a great solo class but at the top level there really is no defining role for this class. They aren’t wanted as tanks and they can’t even begin to compare to scout or mage dps. A Shadowknight also sounds fun but I fear more of the same. Maybe I’ll make a Dirge or a Necromancer in order to fit in with the crowd. I still have a week to decide.
I know several of you out there play EQ2 and might be able to understand where I am coming from. Any advice on how to blend with the EQ2 community and culture? Should I be more proactive in my search for a guild and make the first move? Should I give in and make a class that is wanted most later on? I’m on the Antonia Bayle server mainly because it has the highest PvE population. I have 6plat and a bunch of rares that are also a bonus for staying here but I’m not 100% tied down. Maybe I’m on the wrong server.
Regardless of the difficulties that come with EQ2 being an older game I am still having so much fun. It’s a fantastic game and I just need to find a way to take advantage of all it has to offer.