Adventure Log Update on Games I’m Playing

I’m slacking hard on blogging. Honest truth here is that I have a lot of games I’m enjoying right now. So let’s dive into an adventure log update!

Keen’s Adventure Log, stardate 2/10/2016.

Final Fantasy Explorers

I’m really drawn into FFE. Graev and I are having a good time taking out Eidolons and building up our characters. This is one of those weird situations where I know there’s no story, I know there’s not true ‘end’ to the game. Things just end when I feel like I’ve gotten the most out of making a character and I want to quit. I’m playing a Dark Knight right now, but I think I want to switch over to Red Mage. Something about chain casting and doing more magic with a balanced sword-wielding class seems fun. I’d feel more useful and less one-trick pony, though a DK’s one trick is to do a ton of damage.

A few of you asked about multiplayer. The multiplayer work where you turn on multiplayer mode in your singleplayer game. You then can choose local co-op or multiplayer co-op. You can make a room and have others join it, or join someone else’s room. These are like lobbies. You can password your room and let your friends join — that’s what we do.

Albion Online Closed Beta InviteAlbion Online

Really, really falling hard for Albion Online. Despite so much about the game being centered around GvG combat and taking territories, I find myself harvesting and crafting. What I’m worried about is the benefit of zerging. Zergs will win everything. Zergs will control the map, and despite it being huge it’ll still be that way. Zergs will feed crafters and outperform a solo crafter, or even a crafter backed by a group of friends or group of 10-15. It’s all about numbers.

The more I play, the more I realize there’s still a ton left to do to fix the balance. I think the devs know this. For example, crafting really is borked. To truly master one line of crafting would take like 2 years, but to get that far in combat takes 2 months. While needing to make crafting easier, they can’t make it something anything can just do on the side, otherwise they’ve ruined crafting. The entire game hinges upon how they balance this out. Please, PLEASE, get this right.

I’m about to upgrade my house and add more laborers. I’ll write up on those sometime here soon.

EverQuest

Every day I come home from work, go to the gym, and then log into EverQuest. It’s my routine. I think to myself, “I’m going to get a group and play!” Then I can’t find a group for 20-30 minutes. I get frustrated. I log off. None of this changes my desire to group. I -WANT- to group. I’m playing a Cleric FFS… It must be my schedule. I’m trying to play around 5:30pm Pacific time. Am I too late? Too early? It’s becoming frustrating enough that soon I’ll come home and go straight to Albion Online or FFE.

Double XP Weekend on Phinigel

We had a really fun weekend on the Phinigel EverQuest “True Box” Progression Server this weekend. Daybreak turned on double experience, even on progression servers, allowing us to propel ourselves forward at a little more reasonable rate. If you recall, experience on Phinigel is 66% slower than Ragefire and Lockjaw servers. Doubling the exp brought things a little closer to what they were on the other servers which is crazy since this weekend it felt like exp was absolutely flying. Discussions of experience gain always throw me into a catch-22.

EverQuest, for me, is entirely about the journey. I could not care any less about the end-game or raiding or my end-game gear, etc. I enjoy grouping, gaining experience, the challenges, and the world. All of that resonates with me in ways no other game can. Then double XP comes along and I’m loving how it accelerates the leveling process.  Wait, aren’t those two things on opposing ends of my enjoyment? I know, hence my catch-22. I think I like how it allows me to push characters has a rut or into new areas. People in general seem to be a little more focused on working together to take advantage of the XP gains, so groups are aplenty.

I ended up getting my Necromancer to level 19, and my Cleric was able to reach level 6 (almost 7) thanks to a few crushbone belts from my friend. So despite the fact that some people have already killed the dragons on this server (yes, it has been up for just over a week) and are decked out in amazing gear, I’m enjoying myself in the Estate of Unrest killing the undead while leveling up at a now snails pace thanks for having to work on the last day of the XP bonus.

There are about 10 weeks until Kunark comes out. I think that should be enough time to get 50, or close to it.

Phinigel Progress Report

I was crushed by sickness for 9999 points of damage over the past few days and completely unable to even think straight. I somehow managed to reach level 14 in EverQuest with a foggy head. My regular group consists of a Paladin, Rogue, Druid, and Necro (me) which can easily take out most of the group locations around our level. Unrest is, of course, the place to be at level 14 clearing yard trash and the main floor of the mansion.

I’m still working my way through understanding a lot of the changes to pets, exp, etc. on Phinigel. Daybreak hasn’t been very clear about why the changes were made, and players like me have had to really dig to not only identify the changes but try and formulate an understanding. EXP was nerfed hardest at a 60% hit. That means we’re leveling 1/3 the speed of Ragefire. My pet’s mitigation was nerfed quite hard at what feels like a 50-75% hit. Lastly, I think the damage is nerfed as well. I feel like the pets are back to true vanilla necro pets now and little more than a decent DoT.

Economics on Phinny are interesting. Krono will be in far less demand, and that shows. Right now a Krono is going for ~300-400 plat. People are trying to trade them for items that should only sell for 100 plat or so. That’s $18 (if you buy from Daybreak and not a RMT site) value for quite a pittance in-game.

Potions are the real draw. EXP pots cost 270 Daybreak Cash for a 25% increase which lasts 4 hours. Other potions like mana regen, attack speed increase, and stat gains are available. I haven’t dabbled in those at all, but I have purchased 2 exp potions to get me past tough spots. Can’t say I’ll be buying too many more.

Population wise the server is healthy. I feel like there are slightly fewer people than Ragefire, which was to be expected. Unrest has 6 zones going with 30+ people each.

All-in-all I’m captivated with my Necro and the server. I’ll hold off on participating in Krono or the economy until Kunark. Things are simply fun and EverQuesty! If you’re playing and want to join us, we’re in the level 14 range. We’d love to have you.

Crushbone Belts and Potions Galore

crushbone-group

My friends and I are having a lot of fun on Phinigel server. We struggled getting from 1-4 which took entirely too long, but now we really found our stride once we went to Crushbone around level 5. We shot up in levels thanks to Crushbone’s high ZEM (zone experience modifier). Now we are quickly approaching level 10 thanks to not only great hunting experience but the quest turn-ins of Crushbone Belts and Legionnaire Shoulderpads.

As a Gnome Necromancer I had to get to dubious with the Dwarves of Kaladim before I could enter and turn in belts. As soon as that happened I gained almost an entire level from the turn-ins.

crushbone-north-wall-group

Cayden from the picture above decided to make a Paladin and burst leveled him up a bit with turn-ins as well. That makes our ‘regular’ group a Necro, Druid, Paladin, and Rogue. Pretty awesome setup if we can mix in another heals and enchanter, which we did today in Crushbone at the North Wall (see image above).

Pet aggro is much more manageable now. I wrote how mitigation and aggro were jacked up, but the aggro issue seems to only be with level 1 pets. The level 4 pet was fine for aggro, and the level 8 pet too. Grouping is no big deal. Pet still does good damage. The pet’s ability to tank, however, is awful. Looks like I’ll be fear kiting and/or grouping my entire way up rather than letting the pet just tank and me dot the mobs.

Overall we’re having a very good time laughing and socializing while we make our way through the levels. We also noted that there seem to be a lot more potions on this server. That’s no shock given Krono will be much less of a commodity on Phinny.

Early Thoughts on my Return to WoW

Yeah, I returned to WoW. I’ve put in a few hours casually over the last 4 days and have to say I’m starting to really, really enjoy the leveling experience in Warlords of Draenor. In fact, so much so that I am regretting having not played from the beginning. Technically it would have never worked given I was busy getting married, etc., but there is definitely a twinge of “Ugh I missed out on this in its heyday.”

This post is simply going to serve as a place to dump a few quick thoughts on my experience thus far, and maybe even get a little bit of your feedback and help on some questions.

I decided to roll up a Hunter. I plan to convert him to a melee spec Hunter when Legion launches. I’m enjoying how Hunters have changed since I played one as my Main from Vanilla through WotLK.  Any advice on a particular pet?

Khadgar has Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian

Why does Khadgar have Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian?

Lore

I love the emphasis on lore and story. Right from the get-go we meet Khadgar and Durotan and really big players. So much early RTS lore being thrown at me. However, I’m sorta confused. So uh.. where’d Khadgar come from? Wasn’t he in Outland in Shattrath? And why does he have Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian?! Isn’t that Medivh’s staff?

WoW Garrison

Having a useful, functional place to upgrade and work on is a welcome change of scenery

Garrisons

The Garrison system is fantastic. I think adding a place to call “home” is definitely a much needed change of pace from everyone roaming around a capital city. The feigned sense of social contact in WoW was off-putting. We were never there to chat. At best it made for inspecting people and suffering from gear envy. Having a practical and useful place that generates items, income, and something to do — a reason to log in that isn’t the same kind of daily quest — is welcome.

Atmosphere & Quests

The zones themselves seem much grander than typical WoW expansions. MoP was so bland and the lore and atmosphere stank in comparison. I really feel a sense of “Warcraft” here.

Quests in Frostfire Ridge were quite good. I like the emphasis on cinematic and leading me around via story. On the main map there is a Story Progress indicator which is nice to see how far I should be progressing through a zone. Thus far, the story has taken me to all of the outposts and I feel like I finished everything I wanted to do in Frostfire Ridge by the time the story took me to the next zone.

[Spoiler ahead] When Ga’arn told his brother the tribe needed their Warchief and Durotan’s eyes widened… then Ga’arn sacrificed himself and yelled “LOK’TAR!!” I had the best nerdy goosebumps and was on the verge of getting emotional. Whew… starting to feel it again… okay, moving on.

Questing itself is definitely not bad. Yeah, it’s the same old stuff but man when you go to other games and do their quests and you come back to WoW it’s like a warm chocolate chip cookie giving you a hug. As far as themeparks go, WoW is king and no one else should even try.

WoW Rare mob spawns

Gathering treasures and hunting “rare” mobs adds fun

Treasure and Rares

One of my absolute favorite additions are the treasures and rare mobs/items around the map. I LOVE the exploration element that exists even when I cheat with this UI mod that shows me where everything is located. Personally, seeing these rares on the map is even more push for me to go out of my comfort zone. I also like how they can require a little effort and acrobatics.

Gear Upgrades

REALLY cool feature I just discovered is random gear upgrades. I got a quest reward that I swear went from a green to an epic. I now have like 5 epics that are way better than the quest reward was going to be. Such a neat dynamic element to a very stale questing model.

Gorgrond

I’m excited to see what adventures the next zone brings

I’m just now entering the second zone: Gorgrond. Setting up my outposts was yet another “cool, that’s neat,” moment. Those moments will keep me engaged and wanting to continue logging in to level.