Day 1 of Phinny Server: What They Didn’t Tell You

EverQuest Phinigel Server

Phinigel is live! Surprisingly it came up exactly when they said it would! I rolled a Necromancer named Fragglemancer, and my friend Ursus made a Druid. We’re currently leveling up in Steamfont Mountains where mob density seems to be pretty good.

So far so good on the server. There are 530+ people in Greater Faydark. Instances or “picks” are now holding 100 people vs. the 20 they used to hold, and there are no queues to be seen during prime time despite there being as many people here as I can remember there being (or more) on Ragefire. There are no queues, and the lag is normal. Kudos to Daybreak there.

What they didn’t tell you about Phinigel – my list so far:

  • EXP is 60%+ slower
  • Pet mitigation was majorly nerfed (level 1 pet dies in 2 hits from a white)
  • Pets now instantly get aggro regardless of whether or not their owner is in melee range

So I find myself fighting an uphill battle struggling my way through these lower, slower levels, but my outlook is decent. I’m going to stay the course with a Necro until at least Kunark. We’ll see if I go back to Iksar Monk at that point.

Conglomoblog: Phinigel, Albion, Space x2! Lots to see and do.

Crazy busy times! Holiday shopping, work, family stuff, helping my wife with her two side businesses, and gaming when I have a few spare minutes have kept me incredibly busy! I have neglected to post much here, but that will be very different this next week. I want to craft a bit of a conglomoblog to address numerous topics.

EverQuest “True Box Server”: Phinigel

Yes! It’s finally upon us. Phinigel launches Wednesday, December 9th. I’m ready to go! My Gnome Necromancer will be moving forward full-speed ahead ready to gain levels and conquer the world of Norrath. By conquer I mean farm plat & gear and get level 50, etc. All in all having a great time in a world I can’t quite seem to ever grow tired of visiting.

Wanting to play with me and my friends? The more the merrier! Let me know and I’ll get you the details you need to join a great group. I plan to continue my “Late Nights in EverQuest” series on Youtube which was waylaid by the announcement of the new server.

Albion Online

I’ve been enjoying the closed beta of Albion Online. At first I was a bit rusty. You’ll see that in the video I am FINALLY uploading tomorrow morning. Sorry for the delay in that… I’ve been promising to upload that for two weeks now. I’ve spent around 10 hours farming materials and overall just acquainting myself with the game.

If you’re looking to join in on what’s shaping up to be a fun and long-lasting UO’ish MMORPG, check out the founders packs.

Space Engineers Adds Planets

Remember that fun sandbox building game in space that Graev and I played in May 2014. We took a couple videos and had a blast playing with some of you. More than a year later the game has apparently developed significantly. There are now planets to explore! I’m going to dive back in and see what’s up in Space Engineers on Tuesday. Might be a fun filler game.

Battlefront

Graev and I have been playing several hours a week of Battlefront on our PS4’s. I recently saw that more people play on the PS4 than the Xbox One and PC COMBINED. While a little surprising, it makes sense. Consoles are the native platform for most games these days, and the PS4 is pretty much the front runner. I’d be curious to see the numbers for Fallout 4.

EverQuest Phinigel Server (No-Box) Launch Plans

Phinigel server launches in exactly one week! We do not have a time yet, but according to the official EverQuest Twitter account we can expect them to release that information sometime before launch.

How crowded will launch day be on Phinigel? Looking back at Ragefire’s launch, the queues were insane for one week. They launched a second server (Lockjaw) for players to overflow into which did help some. Like all MMO launches, hype fades and queues go away over time regardless of opening more server.  In this case, we can look at it two ways:

  1. Phinigel will likely see an initial surge from players on both Lockjaw AND Ragefire which means there will likely be queues in the first week.
  2. The initial hype of a TLP has faded, and players may not see Phinigel with the same wide-eyed enthusiasm they had back in May.

Here’s a potential problem, and it keys in to my second point above. Daybreak is likely capitalizing on the hype of opening new servers, and the enormous surge of Krono purchases that accompany them. That’s great for Daybreak, but awful for the players. It will burn out the rather small group they have remaining. Hopefully their plan isn’t a 6-12 month cycle. But moving on to more optimistic plans…

I have decided on my race/class for Phinigel: Gnome Necromancer! Yep, I’m going to take the plunge and once again go for a pet class. Now most EQ vets will say, “Wait three months and play an Iksar! The Regen is op!” True. The regen is fairly game-breaking level 56+ when it feels like unlimited chloroplast. I simply don’t want to wait until Kunark to take advantage of the following:

  • Necros solo very well which means I have options
  • Necros get groups pretty easy since pets and dots are great dps in this version
  • I can farm plat on my Necro to pimp out an Iksar alt in 3 months

I also do not like Iksar casters. I don’t like how they stand straight up when they cast, and the tail poking through the robe isn’t for me. I think I’ll go Iksar Monk again when Kunark comes out, or I’ll lean toward an Iksar Shaman. Honestly it all depends on what my friends play at that point. I don’t care.

Gnome was a choice for obvious reasons. Gnomes are awesome. End of story. And I think a Gnome Necro can go into Neriak… which makes them awesome for the convenience factor of both continents early on.

My friend, Damage, is going to play a Halfling Druid. That makes my decision to play a Necro even more enticing since a Druid and a Necro duo is among the best out there in classic.

Are you taking the plunge and playing on the Phinigel server? If you need more details on what type of server it will be, check out my post on the Phinigel server rules and unlock explanation. Want to play with my small group of friends? Having a group is always nice, and people to talk to makes EverQuest way more fun. Let me know here or post on our EverQuest forum and I’ll get you set up.

Albion Online: The Sandbox You Should Be Playing

Albion Online

Albion Online‘s Closed Beta Test is currently underway and I am playing once again in a world that has captivated my interest since the earliest phases of alpha.  Albion Online is a sandbox game where everything is built by, sold by, destroyed by — and all other by’s you can think of — the players. I feel overwhelmed by simply trying to explain the scope of the game, but I’m going to try and touch upon some of the features that I think are worth showing off.

Albion Online World Map

Big Open World

The world is really quite big. It’s broken up into starting cities. The one you start at seems to be random, but you can travel between them by paying for a ship to sail you. They are located in the bottom of the green safe areas as seen above. The green areas are completely safe areas where you can’t be ganked. The yellow zones are areas where players can flag themselves as hostile and attack anyone. However, if you die you do not lose your just — just durability on it. The red zones are FFA gank and be ganked, lose ALL your stuff, etc.

The world is crucial to the game’s economy and PvP. Players can select lots and build on them. Lots are available in cities and all over. The resources scale in tiers; Green areas you’ll have lower level resources and they level up as you move out.

The world feels large and separate because everything is localized. Your bank in Kingsmarket won’t be accessible in Queensmarket. If you collect 500 wood logs, spend the time refining them, and then sail away… you better be willing to go back and get those resources. This makes local economies important, local crafters important, etc. Players on one side of the map feel like they truly are a world apart — if you read this blog often you know that’s something I absolutely love.

albion-online-skill-tree

Soooo Many Skills! Specialization Matters. Crafting Matters.

Simply put, there are a freak-ton of skills in Albion Online. Want to use heavy armor? Wear it and you’ll earn points by simply having it on and hunting. Want to make Bows and specialize into the best bow maker out there? Then make bows. It’s all really that simple.

Specializing takes time. Earning points by doing activities related to the skills you are trying to earn generates “fame.” Chopping a tree may earn you 15 fame, but you need 10,000 fame to advance to the next tier. That’s a lot of trees. Crafting a Bronze Tier 3 Breastplate may generate like 60 Fame, but when you need 2,000 fame that’s also a lot of breastplates. Good news is that most of the stuff I’ve made — actually all of it — has sold on the marketplace (auction house).

The weapons and armor you use are entirely up to you. Mix an match magical spells with plate armor, or bows with light armor, etc. All of the armor types come with different enchantments and benefits, so it’s up to you on the type of character you want to make. I think I’m leaning toward a caster in plate.

In terms of crafting, I want to make heavy armor (so I can use it and sell it) as well as some of the bigger weapons like swords, axes, and shields. Seems like people will be using a lot of these. And since it’s like UO where you lose your stuff when you die — and it breaks pretty fast — there will always be a demand for GOOD crafted items.

Build a House, Farm, City, Shop

You guys know me and my love of claiming a place and calling it my own. In Albion Online you can purchase (lease/rent) a plot of land out in the shared open-world, or you can purchase a private island (if you purchase while a premium member (stays if you unsubscribe)), where you can place your own buildings or farm, etc.

Owning property in a major city is a nice touch. There are stalls where you can purchase existing a lumber mill or a blacksmith or any number of well-desired properties. You can set a usage fee or tax so that anyone using your station will need to pay a fee that goes right to you. That’s pretty cool. Granted, when people jack that tax up to 999% it’s a bit of a douche move.

albion-online-farming

Some Downsides and/or Hurdles

There’s still work to be done on the chat interface which is honestly pretty bad still. Having to deal with the spam is outrageous. I haven’t figured out yet how to leave the global chat where everyone is spamming non-stop.

Playing alone will be tough. Due to the amount of specialization and features available for guilds and large groups of players, Albion Online is meant to be played with friends. If you are alone, be prepared to eventually hit a slight wall.

Premium Membership & “Cash Shop”

Right now you can technically earn a premium membership in-game, but that would take like 80,000+ silver for 30 days. That’s…. steep. If you want to jump into the closed beta you can purchase one of the founders packs and get in right away. The rewards are AMAZING at the Legendary level. You’ll get an Ox and a Horse. The Ox alone — which I have yet to purchase in-game — will be able to carry lots of resources for you. I’m hoping to get one soon.

If you have any questions about the game please let me know! Albion Online is fun enough that it’ll be a go-to game for me to play in addition to whatever else I’m playing. I find the farming and gathering fun enough to just go out and hoard resources.

If you want to join me in-game, check out the official website. If you end up becoming a founder send me a message ingame. You can find me somewhere near Kingsmarket gathering materials preparing to start my farming empire.

P.S. I have about 4 videos currently recorded in editing. I’ll get those up on Youtube. I also want to showcase more of my private island, crafting, pve, etc., in screenshots. Stay tuned!

This is Why Hunters are Overplayed

Mechanics Hunter Pets in WoW

I’ve been waiting to play a Gnome Hunter since 2004 and Blizzard has finally made that a reality. In Legion I will be able to play one, but now I’m raced with the annoying realization that I either have to level one from scratch, use my instant level 100 on a Gnome Hunter, or pay for a race AND faction change for my Orc. Bleh.

Seriously though, if being a Gnome isn’t cool enough they went and made MECHANICAL PETS!

Most Mechanical pets will be challenging to tame, requiring you to first locate them and then use your Hunter abilities in unusual ways. (You didn’t think we’d make it easy, did you?)

For example, one rare mechanostrider requires you to create a special punch card that grants access to a closed section of Gnomeregan (we hope you remember the way). Once you locate the clockwork creature, you’ll then need to figure out how to overload its circuits. Solve the puzzle, and you’ll have this magnificent mechanized minion striding by your side.

gnome hunter in WoW

The addition of Gnome Hunters makes perfect sense to me. Hunters use traps. Hunters use guns. These things scream Gnomish tinkering potential to me. Hunters seem akin to the Gnomish spirit of solving problems and making their tools work for them.