Having Fun on EverQuest 2’s Progression Server

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EverQuest 2 Time-locked Expansion Server

Continuing the ride the wave, Daybreak opened up two more progression servers last week, but this time the servers are for EverQuest 2. I chose to play on the PvE version rather than subject myself to PvP, and rolled up a Gnome Necromancer.

A little bit of my EQ2 Background…

I played briefly when the game launched. Graev was much more into it, but even he only lasted a few months. About 6-8 months after launch I went back and played EQ2 for roughly a year. Fast forward a couple years later and I dabbled in Echoes of Faywder but didn’t stick. I came back for Kunark and ended up playing for about 6 months. Ultimately I ended up with a 50 Monk, 55 Shadowknight, and 50 Brigand. Back then, that wasn’t bad.

Newb again

Logging back in for the first time two days ago, you’d think I never played the game. Everything was either different or my memory is getting horrible. Eventually I figured out the UI, found the dozens of settings windows to tweak the game to be just how I want it, and set out once again into Norrath (albeit a fragmented version).

You’ve probably seen me in-game (guess my name) asking dozens of questions. Last night I was trying to figure out crafting which has radically changed from back in the day, and is still quite different from other crafting systems despite being (I think?) dumbed down from what it was in 2005 when I last crafted. I think the system now just required me to match the symbols when they pop up? Is that right?

Feels good to return to a game that I literally played more than any other MMO released in the past 10 years and feel like a newb again. 

Quests and More Quests

Wow… (sorta no pun intended) this is so different from EverQuest. EQ2 is very much a quest-driven game now. I think I remember it being that way around the time of Kunark too. I picked up 5-6 quests and facerolled my way through the Isle of Refuge (I remember this place from when I first played) then quickly progressed my way through half of Darklight Woods.

I guess I accidentally picked the OP/FOTM class. I’m having no trouble blowing through orange named mobs and having zero downtime whatsoever. Send in my pet, dot dot dot, dead. Pet does some crazy AE root/aggro and I never worry about a thing.

After two evening of play (roughly 4 hours maybe?) I’m almost level 14 or 15 (lost track) and working on becoming a Sage so that I can craft spells. I’m currently lost in the city trying to find where to get the crafting tutorial. I guess the tutorial quests can take me to level 7 crafter? Here I’ve been just grinding.

Finding Joy in the Little Things

EQ2, despite its quest grind and other issues, has many redeeming qualities. I find myself happily logging in these past two nights wanting to get further and see more of the game again.

Gathering – I love gathering. I don’t know what it is about harvesting these nodes, but I can’t get enough. I think it’s the chance of finding a rare that keeps me going. Will this one have a rare? No? Ooo but this one might! I gather everything I see.

Combat – It’s way faster than EQ, but still slower than most modern games. I like how combat ‘feels’ and how encounters work. I sorta like the ‘encounter only’ aoe spells. I like lots of the spells, actually — at least for the necro.

Maps – EQ2 has great maps. If a game is going to have maps, they should be like EQ2’s. I like to stare at them and look for things. I think I spent 20 minutes scouring the city last night.

Ability Levels – EQ2 still has the Apprentice, Adept, Expert, etc., spell/skill levels. I like knowing that I can gain abilities but still upgrade them.

Skill Trees – I forgot about these completely. At certain levels you can choose what abilities you get. If I remember correctly, that means at like level 14 I can pick 1 or 4 abilities? Something like that. I like choices.

EQ2 feels really social right now; Lots going on in chat, people are mostly helpful. I’m overwhelmed by the complexities that come with a game being this old. Things like housing, QoL items I should buy, how to upgrade gear, etc., are all beyond me right now. I’m just progressing and wandering around looking for stuff. I don’t even remember how dungeons work, or where they are at, or if I should even do them.

Feel free to share any tips for a veteran-turned-newbie returning to EQ2. I’m having fun and will spend a lot more time in EQ2 now, especially since I’m all-access and currently well-fed with Kronos.

  • Seeing your tweets about this game made me curious to try it out, and boy am I happy I did. I never played it when it was out like most people who are their for nostalgia. I am enjoying it for my first time. So happy to see all the depth in this game and this is it’s launched version and it still has more depth and soul than pretty much every other MMO that has come out in recent years.

    Blown away by how many choices I had just with character creation. So many races all with different racials and starting zones. So many classes as well. The maps are fun and even challenging. I died a couple times already which isn’t something I really do much in modern MMOs.

    Really loving it!! Thanks for the suggestion!

  • EQ2 still has the best crafting system I’ve seen in any game. It is a little bit more involved than just matching symbols but that is a big part. My memory is fuzzy but you will be using your abilities to fill the quality and progress bars in something that is kind of like combat. As your skill goes up filling the quality bar gets easier and you can make some really nice stuff if you fill it.

    As you gain more abilities there’s different trade offs you can make so your strategy also plays a part in how well you fill the quality bar. A good bit of luck is also mixed in as you can crit success or miss on abilities. And then there are those counters. If you can make your desired trade off AND counter a problem that’s when you really start to shine.

  • Is there a better way to see what the little abilities are? I feel like I have to hover on them to see and they change frequently. Having time to react is tough since the window of time is narrow. Each of the icons are the same and i feel like they do random things. Some are actually detrimental by reducing durability and increase time to completion.

  • You can see them in your skill book (default K) somewhere. You can also set up a hotbar with them in whatever organization you desire and switch to that hotbar when you craft, so you can use your number pad/bar for activating them.

    Also, you can use than 1 per Tick. If the recipe is easy, you can use all 3 each tick and you’ll be fine. Just be sure when you need to counter to use the counter first.

    There are a couple things I miss:
    – Level Locked Zones
    – Quest Locked Zones (some instances needed a quest to enter. They removed nearly all these restriction, it seems).
    – Tradeskills Item Subcombines. Some people liked it. Some people hated it. You used to have to rely on other crafters to make components you ne red for your combines. The concept is solid for building a tight community and economy, but they implemented it in an unbalanced way. I still think they should have redone the formula rather than abandon it. They also could have used the concept for the more powerful items and gone simpler for more basic / level grind items.

    EQ2 would be my favourite game to create an Emulated server of, because I feel like the mechanics enforced by and available to the client are really good. There are just a few Content and Calculation changes I’d want to make.

  • Very odd in retrospect that as a huge original eq fan I never even tried 2. It was too much like cheating on your wife I guess. We felt it was just an overeaction to wow dumbing everything down. Maybe not an overeaction. Cause it all got far dumber from there.

  • I should mention, another major draw for EQ2 is the combination of public dungeons and instanced encounters. One sore point of EQ is the aspect of Day/3-Day/Week long respawn timers on Raid and Quest mobs. You always see garbage on forums (Currently it’s TL on Ragefire) about how one guild is locking down all progressio and raid content, and are so good at it that no one else has a chance to partake in it. This leads to forum hate and people becoming desperate and Ninja Looting to get what they want or just quitting as they’ve hit a roadblock they can surpass.

    EQ2 counters this by instancing Raid content and making quest spawns either triggered or having no special loot table (so they don’t need to be farmed except for the quest), or placing them in an instanced area.

    Some people might complain about instances, but they likely never had to worry about the above issue or they are of a mentality that since they suffered it, everyone else should have to.

    Also, if multiple people need a quest related drop from a quest-triggered mob, it will update for all those on the quest rather than being a physical drop that has to be spawned and rekilled X number of times.

  • Glad you are enjoying it. This has been my go to game for years. I did make a new char on the PVE server. An illusionist, Dazem. I’ll look you up when I’m on next. Have not had a chance to play as much as I want which is pretty typical of me during the summer times. I will probably try out a tank on the evil side too.

    If you see me on please feel free to ask me whatever you like. Other than really specific class info for classes I have not played, I can probably help you out.

  • Without prompting from me, Lokked made my dumbing it all down argument all by himself. Thanks. No special loot for anybody sounds fantastic and makes me want to try way harder. Sorta like in Cuba and Russia.

  • What I meant was that people won’t be farming your quest named for non-quest drops. I really can’t see the allure to being in contest for all spawns. EQ2 hasn’t removed all contest: regular named and public dungeon named are still contested, and when a quest mob is killed it still needs to respawn, but you won’t be waiting weeks at a time to kill some lady for your Enchanter Epic, while another guild has a bot employed to monitor spawns and camp the area.

    I suppose at some point, waiting was made out to be fun. Some newer concepts might be “dumbing it down”, but some old concepts were plain “dumb”.