We are coming up on the 30 day monthiversary of Phinigel’s launch! Time flies when you’re having fun, and I have certainly enjoyed myself while playing two characters and grouping regularly with friends.
I want to take inventory on where I’m at with my characters, some of the experiences I’ve had on the server, and detail some of the challenges I am currently facing on Phinigel.
Characters on Phinigel
Fragglemancer the Necromancer -> Level 30
I really, really enjoy the Necro class. Necro was what I played mostly back in the classic era of EverQuest, and returning to my roots has been great. This class has proven far more useful than it ever was back in 1999 due to the arsenal of spells given to the class throughout leveling. Necro DPS feels very high.
I feel welcome in groups and useful on many levels. I can charm undead to create a pet with astounding DPS, or use the charm as a form of CC. I can snare, obliterate undead with special nukes, fear, aggro wipe, and even tank far longer than most people can because I can lifetap my HP back up.
Nurtz the Cleric -> Level 10 (almost)
I always wanted a Cleric, and this has been my opportunity to dabble in that dream. I love healing. I have main’ed a healing class in many MMOs both hardcore raiding, casual grouping, and even competitive PvP. I enjoy the role of support. Clerics in EverQuest come with amazing buffs, fantastic healing (I like spike heals), and some fun support tools as well. Overall, juts a fun class that I plan to take to the max level.
The server itself has had an interesting go of things.
Compared to Ragefire, this experience has been heaps better. The community is, overall, more friendly and more in-line with a community feel. I do not feel like I playing against the community whereas on Ragefire I felt like everything was a competition. Ragefire created animosity with boxers, guilds fighting for spawns, etc. Here things seem much more relaxed.
Class Balancing and Changes
One of my early gripes which has mostly been alleviating by simple acceptance is that of class balance changes. My class (necro) was nerfed on launch day. I have come to terms with this, realizing that it simply means I do not solo as much but instead focus on grouping. While I’m really perfectly fine with this, I will address later why it is my biggest frustration.
The economy is slow to start, but that’s a good thing — I think. Prices are fluctuating weirdly, but deals can be had. I see the Stein of Moggok going from 150pp early in the day, up to 350pp during primetime. Overall, Kronos are far less prevalent. Ragefire was all Krono, all the time. I see a few adverts in chat, but mostly it’s the occasional 1 krono for 1650pp. That may start to change now that the 30 day mark is upon us tomorrow. Personally, I’m wearing no items except for the Ancient Croc sleeves. I don’t plan to enter the Krono market until Kunark.
Double XP Weekends
We’ve had two great double xp weekends, and those were a welcome site for someone with my shorter play sessions. I might have 2 hours on a week day to play, but sometimes not even back to back.If you recall, XP on Phinigel is about 1/3 of what it was on Ragefire. The double exp allowed me to join groups and gain a level or even two levels and feel like I made massive accomplishments.
Instancing & Picks
Most or all of the “end-game” content can be “instanced” for the first time. This means that the guild drama and competing against each other in the community has been alleviated. I question the motives some people have when they come to the Phinigel posts on the community forum and say things like, “How’s instancequest? I’m playing the real EverQuest on X server…” It’s like they have to justify their existence. Then I see them say, “We’re “earning” our gear over here on X server.” Huh. Well, have fun with that.
The server is very much alive. There are regularly 7 picks of LGuk, 4-5 of Unrest, and regularly people out exping in the less common places like SRO crocs. Chat channels regularly have 400-500 people in them each. My class channel for Necromancer is actually increasing in population over the past 2 weeks.
My Frustrations with Phinigel
Can’t Find Groups
There are thousands of people playing. There are plenty of picks and even more capable of opening for zones that fill up. Yet, for whatever reason, I am struggling in a big way to find a group during my play times. This wasn’t an issue up until this past week. I come online with 2 hours to play, start LFG tag, advertise in the appropriate channels, and nothing. Groups are there. Zones are packed. People are online. I can’t decide if it’s a lack of people with initiative to form groups, or if new picks aren’t actually opening, or what.
I see easily 10 groups worth of people LFG every time and nothing. To those who would say, “start your own group,” I have to push back and point out that starting a group would probably take most of my time leaving me with having only formed a group and never had the opportunity to play.
I know that this could all be an issue of level. I’m level 30. I’m too high for Unrest and too low for the core of LGuk. I’m in the transitionary phase between major grouping locations. I may just have to persevere.
Can’t Solo Well Either
Okay, so I’ll just solo then. Well, since Necros were nerfed that has become a bit of a challenge. Sure, I can solo blues. I’ll play for three hours and gain maybe 1/20th of what I would have gained in a group (which is already 1/3 of what I would have gained on another server). On Ragefire I would easily solo on my Mage, and watch with envy as Necros pulled off things I could only dream about doing. Not really the case here. Most of this is also due to my level. I’m level 30. Too low for Hill Giants (which are camped anyway) and too high for most of the nice soloable 20 stuff.
The Future of Phinigel
I’m going strong. The frustrations can all be alleviated by a few well-timed good groups. We have a good group or 4 (if we can all manage to play together). I like my class(es). The server ruleset is right where I want it to be. I just have to hold on for two more months when Kunark comes and the options blow wide open.
While Kunark is a bright spot in my future, I still have goals for the next two months:
- Reach level 50 on my Necro and level 30 on my Cleric
- Obtain decent gear on my Necro without buying Krono (things like Harvest, Stein, a Robe of Ishva or better, etc)
- Find a way to earn plat (which would help with obtaining the gear)
Having a MMORPG to play where these goals feel like they are hefty and will take effort is nice; a nice change from the past year.