Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Not ruh-roh... Ratonga!

Yesterday, I made mention that I was getting tempted to take a one month trip to Azeroth again and last night I decided to see if it was more than just an old addiction nipping at my veins again. I logged onto my father in law's account and quickly discovered that I have just plain had enough of WoW. So, phew.

But my evening didn't stop there. I messed around in the beta I'm in which received a new patch (coming along quite nicely, and I can't wait to tell you guys what it is), but I still had this itch to try something new last night. After perusing my favorite blogs, I made a potentially stupid but currently exciting move... I bought one month's time in Everquest 2. I say it's potentially stupid, because I'm still deep in LotRO and the 1st content upgrade hits today.

But I'm an impulse subscription buyer, and the itch overcame me.

At 1st, I dreaded that I had made a mistake. You see, the whole point of me trying EQ2 again was that I wanted to play in Neriak, as I heard it was free. But at the time I also thought it was Arasai (dark faeries) only, and when I 1st logged in and found I couldn't select the Arasai as a race without owning Echoes of Faydwer, I nearly pooped my pants. But before I did (thank god) I proceeded onward with the character creation of a Ratonga (always a place in my heart for rat humanoids) and saw that I indeed could play in Neriak without EoF. I just had to download it 1st. So about 20 minutes later I relogged in and made my Ratonga Berserker, Phee.

Holy crap have they improved EQ2 over the past 2.5 years. I mean, I know they had actually. I was on the fence about getting EoF back in February but ultimately decided not to because of LotRO and my work on the Vault. But playing it last night, I realized again just how far the game has come. If it had launched like it is now... WoW might have had some stiff competition. Needless to say, I definitely think EQ2 is the better of the two games these days, but part of that could be my tiring of WoW as a whole.

Anyway, Phee leveled up to 8 at an alarming rate. The new Darklight Woods (right?) are really more put together than the massive starting cities of Qeynos and Freeport. I remember 1st logging into EQ2 back in 2005 before a lot of the reformations had been done and absolutely loving the scope of the cities but hating how boring it was compared to the log in and go action of WoW. I'm not saying I want instant-gratification, but when you 1st start a game, even an MMO, it needs to get you into the mix fast or risk losing your interest. At least that's my belief. It's why WoW worked so well, why LotRO's opening vignettes do, and now why Kelethin and Neriak do.

However after level 8 (about 1 hour's time) I just wasn't that into my Berserker. Perhaps it was too much like my Champion in LotRO that it just wasn't striking a cord with me. So I camped to the character select and made another little Ratonga. This time a Defiler named Phord (I promise I won't give him the surname Prefect if I make it that far). This guy suited me much better. It's a nice change of pace from my usual melee classes. His buffs, heals, poisions, etc make for interesting visuals as well as easy solo-ing, even if it's not as quick to kill things as the Berserker. The added survivability is worth it.

In all, I had a great 1st night in Neriak, and I look forward to playing again later this week. I'm not sure how long term my time in EQ2 will be, but for now I'm sure I'll get my 15 bucks worth, and probably meet a few friends from the blogosphere in the process. And that's what counts. :)

On a couple of side notes, if anyone here knows of any good EQ2 reading material for a newbie, please leave me a comment with the links. I'd love to read up on the game, and the old manual just won't cut it at this point.

And lastly, tonight is Shores of Evendim night in LotRO. If I can log into Middle-earth tonight, I'll bring you all reports of the new additions tomorrow.


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