Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy Holidays!!

My son lives in New Hampshire. He was hired by a company that has a office located in Andover, MA. I spent the Christmas holiday with my son. It was exciting to get to see snow again. Living in Virginia, we do not see much of snow. When we arrived there was snow everywhere!! Unfortunately it looks like I also packed warmer weather along with my jammies!! The snow on the trees did not last long and by the time we left for home it was raining. Though I did hear that a snow storm was due to blow in this weekend!

My son is the other gamer in my family. I think between us we own pretty much every gaming console, sometimes 2 of each. We share games and fight over them!! When he moved he "accidentally" packed my 4 Wiimotes!! Ask me if I believe that! He just moved up there in September and he was getting his apartment set up. Of course what is an apartment without an Xbox 360 (I own the one in the family) so he purchased the Xbox 360 elite. He also purchased the new Guitar Hero and Rock Band. It was fun to watch him play. He has a bit of background in music so he is pretty good at it. I was much better with the drums then the guitar.

I took him my copy of Call of Duty 4 for the Xbox. I have a hard time using the controller playing a FPS. I did not even make it out of the tutorial. He had absolutely no problems with the game and was happy I did not want to torture myself with it any longer.

We joined some friends for dinner on Christmas Day dinner. I cooked and no, no one got sick!! After dinner we played some Wii Sports. My son can get a strike in bowling from the kitchen!! Even my husband got into the fun. He is not much of a gamer. We had a great time!

My son just purchased the first 3 seasons of Lost. He had never gotten into watching the series and to be honest neither did I. So he suggested that I watch the show while I was up there. I am hooked!! I was happy in my ignorant bliss of not knowing who Sawyer was, or who the Others were. And I thought that a hatch was just a door on a ship! Little did I know I would get all caught up in the lives of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. I do have to admit watching the show in marathon format was a nice way to get hooked. Now I just have to decide it I want to wait till season 4 comes out on DVD to watch it or start watching it episode by episode at the end of January!

Happy Holidays and may everyone have a bright and prosperous New Year!! See you all on the island!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

To Leather or not to Leather

I have to admit, I am not much of an "items" person. I do not usually troll the boards to find out exactly what piece of loot is going to make me be the best "Inquisitor" in the game. Recently I noticed that in the 2 zones that I have completed quests, I have picked up no new pieces of plate armor. I have several pieces of chain in my appearance slots because I like the way it looks, but I would not use it as armor. Last night we raided in the Protector's Realm and a nice set of leather boots dropped for priests. I was a little taken aback by the fact that they were leather and they were for all priests. So a discussion started about how there is mostly leather for priests to wear in RoK. I can barely survive soloing now in my fabled plate, and I am being told that the most readily available armor for me is leather?

I was not in the least happy about this. I decided that I would go search the forums to find out what was being discussed on this subject.

I found 2 threads:

and here

The first one started on Nov. 15 and the second one on Nov.26. So this is probably old news to some.

I read through the majority of the posts and was a bit interested in the Dev replies. These are all quoted from the threads and FyreFlyte is the poster.

"The reason you're seeing so much caster leather this expansion is because I felt it would be pointless to create every single piece of priest armor in triplicate (leather, chain, plate) when all 3 types could wear leather, and generally had little use for the extra mitigation of the higher armor types. Thus, the majority of the priest gear I created was leather so that all priests could make use of it."

Being a plate class healer I really do not think that my armor is pointless. Just to be able to solo in RoK I had to respec my Inquisitor AA line to Battle Cleric. Just to get the boost for my armor. I can handle one mob, but if I get 2 or more, I am dead.

"Believe it or not, not all of us red names know the intricacies of every single one of the 24 classes. Most players don't either. Some of the people who post here don't understand their own class terribly well. Are you attempting to tell me that mitigation matters to a group healer who never gets hit?"

Now that one sentence surprised me the most. I would have a big problem if my mechanic told me "I do not know the intricacies of car engines" or my childrens' math teacher told me "I do not know the intricacies of all the math formulas". Ok maybe he is correct. Maybe I should not expect him to know everything about my class and the 23 other classes, but I do expect him to at least know how things have been done before. I expect him to have a general knowledge of the mechanics of the game. I expect him to know that Templars and Inquisitors are plate clerics. That we need the mitigation to solo in a predominately solo expansion where the mobs are harder in general.

"Due to the way the tables turned out, you'll see a lot more caster plate and chain at the higher end of Kunark. That being said, there is a much larger selection of priest leather simply because there is a larger number of classes that can make use of it. There is plate and chain out there for healers, but not in as great an abundance as leather."

That entire paragraph got to me. I am lucky. I have some nice EoF fabled gear, but I am still having a time of it soloing. I have taken a fair amount of damage in groups and in raids too. I would love not to hold on till the high end to get better gear. I am not saying that I have not found some interesting items in the game. I have. I just wish I had more plate options available to me.

"However, my question was not "why do you want to wear armor with better mitigation". That would be a ridiculous question. What I asked was how much does it help you, and in which situations? It was an honest question. As a plate class, you have access to armor intended for almost every other class available, so you could use warrior plate if mitigation was your ultimate goal. In situations where mitigation is less important, many healers will use chain or leather."

Maybe these questions should have been asked before the armor was created not after. There is a great community of players out here. Most of us love this game. We would be happy to help at anytime. I usally do not go switching my armor out. I only do that on raids for resists or when I forgot to get a repair kit, and when I do I will put on more plate.

"There is chain and plate out there. People keep quoting a single paragraph I wrote and using it way out of context to make it sound like I said plate and chain priests should be happy wearing leather. This is not the case, and I did create an abundance of chain and plate caster gear. I'm not sure why players have failed to find it, but it's something I'm looking into. In the meantime, I'm rather incredulous (having played a healer in a number of different MMOs) that some players refuse to use the best statted armor based entirely off the premise that it was not "intended for them". I'm not forcing leather armor on you. It's just more abundant, as it proves useful to a larger number of players."

Have you played one in this MMO? This is not other MMO's, this is EverQuest II. This game was set up to have Templars and Inquisitors wear plate and Defilers and Mystics to wear chain and Furies and Wardens to wear leather, by design not because we think it looks good or it is something we want to do just for the hell of it.

"Given the lack of availability of certain armor types, and the ease of adding new pieces via faction vendors (quests are much much trickier to go back and itemize), I'm going to be filling some holes in a coming update. I want to stress that this is not a case of "the squeaky wheel gets the oil"; I'm not adding this armor simply to quiet down the (rather loud) complainers, but because I see a need for it, especially given the ramped up difficulty of soloing in RoK."

The above was posted on Nov. 27th. Though I am not sure that tossing some pieces on a vendor is the way to fix the issue. I look forward to seeing what I will be able to use my hard earned plat on. I understand that it would be hard to go back and retool the quest rewards, but maybe putting some drops on nameds throughout the zones or toss in more exquiste chest drops on mobs with new armor pieces in them would be a viable alternative to help alleviate the plate shortage, without causing the plate wearers to become financially damaged.

"These items are slated for GU 41, so hopefully they'll be in-game in time for the holidays =)" Dec. 6th.

All I wanted to do was to find out a bit more information on the amount of leather in the game for healers. I found more than I bargained for. I found that the differentiation that the team worked so hard to institute in the past was being wiped away but a Dev that felt it was "pointless" to create armor suitable for each healing class. I found a Dev that appears not to have done their homework before taking on the challenge to design new armor for an expansion. I found a Dev that seems to have a "if it works in other MMO's it should work in this one." attitude. I found a Dev that seems to not care about the people he is designing for. For the first time since August, 2004 I was disappointed.

Just My Opinion,

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hardcore Gaming or Speed Gaming?

I have been putting off writing something about the Rise of Kunark expansion for Everquest II for a little while now. I was trying to find just the thing I wanted to write about. It was not an easy thing to do for me but here it goes.

RoK was released 3 weeks ago. There were level 80 players within days of release. I think this is wrong on so many levels. The content is really beautiful to look at. It is exciting to experience. My little ratonga has to hold on to a tree to keep from being swept up in the whirlwind of players racing to level 80. I was complaining about this to my son. His reply was “Welcome to hardcore gaming.” I think he should have said “Welcome to speed gaming.” I feel like I am watching a 5 minute gaming session in each zone I am in. Run through, level and move on.

I raid with an alliance of people on my server. It used to be that we did not rush to do things. We took our time, we enjoyed the experience of our zone and each others company. With this expansion came a push to level so we can hit the new raid zones. There are still 2 raid zones in the last expansions we barely tried. I hope we get back to try those zones before all the content is green or worse grey.

I remember hardcore gaming. I did that in Everquest. I raided 7 days a week. I remember it taking forever to get levels. I had a full time job back in those days. I would think that kept me from leveling as fast as others, but a lot of people I know at level 80 today have full time jobs. I am already level 74, just a breath away from level 75. I am trying hard not to rush. I am trying to do all the quests I can find and to savor the experience that the EQII artists created for me to see. The first time I saw the ghost of Jaled’Dar in Field of Bones, I was mesmerized. I just stopped what I was doing to watch the sequence. They are fighting a ghost battle that occurred eons ago.

RoK brings back a lot of memories from my Everquest, Ruins of Kunark days. I remember the first time I tried to run to Chardok. My group was already at the front door and I had never been into the Burning Woods zone. They were giving me directions and of course being a Ranger, I got lost!! I died in a very bad spot with a lot of mobs around. My poor group had to come get me. Luckily for me, it was a guild group.

Anyway, memories aside, take the time to enjoy everything Rise of Kunark has to offer. It really has some beautiful areas to see. There are fun quests to do and a Sokokar to help you get around the very massive zones. Enjoy your self and if you see a ratonga holding on to a tree for dear life as you race by, wave it might be me!