EverQuest isn’t really that. Not on PvP servers anyway.

One thing I never really have thought I’d do has come to pass: I got a copy of EverQuest 2. Okay okay. I DO own a copy of EverQuest 1 for the Mac too. But I got that as a “free” gift when I renewed my .mac subscription a couple of years ago… I played it for several minutes before I dismissed it as a bad idea to start with. I guess that is why I enjoy ‘the noob’ and his adventures in ‘QlicheQuest’ so much. Damn I still feel dirty even tho it’s been a couple of weeks since I got it now.

It all happened a little over two weeks ago. Dark and Light was seemed to be in a dead spiral (why am I writing that in past tense? It still is) and my life was getting boring. Sure I suppose I could start having a real life away from the computer. But it would require more sunlight that I’d care to take in (with the summer having been so hot in most of Europe). So instead I was sitting in my Herman Miller and wondering what I could spend my spare time doing.

So far I have tried most games available out there. At least most of the ones that has free trials. I’d even played EQ2 trial a couple of times without thinking it was really all that great. But several people I’ve come to know in Dark and Light seemed to see it as “something to waste some time with” had opened accounts in it on one of these shiny new “PvP” servers. So in a moment of desperate boredom I rushed out and got my copy of the first expansion (that also included the full game).

Installation went fine. No major issues there. And the game patched in record time (guess no major patches had been released lately. So I was not stuck in a major download rush). And then came the time to play… After figuring out that changing the license agreement to US meant I would play on US servers too (pretty well hidden. Nice job SOE).

Now I usually always play magus characters as my main. They usually seem to fit my play-style pretty well. “So what could go wrong?” I thought. The character customization is pretty good too – almost as good as Star Wars Galaxy. Certainly enough to get bored and just press random a couple of times on some of the option screens. And then random name here we go, go, go, go…. Took a couple attempts to get to something I could live with. Final result: Kianomah. Okay so it is a bit of a strange name. But I’m playing an Erudite. So it’s not like I have a lot of reference material in classic fantasy writing to come up with something better.

Then the action started. Trial island I’ve already played a couple of times. So I rushed through it like a madman. Finished the two collections on it too. Just to get that checked off on my to-do list… Alright let’s go to the mainlands.

Now before we go any further it should be noted that PvP in EQ2 is relatively new. It’s likely to be a somewhat desperate attempt to compete with WoW. So basically the heavily PvE-based game was retrofitted quite quickly to support PvP. This I wasn’t really aware of when I bought the game (having pretty much ignored anything related to EQ games – except ‘the noob’).

But on I went – in a happy-go-lucky kind of way. I started questing (hey it’s called everQUEST right?). And in the beginning it worked pretty well. I got some levels under my belt. I got some levels and finally it came time to leave Qeynos (brilliant name by the way. Sony EQ backwards. WOW! The minds who made this world was really creative). Into Antonica I went… and got ganked.

Here is where it all breaks down. The problem is that it seems PvP really means ganking n00bs in this game. Playing on the good side should have been a tell-tale sign to begin with. I mean every elite PvP seems to want to be ‘evil’. So the fact that the good side is seriously outnumbered shouldn’t really have been much of a surprise. But what was a surprise is that everyone on the ‘evil’ side seems to think that being an elite PvPer means being in large groups and kill people several levels under their own who are running around alone.

The result of this is that soloing any quests without constant deaths to ganking parties is impossible. Doing it in groups is a bit easier. But usually due to the higher levels (and numbers) of the gankers it is still a great challenge of to actually quest. So I guess a rebranding of their PvP servers might be in order. How does EverGank sound? Don’t think it’s been used by anyone else. The odd thing about this is how casual everyone seems to be about it on the official EQ2 PvP forums. People casually refer to how they go ganking like is something that you need to do.

Now this is a game made for PvE. Nobody can contend that. As said PvP is relatively new – at least server-wide. So the fact that all classes are not equally good shouldn’t come as much of a surprise really. But what was a huge surprise to me is how seriously bad some (namely mine) seems to be. Sure a wizard is usually a glass cannon. High damage low health/protection. But usually you’d think the class at least have some way of keeping enemies off them. And sure enough we do. We have a root (that seems to almost never really work in PvP – not long enough to do damage anyway. And we have…. deaggro spells. Yay! Now if only I could speak to the enemy it would be more useful to just shout “please don’t kill me”.

It don’t help that there is so many stupid parts of the PvP system. First of all if you ‘mentor’ someone (reduce your level to match someone else in your group) you cannot EVER attack anyone. Not even if you are bring directly attacked. Second if you get into a fight with someone who is grouped with someone else WAY over the level bracket (zones have a PvP level range so a level 60 can’t gank a level 10) they can suddenly gank. The list goes on. But it seems the implementation of PvP servers indeed is a rather quick job from the EQ2 developers.

Well. This has been a lot of rambling about what I’ve been up to lately. My Dark and Light project has been put on hold for the time being. I won’t develop anything else on it until I get a real good reason for it (like, say, me playing the game seriously). And nothing else seems to be coming out soon. I did get a Roma Victor account too. But at least for now it seems to be too buggy to try to play. Hopefully a beta will pop up soon. So I can go play that for a while. At least in betas you don’t play ‘to win’ and you don’t get frustrated if something don’t work as intended… unless the developers refuse to fix it without giving a good explanation why.

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