It won’t be a huge surprise to my fellow Twits (that’s the polite version) and probably not to those others of you reading between the “woe is me! I’m so jaded” lines, but I’ll state it anyway: I’ve decided to give EQ2 another spin. Last time I played it was from sometime in 2005 to sometime in 2006, probably right around 6 months all told. It was around the time of the… combat revamp? (SoE just can’t help themselves, can they?!) — something like that, and we unsubbed not too many weeks after Kingdom of Sky came out. So, all in all, it’s been not quite 3 years and in 3 years it seems they can add a lot to a game. Like fae and a grunch of new places and god only knows what else.
What I do know is that next time I decide I want to re-try an old game, I want to have that brilliant idea in the evening so I can set the client download going overnight and come to it the next day; that way I don’t have to pace around chewing my nails and wondering what I might do with myself while I’m waiting. If I’d had work, it wouldn’t have been a problem, but I got done quickly today and spent most of the afternoon doing one of those boredom-montage scenes. Ysh playing Freecell — cut to — Ysh chewing nails — cut to — Ysh stirring coffee — cut to — Ysh staring out of window while idly cutting own hair into odd punky shapes — cut to — Ysh banging head on desk — and so on.
Eventually, however, all the little bits and bytes were where they’re supposed to be and I was able to start up the client. It seems that every even time I fire up the client, it crashes on the “Loading Entities” stage, which I seem to recall being an issue back in 2006, too. Fortunately so far it has eventually let me get to the character select screen, so it could be worse. (Yeah, like Runes of Magic not even downloading. Pfeh. As far as that kind of thing goes, I’m Miss Intolerant from Bigotsville. Web pages must load in the time it takes me to blink, and games should download and at least run semi-reliably. Course, with 1 out of 2 EQ2 client-runs working, I guess that is semi-reliable. Hoist by my own poor standards!)
Since they were new to me I made — need you ask? — one of those cute little fae critters, though the Freeport mob always seem SO much more interesting and that goes for the bad evil nasty sexy in a jailbait kinda way naughty-fae — sorry, I forget what they’re called. It’s a shame Freeport is such a vomit-coloured pit for the most part or almost all my chars would be bad guys but that’s what betrayal is for. And since I love you, I took a screenshot — actually I totally forgot but I fired up the client again just for you. She’s not nearly as ridiculously good looking as all of Stargrace’s screenies are now, but as usual I have to say that ANY game looks a lot better on a 28″ screen; I’m not complaining. I was prepared for it to run pretty slow and not look all that good, because my machine is the same now as the one I used in 2006, but the graphics card has been upgraded and that seems to have helped (even though EQ2 is said to be an intense CPU hog); we’ll see how it holds up over the next few days, but I’ve got most of the settings on at least high and it’s looking pretty good. I may smoosh the antialiasing up a bit — you sure notice those jaggies a lot more on bigger monitors (yeah, it’s a hard life).
I was a little shocked to level every time I sneezed, I have to admit… but it *is* a trial and I apparently started out with a full bar of rest xp or vitality or whatever it’s called in EQ2, which explained a lot. Skill certainly didn’t — it rapidly became apparent that I’ve forgotten almost everything about the game. Firing arrows seemed really odd and not very responsive, which I do remember but I don’t remember how one plays to that rather than struggling against it. It’ll come back to me, though I did realise I should probably have made a melee-DPS char to start with, since those are always closest to my comfort zone and I can probably remember how to play a swashbuckler. Tomorrow maybe; okay, maaaybe today; maybe right now. (Yes, I know I swore high and low to some of you that I won’t make alts — the trial doesn’t count! That’s what trials are for! It says so on the box.)
So, after an hour or so of wobbling around extremely uncertainly and bumping into mushrooms (which has nothing to do with fae constantly being drunk, that’s just a scush– scirril– scurrila– nasty rumour) and of course levelling every time I sneezed, I’ve ended up at level 4. Flush with my new ultimate cosmic power, I took on a level 5 goblin and totally flubbed it. As my little wings crumpled sadly over my corpse, I realised it was probably time for bed.
There are a couple of morals to this story. One, getting to reknow a game that has moved way past you is almost as good as getting to know a brand-new game. In some ways, it’s even more confusing because I keep thinking I remember stuff but I don’t, or keep expecting something and getting something else — and of course I keep hitting I when I mean B and C when I mean P and god only knows why the left and right arrows turn in normal mode but suddely become strafe when I’m in combat — but hey, all that stuff is actually fun, in a head-explody kind of way.
Two, something’s gotta give. I can usually justify two game subs, because there’s a reasonable chance I can find the time to putz about in two games; but three games — unlike with Holy ammunition — is just not on. It’s not just the money, though these days that’s certainly a consideration; it’s mainly that I’ve never managed to play 3 games concurrently, so there’s no point keeping 3 subs. For the next two weeks though, I’m not officially subbed to EQ2, so I don’t have to decide right now. After that… it’ll be a battle between WoW (not bad but am feeling somewhat over-extended and I’ve seen most of the new stuff I wanted to see), City of Heroes (great fun, good at what it does, but limited in many ways) and EQ2. We’ll see.
Last but not least, I’d like to thank all the Twits for the Dating Game contest yesterday — not that I like making people admit how utterly fabulous I am, but it was heartening to say EQ2 and have a chorus of tweets coming in from half a dozen people (and then some). With cross-server chat, there’s a chance I might not be playing in a vacuum, and that’ll be great. (Yes, I know how to make new friends. What I’d like however is to play with some of the new friends I’ve made and never really played with. :P)
Ah bugger, over 1000 words and I was going to try to stay reasonably brief. Anyway, it’s time to play.