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03.12.2011 Farming is over! by Imrahil

After more than 9 months of farming the same old content again and again finally the 18th expansion of EverQuest called Veil of Alaris has come out – oh, the bliss of moving to only one expansion per year!

Was the long farm time boring? You can bet it was!

Did it make me slack even worse on guild news updates? Err... I guess so.

Was it relaxing? In a way, yes.

I myself have found that there are other pastimes besides sitting in front of a PC playing a game with prehistoric character models and bugs which aren’t corrected after being acknowledged more than half a year ago. Seriously: the models I can cope with (heck, EQ is old, it has other virtues), certain handicaps because of old coding I can cope with too, NP. Not removing pesky annoying bugs like the repopping sharks in SS#3 (or the adds in Al Kabor’s Nightmare), the stupid exit-mechanisms in SS (some port you outside the raid zone STILL) and event 7 door STILL shutting once events starts - all this just screams “I don’t care”. It gets even more irritating when you see that on the other hand changes inside scripts are made to make them even MORE annoying (note: not really hard), like the super spin-stun in SS#2. So you guys do have the time to change scripts, but not those parts that have been posted a gazillion times and acknowledged as bugs? WTG, devs, WTG… ah well, rant over (for now).

While I am speaking about annoyances here is another thing which has come up a LOT lately: the insane push, especially when a raid is fighting a mob. Quite often they don't get pushed slowly like in former times, but they simply warp to next position and our rogues especially are cursing all the time. Here is a quote about our best success in controlling the push:

Pushcontrol by RF

Anyway, was I looking forward to something new to do in EQ although I had found distractions? Hey, I am addicted, one summer with surrogates like “Beergarden 2011”, “Barbecue Master 3” or even the two parts of “Nottingham Visitor” (see previous news) can’t cure me...

Also I was looking forward to new raid targets together with an awesome guild which shows so much <3 towards each other and especially to me:

My guild loves me!

Jolene would go even further:

Jolene especially!

So yes, I was awaiting Veil of Alaris (VoA) impatiently, hoping for new levels and AA to get, new quests to do and new raid mobs to kill.

Will VoA fulfill all those hopes? Two and a half weeks after release final judgment is certainly too early, but a few things can be said nonetheless:

First of all the invention of resizable hotbuttons which make clickies work from inside bags (if the item itself needn’t be worn) is awesome. Combine this with the huge bags invented in HoT and you have so much more flexibility than you used to have two years ago – very well done!

Second, the new guild halls look really nice and our decoration aficionados have already spent much time into making ours a great place – thanks for the effort guys, you rock!

Third, the group progression via language skill was less painful than expected after Beta, because some of the pressure was removed by adding a second zone in which one could get the needed skills for the higher tiers or by adding a faster respawn on quest mobs. Nonetheless I am still dubious about the requirements for everyone of 90 Alaran to be able to make armor. While it might make sense for a grouper, I think this is a burden not every raiders will like.

Last, but definitely not least (we are a raid guild after all): raids!

How can I say something about raids only 2 weeks after the launch?

Well, we have downed all encounters of the two lower tiers (although that’s only 3 raids), so at least a certain “first look” at the way raids are done seems possible.

All 3 raids share the concept, that they are simply bigger versions of one of the group missions in their respective zone. This is a new concept and from my point of view it is simply horrible!

Where are the days, when you went into an encounter knowing absolutely nothing about what would happen? Where is the surprise when everything that goes on in a raid script has already been seen by most of the raid members during some group task? Where is the challenge in finding out the mechanics of a raid if they are only a blown up version of said group task with exactly the same scripting? This new concept is one of the worst decisions in the last years as it robs a raider everything that makes raiding interesting. It is particularly sad, because the raid scripts wouldn’t be too bad if they were not already known. Sincerely: if anyone over at SOE reads this, please don’t do that ever again! It is no wonder, that all the raids which could be attempted flagwise were downed the first day they were available (ya we downed Valley raid 1 day later, as usual RF starts a bit slower, it’s tradition!).

I only pray that the higher tiers provide us with a bit more challenge otherwise this expansion will be even shorter than the last one. While I had the impression that T1 was supposed to be of similar difficulty to SS (in fact it’s easier than at least some events in there) I had really hoped for a bit more challenge in tier 2. The raid in Sarith though is sadly underpowered and the biggest challenge in Valley of Lunanyn is getting the placement of the NPCs sorted (I share Xack's thoughts that this can be a bit confusing, although I might have worded it differently):

Sausages...

Sorry, but I somehow doubt this will be raided more often than absolutely needed for flags, as it is rather annoying to do. As everyone can see the same scripts via grouping I wasn't even bothering to take screenshots of the raids, instead I present some more quotes:

Do halfelves make full raids?

Raid Fukk?

Wizards

Naly da bish!

Let’s hope for something a bit more interesting in the next tiers. Sepulcher will have some raids without an equivalent group version, so I am looking forward to that. We are farming "flags" now for the next tier and we will keep you informed once T3 events are getting beaten.

Stay tuned!




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