Things have been going pretty well since the EQ2 servers came back up following the extended downtime due to the Sony hack. First of all my fears that the long downtime and loss of personal data would lead to people leaving the game seem to have been unfounded. The guild seems busier then ever, and people have even come back to the game as they had some free days awarded.
Part of the reason may also be that after six years those who are subscribing are generally in it for the longer term anyway, and wouldn't be so put off by the hack. If it had happened shortly after the game's launch it would have been a disaster, but six years into the game's lifespan? Not so much. In fact the Antonia Bayle server at least seems busier than ever.
I've been slowly working my way through my EQ2 shopping list of things to do before I unlock my level and continue progressing into the Kunark expansion. With Voltaan's help I've managed to get my class hat (looks great but the stats aren't as good as my mastercrafted armour), and we are most of the way through the Qeynos Claymore timeline quests now. We have also started the Knights of the Round epic quest, which involves travelling all over Norrath collecting 50 little statues hidden away in unlikely places.
On the crafting front I can relax a little as I have finally reached level 70 (the crafting quests give a lot more experience than they used to!), and have even managed to earn my Cloak of the Harvester. In doing so I raised my faction with the Far Seas Trading Company enough to get a set of shiny new armour into the bargain.
Finally on the EQ2 front I've started a couple of the Heritage Quests on my list (A Thread of Hope and Casualties of the War). So, a lot done, but still a lot to go!
We also managed to run through Unrest this week. It's a zone that was added after I left EQ2 for the first time, so I haven't played it before. I do have great memories of this classic zone from the original Everquest, so I was looking forwards to running through the updated version. I have to say it didn't disappoint, it's probably one of the best instances I've run since coming back to EQ2. It's a lot of fun, with some nice puzzles and really evokes the sense of nostalgia for the original game. The only hiccup we had was when Volt went linkdead just after pulling nine yellow heroic mobs (he likes to do that). Nice timing mate!
The video below shows a nice comparison between the new and old versions of the Estate of Unrest.
Now for some other gaming news I've found interesting this week.
Funcom have announced that Age of Conan is now going completely free to play. This has recently become a common move for modern MMOs that are starting to lose subscribers. I don't think it will do too much to help AoC to be honest. You can find my thoughts on the game (and why I stopped playing) here.
Trion have announced that Rift will be getting free character server transfers shortly. This seems a little odd to me, and slightly worrying that they feel they have to do this so soon after launch. Are some of the server populations really that low? Not only that, but you will be able to transfer a character once every week, which I cannot see helping the server communities to form at all. This sounds like a bad move to me.
On the Star Wars The Old Republic front Bioware have released another class progression video, this time for the Republic Trooper. It's a great video that once again makes me want to try the class out. I'm starting to have real problems deciding what class to play now (see a future post for my thoughts on that). Anyway, check out the video below. That is one Big F****n' Gun!
Finally before signing off for the week I'd like to congratulate Wolverhampton Wanderers FC for managing to stay in the English Premier League after the closest and most hard-fought season in years. It was one of the most nerve-wracking 90 minutes I've had as a supporter. With 87 minutes gone the club was in a relegation spot before Stephen Hunt's superb goal ensured survival. Let's hope next season isn't quite so nerve-wracking!
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