Opinion: Is Altar of Malice Too Hard?

Written by Feldon on . Posted in Commentary, EQ2

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Challenge and depth are the spices that keep players coming back to EverQuest II despite the popularity of mass market MMOs like World of Warcraft, and the allure of expertly marketed glitzy new MMOs that are all appetizer and no entree.

However while Tears of Veeshan seemed to strike a good balance of difficulty and progression, the overwhelming feedback on the forums, in chat channels, and in my personal experience so far for Altar of Malice is that the EQ2 team overshot on difficulty and rarity.

I group 2-4 hours per week in a casual guild. We didn’t just jump into the Tears of Veeshan group content on day one and clear it all. It took time to learn the scripts and earn the gear needed to progress. Dominion required a raid-geared tank and two healers for the longest time. Today, I still do not have fully gemmed Potent gear, let alone Overclocked gear or all the purple adornments and heroic gear I wanted out of Tears of Veeshan.

Tradeskill XP

  • Emily “Domino” Taylor rejoined the EQ2 team long enough to develop not one but two tradeskill questlines for the expansion. Each of the ~21 quests in Altar of Malice’s main tradeskill questline award about 6% after yesterday’s XP boost, again with Vitality and an XP potion running.
  • Each tradeskill writ from level 95-97 awards ~3% XP. This is with vitality and an XP potion. The number drops to ~2.4% for levels 98-100. These numbers have traditionally been 5-7% per writ!
  • Without quests, Level 95-100 requires completing 180 rush order writs. If this is done flat-out with Netflix and coffee (or tea), it’s over 12 hours of grinding. Doing the questline only shaves off about 50 writs from this requirement.
  • When Domino last worked on EQ2, she made the less-than-optimal (in my opinion) decision to eliminate bonus XP for crafting new recipes. Forgetting the lore issues here (crafting a new recipe should always be more educational than crafting one with which you are already familiar!), this change did not take into account a design mechanic specifically designed to address the existing system. Because Scholars (Sage, Alchemist, Jeweler) have a larger cache of recipes to learn than other classes, our XP has always been lower than other classes. With the elimination of first-time crafting bonuses, Scholars were doubly impacted.
  • As reported, XP bonus items do not work due to a bug which might be fixed next Tuesday. The reward from doing the Altar of Malice main TS questline — [eq2u]Mark of the Far Seas[/eq2u] — does give bonus XP as its boost is an effect.
  • I have a 90 Weaponsmith, 90 Sage, and 95 Alchemist. If the current XP rate stands, I doubt I will level them to 100.

Adventure XP

I was on board with the dramatic reduction in Plat from the Rise of Kunark zone “Protector’s Realm” because there was a direct boost to the coin awarded from other means. All current-level named enemies, missions, and quests had their plat boosted by a huge amount. Also, for the Tears of Veeshan expansion, repeatable quests were added specifically for earning coin. Even if Protector’s Realm had been left alone, most people would have eventually stopped using it as the new stuff was less boring for the same amount of coin.

With the release of Altar of Malice, level 70-95 contested dungeons were removed as a viable means for leveling beyond 95. These zones now award approximately 2-3% of their normal XP if your natural unmentored level trivializes the content. A week later, the same change was made to Dungeon Maker, with a 97% reduction in the XP earned at level 95+. These changes have been widely discussed:

Again, I wouldn’t have a problem with these changes if the means presented to players for leveling at least partially made up for the reduction. The solo questline only gets players halfway to level 100. If you prefer to run heroic zones, then the two contested zones, presented now as the ONLY way to level in heroic content, are punishing in their difficulty (requiring high resists and quick cures) and lacking in XP earn rate.

Despite assurances and update notes insisting that XP numbers have been addressed, leveling to 100 is still a chore for those not privileged to be in a top raid guild. Players who want to jump straight into Altar of Malice’s group and raid content face a grind.

Rarity

  • Advanced Adornments Volume 11 — despite 2 pages of feedback and multiple requests for clarification from devs in private messages, we have received no information as to whether this item is dropping correctly from global loot tables or where it in fact drops. Given the importance of Resists in this expansion, this recipe book should be widely available at a cheap price to allow players to create the hundreds of resist adornments necessary.
  • The same issue applies to all level Advanced <tradeskill> Volume 97 books. They are unbelievably rare, going for 5,000-10,000 plat on most servers.

Conclusions

The content in Altar of Malice is fantastic. Beautiful, well-designed, massive zones full of interesting characters and compelling stories. However if the difficulty and rarity are overtuned, then who will take the time to see them?

The EQ2 team have been more receptive to feedback and willing to make changes. Indeed the devs have just posted Focused Feedback threads for all classes, tradeskills, and itemization to collect player concerns for a December/January bug bash and quality of life improvement. But on the issues of XP and Rarity, the team have been pretty mum and so I feel I must say something.

 

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Comments (73)

  • Winkie

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    Agree – SOE have lost the plot on XP and pricing for this expansion and the nerfs just make it harder to take.

    Levelled three of my 20 toons to 100 on the one account that I bought AoM for – the other account with 8 95’s on that I was paying for All Access? That’s getting cancelled – I’m not going to shell out on an overpriced expansion to then spend months going through the content endlessly to level those toons.

    So SOE lose an account and a AoM purchase – I wonder how many other multiple account owners are doing the same thing..?

    Reply

    • Thait

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      Probably not many considering the standard edition of the expansion is the same cost as always. While they will lose many CE sales many of those people will simply buy the standard as me and my friends did instead of shelling out for the CE like we usually do.

      Reply

      • Maddog

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        I have 2 accounts and I will cancel one that has only 3 level 95 toons on it, well 4 if you include that one is a level 95 trade skiller. Just too hard to level now. Cheaper to move the 3 toons on the one account to the other account than buy the expansion and continual to pay the all access account payment on it. At least I will get all the veteran level 100 toons bonuses on one account.

        Reply

  • Anaogi

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    I can’t believe how badly the crew is screwing the pooch on this expansion. First the no-preorder and pricing shenanigans, now slow XP and ridiculous rarity issues…is anybody at home in the dev shop?

    Reply

  • bhagpuss

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    I’ve played since beta. For much of that time EQ2 was my main MMO (20-40 hours a week) and even during the times when it wasn’t I have always gone on playing it as a background MMO. My hours played have frequently been hardcore but my playstyle has been…not casual perhaps but certainly freeform. I’ve soloed a lot, duoed a lot, grouped a fair amount and raided almost never.

    Currently I’m soloing because neither my wife nor any of the ten or so people in my guild is currently choosing to play EQ2. I’m playing a berserker who is also a weaponsmith, both max level at the launch of the expansion. I’m playing around 10-15 hours a week, with EQ2 as my secondary MMO.

    I offer that resume for context. From my perspective I would rate AoM my favorite expansion since Echoes of Faydwer. It’s the first one in many years that has both a storyline I can easily follow, lore that I find interesting and which is set in a part of Norrath that I wanted to know more about. Aesthetically it is as good as anything I’ve seen in EQ2, probably better.

    Combat is pitched perfectly for a pleasurable entertainment, the quests, characterization and writing are amusing and the rewards are satisfying (although some of the itemization I have found confusing, getting seemingly identical rewards from quests in swift succession). Adventure XP is fine and I am quite happy to level as a weaponsmith just doing the tradeskill quest and the daily.

    I am currently 97 in both adventure and craft and I anticipate a steady and pleasant climb to 100. The problem comes with replayabilty. absolutely do not relish the idea of leveling any of my many (many!) other characters by repeating the same storyline content. The whole thing seems to me to have been pitched squarely at players with one main character only.

    I also feel that reducing xp in older dungeons was a peculiar decision. Dungeon Maker was a problem and needed to be addressed but I would have preferred to see the system improved and aimed at roleplaying and creativity rather than simply left as it was but minus the xp. I also don’t like writs and preferred discovery xp for crafting so I would favor a return to that system or something like it.

    That said, mentored xp is unaffected as far as I can tell. When I need to level other characters after my first from 95-100, or if I find I come up short just doing the solo questlines first time through, it’ll be back to Kunark. That, however, is the same story as for the last several expansions so I don’t particularly see this one as very different in that respect.

    Reply

    • Femi

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      yes mentored solo is affected, today I decided to work on achievemnts, and selected Desert of Flames. since I only had 1/2 done. First I did try Fabled cleft of Rujark unmentored. and got 1 xp, with 2 bonus. (no potion).
      angered I logged off. Logged back in, tried mentoring to 95, whoopy I got 2 xp, and 3 xp bonus, on a named.

      it is a shame that people can go back and do things like this. that is something I LOVED to do REVISIT other areas. Who am I hurting revisiting other areas?

      Reply

  • Silzin

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    The Quest line would be worth running on all toons if it did not take like 12 hours to run and not get you to max lvl by the end. I think the quests should give 3-5X the exp it does know, and the solo and Adv Solo zones should also give 2-5X the exp. these 2 changes would being people into the new zones for leveling.

    Next all of the zone outside the Dino zones are not PUG able ATM. I can understand making the last 1 or 2 sets of zones for only raiders, but we need more of the content for PUG.

    in the end I, as normal, agree with what you’re are saying Feldon.

    Reply

  • Miragian

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    I am unsure what I did differently but I am 20% to level 99 and just finished the solo adventure line. It’s possible that I have skewed the exp results slightly by getting most of the outdoor named at least once but I have no idea what I did otherwise.

    Reply

    • Wurm

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      Thats where I ended up doing the solo line as well. 98 + 20% So I’d say thats about normal.

      But the +180% I need to get to 100 has been taking a long time, and since I’ve always been a quest-aholic, I’ve run out of things around my level to do. I still have old quests I can chrono down to… but I’m not sure thats really the way I wanted to get to 100.

      Doing the AS AoM weekly + related dailies yesterday netted me around 15% XP total.

      Reply

  • milliebii

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    What you failed to mention is what is happening with those protest threads on the EQ2 forums.
    . Let the players vent for a while
    . Provide no meaningful response or no response at all.
    . Moderator shuts the thread down for being non-constructive.

    Note that in this case non-constructive seems to mean not blowing of steam and instead offering suggestions. The reverse of the normal definition.

    Reply

    • Pipsissiwa

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      That’s pretty much normal for SOE mods in my experience, sadly.

      Reply

      • Moose73

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        SOE doesn’t like anything that is negative, they delete the posts. This reminds me of launch when people would bring valid bitches and complaints to light with very thought out and well organized posts. It was because of the heavy handed moderation EQ2Flames was born. Quite frankly the hardest part of this expack is logging in after all the nerfs. Pretty shitty deal that I paid for a year prior to the nerfs and the CE of the xpack and now I get to suck it up with no reason to log in.

        And honestly I still think most of the SOE employees aka those out of touch with the player base are ******” idiots.

        Feldon, if you feel that crossed the line then I have made my point. 😉

        Reply

  • Kauko

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    Unfortunately, it seems like not providing enough XP through solo content to reach the new level cap has become standard at this point; that’s been happening since Skyshrine came out. As someone who used to raid/group but went all solo during CoE, I find it very frustrating that I have to resort yet again to grinding endlessly through old instances like Chelsith, TSO 90-scaled instances etc to hit level 100.

    I also think they need to do something about the difficultly of the Advanced Solo zones, particularly regardly merc survivability in them. My healer mercs are constantly dying (at level 100 attached to toons that have a full set of new lvl 100 gear), and the Advanced Solo mobs hit hard enough that a healer merc is essential for non-priests.

    Reply

  • tomp

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    It does surprise me that there is such a vocal minority incessantly whining about the difficulty of this expansion. I actually think this expansion, so far, is pretty spot on (and I’m not one of your soe fanbois). Probably the best expansion that they have put out in a long while (and it does seem as if the challenge in the content will provide some longevity to it – usually my interest in the game wanes quites quickly if I complete the content quickly).

    I’ll comment on a few points in the article above.

    – Adventure XP: DM xp did need to be nerfed. I leveled my first toon in there (from 95-100) in a little over 1 hour. I have recently taken an alt (post-DM nerf), and using BBay contested it only took me approximately 5 hours to hit cap. Really, in the time that some people have invested in complaining (repeatedly) on the official forums, they could have capped some of their many alts in the new contested zone. Five hours of time invested is hardly whine-worthy.

    – Tradeskill XP: I’ve leveled up 5 of my tradeskillers so far. Usually by running the quest line (can get that done in about 40 mins now), and then finishing them off with writs. Time per toon is probably about 5-8 hours depending on how many breaks I need from writs. Yes, the writs are boring, but hardly the obscene obstacle that many seem to portray.

    Also, tradeskill stuff is pretty good this time around, relative to previous expansions / tiers of content. If the trade-off is a higher requirement in time needed to level, then so be it. It is just adding value to crafting itself, whereas in the past it was nothing more than a worthless diversion and waste of time.

    – Rares: People seem to like complaining about crafts now needing more (5) rares, but that baffles me too. Firstly the craftables are so much better this expansion (higher desirability), and secondly we all know that the rare market will quickly crash as people start harvesting for their foundations and spellshards (we only need to look back a few weeks at how then-current tier rares were selling for only a few gold once the population started blitzing the nodes for GM rares).

    – Adv Adornments 11 book: Yeah it is pretty rare, but apparently only drops off level 100 mobs, so that’s what you need to slaughter in their thousands to try for it. With people now able to conserve their adornments for free (and thus only ever needing to adorn something once / being able to reuse adornments on upgraded gear), I can kind of understand the desire to make acquiring the adornments harder. There probably won’t be a huge market for adornments as the expansion progresses because of this “free/unlimited” reusability.

    – Level 97 TS books: As with the above, you just need to slaughter level 97 mobs (there are a few good places, but the bay on the starting island is pretty good). 5-10k a book is not a realistic price. I usually see them for the low hundreds on my server (with total availability).

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      You kinda invalidate your argument when you tag anyone who disagrees you with the suggestion that they are “incessantly whining”.

      Reply

      • JDV

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        This. You’re either a whiner or a “fanboi?” Yea, the rest is TLDR.

        Reply

    • Avithax

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      Tomp you said, ” DM xp did need to be nerfed.” but only AFTER you leveled your main in it which i find amazing. There’s no way any crafter is going to believe you leveld up 5 Tradeskillers in 5-8 hrs each from 95-100 and you claim the rewards from the questlines are nice but remember…they don’t work.

      As for the rarity of Adv Adorn 11 and the 97 books these should not be something that non crafters can gouge thousands of plat from crafters for so your argument that “you need to slaughter in their thousands” is as out of touch as the EQ2 dev team.

      Beautiful content this expansion but Feldon is right about this one. Many parts are set way too hard for anything but the hard core raiders who come into the xpac with a full set of 2gem Mystical.

      Reply

  • GriffonLady

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    Between the marketing ploys they’ve been using, and the hack and slash job with how XP is gained… It’s almost like they want people to quit playing. o.0 People tend to rebel against being herded so blatantly, and rebellion for gamers means some other game or company will be getting their business.
    And they were doing so well with the solo, solo advanced, heroic options and agnostic dungeons too. Someone at SOE needs to make up their minds here.

    Reply

  • Filly67

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    I agree with the original post and with just about everything posted since. I have posted my share of views on many of the linked threads. There is no one and nothing that can change my mind from believing that the following statements are hard and true facts:

    DM was nerfed after the majority of players purchased the expansion thinking that they could use that as a way to level like many did prior to the nerf.

    XP has been reduced only to get people to buy more potions and still the leveling is a horrible grind.

    Grandmasters where only placed in the game to increase sales of SC so that people could GM faster. Yes, there is the slow road, which I will be choosing but we all know how competitive raiding guilds can be and those people are going to go the fast and costly route.

    I have only purchased one expansion out of my four accounts. Unless some serious changes are made, I will never buy another one. If I had waited a couple of more days, I might not have bought the one.

    Reply

  • Necromancer

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    I’ll go ahead and say it – AoM is too hard. I came back to this game in August and my main character is mostly ToV instanced gear and trying to run that character through AoM solo timeline – there is a huge difficulty spike. Moreover, the means at which I can progress this character the way the EQ2 Dev team wants me to is a huge uphill climb. The solo timeline doesn’t even put you at level 98 – you can’t find group instances because you have low survivability – you can’t really do the advance solo instance because it’s really hard – so exactly how is one suppose to make progression?

    I’m all about challenge but it needs to rewarding and not frustrating. AoM is extremely frustrating especially since a lot of us would shortcut and grind out levels in other zones to get to level 100 so we could actually run the top end content but we can’t even do that now. EQ2 Devs put up walls and want you to play the game one way. It’s an MMO. It’s suppose to be dynamic. Grinding out levels in other zones doesn’t hurt anything or anyone and makes the game more fun because ultimately we are doing it to run those characters through the content they are pushing us to. I’m really tired of seeing walls put up that make the game less fun. I’m at the point where I don’t want to play anymore because I am discouraged by what is currently going on and I am no longer having fun.

    But, ultimately I know this is all about the SOE Marketplace and they want us to spend money on XP Potions, or heroic characters. It’s always about money with SOE – anyway they can get it.

    Reply

  • Caam

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    I’ve said this to many people: There are 3 main things in EQ2 that determine how successful you will be. One is the quality of your gear. The second is the quality of your spells. The third is the quality of your play. SoE can control the first two things, but they can’t control the third.

    In the most recent expansions, the quality of the spells was stagnant. There were no new levels and the master quality was the highest quality. If you played any reasonable amount of time, or even researched, you could fully master a character in the length of time that the spell quality was stagnant. With the 5 new levels, there were no new spells introduced. As such, without adding grandmasters and ancient spells, that path would become stagnant very quickly for most regular players.

    Gear quality is the thing that they have the most control over. And, they have tried to add some variety. But, the challenge remains that you need some sort of change to drive people to replace their gear in the new content. Years ago it was “critical mitigation” and we all realized what a joke that was very quickly. This time the change is physical and spell mitigation. It’s the same story, make the current content hard enough with your current gear that you need to replace it. But, you also need enough variety and tiers so that you can have a progression.

    What I think has happened here is that someone finally decided that they wanted people to actually progress through the content rather than just max out your character and power through the content. For the players who want everything handed to them, it’s too hard. But, for the people who want to experience the content, I think it’s still a bit much. If you’re going to steer people to run a tier of content several times to obtain sufficient quality gear, 30 times is too often (with the luck of the RNG) to get a sufficient gear upgrade to be able to handle the next tier of content.

    Just like the swinging pendulum, I think they went too far the other way. I just hope someone figures it out soon and finds ways to swing it back the other way.

    tl;dr I don’t think it’s too hard, I just think they made it too difficult to get the gear needed to move forward in the content.

    Reply

  • Cassantra

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    Also ich aknn das ganze Rumgenörgel nciht so verstehen – man gibt doch keine 80 EUR für eine Erweiterung aus, wenn man in eine Woche schon wieder alles fertig hat, oder?
    Ich sehe das Spiel nciht nur als “Rumgekloppe” sondern als Quester und Verfolgen der Geschichte. Und da darf es ruhig auch ein wenig Anstrengung verlangen!
    Und das mit dem “Zeichen weißer See” stimmt nicht, dass es keine Boni gibt – seit dem 26.11. sind 20 % beim craften drauf.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Google tried to translate but due to typos in the original German, it struggles:

      So I aknn all Rumgenörgel not understood – you are not yet EUR 80 for an extension of, if you already have everything ready in a week or?
      I see the game nciht as “Rumgekloppe” but as Quester and tracking history. And since it may also require a quiet little effort!
      And with the “mark White Lake” is not true that there are no bonuses – since 26.11. 20% in crafting it.

      My response:

      I want to enjoy Altar of Malice dungeons and crafting. I want to improve my characters. I must reach level 100 to BEGIN that process. It will take me 10-12 months to experience everything in the game’s expansion.

      Google Translate:

      Ich möchte Altar of Malice Dungeons und Crafting zu genießen. Ich möchte meine Charaktere zu verbessern. Ich muss eben 100 zu erreichen, dass zu beginnen. Es wird mir 10 bis 12 Monate dauern, bis alles in das Spiel der Erweiterung erfahren.

      Reply

      • Keedahm

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        There is not enough content to occupy you for 10 months unless they are planning to release new content every 3 months…

        Reply

        • Feldon

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          Depends how many hours a week you group. My definition of being occupied is getting 3-gem tier 2 heroic armor and the best heroic jewelry on at least my main character and at least a decent set on my alts.

          Reply

  • Shmogre

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    Agreed on pretty much everything. DM XP needed to be adjusted, yeah, but not demolished. XP gains in AoM are painful; the recent adjustments have helped, but it’s still mind-numbing. As has been said many times in many different threads over many different playstyles: tedium does not equal difficulty, time-consuming does not equal challenging.

    Part of the problem is that gear is 95/96 or 100, with pretty much nothing in between [even the tradeskill advanced books are crazy rare in those levels]. The signature quest line gets you to just about 98, so at least you can do Advanced Solos, but the Malice gear you can from them [and from overland names] is level 100…so back to the “I’m kind of stuck until I get to 100” thing. As much as SOE seems like they would like people to relax and enjoy the journey to max level, the itemization is a very direct roadblock to “enjoying” 97, 98, and 99.

    I don’t think we need to be able to hit max level right away, or even through just the signature line, but I feel we should end up in spitting distance of max…have it then take maybe five or six runs through an at-level instance needed to max out. So don’t just hand it us, but make it much less soul-sucking to earn.

    Hopefully, all of the posts and people in-game saying they will be playing [and paying] less because of the XP and rareness of some basic items will be borne out by the actual numbers…not that I hope the game is affected by it, but I think that will be what it takes to sway “the powers that be”.

    Reply

  • Kruzzen

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    I can say I love the expansion. love the content. Love the raid zones.

    I can also say that the xp is SUCKY. This has been the only expansion I find the xp grind infuriating. don’t even want to level more than a couple of toons.

    Reply

  • Melzo

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    This whole event makes me wonder if the folks for SOE and Cryptic attended the same seminar at GDC or something… The latest expansion for Star Trek Online has the same XP issues, with nerfs to other content, not enough XP from the story line. STO had the added fun of players being accused of “exploiting” when they were grinding old content to level.

    Reply

  • Sands

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    Of the only 6 people in my guild that actually purchased the expansion, after 3 days of playing in it, none of them have logged back in. They were gold members so that was only a couple days after launch. I don’t know if it was the difficulty or the lack thereof; or just the lack of actual content.

    Reply

  • Armageddoux

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    article french translated at http://www.guerrier-celeste.fr/48-frontnews/321-aom-trop-difficile.html

    For the question i am not so sure you are about difficulty level. I read recently EQ2Hammer article (and translated it on my site : http://www.eqhammer.com/article/illusion-progression-mmorpgs-why-leveling-obsolete) EQ2Hammer article is naturally pure provocation, but I think :

    * there were too much facilites in the past 2 or 3 years everybody (everybody I know who were playing EQ2 agreed with that) and this facility is killing the game (personal advice)

    * everyone feel the extent was expensive. Ok it was, but what do you think about paying so many euros (or dollars) and then have finished the zone in one day ? Every one wnts to win the dungeons end kill the bosses, if this is too easy, where is the fun ?

    I love this sensation of playing hard to get the reward, not to find it easily in my mail box 🙂 Of course it must be reasonably practicable not completely out of reach

    Just my opinion

    Reply

  • Armageddoux

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    a lot of typos in my above post (sorry, shoud have better re read me before lauching it)

    😉

    Reply

  • Pipsissiwa

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    AoM looks beautiful and has very welcome interesting little bits (like the mini-quests – mountain climbing, shooting seagulls, truffle hunting etc which I love), and I have enjoyed the sig quest. However, now I am stuck yet again with grinding the same stuff over and over if I want decent gear or more XP, and frankly that’s really dull.

    It saddens me that these days Expacs seem to consist of one (OK usually fun) major questline (or one per new zone) and a few little bits and bobs, then some (albeit nice) Heroic Dungeons that basically you have to run over and over in the hope of getting the loot you want and the XP you need. (I couldn’t give a fig about Raid zones). When I compare the amount of stuff to do between ToV or AoM and say, Desert of Flames, there is so much less new to do in an Xpac these days. And by stuff to do, I don’t mean ‘repeat and grind’ – I mean original quests, events, zones large and small, nameds etc. The amount of questlines, side quests, quests picked up on items or drops in heroic zones like Clefts – the style of the game is all different at the top level these days, and not necessarily for the better. I know a lot of this is because the EQ2 team is much smaller now, but the post-questline Expac gameplay still feels like lazy design and running it feels like cheap, tedious busy work. I long ago wrote off ever getting the cool gear cos I just can’t do the exact same thing every time I log in – it is so tedious. Thankfully I decorate so I have that to keep me happy, but I enjoy adventuring too, just not doing the same thing over and over. Hence my army of alts hehe. And it is made even worse when SOE effectively removes the option of running slightly lower zones for XP for a change of scenery…..

    And I miss the bonus XP for making an item for the first time – it made sense – first time you figure out how to make a new item you should get more XP than subsequent times.

    Reply

  • Karsten

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    Here’s an interesting point regarding tradeskill experience. Discovery XP was removed to negate the unfair advantage of scholars to level up faster than other classes due to their number of recipes. But now we have a different mechanic contributing to the same effect.

    I have leveled an Alchemist, Sage, and Jeweler to 100, and am working on my Woodworker. The Alchemist and Woodworker are easier to level because they have writs that require less progress to finish.

    My Sage and Jeweler writted up on the standard 1000-progress builds, or roughly 5 crafting rounds, averaging 2:30 per writ. My Alchemist and Woodworker get to work on a new style of AoM build that requires about 500 progress, or roughly 3 crafting rounds, averaging 1:30 per writ. Speed significantly increased with progress potions as I feel the need.

    tl;dr: Some classes can writ their way from 96 to 100 in 60% of the time spent by other classes, according to the arbitrary nature of which classes get faster builds than others.

    Reply

    • Kauko

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      I’d wondered about that. I leveled my alchemist first and flew through the writs starting at 97 (about 3 rounds per combine, 1 min 30 sec per writ), but when I went to work on my sage next, it was back to taking about 6 rounds per combine.

      Reply

  • trulyvexed

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    PUG’s are a crap-shoot at the moment. I’ve successfully done Hidden Caldera as a PUG and the Event Heroic a bunch of times but 3 or 4 times now I’ve gotten to the last name in Lost Cavern and the group as a whole cannot co-ordinate enough to keep the correct distance and cure the correct curse… and that’s supposedly the 2nd easiest heroic instance in AoM. The healer was in AoM quested/adv solo/and some heroic gear and still couldn’t keep the group up.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m LOVING working out the strats with our Guild but at the same time I’m reluctant to take any PUG or “less than good” player on these runs because they’re so unforgiving. That’s a FAR cry from ToV where even with average gear we were managing to trio (with mercs) pretty much all of the ToV heroics except Temple.

    It just seems all over the place at the moment, the trash in Highhold is facepalm easy and then you come to the first name and realise it’s Dom all over again but on the easiest name in the easiest “2nd Tier” heroic zone.

    I’m enjoying AoM but if I didn’t have a bunch of people that I regularly grouped with I don’t think I’d bother any more.

    Reply

  • Tuscan

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    I think some of the Heroic content is out of balance right now, and it seems to be getting addressed as patches come out.

    My biggest issue is with the Team forcing too much trade-skill into the adventure side of the game. Instead of purple runes we now get purple rune recipes. These recipes then require items obtained through trade-skill questing.

    Trade-skillers may have asked for more to do at SOE Live, but guess what, they are not doing much to help adventurers. The broker does not have much to buy from said trade-skillers. My guess is they are off decorating houses leaving the Adventurers to play a part of this game they dislike. This is a huge fail by the SOE team imo.

    Bottom line: SOE is wasting my time with stuff that isn’t fun. Let Trade-skillers harvest super rares to make house items….that’s what they seem to want to do. Let adventures kill stuff to get the things they need.

    Reply

    • Thait

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      How can my tradeskiller make you something you need when I harvest for six hours and cant get the super rare harvest item I need to make your grandmaster?

      SOE borked up the rate of harvested rares for such stuff so badly I’ve almost given up on the idea of even doing such things.

      Reply

    • Feldon

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      Trade-skillers may have asked for more to do at SOE Live, but guess what, they are not doing much to help adventurers.

      Because we can’t expeditiously get to 100.

      Reply

  • Striinger

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    I was once an altoholic, but within 2 expansions I’ve been cured. ToV made it tough but myaltoholism endured with 3 toons. Effort was high and consumed most of my non-work hours.
    With the current AoM the only way to have fun with alts would be too run a bot army (like half+ the population of Unrest) or quit my job. Neither are on the cards so I play 1 toon. It’s not much fun anymore either (if I’m honest).
    I like the dev team a lot, and the game is great for content, but if I have to stop raiding because I don’t have time to research and tweak properly I think I’d rather spend my time on other hobbies. EQ2 as a solo experience isn’t worth paying at all, imho. There are far superior non-MMO for that.
    I’m not even planning for FF next year, and that says a lot! 🙁

    Reply

  • Maddog

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    XP in this expansion has been nerf’ed to heck. You cannot even make level 100 doing the quest line. Is that Sony’s way to try and make us buy XP potions from the SC Market Place? I like the quest line and it is fun if a little long, but if you are doing multiple toons it will get OLD real fast since any other way of making level has been totally nerf’ed. For the first time since starting EQ2 (Jan 2005) I am thinking of deleting accounts and toons.

    SOE totally destroyed tradeskill XP. Before they totally destroyed XP earlier this week I was getting 7-8% XP for completing a Rush Tradeskill Writ using a XP potion and 1 level 100 toon. Now with 2 level 100 toons and using an 110% XP potion I get 3%. This is total BS that is going from level 97-98 Sage. From what I heard it will be even worst from 98-100. So if you made level before SOE nerf’ed tradeskill XP and Dungeon Maker you are good, if not you are probably cannot say what I want.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      Strictly speaking, the solo quest line hasn’t gotten you to the level cap in any expansion except Rise of Kunark, but there were always other ways you could get XP. But all those options have been closed off this time around.

      Reply

      • Maddog

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        True in COE it did not and I was doing Advanced Solo instants in ToV so I did not notice. But I really am disgruntle about the Nerf’ing of Tradeskill XP. SOE gives you a tradeskill quest line that gets you 1.5 levels and then Nerfs the XP you get from Writs to where it is pointless to do them. I have never complained before what SOE did but this time they went far overboard in their destruction of XP. They seemed pretty quick to taking away XP from the release of AoM I will give them that long to restore XP or I am out here after 10 years. I am that pissed.

        Reply

  • Lateana

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    My husband and I will level up all nine tradeskills between us this expansion instead of each of us leveling up all nine. The grind is not not fun. It is a punishment for getting better recipes this time around. It is the tired old ‘one hand gives while the other hand takes’ routine.

    Even our raid toons are not getting any TLC this xpac. With T11 Experts costing 5 rares each and not being on par with the pT10 Masters we are delaying making them until all our lower tier spells are slowly Grand Mastered. Thanks to EQ2U I can see where to spend my research time 🙂

    Reply

    • Karsten

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      With T11 Experts costing 5 rares each…

      Not sure how the recipes worked when the expansion launched, but all the Expert recipes in my books require one rare apiece.

      Reply

      • Lateana

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        I rechecked and it is down to one. I was probably remembering some point in beta. But still, I wouldn’t waste rares on inferior experts until they add some benefit other than as a placeholder while 90-95 spells are being Grand Mastered.

        Reply

  • Malleria

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    No comment on the exp issues, besides I agree removing content is not a good option. As far as heroic difficulty – I agree, it’s too hard atm. I’m lucky enough to run with a set group, so we’ve gotten farther than most and don’t have to deal with pugs, and some of the mobs are obviously too hard for their location. Once more people get their resists up I think Brokenskull Bay will be very doable for pugs, along with the Zavith’Loa’s. However when players go to progress beyond those they’re going to run into problems. There are Dominion-esque mobs randomly spread throughout the higher dungeons that are a huge shock and effectively block progression. Qwurox in Thresinet’s Den, Earthen Behemoth in Ssra Temple, even the final guy Gudre in Highhold is borderline too much. The Ssra event heroic throws around elemental melee hits in the millions of damage, along with physical hits, making it very hit or miss whether your next temp will actually save you. These kinds of things shouldn’t be popping up until the final end-tier heroics, not mid-way through the zones supposedly in the middle tiers.

    Until some adjustments are made, I suspect pugs won’t be getting out of Zavith/Brokenskull any time soon.

    Reply

  • Pipsissiwa

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    For a range of reasons I mostly solo and occasionally small group. Currently I can’t even do the Advanced Solo zones with my healer merc, and I’ve never had an issue with doing them in previous Xpacs. The gear dropping in the solo zones (which I can easily do but give very little XP either) is essentially the same as that given by the questline so I can’t easily improve – unless I can run Advanced Solo, which I don’t seem to be up to using Solo gear…….

    I’m sure someone will say I just can’t play my toon, but I’ve been playing my main Assassin toon since launch, so I know her quite well 😉

    Reply

  • Edrickx

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    I am a lv 100 Paladin/97 Armorer who started AoM in fully gemmed EM raid gear from ToV with a few pieces of CM gear. All 86-95 spells Grandmastered, all superior adornments.
    AoM Adventuring:
    ~Leveled to 100 about an hour after servers came up in DM, it needed to be nerfed, but not 97%.
    ~Solo and Advanced Solos seemed to be on par, get some gear, some shinieys and learn some basic scripts.
    ~Heroics, the first few seem OK, but doing Brokenskull is brutal, 2 healers I have seen solo heal tank groups in GE can’t keep the group in the BS event up. Castle HH is like a brick wall, and Ossuary takes 10-15 minutes to kill a single named because they have 50 billion hit points.
    ~Raids, have only done a few of these, but the first raid mob seemed easier than the first heroic Castle HH named, as did the first Castle HH raid named.

    Tradeskilling:
    ~Quest lines are OK, but there needs to be more to do than 1 quest a day.
    ~Writ XP is a joke, I did one writ and decided I would just let the daily quests level me.
    ~Prismatic Resilience adorns require 2x as many mats to make. Needs to be fixed.

    SoE:

    I don’t understand why you build zones to allow high level players to group with low level players, then exclude capped characters, or hinder them from gaining any benefit from doing them. There are tons of areas most people have not seen because they are forced into a PL fest to level. Why not open the agnostics up to anyone, and allow them to get XP like a regular zone? Seems like you are shooting yourself in the foot.

    As for crafters, why is there not more for them to do? Why is there not a heroic or raid zone you could invite a crafter along to and have them crafting and tossing potions that prevent the 45 second AoE from hitting the rest of the group/raid? Or building a bridge for you to cross a trench to bypass unnecessary trash? The zones could still be completed by all adventure classes or all tradeskill classes, but have something both could do. And where is tradeskill loot? Now it is all bits and pieces from random quests from level 5-100. If you wanted to involve drafters more, why not concepts like these?

    Reply

  • BlacktopNL

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    Me and my friends got owned by trash because of the mobs ability to riposte, i know there is a visual Q that looks like a shield in front of it, but i have friends that have most particle effects off and you don’t see it , and even the highest graphic settings you don’t see it because of all the other particle effects blinding me,

    I think its game braking if you make it so you heed to have a specific graphic settings in order to no die.

    I personally canceled my all access subscription and will go silver because i cant stand the linear path SOE is forcing me to play, and there are hardly any PUG’s on my server and i cant get in one because i don’t have the resists. it’s a vicious circle ATM

    Reply

  • Swagems

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    Heroic contested zone they say you can grind your lvl from 98 to 100 . I say BS on that, those zone have a lot of mobs with way too much hit points also the names take 10 to 15 min each and the loot is poor we did part of the zone with a raid geared grp. I’m ok with the zone being hard but make the loot worth it.

    By the way we was the only grp in there that should say something.

    Reply

  • TheSauce

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    /sigh Soe finally puts out a challenging xpac with solid heroic progression, powerful tradeskill items and accessible raid content but all they get is QQ and for their efforts… i hope they take a stand and ignore all the cries for nerds and return some semblance of challenge to this game which has been lacking. It’s a shame to read it on one of the more popular fan sights though, only 2 weeks after xpac release.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      The success of an MMO depends upon a LOT of players of the same gameplay style to not only survive content, but to be able to consistently repeat it week-in and week-out in an endless loot chase. The vocal minority who are screaming for EQ2 to become punishingly difficult will soon find themselves with an even smaller playerbase to draw from.

      Who is going to run mid-level heroic zones week after week, chasing tokens and gear, if it requires ACT triggers, specific class configurations, and other hardcore elements normally only seen in HM raid content? The answer is not enough to support continued development.

      Reply

    • Thait

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      My group has finished the solo signature quest and should easily be able to handle a contested, or even the lowest heroic zone. Instead we’re getting slaughtered with no chance to progress. And that is what I’ve been hearing from the majority of people, the expansion is simply to hard.

      Challenge is what everyone wants, what people do not want is a game that weeds out 90% of the player base and refuses to allow them to continue due to difficulty.

      Reply

      • Dethdlr

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        Are you wearing any of the new stuff from the questlines? Did you look at the gear available for sale with just plat from the NPC in the tower in Phantom Seas? What’s the name and server of one or more of the characters getting slaughtered in the lowest heroic zone. Just wondering what the stats look like.

        We’ve only tried once so far but cleared all but the last named. And I can see how some of the items that fall off the earlier names in the zone will make the last one easier over time.

        Reply

  • Dethdlr

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    The problem with “free to play, your way” is that your “your way” and my “your way” may be drastically different.

    This expansion seems to swing the pendulum back towards my “your way”.

    I’m a heroic group player. I don’t play this game to be max level with the best heroic gear. That’s the goal for my character, but not my goal as a player. My goal as a player is to have fun. For me, challenging content is fun.

    We went in to one of the heroic zones a few days ago. Only a couple people were level 100, the rest 98 or 99 (I’m still 99). We died several times but eventually killed everything but the last named with most of us still wearing our old heroic ToV gear. Even with the XP debt, I got almost 20% XP from what we managed to kill. 5 or 6 runs like that and I’ll be level 100 and able to wear the gear that drops in there. Swap out what I’m wearing with the quest gear and what drops in there and the last named should be considerably easier. To me, that’s good progression. Make me get the new gear before I’m able to progress into the next zones.

    But that’s MY “your way”. There are others who would rather the content be easier to do. Don’t require new gear. Don’t require higher resists or higher mitigation. Just let people steamroll the content with their current gear like Skyshrine. To some, that’s fun.

    But it’s hard to design an expansion that caters to both play-styles without spoiling it for one or the other. If the first several zones are really easy, for me, they may as well not be there. That just means I’m grinding boring un-challenging content. For me, it should start off hard, but get easier as you gear up with the current expac gear.

    It’s literally been 18 days since the expansion came out. Reading some of the comments, it sounds as though lots of people would prefer to have multiple alts to level 100 and be clearing the hardest zones already. That’s what Skyshrine was. I didn’t like it. No challenge. Nothing to work towards. No goal. Just running zones for the hell of it rather than running them to get gear so I could make it further into the content.

    This time around, it’s looking more like the way DoV was. At first, the begining zones were hard. But as you geared up, they got easier. We worked our way up through all those DoV zones a piece at a time. Took months and months to do it and we really enjoyed it. But that’s my “your way”. Sounds like others must have hated it.

    Reply

  • Gorjuss

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    I leveled 3 toons in DM and ran the questline. I leveled 1 to 98 and ran the questline. The 98 JUST made it to 100 after the High Hold part of the Questline. This would put her somewhere around 98 by the end of the questline.

    I’ve done the new heroics with a 98. He died on EVERY fight, he can’t wear the new gear it’s all lvl 100, his death makes his dps 0. I’ve been in the BS Contested. The drops are crap and again, a lvl 98 can’t survive I don’t care what SOE says.

    I’ve done the crafting questline on 3 toons. Until the other day the item didn’t even work. And, go back and have a look at your SF crafting item and the prayer shawl. 1st of all I am pretty sure the xp gain on them has changed and 2nd they don’t work. SOE fixed ONLY the Far Seas Mark because “the other fixes didn’t get in in time for the patch” I call BS seems to be a total all around mechanic since those haven’t worked in awhile. I would say it was intentional since I recall 2 weeks ago the SF item had a 20 xp bonus that’s now 3.
    Count this out, I did. 1 combine for a provisioner takes 75 kindling. There are 6 combines in a writ. That’s a total of 2 and a half stacks of fuel. The writs give you 1p 35gp per half and 18gp for turn in. That’s 2p 88 gp per writ. I pay 3.4p per stack of fuel. I just PAID nearly 2p per writ. It cost me 100p to grind rush orders just to get to level. I would rather just give them my 100p and move on with my levels tbh. So not only does it take me 150 writs, it cost me 100p (give or take) just to reach 100. How is this fair? Then I have to pay for any advanced 97 books (I still have sage, alchy and ww to do) and I’ve harvested for 12 hours straight with 0 spell shards. So how is that going to work for my raider?

    I honestly think they definitely ruined this instead of at least helping out.

    I get how DM should have been nerfed, but it doesnt’ stop anyone from leveling 20-95 in an afternoon but heaven forbid you get 5 lvls in a couple of hours. I also agree that AD’s should have been allowed for capped toons. Adjust the xp and the drops, but let us run them.

    Reply

    • Gorjuss

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      ” I leveled 1 to 98 and ran the questline. The 98 JUST made it to 100 after the High Hold part of the Questline. This would put her somewhere around 98 by the end of the questline.” <-If she had started at lvl 95

      Also, that's 0 T11 spell shards. I harvested all weekend a couple of weeks before the release of AoM and got 1 spellshard no foundations so this bit isn't new, it's just still really annoying.

      Reply

  • Amaitae

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    Have Easy zones for easy players with easy loot.
    Have Challenging zones for real players with real loot.
    Problem solved.

    Reply

    • Feldon

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      The EQ2 team tried EM and HM versions of almost every zone. It was not successful for countless reasons.

      Reply

      • Tuscan

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        I somewhat disagree. Most HM zones have been a disaster. The Skyshrine HM Heroics were only moderately hard and were enjoyed by many. The easy zones were really easy and were enjoyed by many as well.

        Devs are getting out of control experimenting with different ways to improve every expac. There is a enough past data to see what worked and make good content. This one seems sadly not fun so far.

        Reply

      • Amaitae

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        I prefer zones in the same difficulty like challenge duos were when they were released. Granted, with limited resources the eq2 team has it is probably hard to provide this level of quality. I hope for some harder zones a few month after expansion release.

        Reply

  • Tabri

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    I have only one of my 5 tradeskillers to level 100 so far because I cant tolerate grinding on a tradeskill table. I will only level 2 of them because its too annoying 10 yrs of tradeskilling I am not in the mood basically.

    I could have done without any leveling at all, raising the level cap sucks in my opinion I dont level alts anymore from level 1 for that reason I have done that already too many times to count.

    I didnt find leveling adventure wise that horrible but tradeskill wise is horrid.

    My only gripe is how messed up the tradeskilling, harvesting, salvaging, transmuting everything on the that side of the game is jacked up.

    Nodes spawn in stupid places and are scattered everywhere you spend more time tracking than harvesting.
    Salvaging anything under level 100 will give you the proper tier as I call it because that is the way it was supposed to be, someone at SOE decided HEY LETS MAKE THIS TIER OF EVERYTHING 4 LEVELS, idiots.

    Reminder: For 10 years each new tier in leveling everything was 10 levels not 4.
    So on that note because of this everything else is jacked up too many for me to list.
    Tradeskill books are missing recipes
    Tradeskill books are missing period they are so rare as you stated or non existent.
    I cant list everything messed up I have never seen such crap before in this game.

    Reply

  • Mermut

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    When the last name in the easiest zone requires people to watch red text to tell the healer who to use their cure curse on or the group wipes… that’s a bit extreme.

    Reply

  • Loredena

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    On the whole, I’m enjoying the expansion. I do most definitely see room for improvement though!

    For context, my primary is a paladin, but I have 4 others at 95, and a lot of alts. My guild is a friends and family one, all ‘mature adults’ and right now my husband and I are the only ones playing, though I’m hopeful another will return when health issues resolve. Due to health issues in my family we missed all of CoE and returned to play ToV this spring. My gear is BG and pretty good, my alts are all in Cryptic. All the 95+s are tradeskillers. I travel for work, so unless on holiday or the bench I’m only able to play weekends.

    Since the launch I’ve been weaving the adv and tradeskilling quest lines together. I’ve finished both signature lines as well as going as far as I can with the new Shipwreck! line. Each day I do 2 tradeskill writs, the daily apprentice, and Skrit’s daily. I’ve also done both the ToV and AOM weekly. Doing that she’s about 2/3 through 98 provisioner.

    At the same time I was running the new signature quest; as I ran it I also ran the new guide quest, ran the Adv Solo BB and Z_ zone in TS, and as soon as I hit 98 I ran the TS weekly mission to kill the named as well as every clicky quest I found. I essentially killed *all* the trash in the dungeons even if they could be skipped, and there was a fair amount of killing while harvesting for the tradeskill quests. The result is that I dinged 99 before actually completing the questline. With the CE healer merc and the gear from ToV I didn’t have too much trouble in the instances, successfully completing all of them (though I was slow enough I know that some tuning took place while I was still working through it). I liked them — but they are overly long, especially BB, for a dungeon crawl.

    I’ve also only replaced jewelry and weapons – the armor from the quests hasn’t really seemed much of a replacement yet, as I don’t have any cyan gems. It’s likely to be next weekend before I’ll have a chance to finish the rest of the adv solos, let alone try out any of the heroics.

    So far I’m not finding the solos / adv solos to be too hard, but they are too long for the exp gain for anyone who prefers that method of leveling. In the time I can run one for <10% exp, my husband can chrono down and run a zone 3 expansions older for a level. I'd like to see experience in the AoM zones increased, and perhaps a few ways to skip trash.

    I love the new clicky timed quests, and have succeeded at several (while failing at several more!) though I think a few need balancing still. I rather like having a weekly quest for overlands – but the named spawn too infrequently and end up permacamped.

    I agree with the SkyShrine nerf in general, as it had reached the point that the zone was unusable for players in the 85-92 level range due to powerleveling and AA grinding but I don't understand why they initially nerfed HHK, which is certainly still current. I also think they should have left the DMs alone — yes they are completely broken, but those who just want to power to 100 can do so there w/o instead clearing out old zones to the detriment of other players.

    The tradeskillers still need a lot of love. I always agreed with the change to first-time experience because it was so unbalanced in terms of number of recipes. But when that was done, quest and writ experience were significantly increased, and more quests were added. We just don't seem to have the same volume of quests per tier any longer and the experience rate is surprisingly low. I also am unhappy that they are nerfing/fixing anything they perceive as a bug that benefits TSkillers without fixing the bugs that hurt us at the same time.

    The 'new' harvest spawn is vanishingly rare and unfindable. The split tier is making it very difficult to get transmute and adornment raws for the 96+ levels. Quintessence for the new runes is also astoundingly rare (that's the real stopper for the war runes, not the 90 tokens) even with the prestige points. Almost all of our experience gear doesn't work (and never has, apparently) so the leveling is slow. As you said the drop rate on books is broken as well. Yet they had time to nerf the turn in for the apprentice at 100!

    Reply

  • Noctew

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    It’s hard to say…on the one hand I really enjoy the challenge on my main. No more faceroll-easy zones, AoM starts at “medium” and goes to “insane”…at least with the equipment we have at the moment. There are some named mobs which are annoyingly hard even in the easier zones, but it encourages you to improve your gear even if the harder instances are still out of reach, just to be able to reliably defeat kill the hard encounters.

    On the other hand…if players complain about the solo zones being way too hard (I don’t solo at all except for quest), then something might be wrong.

    And one big problem I see coming is: the expansion is not very alt-friendly. You have to be 98 to enter a dungeon and you pretty much have to be AoM-solo-equipped to survive. I fear the day when our tanks just are not in the mood to tank, because alt tanks don’t even need to apply for zones like Brokenskull 2 or higher.

    Overall, I think it’s okay…some emcounters may need some tweaks to fit in the intended progression, but it’s a very enjoyable experience for me.

    Reply

  • Wurm

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    I not even too upset about the difficulty or the XP gain. I made it to 100 /100 this past weekend and I don’t think that was too extreme for having started AoM on the day of all access release. What does bug me is that getting the gear you want is even more grinding than ToV

    10 shards for bracers 20 shards for gloves 30 shards for a helm 40 shards for a BP… and IF you get a armor drop after spending a bunch of time in the zone and it isn’t the one you want… well its a couple of shards (2 to 4 is my experience) when you break it down. Which means for people with crappy RNG (raises hand) its going to take me even longer to get the items I want with the new shard system.

    ToV you broke down 7 items and then turned them in for the item you want. AoM is going to take a lot more runs to be able to do the same thing.

    Reply

    • Dethdlr

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      You do have to get more tokens/shards than you did in ToV, but if you have a crappy RNG, AoM may actually end up better. I never managed to get the potent pair of gloves that I wanted in ToV due to my crappy RNG. Most of the times that I ran a zone where gloves and something else dropped, the something else dropped. 🙁 These new shards aren’t slot specific like the ToV stuff was. Run the easiest zone enough times and you’ll be able to turn the shards into a chest piece. Couldn’t do that with ToV. Should save some bag space too. 🙂

      Reply

  • Starseeker

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    The first week of the expansion I did the sig quest. I did a few collections, and got to 98.5. The next bit of slog was a slog. I tried nerfed DM dungeons, and after an hour made a whole 3k xp, which I could get by killing like 4 mobs in the open zone.

    I grouped with my boyfriend a warlock in the solo zones, did a small painful contested run with 4 friends and a merc in brokenskull to get 0 upgrades, and basically some how just ground out the last level on anything and everything I could find…but it was slow…so slow that I think my alts will only get to 98.5 cause I am not going to do all the crazy stuff I did on my main to get to 100.

    Are the zones tough? yes.

    Adv solos are hard until you hit 100 and start getting some gear, but to be able to survive an advanced solo you need some gear. Its a bit of a catch 22.

    so what I and my boyfriend did was resorted to farming the overland named. The armor they drop is 100 even if the cloaks are not.

    Once we got 2-3 pieces of yellow upgrade gem gear from the named as well as a few weapons and accessories, we were able to do the advanced solo. Now the advanced solos are relatively easy and we are starting to go in to heroics…which, at this point it feels alot more like vespyr.

    This is why this expansion fails IMO:

    Your quest gear is level 95, even in phantom sea it is 95 and there is no way to improve it. The gear you get out of the solo zones (not adv solo) is also 95 and the exact same stuff you get in the quest or worse.

    There is no transition between 95 and 100 there is no progression from 95-100.

    What they should have done is made the phantom sea quest gear level 97 with slightly better stats, and then made the solo zones (not adv solo) drop some gear that would help with resists like jewelry, charms and maybe the occasional piece of armor…so that you weren’t nearly required to farm the overland named to get enough starter gear to survive the adv solos.

    Granted, My boyfriend and I have an unusual non healer set up (beserker/warlock) which made it challenging since we had no healer, but it seems like they forgot to put in the progression for leveling just like they forgot to put in the last 1.5 levels of quests or xp.

    Now i’m enjoying the expansion, but I had to hit 100 before the frustration level droped.

    I haven’t even started tradeskilling…i am not looking forward to that.

    Reply

  • Zzzz'z

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    As a scout who uses poisons, my biggest gripe is the hiven root rares needed to make 10 stinking poisons. No other arch-type in this game has an added expense like this added to their class.

    My other complaint is the endless and I mean endless hours of harvesting which has become a frustrating chore because the ultra rare drop rate is insanely rare in this new tier. In addition to this frustration let’s not forget that many of the harvesting nodes are difficult to find/see even if you use the harvesting tracker.

    Reply

  • Zzzz'z

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    Want to add that so much of this game has become frustrating to the less than hard core player.

    Reply

  • Tomanator

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    LoL, by the responses to this post, I didn’t realize that this many people still played EQ2. I might have to log in tonight and check this out.

    Reply

  • Theron

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    AOM Is hard and disappointing at best. The total lack of map to quest system in the game continues to make eq games niche at best. Also eq2 continues to rely on Google as its primary tool for players to use to advance quests, figure out boss fights, figure out where to go when game gives messages like ‘ look north west to ‘zarlamealom’ and give them the doohickey’ AOM/eq2 really needs to learn from games like rift and wow that get it right when it comes to difficulty, quest hubs, map to quest integration systems. And quest journal entries that don’t require alt tab to google for help over and over.

    Reply

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