This week I thought I would speak a little bit about me and discuss some of what has been found in our first non-1017 weekend of the Gates of Discord.
Loral Ciriclight is a 65th level Cleric of Tunare living on the Quellious server (;tell Quellious.Loral hi!). I've been playing Everquest since early 1999 and started Loral in May of that year. I have been there for the opening of every expansion to date.
I am not in a raiding guild. My guild, Healers United, is designed to help all of Norrath's adventurers. Our average prime-time numbers are around twenty with about half of those above level 60.
Though not in a raiding guild, I have gone on many raids. I have fought every major god in the Planes of Power except for the last two tiers in Time. Thanks to some good friends, I am flagged up through and including Plane of Time. I am well equipped for a non-raiding guild cleric mainly due to good luck.
I have written elsewhere about why I play Everquest so I won't bore you with that here.
My favorite expansion is the Lost Dungeons of Norrath. Lost Dungeons shows a great level of flexibility. It offers adventures for anyone level 20 or above. Anyone can work towards some very respectable loot. There is a lot of adventure, excellent looking mobs, great challenges, good treasure, and nice new features.
Call me a fanboi or a VAK - wouldn't it be SOEAK now? That doesn't really roll off the tongue, does it - but I love this game. I wouldn't have put 7200 hours into it if I wasn't having fun. I wouldn't want to write for Mobhunter if I didn't care about EQ. Some decisions by SOE I agree with even if they seem to hurt on the surface (tributes) and some I don't agree with at all (the location of level 65 spell drops in PoP). Regardless, I enjoy each day I log on and I've met some really great people over the past four years. If that makes me a fanboi, so be it. I've heard worse.
Now that I've introduced myself, lets dig into the news.
This weekend was the first weekend when people could explore the new lands of Taelosia without hitting 1017 errors on zoning. Tells were fluid again. Few went linkdead. We could begin looking at the content of the new expansion instead of worrying about staying connected. A new patch is still planned for sometime this week but I haven't heard anyone complain on Quellious of being stuck since last Thursday.
People are still upset about lost tribute points. Most agree that the change was necessary but reports of people losing a lot of gear they wouldn't normally have turned in are still coming in. In a few weeks most of us will have forgotten about it. The Tribute nerf will become another story to add to Donal's Breastplate (I am still bitter even though I never had one), mass group buff, and the moss covered twig.
There are some unconfirmed reports that Lost Dungeon cash amounts has dropped a lot. One would think with the new money sinks of Tribute points and the casino that they wouldn't have to cut the cash out of LDON but it appears to be a lot lower than it was before GoD. I've done a few adventures recently and my own cash split came out with barely enough to cover my peridot costs.
Some Gates of Discord strategy guides and discussions have begun to show up on various message boards. Some were even stolen by the evil empire of Yantis / My Super Sales causing an interesting scandal.
The content of Gates seems to focus on players at level 65 with very good gear and a lot of AA points. The first four hunting zones seem to be the only ones geared for people below level 65. I tried one of the instanced trials last Saturday. My group included moderately well equipped hunters, all of us with a lot of AAs and gear including Ornate, LDON high end gear, and Planar gear below elementals. I was killed by a diseased gnat that hit me for 1200 a hit on our second pull, something my guild has yet to let me forget. We survived the adventure but it was very hard. Lesser adventurers would have been destroyed. The mobs didn't have much more than 15,000 hitpoints but they hit for 1200 and some were unslowable.
Gates of Discord is a expansion for raiders. A lot of raiding content can help spread out the guilds who have been sharing Time and the Elements for the last six months. While flagging events can be done with a single group, there are few single groups powerful enough to complete it if they aren't from a raiding guild originally.
I was surprised and disappointed that a LDON-style adventure system isn't in Gates of Discord. The adventure point system seems like a perfect in-game DKP system for single groups. You can earn your points and buy what you want without worrying about luck, camping a rare spawn for three days, or feeling like you've taken it from someone else. It is a great system and I hope we see more of it soon. I would love another LDON style expansion.
Our world is vast and over-population isn't a problem anymore. There are hundreds and hundreds of non-instanced zones for all levels and an infinite number of instanced ones. Gates of Discord adds content for a large group that had reached the end of their own path and it has at least a few hunting zones for the rest of us. Just watch out for the gnats.
I'll leave you with a couple of fun hotkeys those wacky clerics came up with:
To automatically port near a wayfarer:
/say East Commonlands
To automatically loot normal mobbos:
To automatically fish and bag the results:
/doability 4 (where 4 is your fishing skill number)
By the way, if you find new and interesting Everquest tidbits and want to send them my way, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
24 February 2004