EQ2 – the Last Hurrah
I have stopped playing in the EQ2 Living Legacies campaign. It was cool to take a look around again and try the different options. EQ2 has a great crafting system and I really liked the housing. Other than those things, it’s pretty much a standard MMO and I’m already playing one of those (LotRO). If you’re tired of WoW and didn’t like LotRO or AoC, I would recommend taking a look at EQ2. Free trials should be available so other than download and update times, it’s cost-free just to try it out.
LotRO – Book Fourteen Released
The Lord of the Rings Online has released it’s latest free content update: Book Fourteen! I ran through some of the new Book stuff last night with my Hobbit Burglar. I LOVED the Book Fourteen Prologue: you help the Fellowship pack up and leave on their perilous journey. In the last stage, you’re there on the steps of the Last Homely House as the fellowship enacts some of the events from the Fellowship of the Ring and walks down the path towards the Misty Mountains. As a total Tolkien nerd, I enjoyed it a lot (and will probably use the reflecting pools to redo it a couple times just ‘cause that’s how I roll). :)
In contrast to the Prologue, I also ran part of Book Fourteen proper. One part has me going to Michel Delving to get honey for some rations for a guy leaving from Rivendell. I’m no expert on the Lore, but it seems the elves were pretty self-sufficient when it comes to food and could make lembas without having to go grocery-shopping in the Shire to do it. I have a real love-hate relationship with the book quests. Book Nine was mostly solo and told a great story along the way. Book Ten was a traveling nightmare as you had to cross the Lake in Evendim again and again and again. Dragging the books out with huge travel times doesn’t make them feel epic, it makes them feel tedious. I’m only part way through the Book Fourteen epic so maybe it gets better along the way. Last night’s romp through part of it though kept giving me Book Ten flashbacks. (Bringing a hunter friend along to help with ports helps a lot for the first couple in this chain.) Overall, I really like the Book quests - it's basically a special story arc for players that makes us part of the goings-on in Middle-earth without messing with the main story too much. Sometimes though ... grr.
In other Book 14 news, Turbine added tokens you can get by helping other players out with their Book quests if you've already run them. I really like this idea! It's a reward for those that stop to help other folks out. I ran a kinshipmate through Book 8.5 (the final instance) and got a token which I spent on healing potions. I've been taking those things like candy in the Rift lately. They've also added coins to collect in Urugath and Carn Dum ... two large instances that most players will have to go through for their final class quest items. Both the Book tokens and the coins help move the player-base back through the instances to help people in the process of leveling up. I think it's a great addition and nice to see that Turbine is forward-thinking enough to realize that even a year or two from now, someone will start the game and have to make it through those areas just like those of us that started a long time ago.
I’ve been looking at a game that Tipa over at West Karana has been playing in beta: Wizard 101 (https://www.wizard101.com/). Sounds like a new take on a couple of things in the MMO genre. It also sounds a tad close the Harry Potter IP to me, but an interesting game nonetheless. Though I’m not in their target demographic, I just may sign up for the beta to poke around for a bit.