It never fails. My baby daughter goes down for a nap so I head on down to play some EverQuest II, only to see that the server is down. Oh well, I was just going to tradeskill anyway, and besides, it’s given me an opportunity to finally update this blog.
To be honest, my interest in EQII has been waning as of late, and in fact the release of Rise of Kunark, along with my wife, have been the main reasons I haven’t moved on. My wife has said many times that if she stops playing EQII, she won’t be picking up any other MMOs, and quite frankly I really enjoy the time the two of us play together. RoK is shiny and new, so I had to stick around to check it out. And there, in a nutshell, are the two main reasons I continue to play this game. Do you see a problem with that? I would have thought that number one on the list would have been “because it’s fun!”, but unfortunately, it hasn’t been as of late. Actually, I need to clarify that, as I am having fun with the game, just nowhere near as much as before, and I think RoK is mainly to blame.
Kendricke over at Clockwork Gamer has a post which sums up my feelings pretty well. I find myself in the group of players being “left behind” by the expansion due to the constraints my “real life” puts on my play time. A good chunk of our guild is already at or nearing level 80 and are running the upper-level RoK instances regularly. I’m still working on the solo quests in Fens. Furthermore, I recently switched “mains” from Davyydeous (73 Berserker) to Elrahir (70 Mystic) due to the abundance of plate tanks available compared to the miniscule raid spots available for them. Elrahir was level 55 on the first of November, two weeks prior to the release of RoK. I started working on all the relevent quests and zones, mainly Lesser Faydark and Kingdom of Sky. Once the expansion hit, groups were extremely difficult to find. Being level 60 meant I was too low for the new zones, yet there was almost noone to be found up in KoS as I’m assuming everyone was checking out RoK. I soldiered on, hitting level 70 on December 7, and find myself still struggling to find a group. At least I’m 70 now and can do some of the KoS and EoF raids right? Unfortunately, those raids are being left behind and forgotten by our guild already as our schedule shows RoK raids for the next two weekends. Oh well, I guess I’ll keeping pushing myself to 80.
You know what though? I don’t want to push it. Screaming through the content to get from 60 to 70 was bad enough. It’s tough knowing that I’ll probably never complete Claymore or Sword of Destiny on either of my characters. Why? Good luck finding a group. This post on Average Joe sums it up perfectly. Unless people are on the same step as you for the quest line, they won’t want to group with you. So there in my journal sits a half-completed Claymore and SoD. I had a hard enough time getting groups in Castle Mistmoore before, now I suspect it’ll be near impossible. Just the other day I was trying to get into a group to do any of the KoS instances and sat there twiddling my thumbs while my calls to the server channels went unanswered. “Back in the day” you couldn’t go five seconds without seeing a Halls of Fate group looking for more.
As many others have pointed out, RoK seems to be all about the solo player. At my level, the only place I’ve seen that requires a group is Karnor’s Castle. We grouped up with some friends the other night and went in there, but after about an hour or so we left. It just didn’t hold our interest, and our experience bars weren’t budging. It was disappointing to say the least.
So now I find myself pairing up with my wife’s 74 Wizard and we’re doing all the solo quests together. It’s great fun, it really is, but by the time the two of us reach 80, will the rest of our guild be burned out on the RoK instances that we’ll now want to run? I have a strong suspicion that Rise of Kunark may be the last expansion I’ll experience in EverQuest II. I honestly hope not, but inevitably all things come to an end, and when you start to feel like a hamster running in a wheel, maybe it’s time to move on.