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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Harvest Festival

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In a recent entry I discussed in passing what I called the opportunity cost of time and how most people liked to utilize their EQII time as efficiently as possible.

Here are my three least favorite expenditures of time in EQII:

1. Long travel runs
2. Camping rare spawns
3. Harvesting

Long travel runs annoy me. My hated run is from Qeynos to
Nek Castle or worse, Lavastorm. First you get to the griffon tower in Antonica. Then it's time for Mr. Griffon's scenic tour of the Antonican country side. I really appreciated the griffon ride the first five or ten times I took it. No longer. Maybe that's cause Mr. Griffon likes to drop me off before we get to the landing tower for some reason. Just because I forgot to tip him that one time. But it's mainly the amount of time it takes. It's long enough that you don't want to sit in front of the computer, but short enough that you can't really do anything else. Moorgard mentioned a possible smoothing of the griffon path a while back but I haven't noticed any difference as of yet. Of course when you land there's still that overly long path to the TS gate and then the run to the docks.

Now, I know a lot of veterans will tell me about the old days when they took hour and a half boat rides and liked it, by gum, but that was more of a social event. Of course, there is an out. That oh so tempting ticket seller in QH (and I assume in Freeport) will sell you an instant ride to EL or Zek for the mere price of 60 silver. But 60 silver adds up after a while, especially when you gate to home often like I do. And it wasn't helping my quest to save for a
noble steed. No, it's a great "goldsink" for SOE, taking gold out of the economy for basically nothing more than a slight convenience. In essence, you're trading a timesink for a goldsink. I've banned myself from this except for emergencies.

Okay, number two, camping rare spawns is a little complex to get into here. In a way its a part of the history of Everquest and it does make those heritage quests more challenging. But basically, I suck at it. For example, I've been trying to kill Captain T'Sanne for about three weeks now. I usually end up sitting in Gul Thex Citadel about three minutes before I decide to do something else. I actually saw him last night, but, helpful as I often am, I was mentoring a pick-up group of level 29's who were also looking for him. They were all French. How did it go? Well, let's just say my group chat was filled with a lot of people saying "Merde!" at the end of the fight. Hmm...back to the drawing board or the Citadel as it were. And el Capitan is cake compared to Billy Moppet or Bloodtalon. To be honest, I don't know what the proper balance is. I'm hoping SOE does.

Finally, we have harvesting. I have a friend who enjoys harvesting. He finds it relaxing. I understand because I feel the same way about some occasional soloing.

But I'm not that good at harvesting. I never seem to find nodes and I get bored quickly. Around Valentine's Day a friend asked me if I wanted to run through the Erollisi Charm quest.

"Err...actually I can't."

"How come? It only takes ten minutes."

"Well you need to harvest an Electrum Cluster."

"Right but don't worry...it's in Antonica."

"Uh, I don't have the harvesting skill."

"For Antonica?!?!"

Well, getting to the news portion of this post, harvesting changes are on the way. These changes will make it easier to increase your harvesting skills. Producer Scott Hartsman took the time to explain further on the EQII Vault message boards. He states, "that extra time spent didn't serve any particular purpose in the bigger picture of EQ2." Can't say I disagree.

Of course, implementing a change like this is always difficult. Those who worked very hard to raise their harvesting skills prior to the change will, of course, feel cheated. For them the change will be a bitter harvest.

As for me, I'm going to get around to upping my harvesting very soon. Just as soon as I pay a little visit to Captain T'Sanne....


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