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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Splitpaw Serenade

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Yeah, it's good. Real good. Maybe part of the reason is because I had low expectations, but the Splitpaw Saga is a definite winner. I am trying to keep the spoilers to a minimum but I advise you to read no further if you want to remain completely unspoiled.

First off, let me admit: A while back, I said I was not looking forward to more "gnolls in a cave." Yeah, it's about gnolls. But hey, they look a bit cooler and have some of the best animations I've seen so far.

And, yes, it's in caves, but the underground "den" is just awesome (it feels like a real living, breathing town) and the terraporters are a fun change of pace.

I enjoyed the mini-gladiatorial games going on in the arena and the final mob is a true test of your solo skill. The items you can receive are very cool without being unbalancing.

SOE has even come up with a variation on the way you receive a quest (Sarchel the Storyteller, I'm talking about you). I love that kind of innovation. The Harclave quest is also notable for having a cool event within it which is really exciting. When you get numerous tells from guild mates saying, "OMG you won't believe this," then you know SOE has come up with a great quest.

While I have not completed the raid zone yet,
reviews are positive. If you want, you can check out some of the pictures and loot here on the Ascendance guild site. Speaking of loot, I love the idea of class specific gear. That is the kind of stuff that this game needs.

The NPC dialogue is well-written and the voiceover work is some of the best in the game thus far.

It's a little hard to describe how fun this pack is for soloers and groups (and likely raids as well) without spoiling it. I'll just say that the zones, quests, and loot are all very well implemented. And there is an almost total absence of bugs from my experience.

I am personally not real big on the crate moving and exploding barrels but it was bearable.

A few negatives: the difficulty selector does not work for level 50 characters and the zone was quite laggy at first. The zone entrance is in an inconvenient location and I would like the ability to teleport to the Splitpaw Den after the first time I enter it. Also, there have been reports that the loot and xp is a little too good, but at level 50 I can't comment on the veracity of these claims.

Even the official forums (usually quite a negative place) seem pretty upbeat about this Adventure Pack and reports from the Aggro Forums were positive as well.

I would like to personally thank everyone who worked on this project. With content like this, EQII has a real chance to be a great game for years to come.

Because I've been way too positive this week I will be ranting tomorrow about my least favorite things in EQII.


Anonymous Scott Adams said...

After you complete 4 quests for the gnolls you will get a shard that allows you to teleport back.

I agree this is a fun adventure pack. Since its release I have not left it once. Still working on completing the 4 quests myself to get the shard.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quote "Speaking of loot, I love the idea of class specific gear. That is the kind of stuff that this game needs."

Class specific loot has always been in the game.....it is just with a recent patch that they changed the items to display what classes can use the item instead of what skill is needed to use it.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Aggro Me said...

Anonymous, I know they changed the item displays. But by class specific loot I mean Wizard only or Necromancer only for example.


In that thread, Blackguard states that more loot tailored to specific classes is on the way.

11:01 AM  
Blogger supernoob said...

Now you've gone and made me all excited...guess I'll have to buckle down and level some toons instead of being a diletant.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Johnsonrod said...

Is it any 4 quests? I have already done 4 but haven't gotten the update.

/agree on the pack. Great fun and I havent leveled this fast since the Scarecrows.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Jaxe said...

This is great news, I've been playing casually, and just had a couple real life friends sign up. Time to level up and hit those gnolls! :-)

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Scott Adams said...

Johnsonrod as far as I understand it is that after 4 discreet (can't repeat ones) quest you get the recall stone in your inventory. there is no announcement that is has been put there either.

7:50 AM  

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