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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Raid Brigade

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There's always a lot of talk in MMORPG's about the infamous "endgame" or, basically, what you do when you hit the level cap.

For Everquest players, that has long been raiding and more raiding.

I have been raiding with my EQII guild quite a bit for around three months now. We are not some uber raiding guild that knows how to trivialize raid encounters. We fight, die, build a better strat and fight some more. So let's look at the results. I'm going to go through my items:

Prismatic Wand: Obtained as quest reward
Idol of Chaos: Won on Raid (mild upgrade over Stein of Moggok)
Thexian Ring of Necroism: Drop in Nek 2 (great ring)
Ring of Scales or Ancient Slayer Ring: Both quest rewards
Treedin's Symbol or Arena Champion Wristguard: Quest rewards
Rallosian Gown: Won on Raid
Necklace of Flowing Orbs: Collection Item
Eyepatch, Efreeti Boots, Sash: Heritage Quests

The rest was purchased on the broker. So how did those two and a half months work out for me? I got a slight upgrade to the Stein. I got a nice robe. But, I must say the robe I had before (Robe of the Beguiler - dropped from Shift Boss in RE) was a fantastic robe that got me through ten levels and beyond and in some respects is still better. So really, not a big deal in terms of improving my character. And I'm luckier than some. To be fair, I've been slacking a bit lately and we weren't always large enough to take on the most difficult zones.

I did also get a few rubies and even an ebon if I recall, but I'm almost positive I would have made more money if I had spent that time harvesting or killing green mobs. And raids cost money in terms of armor repair and various potions.

The point of this is not to whine about raid loot so I apologize if that's what it sounds like. My point is: if you are looking to upgrade your equipment, raids are not the only answer. You can find some great stuff in Nek 2 and some of the high level single-group Splitpaw zones. Or you can try the Bastion of Flames (a single group zone) or the Icy Dig (if you don't fear death). Any other suggestions?

I'm also not saying I don't enjoy raiding, because I do. Let's face it - it's like a big party and a chance for everyone to do something together. Also, the raids in EQII are quite interesting and imaginative and require different strategies. I've seen WoW raids and like EQII's better. Do I wish there were a few more? Sure. But SOE has done a good job.

Still, I encourage those Guilds that raid non-stop to try exploring other things to do for a change of a pace, even if you're all about making your character as uber as can be. There is other high-level content. Not as much as I would like, but it's there. I like raiding (just had a great raid last evening) but I like standard six-person dungeon crawls a little more so I wanted to throw this post out there to challenge the all raids all the time mentality.

My favorite moments in EQII have been in six-person groups and not on raids. I'm willing to bet some of you feel the same way.

I suppose my dream MMO would not have an "endgame" but would continue to add content centered around the core gameplay.

Foton touched on raiding in WoW in this post yesterday.

Oh, and if you get the pun I intended by posting that picture, well, you're nerd. Wait a minute, I thought of it...what does that make me?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to be 'trolling' your blog...

But I'm dying to learn where those fine items were quested for :

Prismatic Wand,
Ring of Scales or Ancient Slayer Ring, Wristguard, Eyepatch

Thanks a lot for your time ;b

Oh.. Excellent Blog !!!

10:27 AM  
Blogger Aggro Me said...

Prismatic Wand is a quest reward for a three-part high level quest that centers around Naggy. Ring of Scales was part of the same quest series. These quests DO involve raiding so I was cheating a little.

Eyepatch is a heritage quest that starts in EF. Tobin's Mystical Eyepatch or something like that. Master T'Lys is the NPC

The ancient slayer quest is a quest around 30 you get from Sir Dinnzie in Ant I think which sends you to an instanced dungeon. The reward is a ring with plus 9 stat of your choice.

Wristguard was won by doing the solo arena quest in SP.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Feithen said...

ICY DIG! How I <3 it so! If you're a plate wearer getting the short end of the stick on raid loot, the Icy Dig is the next best thing. We almost fully outfitted our offtanks here in the last few weeks, and yes, it's quite the adventure.

Although it's a bit rarer, you can pick up fabled in the group instances, too - Meragul's Menagerie, Icespire, Maiden's Gultch, Bastion of Flame, and Vault of Whatsitcalled. You can also take a single group into the Antonica and Permafrost epics, and kill the first few named in each for a pretty good shot at metal.

How are you guys doing in Spirits of the Lost? It drops some pretty fab Masters and mage gear (Velvet), even if you cut out before the last few fights.


10:56 AM  
Blogger Anskiere said...

Prismatic wand is the Fire and Ice quest (and quests in that series), started by Lord Nagafien (right?)
Ancient Slayer Ring is from the Condemned Catacombs in Antonica(if I am thinking of the right ring).
The Wristguard you get for finishing the solo arena in SplitPaw
Eyepatch is "An Eye for Power" heritage quest, started in.. uhh.. Everfrost I think it was.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Anskiere said...

Holy crap I took too long to post and everyone jumped me :P

10:58 AM  
Blogger Aggro Me said...

Anskiere, you got zerg rushed by the comments section.

Feithen: Good tips and yeah, Spirits of Lost is awesome - we did most of it last night. No mage drops though. I like the layout of your blog by the way.

To be honest I wrote this post a few weeks ago so my gear is a little different now but the general concept is still the same.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Feithen said...

Thanks! I'm trying to stick to funny subjects that fit the tabloid theme, and to be honest, you cover the serious issues better than I ever could. :)

Another hot spot for mage gear is the contestable Borxx. He's not dropped anything BUT mage gear recently. :(

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your answer !

God bless Zerg rush answers to newbie's questions !

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't really care for raids, at least not big raids. I did some raiding in EQ1 and couldn't stand it. The number of people involved is just too much and it becomes more an issue of crowd management than actually playing.

I've done 10-man raids (2 groups) in WoW and it was Ok.

Ultimately, I think a single group is the optimal entity for MMORPGs. Soloing is easy mode. Raids are zerg mode. Grouping is where the real challenges arise, where you must have trust in your fellows the most, and where everybody participates and matters.

It wouldn't bother me at all to play a group-centric MMORPG with zero raiding.

5:12 PM  
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