Aggro Me: Raid Brigade
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?