Over the weekend I played my first advanced solo dungeon in Everquest 2. It was an interesting experience, a solo-able version of a group heroic dungeon. This allowed me to solo a segment of the main story arc towards the end of the zone; if I’d had a ready group available I could have done the couple of relevant quests in the heroic version instead.
The dungeon was fairly easy to solo with my healer mercenary in tow. I learned a bit more about controlling my mercenary – line of sight issues can lead to an unexpected death if you’re dumb AI-controlled healer can’t see you. He also seemed reluctant to actually fight anything unless I took the creatures to him into melee range, maybe I’m not paying him well enough?
The boss fights were mostly easy, maybe because I’m playing a tank character at the moment with a good amount of self-healing? There was some fights with nasty or fatal mechanics, however. In the end it was easier to just read up about the fights beforehand, I don’t like ‘cheating’ in this way but I didn’t have the time to wipe-repeatedly on mechanics that weren’t that obvious by animations alone.
In the end I got a nice enough chunk of experience and at least one gear upgrade from running the two quests in here. It also put me close to ending the zone’s story.
Solo dungeons or raids seem to be in vogue these-days. It is nice to have a choice of how to advance the storyline, I remember the painful last few months of LOTRO pre-free to play when it was nigh impossible to advance the epic storyline since you couldn’t get a group for certain lower-level quests. It seems the chosen solution for many games (e.g. LOTRO, Rift, WoW, even SWTOR now) is to have a solo option to traditional group content so you don’t miss out on story or progression when it’s a bit older and less popular.