EQ2: pre-expansion XP bonus and public events

Daybreak have announced the next expansion for Everquest 2, Kunark Ascending and there is double XP this weekend as part of the build-up. I finally gave in to temptation last night and used my free level 95 on my existing Inquisitor character. He was already level 55 but logging back into to him was so nostalgic I just had to plump for him in the end. I wanted to have a healer to play in new content and he can bring a nice mix of good damage skills and self-healing.

Newly dinged level 95 Inquisitor

Playing newly dinged level 95 Inquisitor

The expansion news post also mentions that there’ll be bonuses each week in October as part of the build-up. This could be a good opportunity to drag my Inqusitor through those last five levels to the cap of 100. Having two capped characters ready for an expansion will give me some variety for gaming sessions  – I’ve learned that from the recent preparations for WoW Legion, expansions can bring a change of perspective on which character I want to play going forward.

or Shadowknight in Thalumbra...

or Shadowknight in Thalumbra…

I also spent a bit of time to go check out the public quest events that are happening in various zones. I’d done a few in a previous session, by randomly grouping up with another player. This time it was the more usual model (these days) for public quest participation: I joined in on an ‘anon’ character who had just started the event so we fought together solo.

EQ2_000197The two sessions were an interesting contrast in two different experiences to such content within the same game. The first time a player grouped up with me and we approached the fights as a coordinated pair with me making use of my healing skills and paltry offensive spells. The second time we both just fought each creatures one after another, together but apart. In Everquest 2 my healer cannot heal random characters during combat, grouping is required.  That’s kind of a serious limit to my potential fun playing a healer in such events. I’ve had problems in other games as a healer, notably in Rift with PVP flagged characters not receiving my heals, but to have a blanket ban on healing others in EQ2 without formal grouping is rather at odds with the nature of such events; at least how most players seem to participate in them in other games.

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