Crickets in space
It’s been a very quiet time in EVE for me. I haven’t really logged in more than a couple of times to run some missions. Of course I still do my usual twice a day updating of trade orders (once for the morning peak and once for the evening before downtime) and to check on the skill training queues.
Part of the reason is that our kid has been extra fussy recently and takes a really long time to fall asleep. Another reason is that both my characters are old enough now that most of the skills they have to train are of the really really long variety. I used to think 4 days was OMG SO LONG but now I barely blink at 8 day timers for level 5s. Without the incentive of getting new skills to play with, I feel less of an urge to log in.
Noork is finishing up Electronic Upgrades V as a prerequisite for Covert Ops ships. He still doesn’t have the racial Frigate skill up to V yet either, so that’s another 8 days. I was originally planning on doing Caldari, but now I’m having second thoughts since most Caldari frigates aren’t that awesome with the exception of the Manticore stealth bomber. I read a great guide by Hallan Turek covering all the various stealth bombers and the differences between them. Turns out that the Minmatar Hound isn’t that bad either, and Minmatar Frigate V is much more useful since I will probably try out PVP in Rifters or the T2 versions at some point in time. The other account continues to train up all the skills to make her a better missile spewing battleship pilot, and is currently doing Caldari Battleship IV, which will probably be followed by more support skills.
I’ll still do Caldari Cruiser V though since I want to try out the Tengu. I started buying some of the parts on buy orders, but now I’m holding off since it looks to be a fairly long time before I commit to training those skills and the prices might drop in the meantime. So now I have a Tengu hull, a Accelerated Ejection Bay offensive subsystem, and a Amplification Node defensive subsystem sitting in my hangar gathering dust.
One of the things I’m thinking about is to get into Faction Warfare to try out PVP in the kiddie pool, or so I hope. But I need to read up more on Faction Warfare first to see what it involves, any tips from readers are welcome. I don’t even know whether I should join with my main or specifically roll up a alt for the purpose, although I hesitate to take skill training time away from my other characters. I think my standings with the opposing factions will take a hit, which I’m not too hot on but what the heck the Gallente are Frenchies anyway.
EverQuest 2 Extended
Since EVE is a bit on the backburner, I decided to try out the new Free-to-play version of EverQuest 2. I’ve never played EQ2 before and was curious to see how it stacked up against it’s more famous sibling WoW. First off it was a major pain to even get it installed. I can’t stand all the new fancy ways that developers are coming up with to download their client. I mean geez just give me the option to download the thing in a chunk, I don’t care if it’s 13 gigs. That’s much better than screwing around with streaming launchers that don’t work or generate weird error codes or get stuck at random screens with no indication that it’s still alive. I understand that the vast majority of gamers nowadays are completely clueless and don’t even know how to navigate past their “My Documents” folder but come on how hard is it to provide competent people with a means to download patches manually.
I have to admit that part of the problem could be the fact that our operating system is like… 10 years old. I am reluctant to spend hundreds of dollars installing a new OS from Microsoft unless something really important gets broken. Windows Vista is just utter, complete rubbish and I’m not impressed with Windows 7 either. There’s no reason why Win XP can’t run this streaming client, but there’s no other explanation since I’ve tried everything in the tech support forums.
In the end I managed to download it by streaming it on a laptop (also running XP…) and then transferring all 13 gigs over to my desktop. Seems to work decently now though I have to run the executable directly rather than using that bloody streaming launcher. Although how long this will last is anyone’s guess… maybe the next patch will break it and I’ll give up in frustration.
On the bright side EQ2X is quite fun, once I got past the technical issues. Not as polished as WoW, but there’s a lot of character in their quest texts and there’s quite a lot of depth to the crafting system. The restrictions for Bronze players are slightly annoying, with the worst being the lack of broker access. Storage space isn’t a huge issue so far and I’m way way below the coin cap, but I’m only level 23 so that may change in the future.
I didn’t pay to unlock any of the other races or classes, so I’m playing a Half-elf Inquisitor which is one of the best free race/class combinations I think. EQ2 is really solo friendly now, so I haven’t had any problems so far. I think they’ve learnt a lot from WoW’s design… previously I believe you could hardly kill anything without a group.
Amazingly even though the game is still in beta I’ve seen countless numbers of players who obviously paid for a lot of stuff like mounts or races. Guess it shows that the F2P model really does have a lot of supporters, although personally I’m not a big fan. I suppose if it’s done well and the item shop isn’t blatantly required to experience the content it’s not a big deal. I’ve never believed that players really NEED the best gear anyway, any benefit from items is marginal compared to being an intelligent player who’s not watching TV while randomly pressing buttons. While Lord of the Rings Online has also gone F2P this week, I’m not that keen to try it out because you have to buy quest packs or be restricted to purely grinding. Whereas the vast majority of the content in EQ2X is accessible to Bronze players right from the start.