Category Archives: Everquest 2

[Everquest 2] Forced migration for european players is dead

Thanks to Eldariel, author of the blog StarShadow , for pointing this out. It seems that current Everquest 2 european players won’t be forced to migrate to ProSiebenSat.1 after all. New european accounts will still have to be created with ProSiebenSat.1 though. However in the future they will give an option for the current european SOE accounts to migrate. If it will be forced then or optional I have no idea.

I am assuming it will be the same thing for all other games that got included in the deal. The exception would be DC Universe Online accounts that have migrated. Those won’t be able to be converted back to SOE accounts unfortunately. No clue about people who got their account flagged but never migrated. That was a question someone asked in the feedback thread on page 134. So I assume if they give any answer about it, then it will be somewhere after that.

Anyway, the official announcement can be found here.

For those who don’t know what I am talking about here is a rough recap:

Almost an year ago, SOE announced they made a publishing deal with a german company called ProSiebenSat.1. They claimed it would be to offer better customer support for european players, more advertisement on Europe, etc., etc. Current SOE european players would be able to keep their accounts with SOE while new one would have to be created with ProSiebenSat.1

The catch though was that servers would be region locked. European players would only be able to play on european servers. While the rest of the world would only be able to play in american servers. People who had characters in the “wrong” region would still be able to play those characters but would be unable to create new ones on that region.

Obviously, people complained about it. A few months went by and SOE changed it so there would be no server restrictions anymore. However they also changed it so all european accounts would be migrated to ProSiebenSat.1. Any outrage about the previous version of the deal paled compared to the anger that this one caused.

More months passed, a lot of players protested about it, pointed all the flaws in the deal, raised concerns about ProSiebenSat.1 ability to properly handle SOE games due to the company’s bad reputation, etc. Many quit over it too as they refused to deal with ProSiebenSat.1 in any way. All the while SOE response was the usual “We are listening to your feedback.” or some variant of it.

Meanwhile, more games got included in the deal (Everquest 1, Vanguard) and DC Universe Online actually transitioned. The DCUO transition had a lot of issues (items people already had disappearing, billing problems, terrible customer support, among others) proving that player’s concern over this whole deal were actually justified.

Now we come to today’s announcement that current players will be able to stay with SOE. It is a victory for all those who have been patiently posting about all the issues of this deal as well their concerns. Without them and all the people who quit in protest I don’t think things would have changed. Now let’s hope SOE doesn’t somehow make things worse.

As for myself, I am not an european nor did I play on a european server so I was not affected directly by this deal. However there were a some european players, whose house decoration work I admired, who did quit over this. That and the region lock thing in the beginning really upset me to the point of quitting the game entirely. Obligating players to transition to another company in exchange of no server region restrictions didn’t make things much better either.

This announcement comes a bit too late for me. As far as MMORPGs go, Guild Wars 2 is where my heart is now. And if I do subscribe to a MMORPG just for the housing it might end up being Rifts as they will have a very nifty housing system in their soon to be released expansion. For now I am just pondering about going back to EQ2 as a free player to finish up some house decoration projects.

In any case, I am happy that there is at least some happy ending of this whole mess, even if it might be just temporary. It is just a shame they didn’t do this from the beginning or they didn’t do it before DCUO transitioned.


Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Everquest 2, MMORPG


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The Everhoarder

Just some of the bags… You don’t want to see the rest. Or the bank.

This month’s challenge by Ambermist of Tastes Like Battlechicken is one that I am pretty sure a lot of MMORPG players are familiar with: it is about our collections. No, not that collection of cool stuff we gathered while playing and that are proud to show off to other people. It is all that stuff that ends up cluttering our banks and bags and yet we can’t let it go because “it might be useful some day” or some variant of that phrase.

To me it took a few games to get to that point. In my first years of MMORPG I was pretty ruthless, only keeping things I had immediate use for or that were actually collectable stuff. Then on Lineage 2 things started to change a little since due to the terrible crafting system and harshness of the game back in the days, it just made sense to hoard materials. Since all gear was completely tradeable it also made sense to stash them away for a future character or help out a friend in need.

My private warehouse in Lineage 2. Just part of it for lack of space… heh… get it? Lack of space? Ok, that was terrible….

On World of Warcraft it wasn’t too different. Usually I kept only rare materials or common ones I knew I would be using with another character’s crafting profession. Anything extra would end up in the auction house.

Then Evequest 2 happened. It was the game that turned me into a true MMORPG hoarder. It all started innocently enough, just like all the other MMORPGs, just saving up on rare materials because there was a lot of value to them, either to make mastercrafted gear and adept III spells or some of the furniture for housing.  Then there was the collectables, or “shinies” as the people usually call it over there. They were little glowing things on the ground you could gather, add to your collection and turn in to a NPC for some XP, a bit of money and occasionally some item too. Some of those were rare, so rare to the point of being worth a good bit of coin. If you knew what collections were cheaper or easier to complete it could also be a way to burn through a few levels, thus skipping the necessity of doing the same content for the 30th time when you made you made your 5th alt. Then there was the master quality spell books. Since Everquest 2 has various levels of quality for spells and getting a luck drop (or being dirty rich) was the only way to get master quality it made sense to save it for any prospective alt.

Some of the stuff Rakuno collected throughout his time in EQ2

All of those paled when I found my true addiction within Everquest 2: house decoration. Again, it all started simple enough, just collecting event items and those made with rare materials. Events then started to increase at a pretty fast rate, bringing with them more and more types of furniture. At one hand, this gave us decorators a lot more cool stuff we could build with. On the other hand it also meant a lot more hoarding since a lot of those items were so good, so flexible that we would use a lot of them. And if we run out of any of those items it could mean waiting months of even a year to replenish our stock. The other option would be to buy them from another player for a lot of money.

One of my “warehouses” in EQ2. It only doesn’t look that messy because it would take a whole gallery to show the horrors of it.

By that point banks and bags just weren’t enough anymore to hold all my furniture. So I just copied an idea from other people, made an alt, got an empty house with him and just threw all my rare furniture there. To make the rest of this, a little shorter, eventually they allowed each character to own multiple houses. This was pretty good too as just one house wasn’t cutting anymore to stash all my the furniture I was collecting for my projects. So I started to make multiple “warehouses” to stash it all. I even got to the point of separating between “warehouses” where festival stuff was stocked and one for those common furniture I reused a lot and even gave access to other friends to just go and grab it.

Oh, and just so people can see how bad things became, every time I mentioned my bags were full, my friends would joke it was because of all the couches and what not I carried around with me! Which wasn’t necessarily untrue if I was on my ratonga and was recently working on a decoration project….


Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Ambermist's Challenges, Everquest 2, MMORPG


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Alts? I have no alts! All my characters are my main!

Or so I usually say. In practice there is always a character I end up playing more than the others or who earned a special place in my heart.

So, on this week’s challenge, posed by the lovely Ambermist of “Tastes Like Battle Chicken”, it is exactly to talk about those characters. Which I will do with the utmost joy. Because characters are like our own children. Give us an excuse to talk about them and we’ll do it all day!

In my case it will be two of the characters that have a very special place in my heart. They are probably the ones I spent the most time playing on and growing with during my MMORPG career. If you can call playing MMORPGs for years a career that is.

Also, I apologize for the lack of screenshots. This is a post that screams “Fill me up with screenshots!” but I found out I have no good screenshots of Rakuno to post. Alas, I find myself still having to do my little EQ2 protest so I can’t even log in to take a decent screenshot of my beloved character.

Anyhoo, in order of creation here are my “mains”:

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Joining the anti-region lock in EQ2 protest

Recently SOE announced they had made a partnership with a company called ProSiebenSat.1 to manage most of SOE  MMORPGs in Europe. This would including customer support, marketing, etc. All find and good except for one detail…. Part of the  deal is is that european players would be region-locked to play on european servers only. While US players would only be able to play in US servers. Exceptions would be made  for european players who already have characters in US servers. Those would be “grandfathered in”. There is a FAQ about the whole deal for those interested over in the Everquest 2’s forums.

If that by itself wasn’t bad enough there has been accusations of ProSiebenSat.1 posting personal information about their customers in forums, like real life names and billing.

Not convinced yet that this is a really bad idea? Well, Feldon of EQ2 Wire wrote 20 reasons of why this is a really bad move. He also has been covering the whole thing as they happen. Worth keeping tabs on his site for interested on it.

And as to be expected by anyone with a modicum of sense, there has been a huge outrage from this change as evidenced by the (at this time) 100+ pages of forum posts in the official Everquest 2’s forum.

My position on this whole thing is this: I am a brazilian playing on the US servers. I decided to cancel my gold subscription and boycott every SOE game until they revert the decision of region-locking the game. Granted, I was already planning to downgrade my account to silver status eventually. The difference is that there were certain  things I wanted to get done before that and I still planned to stick around just to enjoy the decoration part of the game. I was even warming up to the idea of buying stuff from Station Cash as a silver player. With this turn of events however  I not only won’t do any of that anymore but will also be adding SOE to my black list of companies to not have any dealings with in the future.

There are a few reasons for this. The first is that I can feel the pain of people being angry about this turn of events since living in Brazil I have being region locked out of enjoying  a few online services, MMORPGs or buying digital versions of games. Examples would be Pandora, Hulu, Vindictus, most games in the Direct 2 Drive catalog in their early  days plus a few others. In all these cases it sucked badly. Now imagine suffering that but after having invested years of your life and a good chunk of money on it, building relationships with other people across the world then suddenly all rules changing.

The second is that I always believed that the beauty of the internet is how it can easily ignore physical barriers to bring people from different parts of the world together. Having contact from people from different parts of the world was something that enriched my life in more ways than I could ever have imagined. Any attempt of artificially separating people goes against that. This is one such case and I can’t in good conscience support it either directly or indirectly.

Lastly, and this may seem silly to a lot of you, is that the only reason I even care about Everquest 2 is due to their good house decoration system and the community that  was built around it. Some of the best  decorators in the game are in euro servers. With this change I just won’t be able to visit their in-game houses anymore to appreciate their work since I would be in the wrong side of the globe.

I really hope they change their mind about this. In the mean time I will be spending the time I would be playing Everquest 2 in other pastures and keeping an eye on how they handle this situation. If they do come with a good solution to this mess then I will go back to playing Everquest 2.

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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Everquest 2, MMORPG


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Grab-bag of gaming news around the net

There has been some gaming news that got my attention in the last few days. Since I don’t think everybody here is as neurotic as I am in keeping up with these kind of news I thought it might be interesting to point out to a few of them.

First of, the Kelethin City Festival has started over in Everquest 2. That by itself wouldn’t be that interesting considering that City Festivals happen every month. Except that with this we are finally getting Building Blocks themed after the city festival in question. What are Building Blocks? They are exactly what it sounds like, cubes, boards and circles (it looks more like an octagon) that decorators can use to build stuff with and save some much needed item count. It should be appearing on Station Cash too after the festival is over for those who would prefer alternatives to acquire them. Crafted building blocks should be coming with the next Game Update which is scheduled to March if I recall corectly. I just wish there were some triangles in there…. But hey, this is already pretty good considering how long the decorator community has been asking for it and how simple they are, model-wise.

Also, a reminder that the “A Goddess Risen” world event will be ending on February 6th. If you didn’t do it yet you might want to do it now. It is a very short, easy, quest line that will probably appeal to fans of EQ2 lore. It also gives a cool house item, an unique bow and a shield, both that can also be turned into house items.

A few days ago, Good Old Games started selling Thief Gold. For those who don’t know it, it is a classic game which brought a lot of innovations to the FPS genre back in the day. Basically you play a thief (yes, big surprise there) and your mission throughout the levels is to break into places, avoid being detected by guards and steal as much as you can. Nowadays this doesn’t seem like a big deal but back in the days this blew people’s mind. Although the GoG team did an amazing job to get it to run on modern machines it still runs on the monitor resolutions and aspects of its days. Rock, Paper, Shotgun found ways to fix it though so it runs with more modern resolutions and aspect ratios. You can find that fix here.

I admit I didn’t really play Thief besides the first level back in the days. Back then I just saw it as another FPS game, a genre which I despised. Granted it did have a neat premise and gameplay but my hatred for FPS blinded me to its awesomeness. Plus in those days it looked like every frigging game in the future would be a FPS so I was trying to spend whatever time I got in what I believed would be the last non-FPS games ever made. All I can say now is that hindsight is a pain. Anyway, I do intent to rectify that mistake once I get some more time and money.

Speaking of classic games, a while ago there were news that Firaxis would be making their own remake of X-Com. A remake that would be an actual strategy game. Like the original game was. Who woulda think, huh? :p

Anyway, leaving the sarcasm behind, the fine folks at Rock, Paper, Shotgun strike again and they did an interesting interview with Jake Solomon, lead designer of Firaxis’ X-Com remake. It will be in 3 parts and you can find part 1 here. Topics covered are how long the development took so far, the challenges of remaking a game that is, rightfully so, considered a sacred cow to many players and other topics. It is a pretty interesting read for anyone who is looking forward on how that one turns out.

Myself I am cautiously excited about it. Firaxis already proved themselves that they can make a damn good job of reinventing a good game and still making it feel right with Civilization V. So they will probably do another fine job with their version of X-Com.

Hm. That should be all for now. Back to your regularly (non-)scheduled ramblings!

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Posted by on February 2, 2012 in Everquest 2, MMORPG


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Why I decorate in Everquest 2: The return!

Ah, the insights we get when we are can’t sleep, don’t feel like doing it but we know we must try otherwise we became living zombies. Anyhoo, in a previous post I rambled a lot about why I love decoration in Everquest 2. However as often happens in such endeavors I think my point got lost, even to myself, amidst of all the rambling. It is one of those gut feelings you have but you just don’t know how to put it in words or even explain it to your own self. You just know it is the thing that is right to you. I think I finally got it in a more rational way now. So to avoid losing track of what I am trying to say, let’s do something different this time and delve directly to the point, shall we?

There have been too things that have been bugging me a lot since I got into decoration in Everquest 2. The first is why I have so much trouble with little details and colors in my decorations while to other decorators it seems as natural as speaking? The second is why I care so much about a game’s feature that pretty much the majority of the MMORPG industry and player base doesn’t seem to care about, namely a good housing system? I mean, it is pretty much the only reason I am still playing Everquest 2. Everything else is just my silly obsessive side.

Although both questions seems to require different answers, in my case, they have pretty much the same answer. Thinking about the first one my conclusion is that to most of the other decorators, to decorate a house in Everquest 2 is kinda like painting. A painter will try to recreate the world, as they see it, with a brush, a select choice of colors, shapes, etc. With the average decorator it is not very different. Except the subject is a lot more restricted in subject and by using the in-game house items as their brush, color oils and a way to create different shapes. While a painter will make paintings of whatever they feel more strongly about, a decorator will try to recreate in-game some type of real life architecture they like or some fantasy image they have in their head. It is something I am just realizing more now as I see some of my friends who decorate mentioning what type of architecture they were trying to recreate in-game. It is not something totally new either. People have been doing it in-game for a long time. There also plenty of examples of people trying to recreate some cool house from a book or a movie or just getting inspiration from those.

Why I think the analogy works so well is because just like a painter considers the entire piece, from the big picture to the small details, these decorators seem to do the same. It is kinda like they have the entire mental image of the place already in their head. They only need to figure out how to translate that to something  that can exist in-game given its constraints.

Where I differ, and this ties to the second question, is that I am more of a world builder instead of a painter. Unlike a painter, a world builder doesn’t think so much in terms of image as in terms of what kind of features that world needs to have to be interesting. What kind of characters will live there, what story it will serve as a setting to. That is not too different from how I approach house decorations. The first thing I think of is what kind of character lives in that house, what is his story, what kind of features his house are necessary for his usual activities, what kind of stories could happen in that place and so on and so forth.

That is why it is so hard for me to think in terms of little details. To me the little details are linked more with the story of the character and that can be hard to implement since we can only get pretty much the same items as everyone else in the game, instead of say, something more personal to the character.

It also explains why I care so much about decoration in a MMORPG of all places. I’ve always love the idea of having as much freedom in a game as possible to shape the game’s world through my characters actions. How much of that is actually feasible in a game or even if it is interesting in a MMORPG is a ramble for another time. But the fact is the housing in Everquest 2 provides that to me. There is just something right about it where I feel like I am carving my little spot in the world of Norrath. It might be a complete insignificant spot, that doesn’t change squat about anything else in the game but it is my spot. It is the spot I made with my own imagination and effort. It also helps that I can still enjoy the rest of the game just barely enough to allow me to indulge in such endeavors.

Ultimately, the reason that I still play Everquest is because its housing system can scratch my creative itchy. A type creativity that just so happens to be different from the majority of the other Everquest 2 decorators. It also explains neatly why a good housing system is important to me when considering a new MMORPG nowadays.

Now that I think about it, it also explains why I have been struggling with the idea of trying my hand at the dungeon maker. It feels like a different beast where I feel the need to entertain other people with an interesting place while with housing it has been always about entertaining myself first and anyone else would be a (much appreciated) bonus. The problem with the dungeon maker though is that I feel the tools to do it right now are very primitive. That however is also a rant for another time, perhaps if I actually decide to try making dungeon.

For now I will just continue with my usual house decorations and ramblings. It is just what feels more natural right now.

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Posted by on January 8, 2012 in Everquest 2, Everything Else, MMORPG


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Deus Ex Arcana Guild Hall

This is one of those projects I should have finished ages ago. The guild hall was gotten around… uh… some time in the beginning of the year. I was very happy, excited and thought it was going to be the coolest decoration ever. Well, turned out it wasn’t as easy as I expected to decorate a tier 1 evil guild hall. It looks cool and all but it has way too many funky angles and other oddities if you want to reform it for any reason. To make matters worse, not long after that I got into a decorator’s block resulting in the hall (and pretty much all of my projects) to gather dust.

Several months later and my decorator’s block is mostly  gone. With Frostfell upon us I got the idea to decorate the hall for Frostfell. Before that I needed to actually have the hall with a normal decoration first. So off I went to work. I scrapped all my first attempt, started from scratch and finally did it! Granted, it took way more time than I was predicting (my deadline was the 20th), there are stuff that aren’t perfect or that I had to cut due to time/lack of energy/lack of good ideas but I like it. It is nice to finally have a full hall decorated.

I must admit there is a lot of influence in the decoration from the Homes and Tomes guild hall in Antonia Bayle and from the Pirates guild hall in the Crushbone server. It is kind of unavoidable since I was a member of the first for a brief period and I am still  a member of the second. They are both extremely well decorated guild halls in their own right too. I probably got influences from other people too in a more unconscious way. So to all those all I can say is: Thank you for always sharing you work! You people are part of what makes decorating homes in Everquest 2 so much fun!

Alright. Enough rambling. After the jump, you can find pictures of the guild hall. There are a lot of them as always. Oh, it is just the normal decoration too. I have to add the Frostfell decoration yet which I will try to do tomorrow, since it will still be Christmas, and therefore I am meeting my own goal! In a way. Well, ok, a bit late than I wanted. But to see the frostfell decoration you will have to see it in-game. I will leave it there until January 3rd as it is the day Frostfell ends in EQ2.

For those who wish to visit it, it is the Tier 1 guild hall in Gorowyn, Antonia Bayle. It is under Deus Ex Arcana and should be open to visitors now.

As always, please don’t mind the ratonga trying to be invisible. Just amuse him and pretend you can’t actually see him. He will be less depressed this way and won’t eat all my stock of cheese. (in one go at least)

Also, let me put it in here, for all to see: a very merry Christmas and happy holidays to all! And if I don’t post anything before then, a happy New Year too! 😀

P.S.: Apologies for some of the funky graphics in the screenshots. Since the expansion release the EQ2 shaders have been wonky for me for some reason. :/

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Posted by on December 25, 2011 in Everquest 2, MMORPG


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