My hopes that the between-expansion zone The Cobalt Scar would give me enough XP to hit 95 did not come true. No, when I entered the zone I had 309 AA and was sitting around 25% into level 93. Finishing the entirety of the zone (minus the heroic dungeon and the advanced duos) I still need a couple of percent to hit level 94. The AA has been flowing though, and I have 321 at this point. So I’m officially done with mostly all of the content from the beginning of the game to where I should be entering the Veespyr Isles, which is the first overland zone of the Tears of Veeshan expansion. However, upon entering the zone via wizard spire, I was unable to see any quest icons, and according to things I’ve read, it appears I will need to be level 95 to get going. That, or I’ve finally hit the F2P wall and can’t access these quests, but I would think that I should be able to access this expansion, just not Altar of Malice (the EQ2 FAQ hasn’t been updated since ToV was the new expansion, so the language isn’t clear). Things are confusing at this point because I’m advancing quickly and this is the most content I’ve ever experienced for free, though ToV was the last expansion I had purchased so I would think I’d be able to access it anyway. With the news of a new expansion coming soon, it’s already been confirmed that a purchase of the pack comes with everything (including the Rum Cellar DLC) that’s already released. There was a sale on both AoM and RC but if they’re both going to be accessible for free soon, why buy them? Either my understanding of the F2P restrictions are off base, or it’s silly to buy that content right now. The day after that sale ends, Pre-orders for the new expansion go up and you get access to the older content immediately, so yeah, I’m waiting for that.
Either way, part of me wants to resubscribe just so that I can control my AA slider. Having 50% of all my XP going to AA has been nice for the AA gain, but it’s slowing down leveling a bit, enough that I think I’d be 95 already otherwise. I don’t mind looking for HQs and other things to do, but at the same time, I’d rather just be at the appropriate level already so I can start down the next quest chain. I loved the Kingdom of Sky expansion, and Tears of Veeshan is modeled similarly with sky isles, so I want to push forward. Ultimately I’d like to be ready for Altar of Malice content by the time the new expansion arrives, so I can just buy the new one, resubscribe and burn through AoM and RC so I can be current again. However, getting that stuff for free and not having to worry about the sub time would be nice too. What will probably end up happening is I’ll get a level, burn through ToV and hit the F2P wall and then sub+ pre-order the new expansion.
The Cobalt Scar was a fun zone. I enjoyed it much more than the Withered Lands zone, which is comparable in size and scope, and was also patched in between expansions a couple of years ago. It was pretty, had a more Butcherblock Mountains feel and I just enjoyed it much more. The quest lines were similar to most zones, yet there was enough variety that I didn’t feel burnt out. This is still technically part of Velious, so the denizens are the Othmir and Ulthorks, along with the New Combine (who sends you here from the Great Divide dock, just like they did with the Withered Lands). There were some awesome sights, plenty of named, some shapeshifting, and a solo zone at the end infested with Sirens. After completing the main questline, a signature quest opened up and continued the story of the Duality and Firiona Vie along with the Overlord and Queen Antonia. There was a particular portion that was pretty awesome, when you go through a portal to another realm and watch a battle between dragons. Overall I enjoyed the entire zone, and it was easy to get into that rhythm of getting shit done.
So at this point, I’ll be stuck making up some XP so that I can break into ToV. From there, I think my path is pretty clear, or clearer than it was when I first started writing this post. I’ve dropped any of the other MMOs I had been sampling in favor of the classic old guard game that’s been with me for years, and I hope to see the end game again after this new expansion releases. Even if I don’t raid, I can at least say I’m at the end and can take a break without being behind this time. Who knows if that will actually happen, but it sounds good in theory.
Here’s some miscellaneous shots of my adventures in the Cobalt Scar:
A little better than yesterday and the day before, but still not acceptable.
I randomed Steroids, and I actually rather like having two weapons out at once, but I got shit mutations and not many health drops. Such is life.