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Of Sarnak Shadowknights and Future Adventures

January 20, 2010

I have probably less than two days remaining on my trial account, and I’ve decided that I want to continue playing Everquest 2, at least for another month  or three. Thing is, I’m waiting for the expansion to come out so I’ll have the latest version of the game when I’m ready to play again.

I have two main characters right now: a Froglok Monk named Civrotian, and a Sarnak Shadowknight named Rendsever. Thing is, I love being good; at the same time, however, I love the Sarnak class and the survivability and damage potential of the Shadowknight. This basically means that I’m quite torn about which I should focus on leveling.

Honestly, the Monk class isn’t doing it for me, and I don’t want to force myself to play something I don’t like. It takes all my skills to kill something, usually using them multiple times. Couple that with the choice of Qeynos as a starting ground, and it took me around 25 hours to make the Froglok hit 20. Contrast that with the Sarnak Shadowknight of Timorous Deep: it only took me around 10 hours. Definitely a function of both the class and the landmass I’ve chosen to play in, but the overall impression is that it’s tougher right now to be good than to be evil.

I’m hoping New Halas (which will come out sometime during the upcoming expansion) will be a somewhat more streamlined experience, but again, even if I wanted to be good, that Sarnak Shadowknight is deliciously fun to play. Does the Paladin have much of the same survivability as the Shadowknight? To my knowledge, it’s a tank that heals rather than a tank that beats things to death.

Ideas for fun race-class choices would be most appreciated. Right now, I’m inclined to try a Human Paladin Carpenter when the expansion arrives to contrast the shadowknight.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2010 23:41

    Why not play both/all? That’s what alts are for! 😀

    And the beauty of guilds in EQ2 is that it doesn’t matter what alignment you are (unless it’s an alignment-restricted RP guild). Even if a guild hall is in an alignment-opposed city, there are ways to get in there and obtain your guild recall spell, after which it’s a matter of just recalling.

    Personally I find the paladin much more laborious to play than the shadowknight — right now, SKs are very powerful and almost easy-mode once you start getting your damage soaks and AOEs. Lots of fun.

    As for the monk — your experience is very similar to mine a few years back. As a result, my monk was stuck at 17 from 2005 to 2009. However, when I picked her up again last year I started having more fun with her, and I’m not sure what changed. A couple of guesses though:

    1. I learned to use auto-attack damage. For the fighter classes (and scouts) it’s VERY important. Hence the auto-attack bar mod that I use, so that I can space my combat arts out.

    2. You can’t spam combat arts like you can on some other classes (like bards), because of the way the various timers are set up. However, you also don’t need to. I’ve learned to use them more slowly and to chain them more intelligently (debuffs and DOTs, then DD) and to make constant use of heroic opportunities. People think those are only for groups but they’re actually a great help in providing extra damage when solo too — and they’re easy, or can be. The standard fighter HO is {damage attack} + {taunt} for {extra damage} — and since that’s pretty much stuff you’re doing already in fights, it’s easy to integrate. Try it with the SK, too.

    3. I learned to keep her fighting skills at max. That actually applies for all skills in EQ2 — if you’re not at max for your level, you’re going to be penalised. VERY important thing to know. (For example, just look how many more bad tick results you get when crafting when you level, until your skill points hit that max again.) If you’re a fighter you don’t want to be missing, even moreso if you’re one of the lighter-armoured brawlers.

    4. Keep your combat arts upgraded as much as possible. You don’t have to get everything at master, but apprentice-level combat arts are as weak as they come. Doing more damage and having bigger buffs always helps. This is actually valid for all classes. Finding Journeyman versions of CAs/Spells on the broker is easy and usually very cheap. Adepts are a little more expensive, and Experts are rares-crafted and thus not cheap. However, journeyman and adept will be fine until you reach much higher levels.

    5. Make use of your AAs. I’m coming to the conclusion that by 30 I should have at least 30 AA (and I’m sure others will say it should be more), and probably 75-100 by 50. Needless to say, that’s not the case for any of my chars. It doesn’t *hurt* you per se to not have them, but it sure helps if you do.

    If and when you subscribe, getting you kitted out (rare weapons also help, rare armour is nice but can be pricey in the higher tiers) is going to be much easier. I’m ready and willing to pimp you out — you can always pay me back the rares later on. It’s a system we use with guildies and it works very well! (For whatever you can’t make yourself, that is. :D)

    • victorstillwater permalink*
      January 21, 2010 09:05

      Thanks Ysh! 🙂 I tried Heroic Opportunities on my SK, and they worked, although I wasn’t focusing as much on the fight as I was looking at the timers. Guess I need to practice when I get back.

  2. January 21, 2010 02:11

    I’ve never tried a paladin. My experience is that they can be really awesome tanks, but that most people say they solo pretty slowly “boring the mobs to death.” And I know when 70 was the level cap I was in a guild group on my Inquisitor as sole healer; we had a Guardian tanking and a Paladin along and he was trying his new “dps AA setup.” And I outdps’d him on my healer while keeping the group buffed, tank healed, and mobs debuffed. I’m told pallie’s have had a dps boost since then, so it may be better, and then again.. who knows? If you try it out maybe it’ll just “hit you” the right way and you’ll love it anyway?

    I gotta say that I completely agree with you on the monk thing. One of my “oldest” characters is my monk, and the only reason he’s managed to make level 60 in spite of being over 5 years old now, is that recently the leveling speed was increased rather significantly, so my occasional “poking around” with him made the levels just roll on in.

    That’s his stats, if you care. Yeah.. an ogre. I thought it would be rare (and it is, especially since he’s a Kelethin citizen — even more rare, but he likes the Fae — they’re crunchy and taste good with ketchup. . . .) I thought I’d just love him to death, but.. he’s just never “done it” for me.

    Conversely…. my coercer sounded like it would be interesting and since coercers were (and still are) fairly rare I took it out for a spin. Died left and right, but…..something about it took hold of me, and it’s been my “main” for quite a while.

    I also have an SK which I absolutely love to death, but I do tend to use it as more of a solo character than as an actual group tank anymore. Don’t know why, people always tell me I tank well on the rare occasions when I do, but… such is life. As it is, when I’m feeling “solo-ish” I tend to be playing the SK more than anything else. And this was true even before the SK’s got buffed up to their current state.

    Why it shook out this way? I don’t know. I’ve actually got 12 characters and I really like to play… 9 or 10 of them, I suppose. It’s really only my monk and my necromancer that I don’t particularly care for, but even they have their moments.

    • victorstillwater permalink*
      January 21, 2010 09:07

      I guess it’s a matter of finding a class that really appeals to you. 🙂

      Looks like I’ll try the paladin when I come back to play and then choose which one suits me as a main. 🙂

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