I am really quite fickle when it comes to free MMOs. Less than a week after trying out Perfect World International for a bit, I’m back in Sony’s pockets.
I had been getting a little burned out on eq2 at level cap, and the guild I’d been in had exploded in a beautiful starburst of drama, meaning that it was either start the interview process with a new guild or try something completely different.
This is how I wound up starting a new character on Sebilis, the Japanese-localized eq2 server.
It was a bit of a harsh awakening at first. See, eq2 has this mechanic where every max level character you have gives all your other characters an experience boost. With 3 level 90s, that meant that any new character got 60% more experience for free.
This normally works even for characters on other servers.
It does NOT work cross-region.
I also don’t have any way to transfer money or items to Sebilis, though that wasn’t a surprise. It was, however, a little weird to actually be poor. That’s a sensation I haven’t had in eq2 for quite a long time.
Fortunately, my account has all of its expansions and veteran rewards unlocked on Sebilis. That lets me take advantage of a couple of features from the latest expansion that are making the whole process much easier. I’ve been making use of a mercenary since I was able to scrape together the money to hire one, and, even if the upkeep on it is actually a bit of a drain at my level, it is making the grind much more palatable. I’ve also been making use of the Dungeon Maker – this is a feature from the most recent expansion where you play one of a handful of premade avatars through player created dungeons, and it’s been widely panned because most people would like to use their actual characters instead.
My “actual character” is an undergeared pauper made of tissue paper, so the avatars are actually quite nice from my perspective.
So, with the mechanics of leveling sorted out, I am cheerily grinding up through the levels and actually progressing very quickly. I hit level 51 this morning with about 20 hours played and I’m heading into some content that is famously good for getting XP in a hurry. Level 90 – the cap for now – shouldn’t be too difficult to reach, which is good inasmuch as that’s where the rest of the community is.
Speaking of community, Sebilis is pretty quiet. It doesn’t help that I am playing in the evenings on US time which means that it’s the middle of the work day in Japan, but I get the feeling that it’s a pretty dead server with a few die-hard players remaining.
That’s actually a good thing from my perspective. Anyone left on this server is likely to be more mature, which is going to be good since I expect that I will be fighting a heck of a language barrier to find groups etc.
As an aside, figuring out how to do kanji input in eq2 was its own special challenge. I will leave it at that because the alternative is a rant of inchoate rage.
I have had one fairly long chat with a Sebilis native and they seemed pretty bemused to have an American on their server. I’ve heard horror stories in the past about non-Japanese players on Japanese servers in MMOs, so “bemused” is a pretty good start. 🙂