Sunday, August 25, 2019

Dauntless Review


Developer - Phoenix Labs
Publisher - Epic Games
Released - May 21, 2019 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC

This review is of the PC Version

Dauntless is a free to play Action RPG monster hunter game that includes micro-transactions. You can play solo or in a group of  up to 4 players, cross play also exists in the game allowing people to group up with players on the Xbox one or PS4.

I have been playing the game mid way thru season 5 and the game is almost done season 6 which ends August 20, so maybe 2 months. I would like to be a little more accurate but the epic launcher doesn't record play time or any other stats, but that's a post for another time. 

The basic premise of the game  is that you take on the role of a slayer and your job is to hunt behemoths and to protect the people of the shattered isles. 

The game it self does not contain a lot of story, and event called the Upheaval shattered the know world and scattered broken shards of land across the sky creating the Shattered Isles. You star in the town of Ramsgate which is basically the game hub, you can craft new weapons and armor and get the limited quests that the game currently has. These quests are mostly go hunt and kill this behemoth with a few crafting quests thrown in. Other than that most if the game takes place on an instanced isle.

Once you start a hunt you have 30mins to finish which is the amount of fuel the airship that brought you has before it must return to the Ramesgate. 

You can equip 1 of 6 different weapon types, which include Axe, Sword, Chain Blades, War Pike, Hammer and Repeaters, and each weapon type includes a number of different variants that have different elemental powers, perks and Unique effects. 

Your armor, which is made up of 4 pieces, Helm, Chest, Legs and Gloves, also have a number of variants that have different elemental powers, perks and Unique effects. 

You also have a Lantern which will give you an instance and a hold effect that helps in combat, these effects will recharge over time.

Weapons, Armor and Lanterns also have cell slots which will give you addition perks.

Lastly you can equip up to 4 consumable which includes Tonics (healing potions, buffs, ect), Pylons (AOE buff), Grenades, and Misc (Airstrike Beacon is the only available one at this time). You are also limited to the capacity that you can have.

Weapons, Armor and Lanterns are crafted using parts dropped from behemoths along with stones that are a reward at the end of a successful hunt. Consumables are crafted from resources that you can gather while on your hunt.

The island instances of the game are fantastic with a number of different weather and lighting conditions that really work well when hunting different behemoths. The character models remind me of the character models from Landmark with that Disney like look. The town of Ramsgate also gives that Disney like appearance, however it does seem to be a little barren even for a frontier town.

The controls are very straight forward and you can use a keyboard and mouse or a controller. I have only used keyboard and mouse and have not encountered any issues with the default settings, but I think that I will need to remap the emote key so I don't constantly hit it while trying to dodge.

As mentioned at the beginning this game is free to play with micro transactions. These consist for the most part as emotes, appearance items, dyes, supplies, and a few other items that I'll touch on.

These items are bought with platinum which you buy with really currency. 1000 platinum cost $9.99us, why that price and not a straight $10us makes no sense to me.

Weapon skins cost 500 platinum Armor skins cost 1000 platinum
Emotes cost 350-100 platinum
Dyes cost 150-600 platinum
Supplies cost 100-200 platinum (This one doesn't make a lot of sense to me either since you can craft all these items for free)
Transmog stones cost 250 platinum (This allows you to change the appearance of an item)

The Elite Hunt Pass  is another thing that can be bought for 1000 Platinum or 2400 Platinum if you want to also skip the first 15 levels.

The Hunt pass is a reward track that is broken up into 50 levels that require you to collect 100 items to move onto the next level. The Hunt pass comes into 2 version the Basic and the Elite. The basic gives you different rewards  for 29 of the 50 levels and the Elite gives you rewards for all 50 levels.

Rewards includes weapon and armor skins, fireworks, platinum, gold,  crafting items, etc, etc. The best rewards are on the Elite Track.

While the game is fun to play, you may find it becoming a bit tedious and grindy after a while. You will constantly have to kill the same behemoth over and over to get parts and stones to craft new armor and weapons.

Two things I have found that is really annoying. One is that there is now way to leave a hunt other than quitting the game. Which is a real pain when you are the last member of your party and everyone else has disconnected. It would also be nice if there was a penalty if you do disconnect, but that just maybe wishful thinking on my part. The second is there is no health bar on the behemoths so even thou you see damage numbers from your weapons you really have no idea if your doing anything at all.

If you do decide to give Dauntless a try and like the game enough to want to get the Elite Hunt pass, I would suggest to buy the Timely Arrival pack that will give you 1000 platinum for $4.99us. It's a cheap way to try the Elite track and also helps support the game. Also you may notice that you get 500 platinum if you complete the Hunt pass, so if you save your platinum and you buy the $9.99us platinum pack for the next Hunt pass you can get the third season free, so you will only have to buy Platinum packs every other month if you really enjoy the game.

Hopefully as the game grows they will be able to add more content until than its just a fun little time waster.


Monday, August 5, 2019

EverQuest 2 - Unfinished Stories Part 3

This post is going to look back on some of the early History of EQ2 and some questions that have not really been explained and why this has become an unfinished story.

When EverQuest 2 was released a number of short stories were released explaining the events that lead up to the shattering, this and more of the early information on EQ2 can still be found at . Two of these I will post here since they are directly related.

3 - Attack of the Nexus
Ayenden concluded his business in the Bazaar and strolled into the Nexus. The usual crowd of travelers was passing through, and Ayenden thought he might look around for some familiar faces with which to seek adventure. He caught sight of an old friend standing atop the platform. “Enkasha,” he called out. “I didn’t expect to see you here today.”

The tall, serene Erudite saw him and smiled slightly. Ayenden knew this was the extent of the emotion she was likely to show. She walked down the stairs and greeted him.

“You are correct, my friend. I am indeed overdue for the festival. I was exploring the planes with my guild mates, which took far longer than I had anticipated. I am certain to be chided for my tardiness.”

“It sounds like a glorious occasion for your people,” Ayenden said. “Are you sure I can’t convince you to take me along as a guest?”

Enkasha rolled her eyes and sighed, a gesture Ayenden knew to be playful rather than demeaning. “You know full well that the celebration of the anniversary of Erud’s birth is a sacred and private ritual for us. Outsiders are never allowed to attend.”

“Yes, you told me before,” Ayenden muttered. “I hope you will tell me the details later, at least. I’m sure this eighth centennial will be quite an occasion. Who knows, one of you might even tell a joke.”

Enkasha sighed again, but the faintest of grins betrayed her amusement. “It shall indeed be special, though not for the reason you posit. But enough of this chatter; I must see the scion about teleportation to Odus.”

Before he could respond, Ayenden’s attention was drawn to a commotion atop the Nexus platform. The air itself seemed to crackle and sputter as a vortex of energy began to swirl. “What in the name of Tunare is that?”

Enkasha turned and watched, her eyes narrow. “Something is teleporting into this chamber.”

Ayenden shook his head slowly. “That is no ordinary spell. Someone is opening a doorway to this place, and is expending a great amount of energy to do so.” He muttered the beginnings of an incantation, his eyes fixed upon the growing vortex. “I think perhaps you should be visiting that scion now, my friend.”

“Nonsense,” Enkasha protested. “Who else will defend a fragile old wizard like you?” She cast a spell to summon forth a fiery pet and commanded it to stand in front of her. The swirl of energy on the platform above them was expanding rapidly.

“You pick a curious time to develop a sense of humor, milady. Not that I’m ungrateful, but I really must insist that--“ Ayenden gasped as the portal opened and dark, massive beings began to rush through it. “The Diaku!” he shouted in disbelief. “Get back, Enkasha!”

The huge, heavily armored soldiers poured through the opening with weapons drawn. They stormed down the stairway toward the crowds that had gathered and began to attack.

“What are they doing outside the Plane of Tactics?” Enkasha cried out. Instinctively she bolstered her pet and ordered it forward as a soldier charged her. The Nexus was now flooded with adventurers from the Bazaar and Shadowhaven, but more Diaku continued to charge out of the gateway. “There are so many!” she exclaimed. “We cannot stop them.”

“Let me translocate you away, Enkasha,” Ayenden pleaded. “Now is the time for neither jokes nor pride.”

“No, I will stand here and defend this place,” she countered, healing her pet as it fought against a Diaku swordsman. “But you must go and warn others. We need reinforcements.”

“I will not leave you!” Energy bolts flew from his fingertips as more planar invaders kept coming.

“Which of us is being prideful? You must go, and go now. I think something else is coming through the portal.”

From behind the Diaku came tall beings whose very heads seemed to be made of fire, their massive weapons burning with the arcane power of their master.

“By all the gods!” Ayenden hissed. “Those are the servants of Solusek Ro. And they seem to be carrying a massive gem of some sort with them.”

Enkasha was pouring all her strength into her pet, struggling against the assault of the Diaku. “There can be no more delay. We need help, Ayenden. Go now!”

He wanted desperately to stay by her side but knew that she was right. Ayenden cast his gate spell and waited for it to spirit him away. “I’ll be back soon. Stand fast, my friend.” As reality began to shimmer around him, he saw a Diaku archer take aim at Enkasha from atop the platform. He tried to call out to warn her, but before he could utter a sound he was gone.

The familiar scent of the Faydark filled his nostrils, instantly replacing the stench of burning air that had permeated the Nexus just moments before. Teleportation was always vaguely disconcerting, but no more so than this night. He turned and sprinted down the pathways he had learned so well in his youth.

At last he caught sight of the guards outside the grand city of Felwithe. “Sound the alarm!” he shouted. “The Nexus is being attacked!”

Ayenden charged past the various people milling around the open gate and ran inside. He had to tell the paladins to gather their forces. This invasion may take an entire legion of knights to repel.

The captain of the guard walked toward the wizard, flanked by his lieutenant. “What is this attack you speak of? Tell me quickly.”

Ayenden gulped for air as he told the captain what had transpired. The captain considered the wizard's words for a moment, then turned to his lieutenant. “Send word to the king of what is transpiring. Tell him we may need additional reinforcements. I will bring a squadron with me to hold these beings back.”

The lieutenant saluted and marched quickly down the corridor. The captain pointed back toward the city gate. “Meet me outside. I must gather my forces, and then we will need you to take us to the Nexus.”

Ayenden nodded and ran back outside. After what seemed an eternity, the captain and his guard arrived, accompanied by additional wizards.

“Weave your magic and take us to the Nexus,” the captain ordered. Ayenden began to cast immediately, and as he chanted the spell he felt the familiar gathering of energy around him and his passengers. But suddenly the gate collapsed and the spell was broken.

Ayenden cursed to himself and began to cast again. This time his power seemed lessened, despite the fact that he had been meditating for the last several minutes. He looked at the captain and shook his head.

The captain turned to his wizards. “You take us there,” he ordered. They began to cast, but their spells fizzled as well.

“I cannot explain this,” one of them said aloud. The others were just as baffled.

“We must go to the spires. The scion can take us there,” Ayenden pleaded. The captain nodded and ordered his soldiers forward.

This run seemed far longer to Ayenden than the last one had, but finally they reached the gigantic forest spires. He knew something was wrong before they got there. The familiar hum was gone, and the scion stood alone at the center of the spires.

“What is it? What has happened?” Ayenden cried out. “Tell us!”

The scion looked around helplessly. “They’re dead,” he said softly. “The spires are silent.”

Ayenden stood, his mouth agape. He looked up at the sky, feeling more lost than he could ever remember. He thought of his friend so far away.

“I’m sorry, Enkasha,” he whispered to the clinging darkness of the night. “I’m so sorry.”

At this point Norrath is now cut off from porting to the moon of Luclin.

11 - The Shattering
They crept through the shadows and waited for the guard to pass.

"He's gone, Tielya. It's safe."

"The guards should be the least of your concerns," she replied. "If my father ever found out that a human like you would be so bold as to touch a Teir'Dal maiden, he'd have your head on a pike before dawn."

"Good point," he said, pulling her close to him. "And what do you think he'd do if he found out that I'm going to marry you?"

"Impudent human!" she exclaimed, pushing away. "What makes you think a daughter of the house of V'Dreth would consent to such a union?"

"This," he answered, kissing her softly.

She smiled. "Even so, my father will be furious. I'm not joking when I say we have to be careful."

"I know," he answered, "but your father isn't here right now. And if we don't make our way to the docks soon, the guard will be back. Let's go."

He took her hand and led her to the pier. A small boat was tied up below the dock. They climbed down into it and untied the rope, rowing quietly into the harbor.

"Such a beautiful night," Tielya said. "I love the darkness of the new moon. Don't you, Sarven?"

"I love the darkness of your skin more, but the moon is nice, too." He smiled. Her eyes glinted back at him.

They rowed around the edge of the harbor, past the tall ships anchored at the Freeport docks. Their boat glided out of sight of the watchtowers to a deserted spot near the sandy shore. Sarven put down the oars and Tielya leaned back against him. They looked out across the silent water.

"The sea hasn't been this calm for a long time. A good omen, I think," she said to him.

"Indeed. Maybe it's a sign that we should run away from your family and start a new life somewhere else."

"Where could we go that a human and a dark elf would be allowed to live together? The Commonlands are overrun by orcs. If we fled to Nektulos, the fanatical Thexians would eagerly hunt you down. And while you might be able to find a place in Qeynos, I doubt they'd be very welcoming to a Teir'Dal. The oceans are still unsafe to cross. Our options are--"

She stopped when she noticed the sky over the water begin to shimmer and grow brighter.

"What is that?" Sarven asked.

"Some kind of distortion is forming. Whatever it is, it's enormous."

The flickering light coalesced. There, in the sky before them, was a round moon circled by an ephemeral ring.

"By the gods!" Tielya exclaimed. "Can that be Luclin?"

"I read about it growing up, but access to the moon was lost centuries ago. It was said to be hidden behind some kind of veil. Why would it be visible now?"

As he spoke, the moon began to glow brighter. Lines of energy arced across its surface as if the entire sphere crackled with power.

"What is happening?" she asked.

"Tielya, cover your eyes," he told her.

"But it's so beautiful."

"Cover your eyes!"

For an instant the sky flashed as bright as day. Sarven squinted and shielded his eyes with his arm. After a moment the light dimmed, and he looked up to see Luclin broken apart in the sky, a wave of energy carrying chunks of debris rapidly toward Norrath.

"We need to go quickly," he said. I don't know how far away Luclin is, but it looks like pieces of it will be hitting soon."

"Sarven," she said softly, her eyes staring forward.


"I can't see anymore."

"What do we know?" he asked.

"Very little," the informant replied. "Most in Freeport were asleep when it happened, though of course the intensity of the light awoke them."

"Can we even confirm it was Luclin?"

"Some who claim to have been to the Plane of Sky long ago agreed it looked like what they saw there, but who can say for certain? The planes play tricks on the eyes, and nothing may be what it appears. If it was Luclin, it was not as distant as many thought."

"Any idea as to the cause?"

"Just rumors. Luclin has been cut off from us for so long now, many had all but forgotten about it. The priests think its destruction is a portent that the gods will soon return. Others speak of an invasion that happened there long ago and claim this is the result. The ogres blame it on gnome meddling; the humans suspect the ratonga. The Overlord has begun an investigation of his own, but at this point nothing is certain."

"How bad are the casualties?"

"Too many to count. The largest pieces hit first, causing huge impact craters and scorching the lands. The Arcane Scientists claim that debris may be falling for years, perhaps even decades. They simply don't know."

The older Teir'Dal scowled. "I must have answers. Bring him in."

Two guards opened the door and left the room, returning moments later dragging a man between them. He had been beaten badly and couldn't walk on his own. They brought him before their master and held him up.

"Tell me, human, what did you see?"

"I... already told you," he replied weakly.

The dark elf slapped him hard across the face. "Vile wretch! You blind my daughter and now lie to my face! No one may do that to V'Dreth and live!" The Teir'Dal slapped him again.

"We were... on the boat. We saw the flash. I begged her to look away. I would never hurt her."

"Lies!" V'Dreth cried out as he hit Sarven again. "You kidnapped Tielya to hold her for ransom and stole her sight to hide your identity! Now tell me what you saw!" He clenched his fist and prepared to strike him again.

"Enough, father," Tielya called out from the doorway. "Do not hurt the man I love."

V'Dreth cringed. "You do not know what you are saying. He is a filthy human who has cast some spell on your mind. You could not love one such as him!"

She let go of the doorway and walked forward, nearly stumbling when she reached the edge of the table. She felt her way along it until she stood near her father.

"You have asked him over and over again what he saw. Why do you not ask the same of me?"

V'Dreth was silent for a moment. "Alright then, what did you see?"

She smiled faintly as she stared straight ahead with sightless eyes. "The moon was so clear. It was alive with energy flowing through every part of it. Then it was as if something in the center broke loose and leapt outward, like a bird of prey hatching from an egg. I couldn't turn away. It was so beautiful."

He looked down at the ground, then back at his daughter. "Do you really love this human?"

"I do," she said defiantly.

"Then have him," he said, motioning for his guards to drop Sarven on the floor. "Leave now, and never return to my house. I no longer have a daughter."

Her face was stoic as she nodded once, bending down to help Sarven to his feet. "Guide me, my love, and I will carry you," she whispered to him.

V'Dreth watched them go. He turned to the guards. "See that they find a room in an inn, somewhere out of the way. Deliver her things there. Make sure no harm comes to them, but never speak of them to me again. Go."

The guard saluted and walked away. V'Dreth turned back to his informant. "There must be more answers to be had. Find them."

The informant bowed and headed through the door, leaving V'Dreth alone in the dark chamber. The Teir'Dal touched the edge of the table his daughter had followed, then clenched his fist and stared into the shadows.

So for may year this is all we knew of the moon of Luclin we never knew what become of the inhabitants if everyone perished when the moon was shattered or did some survive. Shards of Luclin can be found in a number of areas around Norrath.

In the expansion  Tears of Veeshan in the final confrontation with Kerafyrm, Roheen Theer attacks Kerafyrm directly and while locked in battle Jorlak shots them both to Luclin.

Luclin is now made whole but what is the fate of Roheen Theer and Kerafyrm?

With the release the expansion Altar of Malice we return once again to the Isle of Refuge where our adventure all began.

When we arrive on the isle the tower has been destroyed and we learn that the Far Seas trading company has been searching and finding Shissar Artifacts.

As we work thru the signature line we encounter Grimlings, than the Akheva and finally the Shissar.

Now one thing we must remember from the original Everquest is that these three races were not at all friendly toward one another, but it seems in EQ2 that the Grimlings and Akheva have been conquered by the Shissar.

In our final confrontation with the shissar they are trying to open a portal to allow them to bring an invasion force to Norrath. You thwart their plan, but the question remains are they still on Luclin or are they some place else, and will we encounter them in the future?

With the release of the new expansion Chaos Descending on November 13th, 2018 we get a small insight to will we see the shissar again. During our final confrontation with Najena, in her closing speech before she flees the battle she states who will save Norrath when the Shissar invade.

So we may conclude that Najena has some knowledge of the Shissar and that we may be seeing them again soon, but whether on Norrath, Luclin or another realm entirely we do not know.


Thursday, August 1, 2019

Blaugust 2019

It's been a few months since my last post and with the start of Blaugst I thought  would start this up again.

Couple of reasons for the lapse was a health issue which really took a turn for the worst in January and February and finally had the issue mostly fixed in March, still not 100% but a lot better than what it was. A couple of things I took away from the ordeal was that dehydration really sucks, and I now know what it feels like to get attacked by an Alien facehugger.

Since than I have started going to the gym almost everyday since the beginning of April to regain the lost energy and strength that I lost, and also to help reduce my weight.

Another reason was at the same time I was kicked from the raid for force that I had been with for the last 6 years or so.The reason - I wasn't gearing up fast enough and that was less than a month and a half since the expac had been released. I'll probably have another post about this topic a little later on.

Last reason was work, right after my surgery in March work started to pick up and I was working a lot of overtime, but now August is here and things are slowing down I thought I would once again try blogging and try to make it a regular thing.

As I was writing this and remembering how hard the first part of the year was, I remember a song that I played to the raid force I was part of when I got my Epic 1.0 in EQ2.

The Ride - By Jethal Silverwing

As you might have guessed I do play a ranger in EQ2, and I have been playing a ranger ever since the original EQ was released, because of that I always play a ranger type class in any MMO I may be in.

The one line from the song that made me want to play it for the raid was "Cause if you've chosen this path let me warn you it's a long hard ride."

This is the path I've chosen and I staying for the ride.