The new channeler class at first look, seems to be a very easy and fun class to play. I play tested one and leveled it from 29 to 31 within about 20 minutes .
Coming from a Ranger background I was able to slip into the play style pretty quickly. I did take a couple of moments to read over what my spells and abilities did then took on my first set of mobs. They went down rather quickly so I tried two groups of mobs, and again was able to handle those quite well. So I stepped it up and pulled 3 groups for a total of 12 mobs at one shot, granted these were level 30 double down mobs but with my pet taking the damage off me I was able to work my way through that group of 12 rather quickly.
It did have a ranger-ish feel to the play since it does ranged damage and though I have never really played a healing class before but I have played a necro so the idea of keeping the pet alive and heal / cure myself along with my pet was not too hard to do. It was the combination of ranged physical damage and healing which was a new experience for me.
I had a very fun time playing this class, it was simple to understand how to play it was well at least at this low level. There was one ability I was not able to try out due to the mobs not being the correct class for this ability to work. I am sorry I did not take better notes, but the ability allows you to pull a shard or essence from the mob you are fighting to be used later for something.
One of my main concerns about this class is if it would be viewed as a healing ranger, since it does damage from a distance and uses as bow. I spoke with the dev’s who were helping with the play testing and was assured that no, this class would not take the place of a ranger and not do the damage that a ranger could do. This was a healer class and when I pressed about what spot it might take in a raid force I was told it could replace a inquisitor. Another idea for placement of this class in a raid force might be in a mage group where the construct pet could take the damage away from the squishy mages. It’s hard to tell at this point just where this class will fit in.
The only feedback I could provide from my short time playing it was, it was fun to play, quick to learn and was excellent for soloing. It seems it would take very little time to bring this class to max level. I am sure there is more nuances to playing this class that only long term play will bring out.
The expansion, Tears of Veeshan will continue on the current story lines with solo, group quest lines along with 7 new dungeons. I forgot who said it but I am stealing your phrase, we get to visit “Dragon Heaven”. The place where the souls of dragons go since they have no other place to go. This “Dragon Heaven” is located in the ethermere, on their own islands in the sky. Each class, Fighter, Healer, Mage and scout will have a different dragon mentor. For those from eq1 you should know what I mean when I say dragon faction, in a way we will have to prove ourselves to this dragon kin so in a way we will have dragon faction once again. Which brings us to the dragon AA line, we can gain 20 more aa points and spend up to 50 in this line. Ah, time again to redo the AA trees and free up some extra points to spend. This new expansion will rely heavily on our flying ability to get around. The way it was explained was simply this, this area belongs to the dragons, who have very little use for foot paths. Dragons fly from place to place.
I know a few people who dislike flying so for those people, cov and coh will be your new best friends. Speaking of flying one of the new dungeons will be so large that flying will be the only way to get around it. I went to the art panel and was treated to some fantastic eye candy from the new zone look, dungeons and mobs, the art department has out done themselves on this one and will leave you with a big WOW on your lips.
EQ Next, my first 3 thoughts about it was, Adult Free Realms, Disney and Mine craft. None of which are bad things.
The art team has many people who have worked on Free Realms which is why the current artwork for EQ Next seemed to reflect at least that was my first thought to the scenery and movement of the characters. The scenery is lovely with the depth they can create with the lighting and tones. The jungle felt humid, heavy and damp while the desert felt dry and hot done just from the lighting and tones. Speaking of lighting, one must also speak of shadows which this world has as the sun or moon, moves across the sky so does shadows on the ground, giving the zones a more real feel to them.
My Disney thoughts came when viewing a female human model for the first time, her expressions reminded me of many of the Disney princess faces I have seen over the years.
These expression though should be seen from 50 meters in game so people can use EQ mote more and have those expressions seen from a distance.
Lastly Minecraft since the world is created in layers, from the center of the world to the surface, all of it is explored. With EQ Next Landmark one will have to dig for supplies in order to create items which is very much like what Minecraft does now.
For whatever reasons I just do not feel as excited about EQ Next as I did when EQ2 was announced. Maybe I am just getting too old and set in my ways, maybe the effects were just too big and bold for me to enjoy knowing that my current machine cannot handle it. I do like the idea that player will help create this world more so than ever before. From the objects used in game to the progression of the land and buildings. The stories to unfold in EQ2 Next will be in the hands of the players to push forward. History will be made by those who play from day one, and those who come in later will begin their own history for the world will not be the same, but it is a growing, expanding world. What you do will be remembered, your deeds good or bad will be recorded for all time. What you do or not do today will affect you and how the world reacts to you. This small fact is a part that does give me excitement, and something that has yet to be done as far as I know.
Finally the best thing about SOE Live is being able to catch up with player friends in person, hug the Dev’s and tell them in person how much you have enjoyed things they have done. Also hearing the laughter and applause from people who have enjoyed our videos is the greatest thing ever.