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I find it kind of funny that I'm playing a 13 year old game and I still can't have all the graphics options turned up.
I just upgraded my 4 year old budget-built desktop with a brand new, pimped out custom gaming rig and the game doesn't run any faster. Initial login and zoning are balls slow. FPS in PoK is never above 30 and running through Guild Lobby is like watching a Power point Presentation. I was the only person in Emerald Jungle and I had single digit FPS. The only thing I've noticed graphically is that if I turn shadows on I don't lose any framerate, although the shadows in EQ make character faces look like they are smeared with poo, so I leave them off anyway.
Heroic stats: I know that they aren't affected by the cap, but I heard somewhere that they give better/additional effects over regular stats? What are they?
Hstats act as both the regular stat and as a bonus. They also increase the stat cap. Every 10 HStr adds one damage to each hit that lands. Each 10 HDex adds some to the calculations of hit damage, and to chance of dodge. HAgi does similar. HSta adds bonus HP every 10 points.
Vital quests/items from missed content. So there are apparently mercenary upgrade quests, and I stumbled across a very easy one that involved no combat or camping and gave me a 20 slot bag. I assume there have been some interesting clickie effects released since the old days, and maybe some new illusion masks too? What stuff is out there that is vital to most characters, gives useful upgrades and/or doesn't require large groups of people or large amounts of time to get?
The bard bag is nice, the jester illusion that you can do at the same time is cute as well. But fighting in the jester illusion is a pain; last time I tried the first person camera would sink through the floor every swing. In third person view, it's alright. Vital quests. . . I'd say depending on your level, getting SOD or UF access quests done would be good, some are solo and some require a group. HOT access would be good to start, as the top tiers are insane. If you are paying or have VOA, doing the language quests unlocks a bunch more AA at 91, but that may be a ways off. Mid level quests, I can't think of anything they've added that makes me want to repeat the quest on every alt.
Other types of damage on weapons: Does a 28 damage weapon with 2 disease damage count as a 30 damage weapon unless it's against a creature highly resistant to disease? How much weight should these extra damage types be given when choosing a new weapon?
Count elemental damage as .25 to 1. so 28+2 works out about 28.5 on average, and against something that is susceptible to disease it works closer to 30. But unless I'm mistaken, every swing has a chance to be resisted or partial resisted, which makes a 30 dmg weapon better in the long run.
Valuable items: what tradeskill components/other easy to stumble upon items are worth saving or selling to other players? I used to make a little extra plat selling various pelts, silk, and research items I'd stumble across in the bazaar. I assume with these universal tradeskill drops there would be more stuff to watch out for?
Look for the stuff that has level requirements. Ore, Animal Pelts, Silks, Loams, etc. If it has the "This is used for tradeskills" tag, and has a level requirement, than it is used to make cultural armor for that level. It's also a good way to skill up any of the crafting skills. Other things that are useful are Uncut gems. Jewelcrafters cut the gem, and it becomes an aug for JC made jewelery. Can get some pretty high stats out of a few of them.
Another question: Tell me about cultural armor. I've figured out that it's race based tradeskill armor, but is any of it still good compared to the easily available defiant pieces?
It can be, and since Underfoot cultural armor can be upgraded with crafted augs from raids. If you want cultural armor, you'll need to find someone your race who can make it. Anyone can make the template (it's how I skilled up smithing) but your race has to combine the template, loam, racial metal, and pattern. The armor has lots of HP/STA on it to start, has type 7, 16, and 17 aug slots. The 16 and 17 are for cultural augs. The group one can be made by jewelers, smiths, and tailors I think, from more stuff like the armor, while the raid one can be made by the same with a drop from a level appropriate raid. For the level range, the cultural armor ends up being about T2 or T3 level if you put the group aug in it, and is in the same bracket if you can put a raid aug in. It's not as good as the best raid armor, and lacks clickies and class based mod2, but it's got a ton of hp and ac compared to defiant. Defiant just lacks AC compared to everything.
Also: station points. Apparently by coming back we get 100 free station points. By the look of it, you can buy one piece of level-tuned armour, or a nice glowy effect that follows you around (butterflies?). Is any of that worth it?
One or two of the glowies and illusions have ac/hp/sta or regen. Most of them are just decoration. I don't know which, I haven't bought any of them.
Ok, another question: houses.
It appears my rogue has about 160,000pp on him. That's enough to buy a house for a long time. Quite a nice one. Can I then use it with my other characters if I give them access to it?
Yeah, your other characters can put non-lore non-nodrop non-heirloom items there, I think. They might be able to place primary and secondary anchors, I'm not sure. But frankly, don't spend plat on a house. Get some alt currency that you aren't going to use. You'll have lots of SoD currency just by doing the main quests at 80, I think I put 1000 in escrow and it's paying for my house for 3 years. The plat cost is much higher; and you can't often trade expansion currency for new gear.
Next question: what the easiest particle effect weapon you can get for clerics? Being all shiny and show-off is something you can do as a caster. As a rogue, even the most badass weapons only had a tiny shimmer on them. And as for the Ifir/reinforced mephit talon Halen is currently brandishing, well...
I like some of the new pottery made weapon decorations. The planer scorched ones have a nice rogue like smoke effect. The station cash items are a lot more shiny than anything that I've seen drop in game. There just aren't that many shiny bright particle effects that I've seen.
Each of the new expansions have an alternate currency, see inventory (i button) then hit alt. currency tab at the top. These can only be used to buy certain items from those expansions, SoD currency being the stuff from Seeds of Discord, because I was logged out and didn't want to look up that they were called chronobines.
Certain quests in each of the newer expansions gives you currency for that expansion only. At first, with The Buried Sea, Orux and Dubbloons would buy you spells, augs, everything special in that expansion. By SoD it was used to some type 3 augs, mostly spell extention and +backstab, and the containers to make class specific armor in. Underfoot Silver and Gold tokens for some class specific items, but not a lot. House of Thule (dream motes) used it for generic non-visible armor pieces; do enough quests and if your class piece hasn't dropped yet at least you can get an upgrade. In Veil of Alaris, it seems that all the alt currency is gained by raids. Everyone in the raid task gets a certain number of chits or something, and if you gain enough you can buy a piece of raid loot instead of waiting for it to drop. Takes something like 5 to 20 raids to buy one piece, but it's a good supplemental to bad drop tables.
You can use these to pay for housing as well as platinum. Not being a caster, replacing type 3 augs in each piece of gear as I went through SoD, I had plenty of chronobines left over to pay for a house for years. If you are doing quests in any of those expansions, you might too.
Quest 1: This is fun!
Quest 3: Wow, faydark - memories!
Quest 5: WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO FREEPORT?
Quest 7: Who is sending all this mail to Qeynos anyway? Literally nobody lives here.
Quest 9: BUTCHERBLOCK MOUNTAINS, I HATE YOU SO MUCH
Quest 11: Brain... dribbling...
If you got 100 station points and don't have a way to levitate you can buy a Ball of Fluffy Cotton for 100 station cash and it gives you Nimbus of the Cloud Walker effect which is levitate and it is unlimited clicks.