Well now, that was quite a break wasn’t it? I wish I could say I was temporarily disenfranchised from my EQII’ing due to something cool like being roped in to provide emergency assistance to the latest team of intrepid thrill-seekers looking to scale the north face of the Matterhorn, or that a shadowy, er, shadow government had embroiled me in plans to destabilise forces ‘unfriendly to our nation’s interests’, or inventing new fashion genres.

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They’re especially tight, aroond the arse…

Instead it’s just been a time of unrest, upheaval and generally extreme busyness both at home and at work, meaning what little EQII time I’ve had has been during lunch breaks and stolen moments when the little ‘un has gone tae sleep and the missus is otherwise engaged.
Nonetheless, I’ve not been entirely neglectful of my ever burgeoning roster of alts. I’d left the dwarven monk fella in the upper levels of Stormhold last we looked, and after rattling around a few dangerous looking places (and promptly running away again) I’ve managed to get about halfway through my quota of fifty life souls (seriously, waaaay too many), as well as getting into bother with all sorts of skellington types and other assorted undead.
Stormhold looks like it could be quite an interesting place to explore, but at present I’m limited to shuffling along a few basic corridors and cowering in the corner of a large banquet hall, hoping that the nasty things don’t see me and start feeling hungry. What it has done is renewed my interest in really exploring the lost art of pick-up grouping. How to attract, what to do, what to wear, when to apply bandages and a hearty attitude to the travails of life, etc. I’ve yet to go in for guild life in any big way, and I figure starting small, with a handful of select strangers calling me n00b and wondering why they ever bothered replying to my incessant pleas for help is going to be far better than an entire roster full of people calling me n00b and wondering etc, etc…

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Would you like to be in my group? I’m willing to learn!

Honestly, me and group play almost always runs along the following lines:
Me: “Okay fellows, what for shalst I do-eth?”
Groupie 1: “WTF? This is Crushbone not AB. Keep it real, pal.”
Me: “Oh… okay, sorry. What do you want me to do?”
Groupie 1: “Okay, you’re the Monk, so I want damage assist on the main pulls, watch for adds.”
Me: “Adds…”
Groupie 2: “I’ll be healing so you’ll have to run interference if the aggro switches and pull the mobs back.”
Me: “Yes… but…”
Groupie 1: “And for the love of god, keep a finger on the group feign death, we’ll need it if a boss starts proc’ing hate and the DPS gets too high.”
Me: “The group what was that…?”
Groupie 2: “Okay! Let’s get ‘em!”
Groupie 1: “For Leeeoooooonnnn!”
Me: “Guys? Wait up? Which way did you go? I was looking for a pen. Guys?”
>Your party is dead.
>You have been kicked.
>You are a n00b.

And so on and so on. Obviously I’ve no idea if anything I wrote just then actually made sense, which I guess is part of the problem, but that’s essentially what it sounds like to me. I’m usually lost within two seconds of a fight starting, or I end up on groups where no one actually says a damn thing and just expects everyone to know what’s going on. I play a dwarven monk. Does it look like I know what I’m doing in this game?
So I’ve stuck with soloing for now and it’s gotten me to mid-twenties fairly unscathed, but I have to move up a gear at some point and if not now, then when?

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Is it because I’m small? I’ll wear platforms if it helps?

The other thing I’ve been doing is taking my fledgling Arasai down the crafting route. Entire sessions of doing naught but harvesting, progressing down the training route and getting to level 10 in tradeskilling. As much as I’d like to just concentrate on this, I’m discovering that I need to get her adventure level above 4 if I’m ever going to be able to harvest in the areas that yield the juicy fruits. Either that or learn to play the market like Wall Street professional. All tips gratefully received.
Of the information type, naturally. I’m still above begging for scraps of coin, for now anyway.

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There can be only one!

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