I really wanted to be able to go and put the old AC2 disks into my computer and do a fresh install of the game. I don’t know why. Maybe just some sort of justification for why I kept those disks for a decade. Maybe just to get that special feeling that i had 10 years ago when Asheron’s Call 2 first launched… that initial excitement. I openly admit for that to be too much to ask for though as much has changed from those days and thus I found myself downloading a 2+ gigabyte file from Turbine for 20 minutes.
Downloaded and installed, I eagerly logged into my newly created AC account to play Asheron’s Call 2. Well it didn’t really work out that way, I had to set it up weirdly for my computer (not their fault at all) and had to redo things and then had a busy Saturday. But then Saturday night I logged in eagerly!
My first time round with AC2, I played a Lugian Juggernaut. The urge to do that again is great. I realize the game change dramatically since those days, after all I only really played for about 6 months, with short jabs at coming back afterwards. I liked that it had a good mix of tanking and damage though, and a decent amount of aoe at that. I remember one thing in particular is that it had at least one attack that did percentage damage and I believe that is still around though likely gimped a bit. BUt because of that, oftentimes I would get up and go fight group mobs for big xp because I had an attack that could do thousands of damage. It was pretty cool.
Still, this time, I wanted to do something new so I went and made a Tumerok with the intent of being a melee Tumerok. I’m still not sure whether I want to go Feral Intendent or Zealot. I kind of want to do Zealot more, but from reading around FI is a better solo class and if I don’t find a regular group to play with, I may decide to go FI until I find a group and then switch over to Zealot. I do have an allegiance now, so hopefully that comes to fruition.1 In addition to the tummy, I also built a Lugian with the intent of taking him to Sage (i love being a healer), an Empyreon because I’ve never played that past the first couple of vaults, and a Drudge, because it’s a drudge and they do what they want.
Character made, I jumped in the portal head first. And yeah, not much has changed. The graphics are good, much better than I remember them largely cause my computer can handle them better, go figure. Not great for today, but still nothing to snuff about. Quests aren’t painfully obvious to find, I guess I sort of forgot what it was like to play that way because after the main line I was sitting there like “what now?” not realizing that I need to actually go FIND new quests. And there aren’t a ton available. Towns are empty, though they did add NPCs a long the way somewhere (I will talk more about this some other time).
The sparseness of the game I remember being one of my main complaints about it, and for the most part that is there. I mean don’t get me wrong there are a ton of players on right now so that isn’t the sparseness that I am referring to. I more mean lack of quests and NPCs to make you feel like it is a full world.
Another major “feature” that I disliked is still around (though reading previous patch notes it sounds like this was tweaked a bit) is that everything has ranged combat. This became painful when I grouped up with someone and basically just stood around because the couple of times I went in and fought melee, because I am a melee character, I got the aggro of way too much that was sitting around. When they tried “pulling” mobs, those mobs just sat around and shot at the other person and I sat there being unable to do anything, because I am melee.
I decided after that that maybe I should at least carry a javelin to throw at crap in these scenarios. But it also made me stop and consider that maybe going the melee route isn’t a great idea. I did have fun the little that I tried out the Hivekeeper class (you summon bees and they attack your opponent, how awesome is that). I am going to stick with it though. Hopefully it will even out better in bigger groups down the line.
One thing that I did really like about AC2 (and AC in general) was the fact that Turbine actually cared about telling a bigger story in that series. That’s something I don’t even notice as much in Lord of the Rings Online, though I know it is there to a lesser extent. Though it takes time, I do enjoy the little cut scenes that you are treated with at the end of the vault quests, and the monthly cut scenes that they had for each of the content updates. I have to go back and rewatch them, though I don’t feel that they will have as much meaning without some of the events. I wish they made this a progression server so that there would be new content every month with no work on their part.