It took a long time, too long, before it all connected: there was a reason Bonnie Anne kept wanting to meet me in the cellars of any tavern. I’d noticed before that its patrons were all companions, of course; what I didn’t realize until after I’d recruited Rat Commander Ratbeard that they were all of MY companions.
So there ya go. If you want to see your companions outside of battle, head down to the cellar of any tavern. Also, on your companions screen, look for an exclamation mark on their portrait. This means that they have a promotion quest available. Bonnie Anne got hers at level 8; Ratbeard was recruited with his already active at level 10. I haven’t gotten to promotion level on any of the others, but in a random group, I heard that once Subodai, the horse barbarian, is promoted, he is pretty powerful.
Promotion for Ratbeard and Bonnie Anne got them each two “epic” powers — passive abilities which make them more dangerous to be around.
I finished up most of the quests in the Skull Island area and have moved to Puerto Mico, just in time to the headstart to end and millions of new players to start playing. The harbor master in Puerto Mico wants me to upgrade my ship, but I was poking around a bit and saw that for a bit more gold and a couple more levels, I could buy the next class up from THAT ship, a full on galleon. Though it’s doubtful I could also afford the fittings, still, we’ll see how long I can stick with my current ship.
The couple random encounters I’ve had haven’t been hopeful. I spent some time raising my nautical level, but the Monquistador ships still give me a pounding. I might have to take that minor upgrade and then start squirreling money away for the galleon. Maybe the money will be better in this new zone. I remember in Wizard101, you literally could not spend all the gold you’d get. But that was at the end game, where things are different.
I’d heard on G+ that Cryptic was giving away some pretty cool ships for their 1000 Day subscriber veteran reward. I like cool ships! There’s been issues with the counting for my vet rewards, though, and I didn’t really know if I’d passed the 1000 day point by their reckoning. Turned out I hadn’t, but I was eligible for the 900 day vet rewards, which weren’t all that incredible, but did include a special ship texture.
So I flew my Nebula-class science ship, the Concord, to Earth Star Base, and saw the ships master about a paint job. There it is above. It’s not very distinctive, especially considering how ornate some of the standard paint jobs can be, but it’s nice enough in a subtle way.
I saw work was progressing on the fleet starbase, but I didn’t travel to it, nor did I do any of the missions Starfleet had waiting for me.
They must consider me a sort of rogue captain, sailing the stars deep in some far quadrant, answerable only to my own missions of exploration. Probably Captain Kirk is out there, somewhere, chasing me down.
I still don’t know why I stopped playing. I was working all my characters through the last featured story arc, and then I didn’t feel like logging in again. I like the game, I like flying through space, I love internet spaceships, the game just lost its pull. I hope I get it back. A game really just needs to be more fun than watching TV or reading a book.
But, unfortunately for MMOs, there’s been a lot of good books this year, and TV has managed to be worthwhile, several times a week.
When an MMO gets all grindy, it’s really, really easy to find something else more fun to do. Just saying.