commented on the unthinkable arrival of Beastlords in EQ2. Now that my own Beastlord, a few of whose adventures are chronicled in character here, here, here, and here, is a whisker away from level 90, how's it been?
I can't say I've taken to it the way I took to the original. In Old Norrath choosing a beastlord meant a long slow haul until signature abilities kicked in. You didn't even get a warder until Level 9. Magicians and Necromancers came petted up from the get-go and low level Beastlords glared at them with the ill-concealed envy they'd get back in spades from Shamans later on. When the Warder finally did show up it was so small you wondered if the spirits had sent you a vanity pet by mistake.
A huge part of that affection and satisfaction came from the bond between the Beastlord and her Warder. An Everquest Beastlord only ever gets the one. He grows alongside you, literally, getting larger and larger as he matures. You have no choice in species. A Barbarian gets a Wolf, an Ogre a Bear and so on. You can't rename your Warder, but unlike the Magician's elemental or the Necromancer's skeleton a Beastlord's warder doesn't get a spilled Scrabble hand for a name. He's your warder and everyone knows it.
Well, not really. Right from the start I found it difficult to bond with all those different warders, even leaving aside the practical issue of remembering all their abilities. My Beastlord has just over half the Families but all of them were acquired before Level 30. As for the 113 flavors, once I found out that adding a new creature to a Family pushed out the one you were currently using I completely lost interest. Haven't tamed a creature since.
My conclusion after nearly ninety levels of lording is that I still don't really have a handle on this class. I like it but I don't love it. It's certainly the only EQ2 scout class I've ever enjoyed. Doesn't play anything like a scout. I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of what it's about, which I suppose can only be a good thing. Onwards to 92.
An Ode to High Skill Ceilings
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