Holy Cow…

Last night I spent several hours running around in EQ. For a while I was having fun and really enjoying myself, but the more time I ended up spending in game, the more frustrated I eventually became. The further I progressed, the more I began to understand just how “hardcore” this game really was. Since I never really gave it a shot back in its hay day, I don’t know how much more “hardcore” it was then since apparently there have been many improvements since then, but even now it seems pretty silly. I should say this, though: having the help of the Nostalgia guild to give me some pointers was really very beneficial and I would never have gotten as far as I am now without their help.

So there I was in Crescent Reach having just hit level 10 (woot!) A message popped up on my screen with the names of some people to go and see, which I for some dumb reason closed without giving much consideration. Having realized my folly, I asked around to see what it said. While I didn’t get any of the names, I did realize that I was supposed to go to the Planes of Knowledge. I searched for a few minutes in Crescent Reach before I gave up and decided to head back to the tutorial and be sent there by Arias, the revolt leader. After being told what to say to Arias, I said “I’m ready to leave” and he promptly teleported me to the Planes of Knowledge. Wow. I opened up my map and realized that it was a massive hub for most if not all of the zones in EQ. Unsure what to do next really, I went over to the armor quest giver and received a quest to go to Butcherblock Mountains and kill some mobs at the chessboard. At that point, I started looking at all of the portals and couldn’t seem to find one for Butcherblock Mountains, so I found out that I needed to go through the Kaladim portal. Once through, I opened up my map to try to figure out where the chessboard was. A completely empty map. I guess I just need to look around the zone and find some landmarks to fill in the map, I thought to myself. After about 10 minutes of running around, I realized that the map wasn’t changing at all. Huh? At that point I started asking around and found that originally in the game there were no maps at all. WHAT? I couldn’t believe it. I was then given a website to go to for zone maps, so I went and pulled up Butcherblock Mountains. Ok, here we go. I found the chessboard and headed that way. It was pretty tough as I had no map in game to help give me an idea where I was going so I stuck to the edge of the map and made my way around.

I’d been checking most of the mobs I’d run by, finding that nearly all of them were grey, and weren’t attacking me. That is until I ran into two goblins, who was red. I didn’t even realize it until I stopped to try to find my bearings and see how close I was to the chessboard. I was promptly whacked twice for over half of my health before I took off running again like a madman. I realized that the two swords by my name indicated combat mode (I had the sound turned off so the combat music didn’t help me) so I kept running and running trying to get them to break while also not running into more aggressive mobs in the process. I was also trying to find some way to rotate the camera behind me to see how close they were, but this failed miserably. I also didn’t know what the autorun key was, so I couldn’t ask whether they would break or not. After about five or six minutes of running around, I realized that they weren’t ever going to break, so I gave up and they killed me. “So mobs never lose aggro?” I asked. “Never,” I got as a response. They added that you could leave the zone, but if you don’t know the zones at all, what good does this do you? I went back and tried to find my corpse for about 15 minutes before giving up and using the corpse summoner in the tutorial to retrieve it for me.

The last time I played I learned that death meant dropping every single thing that you were carrying, and that was shocking enough, but now that I know that most maps don’t even have maps and mobs never lose aggro are added to the list, making me wonder what other fun surprises are awaiting me further in. I understand that community is incredibly important in this game and that they are really willing to help (at least the Nostalgia group is,) but I really don’t feel like I should have to ask questions about every little problem I run into. I hate that I feel so lost and clueless all of the time, and I hate to bother other people with all of these issues. Not only that, but all of these major inconveniences keep making themselves apparent, so I can’t help but wonder whether it’s even worth it to keep going. Many of the players in the Nostalgia group leveled up together and had previous experience playing EQ, so they were at a huge advantage over me, who is alone and has no prior experience with what I feel is one of the most unguided games I’ve ever played. I’m not trying to play the pity card or ask for someone to come play with me. I’m simply saying that I should be able to figure these things out on my own and learn as I go, but I feel like if I don’t ask for help with everything, I’m going to really screw something up or miss out on important aspects of the game.

I’m not sure exactly what all of this means, but right now I really don’t know what to do, or whether I will continue to play or not. I mostly just wanted to vent some of my frustrations and see what you all had to say about it.

~Kanthalos

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2 comments so far

  1. Genda on

    You may be shocked to know that the game is actually much easier now than it was during it’s heyday.

    I had paper maps in a map book that I had meticulously collected. I learned to do a /loc if I thought I was going to die so that I could find my corpse (there was no corpse summoner). There also wasn’t a noob tutorial (not a practical, in-game one anyway) so you were pretty much dropped into the world to fend for yourself. With a lot of other players around, spawn competition and train deaths were an every day reality.

    It is shocking how much the genre has changed, and even how much the game of EQ has changed. Looking back, it was definitely a love/hate relationship.

    If I may, let me tell you a brief story. My guild way back in the day was just getting raid capable. We decided to do a plane of fear run. We botched the break in, which resulted in a complete wipe. It took us 6 hours and a couple of very dedicated and helpful Monks to flop/drag our corpses back so we could slink away in shame with our gear. That was essentially my whole play time that day. I spent it just waiting around (essentially naked with no gear so there was nothing else I could do) for someone to get my corpse close enough to the zone in that I could loot it and get the hell out of there. There are much worse stories out there, but could you imaging today’s MMO gamer going through that? They would have spent the 4 hours on the forums flaming.

    I hope you enjoy your trip to Norrath. If nothing else, I think you will gain some valuable perspective.

  2. Anroth, Eonar EU on

    I never played Everquest but i play WoW and i’ve been playing it for about 2 years and a half.
    My perspective is, if you want to be entertained after a long days work, play WoW. If you want to play a game, play Everquest.
    The same reasoning apply to cinema, you can either be entertained by some Fast and Furious or you can see a thought provoking independent movie. The former entertains, the later might irritate. It’s your call.
    In WoW, only the raids are what we call a game, from Karazhan forward the game begins (and even that can be argued) up til Kara, is just entertainment.


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