The Prodigal Son Returns. Or Something. (Hint: It’s Something)

Fisdib reappeared in Ak’Anon on a quiet winter’s day. It was a momentus occasion! I was exhilarated! I was excited to visit memory lane! I was excited to experience the changes!

I was lost.

Of course, now there is a map function (which is VERY handy) but I completely forgot how big Ak’Anon was. Within minutes, things started feeling familiar. I remembered things, recognized NPC’s, areas.. it was like going back for your high school reunion. No one looked as good as I had remembered, and felt like I was tripping over my own feet often, but it was just as I had remembered it. I’m going to spare you the screenshots. They do look terrible.

I went outside and while Bhagpuss had mentioned they had redone Steamfont Mountains but it still seemed familiar. The big gully to the left (where a rat first killed me) – the kobold camps over yonder. I killed a few skeletons to get my bearings and logged off. I don’t know how to inspect items that I loot to see if they are upgrades! Annoying that a mouse hover only lists its name. Anyway, I’ll sort it out. Racing to level four to get my pet (assuming they still come at level 4…) and random thoughts!

  • 4 levels for spell upgrades – I can’t remember ever having to wait that long for anything in current MMO land – I feel like I am being punished. [note sarcasm]
  • I am afraid to go anywhere in the zone at level 3. I mean, I don’t know what is out there and where it is (and isn’t) safe. I am looking forward to exploring once I get a pet I can sacrifice.
  • I feel like I am getting a LOT more loot in a starter zone than the ‘good old days’ – is that true?
  • My guild still exists (I know this because my main is still in it) yet no one has logged in in a long time – still fun to see the tag though!
  • Quick easy entry to Plane of Knowledge right outside the city. Definitely don’t remember that =)

This will be a fun distraction while I wait for EQN:L closed beta and will be fun to line up experiences with memories – especially to learn how the game has changed versus how I remember it. I am really excited to kill me some minotaurs in that mino cave though, and relive the long, winding trek to Qeynos by foot from the zone. It’s like a pilgrimage for me. There is probably an easy port somewhere but not for this Gnome. I want to time the sucker.

Nostalgia just feels good sometimes. In short, controlled bursts.

Quick update here – I had started this post, didn’t finish, but kept playing. So now instead of making a whole new post I am just going to add some additional thoughts here at the bottom. So this is PART 2!

I am disappointed they took away all challenge at the early levels. Sure, fighting a higher con enemy should be tough but they took away linked mobs! So now do I not only have a mercenary to help ease the pain (which is nice as a solo player facing EQ) but unlinking mobs that OBVIOUSLY should be linked? I got to 4 and my smorgasbord of spells. I was excited! Now I could split the kobold camps with my pet and I even have a mercenary tank to also protect me. I remember this part always being a challenge in old EQ, but was looking forward to a challenge. MMO starting lands are challenge-less. Completely devoid So I was excited to actually have to fight hard on something.

I carefully clear the Kobolds around the camp, the solo ones around the trees and I get ready for the 3 pull around the fire. I have it planned out that I’ll send the merc on one, the pet on another, and I’ll take one straight up and should be able to get them down with enough spacing that subsequent pulls are easy. The pet and the Merc will hold the extra aggro and aren’t strong enough to kill them – and I will drop one by one. Splitting tough camps is an art form! The mobs con yellow but with three of us (me and two pets) I feel I can handle it. I cast burn and am about to send in the pet and merc when I notice it – the other two don’t come. I sit beside the fire killing the 7 kobolds (3 by the fire, 4 in tents) one by one, as they all just watch from two feet away.

And I feel un-immersed. bah. Disappointed even.

Look, I get it. They made it easier because of the entry level roadblocks to new players in an MMO world devoid of challenge (but full of achievements). The fact that they are still around and expanding after all these years is amazing – and the fact that I left as a regular player in the early 2000s probably means I shouldn’t complain. It did take away the enjoyment I was having of reintroducing myself to the game, and that is a fair observation.

Tigers, stripes, all that. Out the window!



3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I think that’s a specific change just to those specific Kobold camps in Steamfont, not a generic change to difficulty at that level. They’ve been the way you describe for a very long time, many, many years. Possibly it happened when the zone was revamped with the new art.

    In fact I’m going to log in now and whack an orc in one of the Commonlands camps to see how many come…

    … hmmm. One. Maybe it is a generic change. Last time I played up from scratch was on Fippy Darkpaw, the Progression server, and it worked the old way there but then of course it would. If I get time I might test this a bit further at the weekend. I wonder if it only happens in the revamped zones and also at what level it stops happening. Certainly if you pull a mob in a camp at 85 you’ll get the whole camp because I’ve been doing it often enough!

  2. It makes sense as a change to be “noobie” friendly – I just suspect that not many newbies would have an issue with that. I am also looking at it from a fond memory perspective -having those kobald camp spawns timed to med and kill in between was how I spent many hours – so you know, memory lane stuff =)

    It *does* make it a bit boring though – just another race through the levels- but that is what free 85s are for (I suppose) – so I’m guessing I can farm those mino caves much earlier and with far less risk =)

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