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The Daily Grind: "Are we there yet?"

Samuel Axon

Some of you surely played EverQuest back in the day. Whether it was your first MMO or not, one thing's for sure: it was the first huge MMO. When we say huge, we're not referring to subscription numbers; we're talking about the size of the world. It was much grander than that of Ultima Online, Everyone who played EQ remembers his or her first trip from Freeport to Qeynos or vice versa.

That trip was a very dire one, especially for a level 10 character. If memory serves, you had to go through Kithicor, the goblin dungeon of Runnyeye, the Beholder's maze (that was the most dangerous part, since it was all narrow canyons), the orc-sieged Highpass Hold, and of course all of the Karanas, griffins and giants be damned. It was not safe. It also took a really, really long time. If you were coming originally from Faydwer, before any of this you also had to take a fairly long boat ride -- certainly much longer than the almost-instant inter-continental rides in World of Warcraft.

But the journey was exciting. It actually felt like it was an epic adventure. In most recent MMOs, fast travel is prevalent and everything is streamlined to take as little time as possible. As the genre has become more casual with regards to travel time and danger, have we lost something? Are there no more epic cross-continental treks full of thrilling close calls?

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