As per your latest votes, I moseyed along instead of galloping through the content; I checked out all the nooks and crannies of my areas, poking my striped nose into places it may or may not have belonged. This appealed greatly to the explorer in me, so thanks! I also grouped up when I could, which made everything that much more enjoyable. And I took special care to follow your final instructions: slaughter everything! And to tell you the truth, this past week EQ has grown on me more than ever before. I have had some of the funnest experiences this past week!
Before I delve into my specific exploits, I just have to point out something that has amused me and upped my enjoyment level this past week. Although I was used to the little quips on loading screens in EverQuest II, I actually missed them the first few times in EQ. The messages are interspersed with real loading information down in tiny print on the loading bar, and I dismissed them as actual loading information the first few times because they fit. And then an obvious one hit me: Looking up Barbarian kilts. Say what?! I started paying more attention, and more quips followed. My favorites so far have been Doing something you don't want to know, You have gotten better at loading, and Adding vanilla flavor to ice giants. What a way to make even the wait loading into game pleasant.
Additionally, I learned a few more very key things during the past week that also made for a better experience. One, thanks to the CMA Live viewers, I stopped my run of auto-attack gaming and actually got some skills! Hey, better level 7 than never, right? Though, I could have just said I was playing really hard-core! The second key thing I learned was that you can actually bypass the language barrier in tells if you type ;tell instead of /tell. Very handy info, and made communicating when necessary much easier. I still plan on learning languages by listening (a totally awesome feature I might add), but because Choose My Adventure is so limited in time, I thought it expedient to get some info quicker.
Side note: It was really unnerving to find my body still lying in the tutorial days after my actual death there! If you don't think people are playing EQ, just check out all the player bodies littering the tutorial floors. I don't know if it was some bug, but there were so many bodies just piled up that it felt extra creepy.
Now, on to the main adventures! I may have stayed in the tutorial a wee bit long finishing everything up, but there was no rush, and I wanted to be thorough. Besides, you told me to! On the plus side, I could take on the group boss solo. So although I was voted to begin in Mountain Rathe, by the time I got there I was already level 12 and a bit too high for "starting." Most stuff was too low for me, but certainly not all (I'll elaborate later), so I just toured around. And that's where the best of the best happened. But I have gotten a bit ahead of myself.
Twinky twinky little Frog
Twinky twinked little Frog,
Standing in a strange blue fog.
When it clears you look around,
And all the mobs are on the ground!
Long before there was twerking, there was twinking. And those of you watched CMA Live last week know that a viewer popped into the tutorial with us and brought me a new two-handed greatsword to play with. I hadn't yet posted any vote on twinking, but since it came right from you folks, I just rolled with it. Next time, maybe I should pay more attention to the candy I take from strangers.
The most interesting thing happened to me as I continued my adventures. Every once in a while, my screen would just light up with this brilliant blue cloud. Then my mob dropped dead. The first time I just kind of dismissed it, and it didn't happen for a long while so I forgot about it. The second time, I wondered what happened, looking around to see if a caster was nearby helping. Could my healer merc have... nahhhh. Again, a long pause before it occurred again, but this time I really wanted to know what the heck just happened. Then I I turned to kill the other quest mobs and noticed they were all dead. All of them! The entire cavern was dead. For a moment I was about to be annoyed that someone just stole all my quest mobs when it occurred to me that there were many bodies left over after the blue fog the other times too. Hmm. I checked my quest log, and sure enough, I had credit for every single Kobold in that cavern. Could I... ?
This time, I zoomed my camera out further and watched. The blue cloud was starting to come with more regularity, and sure enough it soon engulfed the entire cavern I was in and all the mobs dropped. As did my jaw. What in holy Hannah's greatsword was going on? None of my skills did that! It took a few more puffs of blue before I put one-hander and one-hander together and remembered that my new two-handed greatsword had a proc. And peeking at my combat log helped. And whoa Nelly, what a proc it was. I went from pokes of seven damage to a massive AoE of 350. Now while I have never been a fan of power-leveling, I don't have qualms about twinking too much because I always felt it could help people enjoy the game more (and even more, I simply loved giving gifts to people). And let me tell you, my enjoyment of the game really skyrocketed with my discovery. My advice here: Don't skip giving a helping hand to newbies! You might just net yourself a life-long player.
All twinking, however, is not good. Or rather, twinking is not always good. My next favorite memorable moment came while I was exploring Mountain Rathe. I was atop a large hill trying to hail an NPC when a friend of hers came by. Ah, another! So I tried hailing her as well. Nothing happened, but a giant bear decided it wanted to attack me right there next to those ladies. Big deal, right? So I killed the one bear, and another appeared and I started working on that bear when, guess what? Yah, my sword procced and that brilliant blue smoke lit up the hill, and suddenly there were tons of bears and the two NPCS on me! Needless to say, I died lickety-split there. I was even really nervous about coming back for my body, but apparently the ladies didn't hold a grudge. But I learned that I should not use this greatsword anywhere near NPCS. Period. Procs can be bad -- very, very bad.
So I've been adventuring for a bit now, and the tutorial was a great introduction to what was different about EQ, but I never really felt that I was in EQ until I killed my first Orc! Perhaps it is the prevalence of those great green monsters in EQII or their prominence in fantasy, but I really felt I was finally a part of Norrath once I slayed one. I also got giddy when I killed my first dragon, even if it was a tiny one. That is, until the next iconic moment...
Run for the border
The next memorable -- and I daresay the most iconic -- moment came near the end of my Mountain Rathe tour. I was atop a hill (again with the hilltops here; I think I know what to avoid in later adventures) hailing the kindly NPCs, who offered a quest and then reneged on it. Something about not being in with the goddess of love enough. So I moved to the inner circle of that camp because it looks like a great screenshot op! Silly Froglock. Within moments, the little circle of folks I was trying to immortalize in pixels turned on me and started smacking me around! At this point my groupmate uttered something akin to "Oh wow," and I started hopping away at full speed, croaking, "It's time to goooo!" We made a run for the border of Feerrott, that whole camp of NPCs hot on our trail the entire way. EQ is famed for its no leash policy, and man, you've really got to take that into account when you adventure and play a bit more carefully. I have to say, that was the most heart-pounding adventure I had, and it was a blast!
Of course, it isn't always hostile NPCs you have to avoid; EQ has massive mean red-con mobs randomly wandering even the low-level zones, as I soon learned when I introduced myself to Mr. Cyclops. I am glad I have a very good visual memory; it makes finding my body so much easier! Next up we found a gigantic skeleton, and I teamed up to slay that behemoth. So much for everything being too low for me, right? I actually really liked the danger (and accompanying adrenaline rush) that comes from stumbling across an unexpected hazard. I prefer the idea of zones having a mixture of mob levels, but short of a total blend, one or two ZOMG mobs are good to keep adventurers from becoming too complacent.
I ended this week's adventures in the Planes of Knowledge, the area introduced with the fifth expansion. I'm looking forward to picking up adventures there, but I keep hearing how the game doesn't really get cool until the higher levels. Obviously during a short CMA run there is no chance of propelling myself through all of the content on my own, but should I be checking out life in the high-level lane? So here's this week's main question: Should I or should I not power-level to get a glimpse of more of the game. And along those lines, should I continue along as is, or shall I join a guild? Be sure to get your answers recorded before 11:59 p.m. EST Friday, February 15th! And tune in for episode two of CMA Live on Thursday, February 13th, at 9:00 p.m. EST.%Poll-87078%%Poll-87088%
Strap yourself in for the ride of (six weeks of) your life! Where are you going? Well, that's entirely up to you, the Massively readers, to decide -- the where, the what, and the how are all directed by you. The who is MJ Guthrie! For the duration of Choose My Adventure, her virtual life is in your hands! Join MJ in-game, on-site, and live on Massively TV to be a part of the adventure and watch the story unfold.