Daily Archives: November 3, 2006

Deadmines – Round 4

While we have been keeping up pretty well with the Saturday night instance runs, we have been talking about doing something on another night as well. It turned out that last Thursday, November 2nd, was a good time for four of us. We got together and decided to do one more run at Deadmines, a victory lap if you will.

The lineup for the night was:

24 Druid – Sphagnum
25 Rogue – Blintz (me)
25 Mage – Ula
27 Warrior – Earlthecat

Our usual priest and party leader, Skronk, traded out for his druid alt, Sphagnum.

This is my fourth post about the Deadmines, so I am going to stick to the highlights.

We rolled into the instance itself without much trouble. It seems that even at 9:30pm on a Thursday night there is enough traffic in the Deadmines, at least on the Eldre’Thalas server, to keep the path relatively clear. Earl killed one or two miners on the way, then we zoned in.

Earl actually got in a bit ahead of us and started a big fight which had us a bit worried. His health bar was pretty low by the time Sphagnum , Ula, and I got into the zone and into the fight. He lived though, and we pretty much barrelled down the tunnels, killing grey miners and the occasional patrol.

Miner Johnson eluded us again. No blue shield for Earl yet.

Rhahk’Zor and Sneed fell to us without drama.

Then we got to the forge. We were sloppy here. Well, we were sloppy up to the forge as well, but we were exceedingly so here.

We started off careful, pulling singles, sheeping one mob if they were paired. But then we started pressing into the room more aggressively.

At one point, on the platform in the middle of the room, we had three engineers on us, plus the little harvest bots they summon. There was no real danger at that point. We were tearing up the engineers when I saw an offensive spell (a frost bolt maybe?) go past me to a target somewhere behind me. Of course, the only targets behind me were Gilnid and one of his goblin buddies.

Well, now we had ourselves a fight. Earl and I put Gilnid down as fast as we could then spread out to help with the remaining mobs. We almost had the whole fight covered as a group, but a couple of mobs had glommed onto Sphagnum, no doubt due to his healing, and he went down before we could get the last one off of him. (They were right on top of each other, so I did not even know that there were two on him.)

Our death for the night.

Unfortunately, Sphagnum released too soon. The bid for the Lavishly Jeweled Ring came up and I hit greed and he was effectively locked out of the bidding. Ula ended up with the ring.

Sphagnum ran back to us and we continued through the tunnels killing miners and patrols as we went. I unlocked the door to the harbor and we started in on the pirates.

Somewhere between the door and Smite, Sphagnum’s headset mic went out. He kept talking and indicating targets with the raid icons and we just kept moving along in silence. We did the battle for Smite without a plan, just doing the same thing we did last time. Then we worked our way around the ship, knocking off the pirates and Cookie. Then we hit the ramp and slew all the way up to the main deck with only minor comments by Earl, Ula, and myself and not a word from Sphagnum.

Finally, after the fight with Captain Greenskin, when the Emberstone Staff was up for bid and we were hinting that this might be a nice druid item was it noticed that something was wrong with the audio.

After some work at his end, Sphagnum got his voice back and asked if he could go need on the staff, to which we all agreed.

And that left us with VanCleef. Again, it was no contest. He and his four rogues went down without drama. He dropped the Blackened Defias Armor, which I skipped on, being happier with the Tunic of Westfall and its agility.

And that was that. We started at 9:30pm and VanCleef was dead by 10:45pm.

Thoughts

Weeks of using the targeting icons paid off. Even in silence we went about our tasks in battle. Kill the mob with the skull, sheep the mob with the moon, sap the mob with the star, no confusion, just business. I still think if we go very far without hearing from somebody in the future, we’ll probably check on it rather than going through a quarter of the instance in silence.

This was the first run we have done where nobody levelled. Of course, many of the mobs were grey to us and even VanCleef was only green, so that is to be expected.

We are hoping to get to Shadowfang Keep this Saturday still.

EverQuest Graphics Upgrades

I had read that, with the release of The Serpent’s Spine, some older areas of EverQuest would be getting graphical updates.  That sounded like a good plan to me.  It certainly wasn’t going to hurt my performance.  Even with my laptop I can run EQ with all graphics options turned on and set to their highest levels of detail, so my mid-range gaming system should have no problem at all, even at 1600×1200.

Freeport got an update.  It looks a lot spiffier now.  I especially noticed this in West Freeport where it runs out into the Commonlands. (I only hang out in really old zones… I’m a tourist, not a player in EQ these days.)  The whole area right outside West Freeport looks really good. 

It now slopes upward and it has a lot of nice, textured little hills as opposed to the tan colored polygonal terrain features that used to dot the landscape.   The terrain has a feel to it now that reminds you of EQ2.  You can picture how the area in front of West Freeport in EQ could become that same area in EQ2 over the 500 years. 

And there is a new orc model wandering around there too.  It is really nicely done. (As is the snake.)

I had heard that the Commonlands was supposed to get an update as well, so I headed for the zone line…

…and ended up in the Commonlands of old, completely out of sync with that nice terrain I had just passed through.

Okay, maybe they haven’t gotten to that yet.  And I’m a tourist, I wanted pictures of the old style anyway, right?

This transition leads to an amusing visual oddity.  Standing in the Commonlands, looking towards Freeport, you see the old terrain, including the little tents outside the city walls, like this:

But standing in Freeport, looking towards the Commonlands, you see the new terrain. including some nice, new tents outside the city walls like this:

I am actually very happy I stumbled upon this, as the pictures show how big the improvements are for EQ.  I hope they continue with this upgrade process.  Sony has a large investment in a huge amount of MMO content with EQ.  With work they can keep it viable for a while to come.