My wife and daughter were off at a birthday party Saturday afternoon, the house was reasonably tidy, and I was on my own. So, naturally, I slipped off to Norrath for some fun.
Gaff, a Ratonga berserker, and Lurk, a Froglock mystic, were on and pillaging the Ruins of Varsoon still when I showed up. With me along as Selirus, my level 35 ranger, we figured we could upgrade and do some damage in Runnyeye. So we headed off to the Enchanted lands.
Getting in to Runnyeye proved to be the biggest challenge of the day for me. Gaff and Lurk got there ahead of me. I had not been in the Enchanted Lands for ages, so it took me a bit to get oriented and headed in the right direction. As I got close I went into stealth mode. Unfortunately, the Void Watchers can see invisible and stealthed players and pretty quickly I had one one me, I was visible, and running for the dungeon door.
I did not make it. I got caught up on all the goblin junk outside the cave.
I tried coming in a different route.
I did not make it. I got caught up on the goblin junk inside the cave.
I died a third time, even with Lurk out there trying to cover me. I did not even get within sight of the cave.
I finally made it on the fourth try. It was safer to be in Runnyeye than outside of it.
So I had been on for less than 30 minutes and I had already died three times. Back in the MUD days I probably would have called it a night, likely having lost a level at that point. In EverQuest there would have been a series of painful corpse recoveries and possible level loss as well. In World of Warcraft I would have probably had to revive at the grave yard. Even in early EverQuest II I would have saddled myself and my group with some annoying experience debt.
But after all these events, after I was finally in Runnyeye and ready to roll, I was up 15% exp, had no debt, had earned one AA point, and was well on the way to another. Three cheers for discovery experience and the reduction in exp debt in EQ2!
We got into Runnyeye and began to look for places where named mobs spawn that we could camp for a bit. We chose a spot near the room with the clay golems (reanimated clays) where we could go and pick them off from time to time as we had the “slay 30” quest. The room we were focused on held 5 groups of Gorhorns (minotaur-like mobs) that we hoped would yield a named mob if we persisted in clearing the room.
We were in luck. We managed to get Horguz the Hoarder to spawn several times in the two hours we played. Here we are, sending him to his ancestors.
The drops were scout friendly too. I ended up with these two items from Horguz chest drops:
We also managed to get the named golem once, who dropped this piece, which I won on a greed roll, since none of us wanted to use it.
But in the end, one of the best things was the experience we netted. I started at about 70% into level 35 and ended about 80% into level 36. That is some nice small group experience. That is one thing that EverQuest II does well. It makes small groups very lucrative both in drops and exp. You can solo well, and there are raids to be done, but a 2-4 person group really seems to be a sweet spot in the game.
And, despite the fact we were just grinding and not trying to finish any quests, it was a lot of fun. The fights were good and close run enough that my ranger had to evac us a couple of times. The drops were great. The competition was bearable. Nobody wanted our spot and people passing by kept the hallway patrols down.
In all it was a fun afternoon that reminded me of past times in exp groups in MUDs or EverQuest.