Daily Archives: April 7, 2011

Swimming in Lake Rathetear

We got ourselves together in South Ro for Travel last night.  I had gotten on a bit early and spent some time trying to get a bit of experience.  The net result was negative five percent, as my two guys got wiped on a combo bad pull/untimely pop.  The actual experience hit for the death was 8%, so the penalty does get a bit more harsh as you level I guess.

And as Potshot pointed out, our group is eerily powerful together, but fairly frail when split into two, with buffs and healing divided up amongst us.

So, revive sickness having worn off and a few cayman having given my guys a percentage or two back, we stood on the beach prepared to head out.

Ready for travel

I have been into all of the zones we were preparing to through.  I have even spent a lot of time in some of them.  But often that time was somewhere in the “10 years ago” scale of distance.  I could pull up some memories of the Innothule Swamp, but that turned out to be a zone they redid, judging by the ground textures.

No 1999 textures here

The swamp was a quick trip along the edge, then it was back to old textures and vague memories in The Feerrott.

These are 1999 textures

You can tell we are in The Feerrott and not, say, Kithicor Forest because… well…

There is a lizardman in the background!  You don’t see those in Kithicor.  Oh, and we’re standing on the road and haven’t been murdered by high level undead.  That too.

My recollections of traveling through The Feerrott were vague, but I seemed to recall that it was pretty safe to follow the road until it got close to the ogres on the north end side of the zone near the bridge.  So we skirted around the ogres and made it through okay.

Then it was the Rathe Mountains.  I had to get out a map to see where we needed to go, as all I could recall was that bad stuff wanders down the center of the canyons.  Something that proved to be the case still.

Avoiding a very big, very red skeleton

Deneldir got wiped off on a tree as we were running, and then we had to climb up the walls of our current canyon to avoid the skeleton.  But once we got ourselves back together and the skeleton passed, we were able to make it through the Rathe Mountains without further indecent.

That got us through to Lake Rathetear.  The journey had been simple and reasonably short up to that point.  We just had to swim across the lake to the arena, bind, and we would be set for hunting.

Swimming by and orc camp

You cannot walk around Lake Rathetear.  There is no place to walk.  Well, no easy place to walk, you can skirt along the steep shore many places, if I recall right, but for a direct route you have to swim, which is slow but easy.

Map of Lake Rathetear

(Map, as usual, from the EQ Atlas archive.)

We were headed from the Rathe Mountains zone to the arena, which is a straight shot across the lake.

Tistann changed his melody to include a song of water breathing, just in case, everybody got on follow, and then Tistann lead the way for the swim.

However, your swimming skill dictates how fast you swim through the water and, rather unfortunately, Tistann seemed to have the highest level skill.  So he started pulling away from the group.

Meanwhile, Tarlach, who was back in the pack to start with, was not only going slower, but had also angled down, so was deep under the water when he fell out of range of Tistann’s song.

And since it was a long, boring, simple swim, neither of use was paying much attention to what was going on until it was noticed that Tarlach was down to about 1/3 health.  Then there was a scramble to get him to the surface as Tistann turned around to get him back in range of his song.

But it was to no avail.

A paladin in heavy armor drowned while trying to swim across a lake.  How unexpected!

That put a damper on any hunting plans we may have had for the evening.  Tarlach was back in Freeport.

We pushed on to the arena.  At the docks there was one of the little rowboats, which we had to get in and try out.

Tistann and Thrall in a boat

I had to put Thrall on the boat to take the screen shot while Tistann drove, as your camera controls are restricted while piloting a boat.

Deneldir got his turn on the boat as well.

The sailing druid

Deneldir complained that the controls were backwards.  The boats actually have a defined front and back end (bow and stern, if you prefer), and Tistann parked the boat with the bow towards the land.  When Den jumped in, he faced himself towards the lake, hit W, and the boat when backwards from his perspective.

How you can tell which end is the bow and which is the stern is beyond me, though it becomes obvious when you try to move.

After that we headed into the arena to bind.

While I have no memory at all of the arena, it appears to be one of the zones that was redone.  It has that shiny metallic texture that seemed to be popular at SOE around the expansion The Serpent’s Spine.  You either know what I mean or you do not, it is hard to describe, but the arena appeared to be made of shiny metallic concrete.  Maybe aliens built it.

And the arena is huge.  Somebody wanted to make a giant Roman arena it seems.

View from the arena center

If you view the full size version of that picture, you can just barely seen Deneldir standing above the arch in the side of the arena.

I’m not sure why the arena needed to be so big… or so foggy.  Again with the fog.  I can see all the way across West Karana without any fog at all, but in a sports arena the fog is so thick I cannot see all the way across.  Go figure.

After that, Deneldir ported himself back to the Commonlands to run with Tarlach back to the lake.  I logged Thrall off and did a bit of scouting with Tistann.  I swam down to the barbarian camp, getting my camera position just right on the swim.

Clear view above and below

One of those quirks that has been in the game since 1999.  If you are above the water, looking down into it is blurry.  When you are below the water, everything is blurry, just like real life.

But if you are swimming along and can get your camera set just right, all becomes crystal clear.

The barbarians, while amiable, did not have anything for me, though they did have a shaman armor quest.  There was another boat at their camp, so I grabbed that and sailed back north to check out the route to South Karana.

Sailing Lake Rathetear

I had forgotten that there were gnolls all over the Lake Rathetear side of the zone line, waiting to ambush any unwitting traveler.  I was going to pop into South Karana for a look, and while I was sure I could out run the gnolls to the zone line, I decided I did not want to get entangled with them on the way back.

I headed back to our camping spot just outside the arena and called it a night.

View from the arena tunnel

There did seem to be able areas to camp mobs and the zone seemed very quiet.  We will see how hunting goes when next we get online.

Zero Punctuation Skewers Pokemon Black and White

Well, technically, just Pokemon White, but they are the same game with minor variations.

I don’t suppose it will be tough to guess how Yahtzee views the game.


Yes, it is the usual Yahtzee routine.  He goes after the tropes of the Pokemon series which, admittedly, does follow a pretty set pattern game after game, and is set in a world where everybody is obsessed by Pokmeon.  There are no uninterested bystanders.


Since WordPress.com won’t let me embed video in the format that they use over at The Escapist, you will have to go here to view the actual video.

If you have never played Pokemon, the video makes for a cynical but surprisingly accurate description of the game.

And if you are a fan of Pokemon, you will either laugh a lot or be deeply offended, as he does share his opinion about the type of people who play Pokemon.

I laughed.  Your mileage may vary.