About a decade back I read a science fiction trilogy that covered the ability of inter-stellar travel via a mechanism that made a data copy of a being and then was able to transmit that data across space to reassembled at the destination. As I recall, in the novels (Frederick Pohl’s Eschaton Sequence if you must know, a tidbit of information that I was only able to recall thanks to Amazon.com keeping your entire order history on file) there was a certain amount of philosophical discussion as to whether these copies were really the original (which was deliberately destroyed during the process… or so they said) or… well… just copies… or new beings… or something else.
If that sounds a bit vague or uncertain, well the novels were not that good, this was more than a decade ago, the question was somewhat tangential to the whole tale, and I am surprised I remember that much. But it was part of my thought process and I am going to write it down if just to keep me from having to go look up those novels again. Diverge early and often should probably be my motto.
The question of what you were post-travel was complicated by the fact that the transport device could (and would) pop out a new copy of you, with memories only extending up to the moment you started the process, if you died. And death was expected as the technology was used for exploration and contact with distant civilizations.
All of which came to mind, though in an even more muddled fashion… no, really, the above was pulling it all together and trying to make it coherent… because a character of mine on the EverQuest II Extended server, Freeport, by the name of Nehru hit level 50.
And your reaction might be somewhat along the lines of “so what?” since I have other characters who have gotten at least a dozen levels past 50 in the past, level 50 isn’t all that tough in EQ2 these days, and the level cap is 90 and so on.
The thing is, Nehru is special, and not just because he has a totally awesome name. (And I’d totally get him the jacket if there was such an appearance item in the SC store.)
Nehru is my first EQ2 character.
Well, a copy of my first EQ2 character.
Nomu was my first character in EQ2, rolled into being on November 13th, 2004. He was my only character for nearly two weeks before I was afflicted with alt-itis yet again.
After that Nomu mostly he ended up being the guild alchemist, as demand for his many chemicals and inks, all essential to most of the other trade skills back then, was quite strong.
He still got played now and again. I managed to keep him with in grouping level range (you had to be within 6 levels or 1/3 of the lower characters levels, which ever was more, if I recall correctly) of most of our guild so could tag along, stand back, and heal.
But he was mostly a character for trade skills, and because of that I chose to copy him over to EQ2X during the great double XP event to help with our drive for a guild hall.
When that was accomplished, I let him be for a bit until I decided that, as my highest level character on the EQ2X server, Freeport, that there might be some value in playing him.
If I could remember how to play a templar.
It had been a while, something given perspective by the age of some of the quests in his journal.
That was the oldest one I could find, though I purged his quest log of a pile of gray quests as it was full, so I am sure there were a few in there that were older still. But most of those which remained ranged from mid-2005 to early 2006 when Kingdom of the Sky came out and I took a break from the game.
I was determined, without much real reason, to get him to level 50. That was the level cap for EQ2 at launch, and he never quite got there. So I started him off in the Sinking Sands, which is where I had left off back in 2006. (I was surprised to find that he was an ally of the Court of Truth already. Memories of hunting guards for tokens is a dim memory at this point.)
I mentioned my plan to Gaff and he thought maybe something like the Temple of Cazic-Thule in Feerrott would be a good choice. There was another place I had not been since probably 2005. He got out a couple of his level 80 range characters, we grouped up, he mentored Nehru, and off we went.
We did managed to pick up the lead-in for the heritage quest for the Screaming Mace. Named mobs continue to be up almost every time we go looking for them in the older zones.
In addition to that, we picked up some quests in the zone. There are lots of them that follow the quest philosophy of early EQ2: Kill 10-30 of a specific mob in a zone where maybe 4 or 5 of that mob spawn. These are handed out by any number of clickable objects in the zone, so as we went along we collected quite a few of these quests.
I think we only completed a couple of them though. We made the screaming mace our focus and anything else was incidental. Nehru did finish up his Lizardman Lore & Legend quest, and gain the Thulian language due to the drops we got. And he even hit level 50 not too far along into things.
Nehru doesn’t look very dwarf-like there, as he was wearing the free Ratonga disguise they were giving out in the Station Cash store for free as part of Ratonga Week. (Whatever that was about… I often feel like I am in the community, but not of the community.)
We actually called it a night shortly after Nehru hit 50, it being a week night and such, but we returned the next night (or the night after that) and managed to bash our way through the zone and finish up the Screaming Mace.
It was a strange run. First, the zone feels a more than a bit surreal. (Did you see those eyes in the picture?) Then add in the vague memories from having done this zone and quest line with another character back in the 2005 time frame and it was a unique experience.
But the mace was obtained.
And it is a very nice mace.
Though I think it is kind of bunk to give out a level 42 mace at the end of a level 50 heroic quest. I’m sure it made sense back in 2004, but now that items lose some of their abilities when they are more than 10 levels below your adventure level, this probably will only be a weapon I can use for two levels.
Still, it is a nice mace
It will make a nice house item.
And I got my original EQ2 character to level 50, the original level cap.
Or did I? Does this count? Nomu is still level 48, but his copy is past 50 now.
In any case, only another 40 levels to go until the current EQ2 level cap.