Rise of Kunark Vote on Stormhold

Over on the EverQuest II nostalgia server, Stormhold, the march of expansion unlocks continues.  The unlock vote for the Rise of Kunark expansion… I keep typing Ruins of Kunark, because the original EverQuest expansion is much more meaningful to me… and the names are so similar… has been sent out to players.

Yes or No on Kunark

Yes or No on Kunark

Of course, this brings us to one of those nostalgia server issues which I alluded to last week in that, even if a company decides to go down that path, it is tough to please all of those interested or to find a pace that doesn’t alienate some chunk of your audience.

In this case the Rise of Kunark expansion… the subject of perhaps the only spot-on prediction I have ever made on the blog… which, among its other features, raises the level cap to 80, doesn’t do a lot for me as I am still pottering about in the low 20s.

And I haven't hit 23 yet

And I haven’t hit 23 yet

Now, this is mostly my problem.  Since the Stormhold server launched I haven’t played very much, and even when I have been playing the game has been in third place behind EVE Online and Minecraft. Which isn’t to say I haven’t played at all.  If I had rolled up a fresh character in WoW and put the same amount of time into him, he’d be into Mists of Pandaria by now.

I am not sure on which game that reflects the most poorly.

And the fact that I have been playing solo hasn’t helped.  Unlike the live servers, unnamed heroic mobs are not soloable on Stormhold, but a lot of the quests I have been running drive you straight into their arms.

So close to me goal...

So close to my goal…

Stormhold would have been an excellent opportunity to play with a small group.  Even a healer and a tank together would have owned.  But solo and playing a Shadow Knight, a brand new class for me, has made things a challenge and kept progress down.  I run into quests I cannot finish at level solo often enough, then I have to go find another path to level up on, so I can return later when I can overpower my way through the original.

On the other hand, putting expansion unlocks to a vote every 60 days seems like a fairly brisk pace.  Well, to me in any case.  And so far, only one expansion unlock has been voted down, a vote that led to the usual amount of acrimony in the forums.  No matter which way the vote goes, somebody is unhappy and wants to share.  The forever war between those who want a classic environment that sits static and unmoving and those who want to race to the top and unlock the next bit of content goes on.

Of course, I was happy enough to seen Echoes of Faydwer show up after the last vote.  That added some more 1-70 content, the emphasis for being on the late teens and early twenties, didn’t raise the level cap, and represented an important change in the history of the game.

Now though, with Rise of Kunark, we’re getting into content I didn’t even finish the first time around… even though it went live back in late 2007.

I may not be enthusiastic for the expansion to unlock, but it won’t change my play style at this point.  I am way too far behind the pack to catch up so I will continue to meander along at my own pace, dying to heroic mobs until I am at least a few levels above them.

3 thoughts on “Rise of Kunark Vote on Stormhold

  1. bhagpuss

    Kunark was an odd experience for me the first time round. It actually led directly to my giving up playing EQ2 and, for the second time, going back to EQ1. The reasoning seems hard to fathom now but for some reason I took strong exception to the frequency and quality of the loot that dropped. It was far too much and it was far too good!

    The first few days were uphill in the snow both ways, almost literally as well as metaphorically, given the mountain eyrie of the first main settlement, but once we’d struggled through the opening quests in our pre-Kunark gear and begun to equip the quest rewards and drops we were getting things started to get much easier. It became immediately apparent that even the most trivial drop from one of the vast hordes of soloable Nameds that seemed to lurk around every corner would be a massive upgrade over any item I’d ever owned.

    After a week or two I’d had enough. More than enough. I felt everything I did was meaningless because the developers were throwing upgrades at me from every direction. Any sense of achievement or progression was annihilated. Mrs Bhagpuss wasn’t as fed up with it as i was but she wasn’t impressed either and so the both of us decamped back to EQ. Again.

    I can’t recall how long it was before we cam back. It was before the next expansion for sure. I guess we probably stayed in EQ for around six months. Somehow when we returned we really enjoyed Kunark and I now think of it as one of the best, possibly *the* best, expansion EQ2 has had. I learned a lesson from that experience: just because you don’t like something the first time doesn’t mean you’re never going to like it. It’s always worth giving things a second chance to impress.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @bhagpuss – Wasn’t Kunark the expansion where they people in beta were all from raiding guilds and so thought the content was too easy so SOE kept notching it up until it went live and then when normal players arrived it was like running into a brick wall, so SOE had to go rework the difficulty after not too long?

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  3. bhagpuss

    Quite possibly. That does ring a bell. The most famous example of that was Gates of Discord of course but I think it’s happened more than once.

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