One of the early themes on this blog was nostalgia for Norrath and the annual autumnal return to EverQuest or EverQuest II. If you go way back to September 2006 you’ll find that to be the topic of the third post on the site. So there is a lot of history/tradition here, and I have referred to it as a “nostalgia tour” off and on since that time.
As has probably happened more often than not here over the years, autumn showed up and I started thinking about Norrath. And, as also tends to be the case, I feel a bit lost as to where to go these days. It is hard to believe that EverQuest II and World of Warcraft were not even two years old when I started the blog.
Fortunately Bhagpuss had a suggestion for me and, as I noted last week, I started down that path by visiting Yun Zi and picking up the Days of Summer quests.
Before getting to the current version of the event I had to go through and run the 2017 quest line.
The event is, as the title notes, literally a tour of Norrath, with the 2017 version running players through various expansions with each quest. This started well in my range of knowledge, kicking off in the Desert of Flames, where you had to head off to various points in the expansion to get updates.
I could not do the quest without some help. I am not sure how I was supposed to divine the destination for the little icons presented (except perhaps the coin with the Maj’Dul faction on it) and I honestly did not have the patience to fly hither and yon about the expansion trying to guess. But even with the locations from the wiki to hand I did have to fly around a bit to figure out where to go.
The next quest, which feature the Kingdom of Sky expansion, was a little bit more tricky. I played EQII from launch until KoS, took a break then, and then came back with Echoes of Faydwer, so I avoided a lot of KoS. I did end up running through it at one point, so it wasn’t totally alien to me, but I did need to use the waypoints provided by the wiki now and again to figure out where to go.
After that it was off to Echoes of Faydwer, which was the great revival expansion for EverQuest II, where they decided maybe they should just ignore the lore from EverQuest. With this they chose to embrace it.
That return to the lore proved popular and revitalized the game somewhat. With that expansion, which came out in November of 2006, we’re into the era of the blog.
Having played through much of Faydwer repeatedly, I was again able to just travel based on the locations the wiki fed me.
The next quest brought me to Rise of Kunark, which might be the last expansion I played, or at least purchased, at launch. (I have the little pewter bear mount on my bookshelf still.) I wrote a bit about my getting stuck in the waterfall, but otherwise was able to get around the expansion pretty well.
After that, however, I was in unknown territory. The expansion list for the game goes on… and gets a bit strange… but they are mostly areas where I either haven’t been, or if I have been there, I did so without really knowing which expansion I was wandering around. Still, some of it looked nice and I got a feel for the generally increasing level caps of the zones.
But with my heroic boosted Shadow Knight (chosen because he can one-shot just about anything I’ve ever run into) and copious help from the wiki (I not only had to use waypoints but also look up how to simply get to certain areas) I was able to complete the 2017 series of quests.
That done I was able to start in on the 2018 set of quests. For those I got out my level 96 berserker, Sigwerd, who I consider my “main,” even though I have four level 100s. He is the one character I have leveled up the furthest in the old fashioned way. He at least made it through Kunark before I used a free boost on him a couple years back. I forget if it was level 90 or 95, but he made it to 96 and has been lingering ever since.
I chose him because the 2018 quests go back to the original zones of EverQuest II, so I clearly wasn’t going to need a character that could one-shot level 100 heroics.
While I wasn’t going to need directions on how to get the various zones, I still used the list of destinations from the wiki. With that I was pretty sure I could find the landmarks, starting in Antonica.
I rolled through that, seeing the sights from so long ago, then it was off to the Commonlands.
Nek Forest, on the other hand, was a bit more challenging. As often as I ran through there, I was at a bit of a loss for some of the landmarks and had to wander for a bit before finding a couple of them. This was as much because of the claustrophobic feel of the zone as anything.
The Thundering Steppes though, there I raced ahead to each landmark.
I rushed so fast that I missed a checkpoint and only realized I wasn’t getting updates when I was way over in the Ruins of Karana, so had to backtrack and run through again.
After that the Enchanted Lands were a breeze, it being a smallish zone with landmarks I well remember. And then Zek, a run which ended predictably at Deathfist Citadel.
And then I was drawn up short. Apparently, in Norrath, summer runs with the baseball season, and the last three weeks of the event, with a zone each, had yet to unlock.
So I was all caught up. Now I have to wait like everybody else for the event to finish as well as finding something else to do in Norrath.