Tag Archives: Desert of Ro

Doubling Down in Najena

Saturday found the instance group come up shy on players, so time in Azeroth was pushed off again.

But Potshot and I were still around and were able to put the time towards what I would have to call our current main game, the EverQuest Progression Server called Fippy Darkpaw.

We had done some experience in Southern Ro earlier in the day where we made quite a bit of progress.  But when it came to the evening run, Potshot brought up the exploration aspect of our adventures, the desire to not only play the game but to experience the game as far and wide as we could.  So we said farewell to the Desert of Ro and pointed ourselves northward.

Wrapping up our camp in Ro

We met up in the Commonlands at the tunnel, still full of people buying, selling, buffing, and socializing.

The Plane of Knowledge kills all this...

We headed across the Commonlands and through Nektulos Forest to the Lavastorm Mountains.

There we ran around a bit looking for a good place to camp and kill.  But a lot of the stuff we stumbled over at the Nek end of the zone was gray, green, or blue to us. (The consider system changes gears at level 16 and stuff starts showing green if it still gives experience but is more than a few levels below you.)

We searched around for a bit and came up with a camp of Cinder Goblins.  There we took on a Cinder Goblin Cleric who con’d yellow to us and seemed to be a likely target.

Cinder Goblin Tango

This, however, turned into something like the eternal battle.  We would knock this goblin cleric down to under 20% health.  I think he hit as low as 12% at times.  And then he would heal himself back up to 50%.  We would knock him down again, he would heal again.  The fight went on and on.

Fortunately with the spell breeze cast on Thrall, Deneldir, and Talrach, we never ran out of mana either, so we would heal up, the goblin would heal up, and so on and so forth.

About five minutes into the fight we started digging into our spell books and abilities trying to find something that would stop his healing.

Close to the ten minute mark I had Thrall save up a whole bar of mana then tried to unload as much damage as I could on the cleric.  I think that is when he got down to around12%.  But he managed to get off a heal.  We had nothing in our bag of tricks to stop him.

Furthermore, Thrall’s all out assault made the cleric lock on to him.  It was time to run for the zone line.  Tistann put on the song of speed and we ran for it.

We made it safely out of the zone, though on the other side of the zone line in Nek Forest, a Dark Elf guard by the name of Gvarr started beating on Thrall, who was already low on hit points.  He stepped back across the zone line into Lavastorm just in time.

After that I began to wonder if there wasn’t something better close at hand we could go after.  Then I remembered Najena.

Meclin and I had gone into Najena at one point during a past nostalgia run.  This was on a standard EQ Live server back a couple of years, and the place was empty then.  In EverQuest and empty dungeon is a dangerous dungeon, and back then we got ourselves into a serious mess in there.  Now, however, we a lot more people were in the right level range.

Najena

(Map from the EQMac Wiki EQ Atlas Archive)

Najena is just off to the East from the entrance to Lavastorm, so we thought we would give it a shot.

There were 27 people in the dungeon, including our four, and we had to hunt around for a bit before we found a spot to hunker down.

Into the torture chamber...

The skeletons right at the entrance were gray to us, but not very far into the place we started running into mobs that were blue or better.  A lot of the likely places had groups, though we ran into some wanderers as we looked about.

A Guard unhappy to see us

Eventually we found a spot in a hallway that had a few spawns close by from which we could pull.  This is sort of the way things go.  As a lower level group, we couldn’t go much further into the dungeon. (If you look at the map we were not even at the point marked “1”), but by sitting there and keeping that segment clear, people could come and go from deeper in the dungeon.

Our little spot in the dungeon

Experience was great.  I knew that some dungeons, including Najena, offered a boost to experience, but we were rolling in the exp, at least on the EverQuest scale of things.

Along the way I got a tell from Toldain (hey!) who brought up the whole double experience weekend question.  I had heard that there was an experience boost, but was not sure that it applied to the progression servers since that would seem to undo what they were trying to accomplish. (When did SOE do their first enhanced experience event?  I do not remember any from the early days, but my memory has proven faulty before.)

Still, at the rate we were going, things were good.  The group started the day at level 14 or just into level 15 and we all hit level 17 inside Najena.  Even with two deaths, Thrall and Denelir, the soft targets, both got taken down once, we were way ahead for the evening.

Dead druid behind the pile of garbage

Among the things I associate with EverQuest is time flying by, and it was true that night.  We had spent a while running around and getting settled.  Midnight came and we old guys had to call it a night.  Well, I had to.  My daughter fights to stay in bed on school days, but on Saturday and Sunday she pops out of bed at the same time she is supposed to get up on weekdays without any prompting, and that means we have to get up.

So we headed back to Freeport, stopping long enough to pay back Guard Gvarr for his past crimes.

He started it

So Najena worked out well for us.  The group is all well into 17 now.  I am sure that seems very slow to some, but that is about the pace we can sustain.

And while we might venture back to Najena in the short term, now that we know we can knock out the tentacle terrors without too much drama, we will want to keep the tour going as well.  I am thinking we ought to get on a boat, cross the Ocean of Tears, and spend some time on the Estate of Unrest.  That used to be a happy hunting ground for my paladin back in the day.

Finding a Helm in Freeport

I finally got around to binding in Freeport.  The graphically updated Freeport.

The new and oppressive Freeport.

Welcome to Freeport! Now go away!

I remember Freeport of old being more ramshackle and feeling a bit lighter and open and airy.

Now it is a city that feels like it could evolve into the Freeport of post-cataclysm Norrath, the Freeport of EverQuest II.  It just needs to spawn another dozen zones and it is nearly there.

(Is it safe to use the word “cataclysm” any more in reference to things that happened in other MMO story lines?)

And it was my complete lack of ability to find a coyote, much less kill one and get the drop I needed, that made me decide to put down roots and make a commitment to the place.

Thrall and Tistann bound just inside the gates that lead to Northern Ro.  I figured we were more likely to die out there and this would get us back in the field more quickly.

Plus, where else would I bind?  I suppose Thrall has the spell Gate, which returns him to his bind point, so maybe something like the enchanters guild would be better, but Tistann has to walk everywhere, so better at the gate.

Plus I am less likely to get lost.

It is really a good thing that they have the “find” system, because you really need it in Freeport.  Or at least I do.

Follow the Wisp

If I didn’t have that lit path before me, I would… well… I’d spend a lot more time running around lost.

SOE did a smart thing too.  In addition to all of the usual suspects, they also put the gates out of the zone on the list.  So you can get a wisp to show you to the bank, your guild, a vendor, or the gate to Northern Ro.

Tistann wanted to find the bards guild.  Having given up on coyote skulls for my Wind Spirits Helm quest, I wanted to see what the Freeport version of the bard armor quest was like.  I was kind of hoping that the Songweavers Armor quest would be doable and that I might get a helm of a different color to contrast against my bright emerald armor.

One wish was fulfilled.

In yet another example of how those who start in Qeynos face a total screwjob compared to Freeport, I ran out and did the helm quest in about 15 minutes.  The Freeport quest had pieces that dropped within a zone of the quest.  I didn’t have to run across the whole continent to get key items.

So a couple of Orcs, one wolf, and some barley from a vendor and, hey presto, I had the pieces to make my new helm.

However that helm looks just like the rest of my armor.

In Freeport, it is easier being green

You can see why I run around with the “show helm” option turned off.  That is just too much green.

I will have to see what the caster armor quests are like next.

And when I was done with that I got a tell from Potshot.  He was on and it was time for some more camping in Southern Ro.  But while running out to join up with him, I had to face one more Freeport poke in the eye.

Your skull, gives it to me!

I was sorely tempted to slay it, just to see if it would actually drop that coyote skull for which I had spent hours searching.

But I had already heard other people, no doubt from Qeynos, looking for coyote skulls on the OOC channel.  I left this one for them.

The Lively Desert of Ro

Now in Freeport, I began my search for a coyote skull.  Rumor had it that I could find coyotes in the Desert of Ro, so I ran through the Commonlands tunnel to the Northern Desert of Ro, just in time for sunrise.

From a hill in the Northern Desert of Ro

The Desert of Ro is one of those zones that has had a makeover, something about which I am dubious.  The zone does look good, about as good as any outdoor zone I have seen in EverQuest.  On the other hand, it does nullify the nostalgia factor somewhat, at least for some I am sure.

Fortunately, The Desert of Ro was never one of my regular haunts, so I do not really miss the old look the way I would if SOE redid the Karanas. (I am loaded with screen shots now, just in case they do.)  So the graphical update and the fact that the Oasis of Marr is now part of Southern Ro are not that big of a deal to me.

It turned out that Potshot did, indeed, make it safely to Freeport.

As I was hunting for coyotes I got a tell from him indicating that he was in North Ro as well, so we linked up.  While a lot of things in North Ro were still worth experience for us, I suggest we take the group to South Ro where we might find some more challenging, and lucrative, prey.

There we found a spot and settled down to kill some of the locals.

Angry Orc Priest

After the Karanas, and especially West Karana, where everything is very spread out, the Desert of Ro seemed almost a bit claustrophobic.  This was both good and bad.

We never had to go far to find our next victim and often said victim would wander right into our midst.  Our slaughter went on at a rapid pace.  Fortunately, with Thrall now able to cast Breeze, casting was able to keep up.

On the other hand, we often got our next victim a little early.  A red con dry bones skeleton is not a welcome addition when you already have two yellow con orcs on the hook.

We were also a little close to other groups who were hunting.  One player in wolf form showed up with a group and then seemed intent on driving us away by trying to tag all the mobs in the vicinity and then training the whole mess over our casters who were meditating for mana regen.

Ironically, this actually ended up helping us.  The result for a while was this person just delivering us more victims while keeping the area around us clear of potential adds.  It was only when he and his group left us alone that we got in trouble.

Left to our own devices we started getting more and more adds.  Mana ran low first, then hit points, and then it was time to run.

Tarlach went down holding off our mass of adds while the rest of us escaped back to Northern Ro.

Fortunately, Potshot had taken the time to bind his characters in Freeport, something I had not yet bothered to do.

We decided to set up in Northern Ro for a bit and plonked ourselves down by one of the dervish camps in the zone.

No friend of the whirling dervish

There we picked off dervish cutthroats as they spawned and picked off anything else that walked within range.  The Desert of Ro is very lively, and we rarely had to move far to find new targets.

We stuck out our camp until Tarlach and Deneldir hit level 13, by which point we were also laden with loot, and then headed back to the vendors at the north end of the zone to sell and camp.

The only thing missing from the evening was coyotes.  I did not see a single one.

My coyote search continues.