Tag Archives: Druid

I Know Why the Night Elf Runs

As I mentioned on Tuesday, I have been working on three characters, with one going through each of the starter areas.  The third of these… the only one I didn’t roll up on opening night… was a night elf druid.

None of the starter areas are new to me.  I ran through them all at least a few times before Cataclysm hit and changed everything.  But of the three Teldrassil, the home of the night elves, has always been my least favorite, so I wasn’t sure I was going to roll up something there.  But I did want to make a druid, I like healing as a druid more than as a priest or pally for whatever reason, and a night elf is your only choice for druids on the alliance.

But starting in Teldrassil doesn’t mean you have to stay there.  The joke that isn’t a joke has always been about the run across the Wetlands that young night elves make to get to the other starter areas.  The snowy Dun Morogh of the dwarves might be a bit chilly for night elves showing up in their form fitting elf shorts.

Such muscle tone and such tight shorts

But Elwyn Forest and Westfall, that is where everybody wants to end up.  It is a nice zone, your friends are probably there already, and it starts the quest line that culminates in the Deadmines.

So my early plan with the druid was to get a few levels and then try to make the run across the Wetlands.

And then I started thinking about where I might find a druid trainer and whether or not I had to be around Darnassus to get my class quest and the Moonglade teleport skill and decided not to be in too much of a hurry to get out of Teldrassil.   Instead I decided to stick it out to level 10 so I could get my animal forms and all that.

So it was time to get to it.  The first few quests around Shadowglen are fine.  I had done them during the load test and, since opening night had passed, there wasn’t a huge crowd with which to contend.  A quick group in the spider caves was the only time I really had to work with anybody.

But then it was time to go to Dolanaar.

I don’t know what it is, but almost every quest in Dolanaar brings out this low level sense of dread in me, a voice in the back of my head that says, “Oh no, not this quest.”  Only it is for almost every single quest.  I’d pick one up and think, “Should I just run through the Wetlands instead?”

The first guy you run into you end up tricking

Which is odd, because the actual quests… well… aren’t so bad.  Mostly.  The ordering of the quests and the locations of the quest givers are probably not sorted out in the way a modern game designer would do it.  But that goes for all the zones.  There is a theme of having a low level quest that send you into a high level area now and again just to keep you on your toes.

There is, however, a lot of running in Teldrassil, and it feels like much more than the other two zones.  I started to work on a map with a series of arrows to show all the back and forth a young night elf has to do… including trips back and forth between Dolanaar and Darnassus which take a while… but I ended up with a blur of lines on the page obscuring the locations.

Here I am on the road again though

My working theory on why people leave Teldrassil began to include the idea that making the dash to Ironforge might actually involve less running than just sticking around.  You certainly start to feel that hour long cool down on being able to use your hearthstone.  If it were 20 minutes like current WoW you might be able to short cut some of those trips.  But with an hour timer, you save it until you need it and just make the run yet again.

And, of course, there are a few brutal quests.  Running into the Ban’ethil Barrow Den is a challenge, to the point that I wonder if they considered making it a real instanced dungeon at one point.

Looks welcoming on the outside…

You have to run in, find a few objects, get a drop, find a guy, and so on, all while in constrained tunnels and dealing with the sudden waves of respawns that mean you have to continually clear where you are and the path to where you want to be.

It was a good place to group up and I was happy to find a random group invite waiting for me before I had made it too far.  I returned the favor by clarifying how the quests down in the hole worked.

I didn’t say it was difficult, I just knew the answer

But I got through all the running and the tunnels and the various quests in Teldrassil, hit level 10, and ran off to the druid trainer in Darnassus who gave me the Moonglade teleport spell along with the usual “go talk to a guy” instructions.  I figured I was set.  I would go there, do a thing, get my updates, and move on.

But I have forgotten so much about the druid path.  It has been a long time.  While you go do a thing in Moonglade, you then have to travel to Auberdine in Darkshore to pick up the class quest thread.  What to say about Darkshore?  The locals are a bit of a pain.

Just another day on the beach

And it doesn’t measure up to Westfall or Loch Modan in my mind, but it wasn’t completely empty.  Not every night elf makes the run through the Wetlands.

The word of Poncho reaches to Auberdine

The more annoying thing was that I had used my hearthstone to cover yet another run from Dolanaar to Darnassus and then was stuck in Moonglade with a 40 minute cool down still ticking.  That meant finding the flight point in Moonglade… sort of where I remembered it, but the last druid I did was horde… and then take the bird to Auberdine, which runs 8 silver and 40 copper, a steep price in these early times.

Thinking to make the most of the trip, I grabbed a few of the other quests around town, just in case I could do some in passing, as I headed out to find a cave.  The right cave turns out to also be the closest cave when it comes down to it.

The right cave for the druid class quest

I think you can see the stone in the cave from this angle, the one you need to sprinkle the dust on.  But this cave looks quite a bit like a number of nearby caves, so I do not doubt there were some lost druids about.  Also, skeleton from a player death.  They are everywhere.

I got that then went off to knock out a couple of the nearby quests.  They fell into some of the common tropes.

My service can be bought for pants… but anything to replace those shorts!

After a bit of that, enough to recoup my air fare, I took the bird from Auberdine to Darnassus… which is free, so you don’t even have to take the boat if you’re a cheapskate like me… turned everything in and got… bear form.

Again, it had been a long time since I had done the druid starter, but I was a bit surprised to walk away with bear form as my only upgrade.   Oh, and a note to come back when I was level 14 for the next round.

We will mete this out slowly

That out of the way and not overly enthused by the Darkshore quest lines… as with the quests around Dolanaar I would read the quest text and get that feeling of dread as past efforts flooded into my mind… I decided to take the boat out of Auberdine to the Eastern Kingdoms and make a run for Ironforge.

Out into the Wetlands

I almost made it too.  Being level 10 meant that not everything in the zone had such a huge aggro radius… aggro radius being a function of the level difference between you and the local mobs… that I was able to slip through the main areas of the swamp unmolested… though the skeletons on the path showed others had been eaten along the way.

It wasn’t until I got into the pass through to Loch Modan that a level 21 Dragonmaw Grunt caught me.

Caught in the tunnel

But that was far enough into the run that my wisp appeared in a Loch Modan graveyard.  So I floated on back down the path to my corpse and left another skeleton behind.  I got a bit of cover at the next orc gathering as there were some people on them for a quest.

After that it was into Loch Modan and then through the tunnel to the chill weather of Dun Morogh and on the way to Ironforge.

Good thing I ditched those shorts

Ironforge was just a waypoint though.  I went in there, got the flight point, then took the tram to Stormwind with an eye to picking up in Elwyn Forest and eventually Westfall and its warm fields, clumps of quests, chickens, and dungeon.

Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!

This is a post from the Blizzard forums that I have lifted completely and transplanted here for the sake of posterity and so I can find it easily when I want a laugh.

The original post was in the old Blizzard forums way back when.  Gaff sent it to me a long time back.  It disappeared and then got reposted in the new (for the time) forums.  However the pictures, which are integral to the humor, are not embedded in the new post.   So I thought I would try to recreated it here as it was meant to be viewed.

All credit and thanks go to Alamo of Thunderhorn who created this post on the WoW forums. (He even has his own page on WoW Wiki.)  Thanks man!  I laugh every time I read it.  The Einstein picture alone is priceless.

—-

Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID! | 11/22/2005 12:09:09 PM PST

sumtimes peeps say 2 me HAY HOW 2 PLAY DURID IDK LOL! SO NOW, u CAN PLAY DURID by only rred this!

2) ITS EZ, u can only haf 2 reed teh

ALAMOES COMPLEET DURID INSTURCKSHUN
*************************************************
OK LISSEN Almo noes about sum durid things sinse the baginning. Maybe B4 durids was week & stuff but now Durids is very storng.

1) OK, Sum durids is bare

almobear1
2) Tehm whos bare durids, can B 4 tank:

m1a1tankahi

ONLY DURID DONT HAF SUM PEEPS IN THE HEAD AND A GUNZ LOL!

3) Man, sum bare druids can maek sum peeps poop in feer bc/ tehms so storng.

BARESCARE
4) Bare druids is not so good at uh moonfare spam but its OK b/c a bare durid haf many armors &

when a thing hits durid, maybe thing gets borken hand LOL!

5) Bare durids is 4 funs when u can charje & stun & haf sum armors lol.
**************************************************
OK LISSEN Also durid haf uh seel form.

1) Seel is can fite, but is kind week.
2) Seel for swim, is fast & dont breeth
3) When seel is gone for fish, is nobody will catch.
4) Seel is can teech frends how is swim

swimlessons
ALSO I FORGETS

Durid has can run fast form is TRAVEL FORM

1) looks liek cheetuh
2) dont cheet or u get bann LOL! JK!!
3) Cheetuh can run fast and him is can run away frum trubul.

***********************************************
AND ASLO

SUM DURIDS IS MOON KIN

1) Them 1s is look all funny liek maybe form MOON! LOL!
2) mostly uh moonkin is 4 a spam moonfare
3) them haf sum good armors & fite storng.
********************************************

DURIDS IS VEERY FAST AND STORNG IN PVP CAN CAST ROOT 4 MAKE PEEPS STOP WHEN MOVE!!

roots
bc Peeps can always ask if cat druid can B GOOD FOR FITE OR WHAT MAYBE?

eathedU NO CAT DURIDS IS VERY STORNG! SUM PEEPS DUNNO Y SO HEAR IS LIST

1) OK now sum durid is cat

2) Cat durid, tehm dosent heel.

3) Cat uis for fite

4) Cat durid dosent talk about fite

nomeow
5) when cat durid is FITE do not ask for HEEL and NINIRVATE!

noninervate
and CAT DURIDS is no spam moonfare! Sum cat durids dosent no wut is uh moonfare!

nomoonfare
*****************************************
DURIDS IS MUST ALWAYZ HALP EECH OTHER:
sumtimes a new durid is need sum halp and advise frum a good durid so u shuld alway halp unother

duridteech
Even I lernd all this form DURID SCKOLL who has wut uh famus teecher there who is knows all this:

DRUIDTEECHER
DURIDS IS HARD, & BUT STRONG

SUM PEEPLE THINK DURIDS IS CANT BE BARE AND CAN ONLY HEEL AND THEM DOSENT

NO THEY IS ALWAYS CAN SAY:

bareattack
BUT ONLY DONT LISSEN TO THEM.

Durids is storng for bare or cat or seel or whatver and u dosent haf 2 heel if u dont liek heel

*********DURIDS IS 4 haf FUN TIME WIT FRENS every1 is like a fun time durid!!

alamoney
ALAMO LIVES AGAIN!

ALAMO IS A CASSEL IN TEXAS! LOL!

EverQuest Nostalgia Tour – 2007 Edition

As I have written, every fall it comes, the urge to go back to pre-cataclysm Norrath, the desire to see EverQuest again.

Back in 2004, the desire was filled by a new game, EverQuest II. It had just enough tips to the old game to keep me happy.

In the fall of 2005, talk on our guild channel about the days of old in EverQuest, plus the cheap price for a copy of EverQuest Platinum on the shelf at Fry’s ($9.99), and the whole Station Access thing got me back on the ground in Norrath again. And with Gaff in tow as well.

Gaff is seems to have sympathetic nostalgia for EverQuest. He never played it back in the day, but knew people who did.

So he joined me for a little while there. We made fresh characters, wheedled some help from EQ2 guild mates with Station Access and high level characters in EQ, and played for a little while, getting characters close to level 20 and exploring some of the old world content. Places like Blackburrow, Crushbone, Unrest, Najena, and even a peek into Mistmoor showed up on our tour.

Then we started in on World of Warcraft. That December of 2005 started the hiatus from Norrath as we joined up with some old guild mates from Toril MUD and ran through Azeroth. At least one person in the guild declared WoW to be the spiritual successor to EverQuest.

But the seasons turn. Fall finds its way to me always.

So in the fall of 2006 I started this blog and then got fully on board the SOE nostalgia train. The EverQuest II team, finally making a very smart move, tapped into the EverQuest nostalgia with the Echoes of Faydwer expansion. Of course, that meant first going back to pre-cataclysm Norrath to see the sites in Faydwer again, places like Kaladim and Kelethin.

EverQuest had a new expansion as well, The Serpent’s Spine, which I picked up and played through 14 levels with a new character. In an attempt to make a point, I did those levels only in the new content and only with gear I was able to find myself.

Of course, then Echoes of Faydwer shipped and I discovered how much fun Fae Glide was and that was the end of EverQuest nostalgia for another season.

Which brings us to this Fall, and another trip into EverQuest, and Gaff is again along for the ride. We started talking about Toril MUD, and actually logged in for a peek, which got the nostalgia urge going. I was already starting to potter around in EverQuest and he decided to come along.

Again we started new characters. He rolled up an Iksar monk while I chose a Drakkin druid. We let that whole purist thing I had going last year fall by the wayside and begged, borrowed, or stole whatever we could to boost the characters.

And we have been proceeding apace. Gaff, who should be writing his own blog entry on the topic, has commented that the connection with MUDs in general, and Toril MUD in particular, really comes through in EverQuest and that the rawness of it is refreshing in its own way. (He will correct if I have abused his quotes.)

We have set the modest goal of getting both characters to level 30 before interest and the holiday vacations wrap up.

Of course, Cameron is going to come along, tug on my sleeve, and whisper “Test server you noob!” in my ear.

And he has a compelling argument. On the EverQuest test server experience is doubled, and doubled again if you are in one of the designated hot zones. Furthermore, you can have your character sent straight to level 25 with a full set of level appropriate gear and spells.

Not a bad deal.

I just have my own, personal issues with the test server deal.

I have a need for a long term character. While it rarely happens, test servers tend to be subject to pwiping and all sorts of crazy nerfage as the devs try out one thing or another. I need a stable environment. (Though I hear if you ask real nice, SOE will move your character to a live server! Ouch, cheap shot!)

I also actually do not want to skip those first 25 levels.

First, those levels tend to be pretty fun, and moreso with a small group. Those are also the levels that have a lot of the nostalgic appeal.

Second, I need to play those first 25 levels just to figure out my character. Really, there is a reason that they only give you a couple of spells every level. (I see they broke the iron grip of the every five levels model from Toril MUD, which in turn took it from second edition AD&D.) It is so you can figure them out a spell or two at a time, so by the time you get a few pages of your spellbook filled up, you aren’t bewildered by what they are all about.

So, when we can link up, we are off and running around in EverQuest. We are already into the mid-teens.

As usual, it is an illuminating experience, going back to EverQuest. The rawness of the game relative to current titles, the simplicity of it as well, and the feeling that it is the link between the MUDs of days gone by and the MMOs of today.

Plus, I have broken a long standing tradition with this return to Norrath of old.

Back on day one of EverQuest, a friend and I were trying to decide what classes to play. I tried to lay claim to a druid, that being my primary character class in Toril MUD. My friend also wanted to be a druid, and for the usual mish-mash of reasons, we felt we could not BOTH play one.

So I gave in and let him roll a druid while I rolled up a ranger.

Both of us were half elves and started in Surefall Glade in the Qeynos Hills.

There was the parting of the ways pretty much, because, back in early EverQuest, druids were uber, kiting, solo experience machines.

Rangers though… well… nobody has ever accused them of being uber in any way to my recollection.

So he pretty quickly levelled out of sight… well, out of my sight anyway. We were still friends, but he might as well have been playing on another server.

Since that time, until now, I have not played a druid.

And now, finally playing an EverQuest druid, I have to admit, they still rock.

I shouldn’t have given in back then! How different things might have been if we had both rolled druids.