Tag Archives: The Feerrott

Original Level Cap At Last… Do Copies Count?

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.

Looking across the temples

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.

50 in Cazic-Thule

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.

Reach out and take the mace

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

Nehru and his new 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.

Swimming in Lake Rathetear

We got ourselves together in South Ro for Travel last night.  I had gotten on a bit early and spent some time trying to get a bit of experience.  The net result was negative five percent, as my two guys got wiped on a combo bad pull/untimely pop.  The actual experience hit for the death was 8%, so the penalty does get a bit more harsh as you level I guess.

And as Potshot pointed out, our group is eerily powerful together, but fairly frail when split into two, with buffs and healing divided up amongst us.

So, revive sickness having worn off and a few cayman having given my guys a percentage or two back, we stood on the beach prepared to head out.

Ready for travel

I have been into all of the zones we were preparing to through.  I have even spent a lot of time in some of them.  But often that time was somewhere in the “10 years ago” scale of distance.  I could pull up some memories of the Innothule Swamp, but that turned out to be a zone they redid, judging by the ground textures.

No 1999 textures here

The swamp was a quick trip along the edge, then it was back to old textures and vague memories in The Feerrott.

These are 1999 textures

You can tell we are in The Feerrott and not, say, Kithicor Forest because… well…

There is a lizardman in the background!  You don’t see those in Kithicor.  Oh, and we’re standing on the road and haven’t been murdered by high level undead.  That too.

My recollections of traveling through The Feerrott were vague, but I seemed to recall that it was pretty safe to follow the road until it got close to the ogres on the north end side of the zone near the bridge.  So we skirted around the ogres and made it through okay.

Then it was the Rathe Mountains.  I had to get out a map to see where we needed to go, as all I could recall was that bad stuff wanders down the center of the canyons.  Something that proved to be the case still.

Avoiding a very big, very red skeleton

Deneldir got wiped off on a tree as we were running, and then we had to climb up the walls of our current canyon to avoid the skeleton.  But once we got ourselves back together and the skeleton passed, we were able to make it through the Rathe Mountains without further indecent.

That got us through to Lake Rathetear.  The journey had been simple and reasonably short up to that point.  We just had to swim across the lake to the arena, bind, and we would be set for hunting.

Swimming by and orc camp

You cannot walk around Lake Rathetear.  There is no place to walk.  Well, no easy place to walk, you can skirt along the steep shore many places, if I recall right, but for a direct route you have to swim, which is slow but easy.

Map of Lake Rathetear

(Map, as usual, from the EQ Atlas archive.)

We were headed from the Rathe Mountains zone to the arena, which is a straight shot across the lake.

Tistann changed his melody to include a song of water breathing, just in case, everybody got on follow, and then Tistann lead the way for the swim.

However, your swimming skill dictates how fast you swim through the water and, rather unfortunately, Tistann seemed to have the highest level skill.  So he started pulling away from the group.

Meanwhile, Tarlach, who was back in the pack to start with, was not only going slower, but had also angled down, so was deep under the water when he fell out of range of Tistann’s song.

And since it was a long, boring, simple swim, neither of use was paying much attention to what was going on until it was noticed that Tarlach was down to about 1/3 health.  Then there was a scramble to get him to the surface as Tistann turned around to get him back in range of his song.

But it was to no avail.

A paladin in heavy armor drowned while trying to swim across a lake.  How unexpected!

That put a damper on any hunting plans we may have had for the evening.  Tarlach was back in Freeport.

We pushed on to the arena.  At the docks there was one of the little rowboats, which we had to get in and try out.

Tistann and Thrall in a boat

I had to put Thrall on the boat to take the screen shot while Tistann drove, as your camera controls are restricted while piloting a boat.

Deneldir got his turn on the boat as well.

The sailing druid

Deneldir complained that the controls were backwards.  The boats actually have a defined front and back end (bow and stern, if you prefer), and Tistann parked the boat with the bow towards the land.  When Den jumped in, he faced himself towards the lake, hit W, and the boat when backwards from his perspective.

How you can tell which end is the bow and which is the stern is beyond me, though it becomes obvious when you try to move.

After that we headed into the arena to bind.

While I have no memory at all of the arena, it appears to be one of the zones that was redone.  It has that shiny metallic texture that seemed to be popular at SOE around the expansion The Serpent’s Spine.  You either know what I mean or you do not, it is hard to describe, but the arena appeared to be made of shiny metallic concrete.  Maybe aliens built it.

And the arena is huge.  Somebody wanted to make a giant Roman arena it seems.

View from the arena center

If you view the full size version of that picture, you can just barely seen Deneldir standing above the arch in the side of the arena.

I’m not sure why the arena needed to be so big… or so foggy.  Again with the fog.  I can see all the way across West Karana without any fog at all, but in a sports arena the fog is so thick I cannot see all the way across.  Go figure.

After that, Deneldir ported himself back to the Commonlands to run with Tarlach back to the lake.  I logged Thrall off and did a bit of scouting with Tistann.  I swam down to the barbarian camp, getting my camera position just right on the swim.

Clear view above and below

One of those quirks that has been in the game since 1999.  If you are above the water, looking down into it is blurry.  When you are below the water, everything is blurry, just like real life.

But if you are swimming along and can get your camera set just right, all becomes crystal clear.

The barbarians, while amiable, did not have anything for me, though they did have a shaman armor quest.  There was another boat at their camp, so I grabbed that and sailed back north to check out the route to South Karana.

Sailing Lake Rathetear

I had forgotten that there were gnolls all over the Lake Rathetear side of the zone line, waiting to ambush any unwitting traveler.  I was going to pop into South Karana for a look, and while I was sure I could out run the gnolls to the zone line, I decided I did not want to get entangled with them on the way back.

I headed back to our camping spot just outside the arena and called it a night.

View from the arena tunnel

There did seem to be able areas to camp mobs and the zone seemed very quiet.  We will see how hunting goes when next we get online.