That ol’ Norrathian bug

It bit me again. I played the free progression server weekend, which lead me to remembering my fond memories of EQ2 again, and the even more-so nostalgic days of EQ. This week saw me resubbing back to BOTH games for at least the next month. I’m going to hold off on buying the new expansions for either of them until I see if I want to stick with EQ2 for longer than a month, and until the progression server actually catches up to the newest release. That said, I officially knew I had been infected by the Norrathian flu in a bad way last night. The symptoms were strong and unavoidable, and the side-effects are being felt by me at this very moment.

I had taken a couple days of in EQ between the weekend and actually resubscribing to the game. To be more precise, I stopped playing Sunday night (at level 15), and just got back into the game last night (Thursday). My guildmates, who were in their early 20’s when I left, are now in their mid 30’s. My crafting lead and on my competing blacksmiths has vanished. I’m now trailing the pack and facing a LOT more competition in peddling my banded armor wares. So I face some stiff competition in getting some headway in the crowded merchant district of the CL tunnels, and some major grinding to try and bang out some levels.

I was hoping to do some of this last night before we left for trivia, but I found myself stuck underneath the world unable to escape, and required GM intervention to free myself. It surprisingly didn’t take too long, and I was free from my earthy prison before it was go-time. When I came back, I found myself in more trouble – I was unable to log back into my character. Some mix-up happened after the GM had placed me in safety. So, I petitioned again, and after what seemed like a longer period of time, was placed in a zone I could log into. East Freeport. Guess what, Dark Elves are kill on sight in East Freeport. So, and inevitable death and EXP loss later, I was finally able to play the game again.

My first desire was to go back and try to recoup some exp and finish the push to level 16, but at this time it was 11:45 PM, and I was fading fast. I decided to see if I could sell some of my armor, for a quick profit, and I was, pulling pieces right off my body to sell to one guy. Then I saw a request in auction that was hard to turn down, even at though it was after midnight. Someone offering 55 plat and a 10-slot weight-reducing bag for a full set of small banded. I sent them a message, asking if they were willing to wait while I crafted the set, and they agreed.

I spent the next hour hoping on a mule character, buying small molds, and then crafting the whole suit. Of course, I failed on 5 of the 13 pieces the first time, so I had to make a second mold-run. Even with that, I only spent 45 plat or so on materials. So a 10 plat profit and a much needed weight reduction bag ended my night around 1:45 AM or so. I felt like I ended the night successfully overall even though the day ended in a net EXP loss.

Today, I’m feeling that 1:45 bedtime, and it hurts. Through the pain though, I’m thinking about why I let time go by so quickly. By all modern gaming understanding, I should have logged off in frustration or boredom well before that. I was going after only a couple goals, and they took me the better part of three hours to do (“real” original EQ would have taken longer – no shared bank slots). However, not only did I enjoy the doing, I felt incredibly rewarded and accomplished after the fact. I walked away, feeling like I had made a great deal, gotten some things I really needed on my character (cash, items, skill-ups), fulfilled a task that no one else would or could do (provide small armor in a barter), and made a direct positive impact on another player’s gameplay.

The rewards that I got out of the night were just as much the intangible as the tangible, and I think correctly entwining the two is a big part of why the original EQ holds so much allure still to this day. The difficulty makes normal actions something to consider and weigh, and the payback commiserate in return.

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About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

2 Responses to That ol’ Norrathian bug

  1. Werit says:

    I think it shows a lot of what is missing from today’s MMO’s: challenge. If it is too easy to do everything then it doesn’t feel like it matters.

    • Shadow says:

      I think the idea of challenge has been drowned out a lot by people who say “Time isn’t challenging!”, which, like most things, has a ring of truth, but is also a partial fallacy. I ate up a lot of time last night doing my Blacksmithing, and that’s in-part because I had to run around a city to collect everything I needed, and then across long zones – on foot – to deliver the goods. The time component of travel, acquisition, production, and delivery are all factors that need to be considered and provide it’s own unique challenge to a player.

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