January 29, 2007

Scorpions, Manticores, and me, Oh my!

Last night, I spent a little more time in Tanvu doing quests and getting blessed. But I also played around in in the Khal starting area. And boy did I find trouble!

Kurtz and I did a little gataro hunting last night, and man are they fierce. They live in an area called the Sanctium, and there are a few quests given out by the Water Serpent, a wurm-type creature that stands on the shores nearby. (His quests are needed for the Blessing of the Serpent)

Above: I didn’t have time to check this out more closely but I thought it was a really cool spot. It’s a set of rocks by the shore that spout out water every now and then. I thought it was a volcano till I got closer. Very neat.

If you head to this area, be ready for fast respawn, especially in the pit outside. The other thing we noticed was that when I tried to pull them with a shuriken, they wouldn’t move towards me, so I didn’t bother waiting around and ended up charging them usually.

After wrapping up the quests here, I did a little soloing on Jaye, the wood elf ranger who expatriated to Khal from Ca’ial Brael to Khal. I can’t put my finger on it, but I love hunting in Qalia. Even though my home of Ca’ial is probably the most visually stunning city in Telon, I prefer the sands of the Qa Desert.

I worked on the starting quests — killed a bunch of scorpions, caught a bunch of scorpions, laid a scorpion trap on the Kasavari….the only thing that would have topped it off is if I had been turned into a giant scorpion on my way to Khal, to scare the poo out of the rioting prisoners outside the city.

Besides spending a lot of time around scorpions, I also met up with a manticore. I noticed him circling high above, and eventually tracked him down among some rocks near the Raia outpost. I began to wonder if it would be possible to get him to follow me to Khal, because he might like the hustle and bustle of the city. Even though he’s a level 16, 5 dot mob, and I was only level 6, I figured I had a chance if I used my racial ability. When activated, I turn into an Okami wolf pup, which gives me increased speed an immunity to any movement impairing spells.

Above: I’m in the foreground, in the form of an Okami. I still have the twigs in my hair that I have as a wood elf!

I got about 20 feet before he got me. He’s now on my “to do” list of mean mobs to kill when I get older and stronger.

Above: Dead.

My little tip of the day that I learned last night is the Quest Tracker. I didn’t know this existed, but it’s terrific. If you click on the “Quest Tracker” in your quest journal, or double click the name of the quest, it appears in checklist form on your main screen in the upper right corner. It’s very handy if you have several quests and want to be able to keep track of a few that you are working on simultaneously. I’d like to figure out how to move the text up into the corner a little more, but I’m sure there is a UI that will do that soon, if not already.

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January 28, 2007

Fun in Stronghold and The Leap of Faith

Now that the game is live, I am finally getting to group up with my husband, which always makes a challenging evening that much more difficult.

We wanted to start in the same area together, so I rolled up a Kojani monk named Erika and he made a Half Elf disciple named Kurtz. We did our unspeakable acts of cruelty in Shang Village, endured humility in Dellerjuba Village on the first night, so last night we were ready for some real fun.

Above: Fighting in Stronghold. Don’t you try any of that flapping crane nonsense on me mister!

We began by catching a chicken….well it was really more like a creepy looking goose, named the Golden Ostard. The thing runs around the area behind Master Tallon’s house, near the red shrine with the jin crystal, and you have to click the leash in your inventory to capture it and bring it back. It’s a neat little quest, and the potion reward was nice considering it was from a newbie quest. I was really hoping that we could keep the leash, because I know a few gnomes that could use one, but no luck.
We also did a quest to retrieve a mushroom from the top of a large rock. I fell a few times trying it, although I swore I felt a pair of hands on my back the last time I plunged to the ground. Eventually we both got the mushroom and worked our way through the Ghost Wind quests.

We had a little confusion on the quest path later on that night. We had done some of the Stronghold quests, but weren’t high enough to do the group ones (like rooftops). We ended up clicking the mysterious essence in the abandoned hotel, and got ported to a quest area that seemed too high for our level. The better spot was heading to Garu’s house, near the Yeti, and doing his tests first.

Now, I’m not really a big fan of tests, mainly because I always manage to screw them up. But I loved these tests (even though I managed to screw them up!)

The test of wisdom was a series of riddles, and if you get them wrong you get smacked in the head. 50 smacks later, I figured out all the answers to the riddles and passed the test. (The answers are fire, soul, promise, name, broom, and key if you want to avoid being pummeled)

Above: Testing our mental prowess in the Trial of Wisdom. Stop hitting me!

My real favorite, though, was the Leap of Faith. We had to walk to the end of a plank that overlooked Tanvu, and prove our faith in jin. I love stuff like this. In Everquest, my favorite spot in game was the hidden bridge in the Deep. I loved slowly following the line of people, as we all tried to follow the little brown bags of dropped shruikens that marked the path. Or better yet, trying to sprint across with no real idea if you were aiming correctly along the bridge. In Everquest 2, I loved jumping down to Longdrop Falls, and hoping that I didn’t overjump and miss the little pond below.

Above: One….two…… THREE!!! (Below)

This jump didn’t fail to deliver, and I didn’t even screw this test up! My faith in jin must be strong, because I survived the jump and landed safely back at Garu’s room.

We finished our evening by reaching Master Ashaine and getting another series of tests. We’ll work on them tonight and then try to head back to Stronghold. There’s a woman crying somewhere inside that we still need to find. Very sad.

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January 22, 2007

The Serpent of Sihari

Over the weekend I checked out a really cool, low level dungeon right outside Lomshir called The Serpent of Siharis. On the surface, it doesn’t even look like a dungeon, because it’s just the rotting hull of a ship run aground. But there are roaming dead all around the ship, and it becomes clear that something sinister is going on.

Above: Bracing for a pull at the bottom of the demon temple.

As my group headed onto the ship, we met up with the ghostly captain, who told us what happened. Apparently the ship ran aground on top of a temple, unleashing a horde of undead on the beach and causing the untimely deaths of the crewmates. He asked us to destroy the portals in the temple below the ship, to stop the influx of demons that had been seeping into our world.

We made our way below decks, and soon found the hole in the hull that opened to the temple. For a low level dungeon (levels 8-12), it sure was impressive! It was huge, and full of Ahnd’ka demons who cast a menacing shadow as they stood guard along the walls. The architecture reminded me of Qur’xa temple, which makes sense since the demons had stolen the secrets of planar travel from the Kurashasa.

Above: Eerie shadows from Ahnd’ka Demons.

Pulls here seemed fairly straightforward. The demons are usually clumped in twos or threes, but the groups seem spaced out enough that it’s easy to avoid overpulls of multiple groups.

We crawled to the bottom, but unfortunately did not meet up with the boss. Instead, we decided to celebrate with a group handstand. We stunk so bad at coordinating it, though, and the only thing that could have helped us was to have had the boss spawn right behind us as we were counting to three.

Above: Can Henry Kissinger do this?!

Overall, it was a fun crawl. It’s nice to be able to tackle dungeons even at a low level, and this certainly was no throw away, space wasting, mob lined tunnel. The layout and quests involving it are meaningful and eye-catching. It’s a great spot for anyone near lomshir. Hopefully next time I’m back there I’ll get to see the boss–and do a better group handstand!

Here’s a few shots from the Griffin Event on Friday night. I only got to ride one for about 15 minutes, because soon after they put in the griffin vendor in Halgarad, the servers had to come down for a patch. I got to see some neat stuff in that short time though!

Here I am heading into Ironfor…….er, wrong game!

If I get to do one thing in this game, it will be to push Corka off this bridge.

Can’t wait to find out who we can blame for this getting here….

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