Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Hardcore Gaming or Speed Gaming?

I have been putting off writing something about the Rise of Kunark expansion for Everquest II for a little while now. I was trying to find just the thing I wanted to write about. It was not an easy thing to do for me but here it goes.

RoK was released 3 weeks ago. There were level 80 players within days of release. I think this is wrong on so many levels. The content is really beautiful to look at. It is exciting to experience. My little ratonga has to hold on to a tree to keep from being swept up in the whirlwind of players racing to level 80. I was complaining about this to my son. His reply was “Welcome to hardcore gaming.” I think he should have said “Welcome to speed gaming.” I feel like I am watching a 5 minute gaming session in each zone I am in. Run through, level and move on.

I raid with an alliance of people on my server. It used to be that we did not rush to do things. We took our time, we enjoyed the experience of our zone and each others company. With this expansion came a push to level so we can hit the new raid zones. There are still 2 raid zones in the last expansions we barely tried. I hope we get back to try those zones before all the content is green or worse grey.

I remember hardcore gaming. I did that in Everquest. I raided 7 days a week. I remember it taking forever to get levels. I had a full time job back in those days. I would think that kept me from leveling as fast as others, but a lot of people I know at level 80 today have full time jobs. I am already level 74, just a breath away from level 75. I am trying hard not to rush. I am trying to do all the quests I can find and to savor the experience that the EQII artists created for me to see. The first time I saw the ghost of Jaled’Dar in Field of Bones, I was mesmerized. I just stopped what I was doing to watch the sequence. They are fighting a ghost battle that occurred eons ago.

RoK brings back a lot of memories from my Everquest, Ruins of Kunark days. I remember the first time I tried to run to Chardok. My group was already at the front door and I had never been into the Burning Woods zone. They were giving me directions and of course being a Ranger, I got lost!! I died in a very bad spot with a lot of mobs around. My poor group had to come get me. Luckily for me, it was a guild group.

Anyway, memories aside, take the time to enjoy everything Rise of Kunark has to offer. It really has some beautiful areas to see. There are fun quests to do and a Sokokar to help you get around the very massive zones. Enjoy your self and if you see a ratonga holding on to a tree for dear life as you race by, wave it might be me!

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