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Casual Thoughts from a Semi-Retired Philosopher

I play MMOs as an alternative to TV. Sometimes it even turns into quality time with the wife and daughter. Most of the time it's a distraction from doing something productive or meaningful.

Author: Hluill

New Tunaria, same as the old tunaria...

Posted by Hluill Tuesday September 14 2010 at 10:33AM
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I have been playing EQ2 for way too long.  It is a huge, souless, cobbled-together world.  It's definitely designed by a committee of really bright-minded individuals -- no sarcasm intended.

In fairness, though, it is a lot of fun.  My girl and her daughter and I have formed a little guild.  We have spent many a Saturday all plugged in, chatting and killing and grinding.  We are slowly grinding our guild's way to thirtieth level.  So now, anything that has a reputation point associated with it is pursued like a bright-eyed squirrel.

Hence my berserker was in New Tunaria, finishing up a Signature Quest.  I made a couple of mistakes.  First, I didn't spend anytime looking at spoilers, so I had no idea where I needed to go or what I needed to find.  Second, I had chronoed my berserker to seventy-fifth level.  The quest was seventieth, so I thought it would be fun, but not TOO hard.


I love the way quests are written -- sarcasm intended.  I guess now that we have have quest helpers and spoilers and such we don't need quests to be well written.  The quest giver told me to get a shield from one of the paladins in Felwithe, which is now New Tunaria and populated with elitest, aggressive, 'pure' elves.  There are no paladins in New Tunaria and none of the elves there carry shields. 

But I ain't gonna spoil the quest for you.

While learning this, I realized how huge -- freakin' huge -- the zone is.  New Tunaria is a fully realized town, with shops and temples and palaces and towers and bridges.  I realized that the character-select screen's background is from a bridge in New Tunaria.  The whole zone is designed beautifully and some interesting things happen when night falls.  I enjoyed exploring it.

So, I couldn't help but think: where has this zone been?  Why aren't more people here?  How many people actually enjoy this zone? 

Earlier I had said that I had chronoed my bersker down to seventy-fifth level.  What I need to point out is that most of the zone was grey to her.  Admittedly, this made it easier to explore: if she had been a few levels lower she would have had to fight dozens of heroic mobs to get anywhere.

Again: So, if she had been the right level she wouldn't have seen most of the zone, but  would have been forced to spend a heck of a lot more time there.  But, the "right level" window ain't but ten or so levels long. 

Am I the only one that sees a problem with this picture?  Developers design these worlds that are only experienced by miniscule amounts of their customers.  Customers  are paying for a product of which they can only use fraction.

I have been playing level-driven games for decades now.  I understand the advantages of the mechanic.  I also know that there are other options, better options.  I would like options that keep places like New Tunaria fun and interesting.

whilan writes:

The thing is, the devs create a zone in hopes that people will explore it. the problem lies in that people in general and i'm not pointing to anyone specific but people in general tend to map out the fastest course from point A which is level 1 to point B which is max level, and sadly New Tunaria is not on that flight path.

If it required them to go there then yes people would go there. But it suffers from a few things. First off: Location. In most cases it's in the back corner of the least visited area. Second, anyone by now who would have visited that area, has already. Finally simply not enough quests ask you to go in there. So unless it does, people won't.

What they need to do to bring zones like these back to life is. Put more quests that people would want to take that make you go into that zone for all levels. 

Tue Sep 14 2010 6:34PM Report
Raston writes: I agree with Whilan. While I've done most of that zone (if not all) it is completely off the map as far as accessability and typically isn't visited unless people are shiny farming or doing a specific quest, and as was mentioned, there are very few quests that go back through there (I know SoD does, one lost sister and one sig quest I know of, may be a few others I don't know about though). But another issue is, there is no reason to go through the zone. There is nothing on the other side other than a named or two that most people need but once and a raid zone that isn't used anymore. the third issue with the zone is mob density. It is very hard to pull small groups of mobs in this zone (it is doable, but you have to be extremely careful) and when people are doing this at level, they aren't going to have a lvl 90 tank chrono'd down for every run. That makes the risk of wipes very real, and the zone seems to respawn quick quickly at times, making it hardly worth the effort to get the few names that may or may not be up at any given time. the fourth issue is, the game has become far too efficient (both on xp and AA) to play the game as soloquest until 90 (or duoquest in some cases). With a few rare exceptions there is no reason other than being powerleveled that you need to group until 80. You can get gear in your 60's that is better than the old KoS fabled for doing solo quests which will hold you over until you can get void shards at 80. That combined with your epic are really the only two times you need to really group prior to 90... Thus a zone like NT will be ignored because it is inconvienent, not solo friendly, limited quests and high risk for the limited reward. Wed Sep 15 2010 9:13AM Report
Raston writes: sorry for the wall of text, it seem to lose all the formating... Wed Sep 15 2010 9:14AM Report writes:
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