A sort of raid

Since being thrown off the newbie island, I busied myself with shorter quests and menial tasks for the people around Neamsog Bunker. But the beef of this area obviously has to do with some rat-people living up on the hills and down in the hollows. There’s a dungeon here, and also two open-world rat cities out in the desert. The rat people are called Ksavari, but since I always forget how to spell that, let’s call them rat-people.

To tackle them at level 11, you can’t go alone. I could probably solo my way in to a certain degree, but at some point I’d have to juggle a lot of snare/fear combinations, and feared mobs sometimes run off at unpredictable angles. Not something you want in a cramped area.

Here’s some impressions from soloing down the Village of the Fangs:

I got stuck roughly here:

And had to tiptoe my way out again, seeing that there are too many double and triple spawns further on.

As this wouldn’t get us anywhere, I sent off an open invitation on the guild board to create what so many Post-GW2 MMO players dread: A group.

Here’s Prki, who mentored down specifically for this. No, my character’s not checking out his arse in this picture:

Later on someone called Meindrood joined us, and so we stood on the edge of various platforms and cast spells from really far away like proper cowards:

It’s not fair to the rats, but it gets the job done. We fought our way down, completed most of the quests, fought our way out again and then Meindrood wanted to go back down once more for some reason. The area had repopped by that time, and everyone died in an explosion of blood (except me):

See that tombstone? Another bugbear of those who started playing MMOs after EverQuest: When you die, all your non-soulbound and non-equipped belongings end up on that tombstone. I think if you get rezzed, you get them back immediately, but if not, you have to go back and pick them up.

How do I know that? Because I died five minutes later while fighting my way up. Bleh!

Anyhow, other guildies came in and replaced me because I had to log off at the time, and this is what the group looked like when I left:

Peeps on horses. Cool, eh?

Before I logged off, I noticed all my stuff was missing, so I rented a wyvern to go get it back. Most awesome screenshot material:

There is something to say about this game-design wise: The villages of the Ksavari are just big holes in the desert ground, so I could fly all the way into the dungeon, drop from my mount, fear everyone around me, loot my tombstone, summon the wyvern and get the fuck out of there.

This is not possible in games with instances or a non-seamless world. The seamless world in Vanguard is very quickly getting to be one of my favorite features. In EverQuest II, for example, I never really get a feel for my surroundings because I know that I’m locked into a nice, bite-sized zone with many hidden borders and only a few exits. I also know that if I want to go somewhere, I use the teleporter. I don’t know how to get there on foot.

Vanguard is different. By increasing my radius around Neamsog Bunker very slowly and never having to walk through a zone border or some other artificial form of transport, I learned my surroundings really well. I can walk through a short stretch of desert and know roughly where I am without looking at the map. The whole place starts to feel familiar.

I think this kind of stuff is often overlooked, and it’s probably only nerds like me who notice and enjoy it. But someone at Sigil or SOE once decided that they want a seamless world because it’s completely spectacular at creating a feeling of home, and I agree.

Guild Wars 2? I’ve already forgotten every single one of the locations I’ve visited, even though they look pretty.


3 thoughts on “A sort of raid

  1. Fun times 🙂
    I noticed that i dont solo anymore, boring and hard.
    If i dont have time/will for grouping, there are allways 3 crafters to level up 😉

  2. (posting this here as well)

    Great site and fun reading about your adventures.

    You wrote, “See that tombstone? Another bugbear of those who started playing MMOs after EverQuest: When you die, all your non-soulbound and non-equipped belongings end up on that tombstone. I think if you get rezzed, you get them back immediately, but if not, you have to go back and pick them up.”

    I wanted to bring up that you can also summon your tombstone to you at the altar — you do NOT have to do a CR. You do lose more exp if you summon as opposed to CR, but oftentimes it’s worth it.

    I don’t think we do a good job letting players know about stuff like this — we’ve been discussing how better to let people know about Vanguard specific game mechanics like player death.


  3. Aradune himself! I feel honored! 🙂

    I’ll have to research how summoning tombstones works, in that case.

    So far, I’ve been trying to restrain myself from getting any information from outside the game. I only use the Vanguard wiki to look up whether I’m spelling stuff correctly, not for game information.

    Ksavari, Azebaj, this area is pushing the fantasy name thing to its limits! 🙂 But it’s alright, I see how this is the Arabian-ish area and needs Arabic-sounding names.

    So I never knew about summoning. Maybe the “You are dead” dialog could very briefly list the two or three options you have? Yes, it would be like some other MMOs do it and, but maybe in this case it’s not all bad, since the player already feels like crap from dying and the extra confusion about what to do now could be a bit much for newbies.

    Newbie death below level 10 at least explains that you won’t have to suffer all the consequences of grown-up death, but I believe it doesn’t list what those consequences are, exactly.

    Anyhow. My first memories of dying in an MMO are from running all the way from Felwithe to the Butcherblock Mountains port, naked, at night, at level 5, all because of one single Aqua Goblin. Tombstone runs can’t scare me!

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