An artsy-fartsy screenshot from a beach somewhere

There. See the framing of the moon? Awesome, eh?



Raiding the Tomb of Lord Tsang

Remember that adventure in Jin’Ka Forest? That was a quest line that led up to the ability to raid Tomb of Lord Tsang, a level 18 – 22 (I’d say) dungeon.

We assembled a a very tidy group and went inside:


Flop, and that’s what it looks like on the inside:


We wiped somewhere around here, the first time around. Something or someone had mezzed our tank.


On the second try, we moved past that and into the rooms beyond. There are several quest lines leading to named mobs and quest givers like this:


Mysterious hallways like this:


Rooms with shafts and pools of light:


And here’s an upgrade for my staff, from a random named:



And this last guy was in a purple room, I think dropping a purple gem or medallion:


Yeah, it doesn’t look like much in my screenshots, but the reason they didn’t turn out any better is that I was too busy to take them! Wow. From the first minute I set foot in that dungeon with my group, it felt like EverQuest again. So much so that when we were about to be wiped, I had the caster reflex of just standing still and waiting to get killed, not running back so as not to pull any respawns by mistake. It turns out that in Vanguard, that wouldn’t be necessary. I could try to flee (the repops aren’t so fast in that dungeon), hide somewhere and then go back and rez my friends with a rez orb.

Had I only known. But now I do.

The whole experience was really exciting and the game totally captures the vibe of 1999. Congratulations!

A long way home

As I’m finishing up quests from my quest log, I noticed some level 12 quests involving the Ksavari near Qa Riverbank/Neamsog Bunker. You might remember that from my earlier exploits.

I’ve been spending a good amount of time on one of Kojan’s largest islands, and meanwhile I think I’m used to the way things look there and how the quest areas are laid out. It still doesn’t feel like home, though, even though my character is Kojani. I blame the Isle of Dawn for this, the newbie area you can choose to go through.

With my halfling alt, I skipped the Isle of Dawn and noticed how much flavor and identity the racial starting zones add. If there’s one recommendation I can give, it’s to skip Isle of Dawn if you have any experience with MMOs of this kind (EverQuest, EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, any of the PvE-focused holy-trinity games). You will miss some crafting tutorials that you could have had on Isle of Dawn, but if atmosphere, backstory and setting mean anything to you, the racial starting zones are much more satisfying.

Otherwise you’ll end up like me, having a Kojani to whom this Qalian (or is that Qaliathari?) desert/river/bunker setup feels like home:


Ah, I’m finally back.

Getting my ass whooped by a level 12 boss

After nearly hitting level 20 recently, I thought I’d head back to this GAtaro island to finish some quests I picked up at level 14. I don’t know, I just like to have a clean quest log from time to time. Here’s where I went:


These Gataro seem to live on an island with their own little tower and cave system. How they carved that out of the stone with those little arms, who knows. Anyhow, there seem to be no Gataro inside, only around the island. Including this level 12 or 13 Gataro Hero called Andruzius:


He killed me that time, with a DoT that does some 200+ damage per tick (I think), and since I only have about 900 health, that kills me quickly. I was pissed and went to the other side of the island to practice my katas:


And then this happened:


Stupid fishface.


Also, I dinged 20 and can now use the blue rift stations that lead to tougher areas. Awesome! But since I’m still not done with Tomb of Lord Tsang yet, that won’t be happening for some more levels.

Jin’Ka Forest was a success

Here’s a picture of Cytheri and me killing way too many mobs in way too short a time, since we got ambushed by a whole group of invisible wolf-like beings while already fighting two other mobs:


All those stalkers were on us! Due to our sheer superhuman abilities, nobody died. And I’m now almost level 20 and (if I understood the quest guy correctly) can unlock Tomb of Lord Tsang. Dungeon, here we come!