Although I was expecting to spend my next EQ2 session crafting, in the end it was a return to the cat and mouse duo started during the summer. When the opportunity to play them again came around I was inspired to try a public dungeon – the characters are level 15 so the Wailing Caves (level range 10-20) seemed a good bet.
Playing low-level characters in almost any MMORPG these days is a bit of a cakewalk, as a game expands upwards in levels the difficulty curve tends to get stretched or distorted by revamps to stats and gear, usually with the result that early content is a snooze-fest of ease. Even duoing such a dungeon (max group size is six in EQ2), didn’t seem like it was going to prove any real challenge as the mobs in the early rooms fell very quickly to our character’s combined onslaught.
Heading in deeper though and the difficulty quickly ramped up, not only were the orc skeletons and assorted cave critters nearer our level but they were increasingly elite mobs with a lot more health. This slowed us down but not by too much, we’re a tank+healer duo after all, plus I have a vicious wolf familiar! We’d skipped some of the early room critters as they were so easy to kill, we even discovered you could quickly ‘leash‘ monsters by running down a corridor or slope – I thought monsters were more persistent than that in EQ2, at least in the open world.
That was when Norrath decided our naive arrogance had gone on long enough and as we opened a door were surprised by a ^^^ orc boss and four assistants, I believe we may even have had some extras from the corridor as well. In any case cat and mouse experienced their first party wipe of their young adventuring lives.
Releasing and running back in we were very glad of the short leash on these creatures – the majority of what we had fought coming in were back already and it would have been a bit disheartening to have to start from scratch. We run almost all the way back to the door and with foresight and coordination, we managed to slay the Weaponsmith and his goons. Early dungeon experiences can be a lot of fun, especially when we’re clueless about what lies ahead!