EQ2: back on the Isle (briefly)

I’ve finally found got some free time back for gaming and blogging, just in time for the launch of Everquest 2’s latest nostalgia server, Fallen Gate. Almost a year ago, I was dipping my toes into the old-school Isle of Refuge starter zone for the first time on a similar server.

I created a Defiler cleric this time, yes another cleric, I’m rather obsessed with self-healing characters in my MMORPG gaming. As I plowed through the vaguely familiar quests, I unfortunately did not remember my conclusions from last year in terms of finding the Isle of Refuge to be frankly underwhelming. The questing is ok, but the gear progression is poor and some of the monsters that you are asked to kill seem rather sparse.

There were plenty of other players on the Isle for the launch, always nice to see, but practically speaking an issue in any game with mob ‘tagging’. Laying down a little creature to tempt down a hawk, only for another character with faster skill execution to tag said hawk from above my head was pretty annoying. Ultra-competitive mob camping isn’t my idea of fun in 2017.

It was then that I remembered I could go to any other starter zone by speaking to an NPC. I chose to go to Darklight Woods since this character is a Dark Elf. I jogged over to the starter area and almost immediately I was getting gear upgrades, despite having quested on the Isle up to level four, the gear upgrades in this starter zone were much better. Also the Isle lacks the now-standard gathering and crafting intro quests. Apparently there’s something old-school about crafting on this nostalgia server, so that’s definitely something I will look at next session now that I’m in a city (Neriak) with proper services.

Learning to Harvest quest gives a lovely harvesting crate…

Unlike last time, I have no interest in the ‘mount’, this server offers for the reaching level 10 achievement. But it is always fun to play through low-level zones, especially on a server where they’re crammed with players, so I’ll play for a couple more sessions at least, maybe even try to get a group for a dungeon to experience low-level healing…

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4 Responses to EQ2: back on the Isle (briefly)

  1. Kluwes says:

    I left the Isle of Refuge at level 5 on my coercer. I couldn’t quite place why it felt a little lackluster but now that you mention it, it might have been the lack of gear upgrades.
    Now that I’m in the New Halas starting area I’m finding it a much more enjoyable experience. Plenty of gear and skill upgrades from quests and drops.

  2. melbrankin says:

    I’ve always skipped it beyond once thru for old time sake! The interesting thing I found with Fallen Gate server is that I cannot level fast enough in Darklight Woods to keep up the quest requirments so I have been skipping back and forth between the old freeport zones and DLW as I can.

    @Simchaandalts and I have been doing a lot of duo, I have a defiler too and she has a ranger and that has been a lot of fun.

    I have a lowbie shadownight as well so if you are awake when we are playing sing out and we can look at some group content or just group questing 😀

  3. Bhagpuss says:

    I love the Isle of Refuge. I also don’t have a lot of time for any of the four recommended starter areas, regardless of the fact that they drop much gear and have much better quest rewards. Once I’m done with IoR (usually before I’ve finished it) I move to either Freeport or Qeynos and level up in the original starter areas around the city, or under the city, and then in Antonica or Commonlands.

    They never really did bring the drops or rewards up to the quality of the later starter zones but the sense of freedom and, especially, the way those areas feel like “real” places far outweighs that minor disadvantage. After all, it’s not as though any gear you get at those levels has any long-term importance.

    I really haven’t leveled a character through one of the official starter zones since I did them when they were introduced – except for DLW, I think, which I also did when they added Beastlords.

  4. Pingback: EQ2: PQ distractions | GamingSF

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