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Reader Comments (10)

Posted: Sep 27th 2008 9:10AM (Unverified) said

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I remember the trip to Freeport, and as a wood elf, I had to take the boat ride and all as well. I'm likely a minority, but I actually like having to *run* (not ride my fast tiger mount) across the world once - then I can get a flight path or whatever, but there is really something grand about running around a vast world.

Even in World of Warcraft, I remember running the length of Stranglethorn Vale before the second flight path and when one didn't get a mount until 40. It took a long time! But I also realized I was in a huge jungle - I saw lots of different creatures, lots of different troll villages, ran by the arena, etc. The flight path skips so much. I admit that after a couple of times, running is boring, but then you can get a flight path - only after having had the great experience of running across the world though. ;)

Posted: Sep 27th 2008 1:52PM (Unverified) said

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I agree, I remember making it all the way Freeport (god that was a long boat ride) and I also remember the "Looking for TP!!!" It really did feel like an adventure especially because if you didn't have a bind near by you were so screwed. Now in WOW you can never get that kind of rush because at worst it is a brief inconvenience. In old EQ dying the wrong place could mean everything. That kind of epic world is awesome, but it does have it's disadvantages, when you went somewhere, especially to level, you usually stayed there a loooong time. I'd like to see an MMO now that brought back that sense of excitement and consequence without being such a radical inconvenience.

Posted: Sep 27th 2008 10:04AM Kyoji said

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There are some pretty wicked treks in Guild Wars, and entirely necessary if you want the exploration title tracks.

Posted: Sep 27th 2008 10:07AM (Unverified) said

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No, we haven't lost much, being that in most games those choices are still there. You can still run or walk from point to point in WoW, EQ, almost any game.

But, do I feel that if those longer travel times were forced on everyone that somehow it would grow a better community, or fonder memories? In some ways, sure. In Ryzom we have instant travel, but you must travel to the points first, and later to switch some housing or to go from point A to B with your packers or mount, you have to walk it. We call it "trekking." It has fostered community over there, being that we play treks and they become a sort of mini-event.

But does that mean that most players are walking around? No, and they shouldn't be forced to, if the MMO developer is smart. Simply leave the choice up to the player.

Of course, that temptation can ruin immersion for many players, but what else can a game maker do? Punish raiders that just want to get to that content? Punish people that don't have 8 hours to play?

We moved on from EQ. Yes, that trip was epic, but like so many things in EQ, there were plenty of bad, annoying and downright frustrating moments in the world.

Posted: Sep 27th 2008 10:14AM (Unverified) said

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re: Freeport-->Qeynos run

There was another path between Freeport and Qeynos too, through the Innothule Swamp, where you had to avoid Ogre (city) guards patrolling the already dangerous (for that level) paths.

Ah, I remember buying my first Mino(taur) Axe imported all the way from some far-off land of steam geysers (Steamfont) inhabited by friendly Gnomes.

While I do enjoy the epic feel of travelling a long distance overland through dangerous territory the attraction wears thin after the second or third time. MMOGs definitely need methods of fast *repeated* travel -- once you have made the trek.

The idea of imported items was fun too but that was only because (PC) merchants were personally selling them by advertising their wares in an impromptu "market place", frequently the East Commonlands tunnel, with other (PC) merchants. Brokers and Auction Houses is more efficient but less personal so tends to lose a bit of "flavor."

Posted: Sep 27th 2008 6:46PM (Unverified) said

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These games are timesinks as it is. Unless you're going to provide impressive amounts of XP for exploring and a really nice view I'd rather not have to spend longer than needed to get someplace.

Posted: Sep 28th 2008 12:28AM (Unverified) said

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LOTRO has some great runs -- one of my favorite memories was me and my two best friends in the world, in a fellowship on voice chat as we tried to run to Rivendell -way- too early. Like, level 20. We got all the way to the ford of Bruinen just fine, and crossed the river -- and then started yelling, "OMG! Where did the road go?! Ahgghg, bear bear bear bear..." and then ended up jumping off the cliff to our deaths.

But hey, that's how we found Thorenhad -- dying and ending up right next to it. I also remember running from the barbarian starting town in EQ to Queynos - you had to go through a goblin dungeon to get there, and back in those days if a train lost sight of someone, they'd turn on whoever was closest to aggro instead of zooming back to their home position. So you could be innocently chilling by the exit to the dungeon and a guy trailing six mobs would run out screaming "TRAIN" and everyone would scatter lest they get pounded.

Good times, good times.

Posted: Sep 28th 2008 1:56PM (Unverified) said

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The epic journey's are there, you just have to find them. I remember in my early days of WoW (I started about 2 months after the release of BC), my brother and I took our level ten Night Elf hunters from:

Teldrassil, to Darkshore, to Menethil Harbor, thru the Wetlands, thru the Arathi Highlands, thru Hillsbrad, then Alterac Mountains, then Western Plaguelands, to the Easter Plaguelands, up through Ghostlands, finally arriving in Eversong Woods to tame a Dragonhawk.

The pet sucked, but having it on an Alliance character definitely got some interested looks back then. Overall the trip took about 4 hours of trekking through much higher level regions on a PVP server (try being lvl 10 and caught between Southshore and Tarren Mill). To this day, still the best time I've ever had playing WoW.

Posted: Oct 1st 2008 7:27PM (Unverified) said

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Running from Qeynos to Freeport was the first real time I felt "danger" in a video game. That run WAS dangerous, because you had things to lose, other than your most recent 1-UP. You could lose a level, or your belongings, or your corpse!

It was thrilling and entertaining and even scary at times. But I was eager to see this world, and made the trip way too early. I got lucky in a lot of spots and found people were camping orcs and gnolls and I was able to run right past.

I still remember the day Planes of Power was released and books started appearing in all the starting zones. Click a book and you're on your way almost instantly across the lands. That was when the scope of EQ was lost to me, and it became a full time job grinding for the next AA point.

Posted: Nov 24th 2008 11:29PM (Unverified) said

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Good ol EQ. I agree PoP ruined the adventure part. No more traveling and enjoying the sights. Heck PoP even killed the starting cities. I miss the running to where ya needed ta go. Made ya happy to finally get where ya going and it made people think twice about dumping a group to have to run to another location.
I hope Darkfall can bring some of the fun back. Looks to be a large game and no ports..just horse and feet.
EQ has forgot where it came from..that's why it makes me tear up when I see old screen shots and videos of the old days.

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