Friday, January 6, 2012

Does This Door Open Both Ways? : EQ2

In the comments on  Milo's story Gamingsf asked whether the Isle of Refuge still exists. Well, yes it does and it's funny you should ask because that was what I had intended to talk about all along until Milo got in on the act. And I was thinking about the Isle of Refuge in the first place because of something that relates to the earlier Dungeon Maker post. I don't just throw this stuff together, you know. Well, not all the time.

When SoE announced they were going to remove the Isle of Refuge there was an outcry. The thread on the official forums ran over 80 pages. There were all kinds of conspiracy theories about why the island was going away, even some heavy hints that it would tie into some kind of ongoing storyline. More than hints. A dev called Cronyn popped up on the thread to reassure us there was Something Going On:

"Also, just to be clear, there is a lore reason for this as well.  The decision to turn off the islands is a functional one, to be sure, but it is also supported by storyline, which is something I am hoping to start giving out to you here soon.  There are NPC’s in place in both cities who should actually be handing out the first clues right now on Test, so if you’d like to start piecing together what is happening, you should be able to get started ". 

There was some talk of a Far Seas blockade. Never happened. Some NPCs popped up on the East Freeport docks doing the old rhubarb rhubarb routine but if anything more ever came of this "storyline" I must have been somewhere else at the time. Telara perhaps.

I have better things to do with my time. Oh, wait. No I don't.
Player hysteria went unheeded. The Isle of Refuge ceased to be available to new characters. If you had a character camped out there, though, you could still log in whenever you liked. And you still can. I logged Milo on to take screenshots earlier this week and ended up playing him for a couple of hours.

It was while I was browsing the Dungeon Maker Leaderboard that an odd notion occurred to me. You can enter the Dungeon Maker from anywhere in Norrath (except a private instance) and when you finish you reappear exactly where you were. Could a character on the Isle of Refuge enter Dungeon Maker dungeons from the leaderboard and level up there, returning at the end of each adventure to his isolated island home?

Well, I still don't know. I'd love to find out, but not at the risk of losing my toehold on the past. If anyone else who has a character on the Isle would dare to try the experiment and report back I'm sure we'd all be excited to hear the result.

All of which brings me on to the Dungeon Maker itself. Since last I wrote about it Mrs Bhagpuss and I have managed to get our hands on several more "activators". That's the peculiar name given to the drops that give you a new Adventurer. We've been running through some player-made dungeons using these dropped Adventurers. 

They come in Treasured, Legendary and Fabled flavors and all the ones I've seen are Heirloom. Haven't seen a tradeable one yet and there are none on the broker so I'm gussing that if you want one you have to go out and find one. Which is nice. (Or you could always buy one in the Station Store for Marks or money, but where's the fun in that?).

I'm a Valkyrie. We don't feel the cold, alright?
I haven't yet been able to work out if the Treasured/Legendary/Fabled tag relates to the rarity of the drop or to the effectiveness of the adventurer, but one thing I can tell you, these guys are tough! Using them to duo a dungeon where we'd previously died several times we didn't just not die at all, we were barely scratched. Solo I was able to handle six mobs at a time with a dropped adventurer where the basic one struggled on a pull of more than three.

A close examination of their abilities doesn't seem to show that much of a difference, so maybe there's something going on under the hood. Whatever's it is I like it and I'll be looking to collect as many as I can.


  1. Question from a non-EQ2 player. Are these dropped adventurers single use, one per dungeon, or are they permanently available?

  2. Permanently available. You add them to your Dungeon Toolbox and they appear in the selection window when you enter a player-made dungeon. It makes for a nice side-game, collecting them.

  3. That's too bad. When I read your post about the Starter Isle, I went back and did a fulltext search over my e-mail archive. I even found two Station accounts I had totally forgotten I ever created. I probably hadn't touched them since 2006 or so.

    Sadly, both were empty. I had been hopeful I might find the one single character I created when I picked up EQ2 early on, only to stop playing after a weekend.

    Oh well.


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