The rats in question live in Dragon Necropolis. Dragon Necropolis is in Western Wastes, a part of Velious as yet unrediscovered in EQ2 and probably undiscovered by many current players of the elder game because Western Wastes is a long way from anywhere. No wizard or druid can open a portal there, the Plane of Knowledge has no Book for it and the Guild Hall vendor has no Western Wastes Focus Stone in stock.
If you want to go to Western Wastes, the nearest you can get in one move is Cobalt Scar. A druid or a wizard can port there, but my highest level of either is a level 60 druid and while she has hunted in Western Wastes I deemed her a tad fragile for photographic journalism in underground tunnels infested by rats that stab first and ask questions never, so I logged in my level 84 Beastlord. Who turned out to be in Dragonscale Hills.
|Wait here Wizard, this won't take long...|
All of which entertainment got me to thinking about Everquest going Free To Play. I'm very happy about that even though I have Station Access and can already play Everquest whenever the mood takes me. I love the idea of new people flooding (alright, trickling) back into the lower-level zones and bringing them to life. I particularly relish the thought of Plane of Knowledge filling up with chattering, bustling hordes of players and pets, flapping and clumping and blocking the bank doorway so I can't get in, just like the good old days.
|Negotiations with the Chetari run into difficulties|
I knew exactly how to get to Western Wastes. I've been there many times. I have maps. To refresh my memory I even had the Zam page up. I was going there with a character to whom nothing posed a threat. And I still gave up in frustration after the umpteenth failure to find the top of the waterfall in Siren's Grotto. It was late and I knew I could log in Mrs Bhagpuss's wizard in the morning, port my Beastlord to Cobalt Scar and then Evac across Siren's Grotto as I should have done in the first place. As indeed I did do and have the photographs of rats to prove.
|There's a Plane of Pork? Who knew?|
And welcome as the new blood will be, Everquest is hardly languishing. After thirteen years the game still has sixteen servers up and running. As I write this, deep in the night on the U.S. server where my Beastlord lives, there are too many players to count in the Guild Lobby and in the Bazaar, where more than 180 traders stand idling. Not everyone's hanging around afk in the Lobby and Bazaar either. Many more can be seen out in hunting zones, especially at the highest levels. I'd bet that a lot of much younger MMOs would be delighted to have a population like that during off-off-peak hours after a year or two, let alone a decade and a half.