Tuesday, August 13, 2013

There's A Great Big World Out There : EQ2

Remember Milo? He was the ratonga that chose not to leave the Isle of Refuge. When SOE retired EQ2's original starting zone Milo retired along with it, even though his career had never really begun.

He was always an odd character. Thanks to EQ2's /played command I can see that he was born just before nine in the morning on a Friday in February back in 2005. I can vaguely remember creating him. I think there was something I wanted to do or see on the starter island but I wanted to avoid making yet another character that I'd end up playing, so he came into the world on Everfrost,  a server where I knew no-one, as a Guardian, a class I had no interest in playing. In retrospect if I didn't want to play him it was probably a mistake to make him a ratonga.

He did whatever long-forgotten thing it was that he had to do but then he hung around. I'd log him in when I wanted to potter around on my own just for a little while. At some point I decided he'd be the best-dressed, most-skilled rat on the island so he did every quest (other than that annoying scavenger hunt for the gnome on the beach that I never completed with anyone and now never will), killed every Named, gathered and mined and crafted until he was as well turned-out as it was possible for a refugee to be.

Over the years he was seldom played but never forgotten. When the sad news of the Isle's demise came I thought that would be the last of him. Not so. For some arcane, never-explained reason, after all the fuss and bother the announced closure of the zone kicked up, the zone itself didn't vanish in 2010, it just closed its port to new arrivals. Characters who declined to board The Far Journey went on being playable and Milo had several more active days in the sun, although at almost level 10 there was very little left for him to do.

A Traditional Freeport Greeting
A few weeks ago Tinkerfest began, drawing me inexorably back to Norrath once again. Logging in I noticed Milo looking at me quizzically from character select and on a whim I picked him. Zone unavailable. A quick check confirmed my first suspicion. The Isle of Refuge sank beneath the waves for the final time sometime in March 2013.

Where did that leave Milo? Had he really left it that moment too long to ask Captain Varlos for passage? Was he gone for ever?

Well, he was still there in the character roster so I petitioned to have him moved to somewhere that still existed. I gave it a day then logged him in and there he was, standing in The Commonlands right outside the gate to North Freeport.

It's a fixer-upper but the price is right
As it happened, that suited me perfectly. He would have arrived in Freeport on The Far Journey, after all. It seemed a bit strange that he was outside the gate rather than, say, on the East Freeport dockside but at that point Milo was just happy to be alive.

Coming from the simplicity and seclusion of the Isle, Freeport
was somewhat overwhelming. It's also not the friendliest of places. Milo's well able to look after himself, though. He's a ratonga after all. It didn't take him long to get set up in his own inn room and get himself a paying job or two. When he arrived he found himself standing right next to Mooga the crazy ogre cook and she's always looking for kitchen assistants; not what he's used to but she pays in kind and a rat's gotta eat.

From there he was off and running. Right now he's level 35 and exploring Steamfont with
his happy-go-lucky gnomish friend Bellut Shortsong. Okay, technically Bellut's a mercenary and his friendship's negotiable but they get along. Milo found a few Kobold Paws that sold well on that Brokerage he was told about as soon as he set foot in Freeport and now he has quite a few platinum coins safely stashed away. Bellut's still taking payment in silver so their continuing relationship is assured.

I, on the other hand, find myself leveling up yet another character in EQ2, on yet another server than the three on which I already have literally dozens. And it's every bit as much fun as it always is.


  1. Figured a bunch of comments would be posted. This is a great entry (even without any Ratongaphilia... ;) )

    -- 7rlsy

    1. Thanks! Posting anything about EQ2 pretty much guarantees that comments will dry up :P

  2. I always love your EQ2 posts. Despite my very many flirtations with other mmos, I always go back. I also left a alt on the Isle of Refuge (also a ratonga, come to think of it). I like to think of her there, even if I can no longer visit her.


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