Monday, March 20, 2023

Relocation, Relocation, Relocation

Meet Mitsu, aka The Ratonga Formerly Known As Lana. Last time we saw her, she was trying to make up her mind where to go to avoid being dumped onto Antonia Bayle, when Kaladim closes down.

After I wrote that post I spent a fair while considering the options but in the end I decided to send her to Isle of Refuge on the grounds that it was a relatively new server with a ruleset I hadn't explored before. Even though I thought I'd done enough research before making my choice, it's possible I should have done more.

For one thing, I didn't realise until after I arrived that it was going to be a one-way trip. As the original press release puts it 

When Isle of Refuge launches, there will be no transfers allowed on or off Isle of Refuge. This is a new Norrathian community being formed, and we want you all to have the opportunity to build relationships and a thriving player economy. There are no plans to EVER allow transfers off the Isle of Refuge server, though we may open transfers TO this server at a future date.

Dragging out that creaky old metaphor one more time, Isle of Refuge is the Hotel California of servers; you can check in but you can never leave.

The reason for the lockdown is the Free Trade ruleset. Isle of Refuge allows almost everything to be bought and sold, including all kinds of Look-at-me! Aren't-I-amazing? items, the ones that mark a certain kind of player out as a Very Big Deal indeed, at least in their own head-canon. Can't have just anyone strutting around the Freeport docks like they're someone, without knowing they've paid their dues, can we?

Which is fine, honestly. I'll take the hit, even though I'm not going to be the one wearing any of that stuff, I can't see myself wanting to buy a transfer token to move a low-level character from one EverQuest II server to another, anyway. What would be the point?

"And see you're off the streets by curfew... or else!"

There's another aspect of the relocation I'd failed to consider. One that could prove more significant. To quote from the press release once again

To play on the Free Trade Server, you must be an All Access Member.

Which I am, at the moment. And again, it's not something I have any particular plans to change. I've been paying a subscription for EQII since the day it launched. For five years before, too, if comes to that. I'll probably still be subbing as long as the Isle of Refuge server lasts, unless it outlasts me, which I guess is not that much of a leap to imagine.

Of course, while I'll most likely keep a subscription going, who's to say it'll always be on this account? I've swapped before. It could happen again. That would leave the erstwhile Lana stranded, peering hopefully from character select, waiting for a call that could never come. I do still log in characters on my unsubbed accounts from time to time, but only those on the mainline servers like Skyfire or Maj`Dul.

But then, as the poets love to tell us, 'twas ever thus. Lana on Kaladim was as partitioned as Mitsu on Isle of Refuge. You need an All Access account to play on any of the special ruleset servers. No change there. I don't know why I mentioned it.

And anyway it's done. For well or ill, Mitsu is on Isle of Refuge. She's going nowhere. Except, maybe she is. Maybe she's going forward. I haven't quite decided.

Excuse me, but do you have a room I could rent?

I was excited to play her when Kaladim began. It was a busy, bustling new server experience with everyone starting from scratch and pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps. I had fun. Only my fun was much slower than everyone else's. 

By the time Lana had clawed her way to level 20 the bubble was somewhere up by the cap. I lost traction and fell away, returning briefly when the timer got to expansion #3, Echoes of Faydwer, the first with new, low-level content. Another half dozen levels and I was gone again.

Looking back, two things kept me connected to the character; firstly her look, which I'd crafted more carefully than most, keeping her in a full set of very low-level chainmail that made her look as though she'd stepped off the boat that very day, topped off with a spectacular flashy helmet from one of the summer holiday events. Secondly and perhaps more potently, there was her name: Lana.

The look she still has. The name is lost. I knew it would never survive the move to another server, any server. You can guarantee any short, familiar real-world name will have been taken years ago, let alone one freighted with import like this one. There are a lot of famous Lanas to model a character on.

I might have been miffed about that had I not had another Great Idea. I'd just finished Supercute Futures Two and written a post about how very much I'd enjoyed it. I've always been all about naming my characters after fictional favorites, even though almost every EULA strictly forbids it. Fortunately, my tastes drift so far from the median there's precious little chance of anyone noticing, far less reporting my choices.

The question was whether to go for Mitsu or Mox. Easily answered. Mox was taken. That suited me. I prefered Mitsu. Maybe some day I'll get one of those Mercenaries you can rename and call her Mox. That would be too cool. 

It's not as nice as my old place but it'll do... for now.

So there I was, with a character, a name, a server and maybe even a goal. The only thing I was missing was a home. Except, wait... didn't I say something in that last post about how Lana had a very nice room, all decorated to her taste, back on Kaladim?  

Actually, no, I didn't. Or rather I did, but in a paragraph I took out in the edit because when I logged in to take a screenshot of the place I couldn't find it. Only an empty inn room.

It took me a while to figure out why that was. I was sure I remembered placing a bunch of holiday rewards beside the furniture Lana had crafted for herself. So where was it?

I'll tell you where it was. It was in her room in Temple Street, that's where. When Kaladim launched, one of the unusual features of the server was the partial restoration of the original racial neighborhoods. For years they'd been unavailable, converted into quest-and-combat instances, only to be entered by those on one of the racial questlines. You couldn't live there any more. 

Except on Kaladim, you could and I did. That's where Lana's room was. And now she's Mitsu on Isle of Refuge that's very much where it's not. Mitsu has an almost empty inn room to keep the Freeport militia from running her in for vagrancy and that's all.

Well... the inn room and her choice of a bunch of free, Prestige homes, all available in /claim. In fact, she could have any home of her choice, if she cares to dig into the communal account slush fund. There's almost 30k in Daybreak Cash in there. 

Now she's on Isle of Refuge all the chains are broken. There's no reason for her to act like it's 2005 any more. The new server doesn't care and now neither do I. She can't share in the considerable largesse of her elders on Skyfire - shared banks aren't cross-server - but anything available on an account level is hers for the taking.

Mitsu is rich. Beyond her dreams. Will it go to her head? 

We'll see.

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