This was originally posted in a thread on the Monkly-Business message board, so forgive the places where it refers to another post:
Before the books, because the world was “larger” and travel time existed, people would go to a zone, and stay there or near there for a while.
I went to Unrest at level 23. Thankfully I had killed enough goblins in my younger days to earn the respect of the dwarves of Kaladim. I fought in Unrest on most days I logged in. Sometimes I would travel out to the Ocean of Tears and play on the islands, but most it was Unrest. There were up to 60 people in that zone in prime time, mostly the same people. We got to know each other, grouped in the various rooms of the house, met on early Sunday mornings to “break” the house. When the Ghost was on the lawn, it was a good day in Unrest. I finally left Unrest for good at level 34.
Like with my fishing trip story above, many of the people I met in Unrest, I still talk to. I show up at a public PoP raid and I’ll get a tell, “Hey man, been back to Unrest lately?”. A couple of us are even going to meet up in the next couple of days and go kill the Fabled version of the Ghost for old times sake.
Unrest isn’t a special place though… I have friends from my days in the Oasis as well… and the people I met in Frontier Mountains… and the Dreadlands. The reason we grouped so often was because travel time was non-trivial. People stuck around an area longer.
And most importantly though, there are people who were levelling up at the same time I was that I never met, because they chose a different path… they chose different zones to hang around in. Some of the oldest uber guilds on most servers were born out of Lower Guk and SolB and the times people spent together day after day, and the stories they share…
I feel for the people who only started EQ after PoP… they may enjoy the game, they may love it, but in the game we have now, its just not possible to have the same find of experience that people had before PoP. Travel is bordering trivial… its so easy to get to so many places, any zone not within 2 or 3 of a PoK book is empty… People don’t hang around a zone anymore… zip zip, they are off to the other side of the world… the guys you group with today are gone tomorrow… You can follow them, but its just not the same.
LDoN is bringing a little of that back… not the travel, but with people wanting to adventure in the same places over and over, you can meet the same folks again and again… there is a warrior I met doing Tak dungeons… 4 or 5 times he happened to be LFG when I was making a Tak group… since then we’ve done 30 or so adventures together, I’ve taken him with me to BoT groups and other places… and there are others as well… the spirit of the old dungeons is there… but it is a ghost.. a shadow of its former self.
This is what I want in Vanguard… I want a world thats big, where travel is non-trivial, where you stay in the places you know, and every now and then adventure off to the places you don’t… The world of EQ was different a long time ago. And every game that has come out since has in one way or another tried to “improve” on it by making things less non-trivial, easier. As much as people complain about the grind in EQ, people come back because most other games are so non-grinding that there is no real sense of accomplishment. In EQ, going through 59 was a trial by fire… it took forever… when you got 60, everyone in the zone cheered! Other games don’t have that, and that’s why EQ stays so popular.
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.
Anyway… enough of a ramble from me… I’m sure the people who don’t get it, won’t read it anyway…