Kunark: Field Report II

Posted: November 19, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2, Rise of Kunark

Well, it’s been six days so far.  There’s a lot to take in with this expansion so far, and I’ve been spending most of my free time exploring through the content. 

To be fair, I’ve already seen most of this in beta, but it’s different now that I’m working through more of the quest lines and concentrating on goals.  There’s a big difference between playing because you’re looking for bugs or feedback and playing to advance your character and just have fun. 

So has it been fun?  Generally speaking, it has been.  There’s been some recurring issues that have come up here and there, but generally speaking, there’s a lot to enjoy about the expansion.  

The expansion is still gorgeous.  It’s absolutely stunning.  My framerates have been consistent, across each of our machines, including the 3 year old beast of a PC (P4 2.4Ghz, 2Gb 3200 Ram, ATI 9600).  The music is emotional and evocative at times (I’ve commented more than once to my guild that the music in Swamp of No Hope makes me want to drown myself – which I intend as a compliment to the haunting quality of the composition). 

The sheer scope of the expansion remains ridiculously large.  Just getting across a zone now takes 10-15 minutes at best, whereas before you could run most zones in 5 minutes.  Strangely, this does not seem limiting as of yet.  In fact, the travel times are something I consider to be a strength with this expansion, as it truly adds a sense of scale to the size of the continent of Kunark. 

There are plenty of named to hunt, and there’s what feels to be an infinite number of solo quests available for completion, and though I’ve certainly gained a few more levels with these solo quests, I’ve seen a serious slow down within my guild in general and I’m starting to get a little concerned. 

Sure, there’s a few of us up around 75 and 76, but the overwhelming majority of the guild is still down around 71 to 73.  Many of them are already starting to log into lower level secondary characters, or starting to work on their tradeskilling.  When I started to tentatively ask around why this was, the common answer seems to be a form of soloing burn-out – folks are just tired of logging on to play by themselves.  In response, I asked some members to start forming up some groups – regardless of whether or not it was efficient for levelling purposes. 

With that in mind, last night I logged in to find that a group had formed up – to go hit the Shard of Fear.  Well, I thought this might be a good time for a head to head comparision, so I grabbed a different group and took them through Karnor’s for a few hours.  For the most part it wasn’t too bad.  Unlike the first night we went through, this time there was only one instance (as opposed to the six we saw a week ago) and we basically had the place to ourselves this time.

Two other groups came through looking for the Drolvarg Legend and Lore book and then left.  Only one other group was hunting named, and we gave each other a wide berth.  For our part, we did manage several named and managed to pick up another couple of item discoveries which we’ll drop on the broker or sell to vendors.  Unfortunately the rewards for actually running the dungeon felt anemic, so I can’t recommend that anyone really spend too much time there.  The group that ran Shard of Fear actually picked up much more loot and experience than we did in the same amount of time punishing ourselves in Karnor’s.

So, we’re avoiding Kunark dungeons for now.  We’ve decided to go back and run some of the older dungeons when we get the urge to group up.  There’s plenty of solo content in the new expansion, so that’s not a problem at all.  In the meantime, expect to find us running nightly groups in Shard of Fear and Castle Mistmoore to help alleviate some of the early burn out from bulk quest grinding.

  1. AverageJoe says:

    Concerning KC, Yes, unfortunately that’s the general public’s opinion I think at the moment. I am so damned let down about that too. The zone is fins, Sveadra did a great design job. Just the communication between him and the game mechanics just seem out of whack here. Nonetheless, I’m having a pretty good time at the moment.

    Old world T7 zones seem to be the ticket atm for good exp.

  2. Heartless_ says:

    Your 3 year old beast is actually about the average gaming rig that is in use today. You sir, are not as outdated as “the man” would make you believe.

  3. Kendricke says:

    I’m not talking about “the man”. I call it “the beast” because it’s the oldest machine out of the four PC’s in my house right now.

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