The Gorowyn Myth

Brenlo: Well when I said that, I had been drinking . . . Seriously though, we plan to only allow new characters to start in the newer player areas. Timorous, Greater Fay, Darklight and Soon Halas. The new player experience in Qeynos and Freeport are just not up to snuff anymore and do not provide as solid an experience when you enter the game for the first time.

I think the entirety of the Dev team had been drinking (emphasis mine btw).  Clearly they enjoy their dev chats, if nothing else.  But they are also drinking their own koolaid, which is never a good sign for people in leadership positions.

As someone who just went through the Gorowyn experience for the first time, I can tell you – its not any better than the Colony starting areas for Qeynos and Freeport.  In fact, it may just be worse.  And early reports of how New Halas works are terribly confidence lifting either.   Here’s a few of the common reasons I’ve heard that Gorowyn is superior to The Colony as a starting area:

Better equipment.

Okay, well, this one is true, particularly along the lines of DPS.  Whatever revamp of lower level items they did awhile back didn’t really do a whole lot for the Colonies, where they can’t even bother to give you a full matching suit of armor.

Gorowyn has class specific rewards.

No actually, it doesn’t.  It does often gives gear based on archetypes, which may or may not help you.  Along the way, it also double dips rewards and more often that not gives rewards *below* the level of the quest done.  Level 15 quests offer level 12 gear for instance.  At one point, I turned in two quests from the same geographical area and my rewards on both were a choice between a helmet and a wrist slot item.  Both the helmets boosted agility, and both the bracelets boosted wisdom.  One quests bracelet and helmet were better than the other, despite the gear being the same level.  And my Brigand didn’t need a whole lot of wisdom gear, if you know what I’m saying.  There were more rewards alright, but they weren’t there for my class and were redundent as hell.

Gorowyn has an overarching storyline.

Sure it does.  If you complete the quests in the right order.  To do that means that in Mok Rent, at level 11-12, you have to fight your way past level 17 mobs to complete a level 12 quest.  If you’re thinking you might do the other quest line first and come back to that one, as I did, you will find yourself in the odd position of having to kill off bird-men after the supreme commander has told you to lay off of them.  It also means that as one quest giver is getting increasingly bloodthirsty, another is backing off.  I also had to fight a duel with a Sarnak mad that we had stopped attacking the birdmen – before we had stopped attacking the birdmen. 

One line of quests on the beach has you run up and down the same hill 3-4 times.  The story reason is because the supreme commander has not given permission for the sub commander to kill a pirate captain.  Which is odd since two levels before that, a lone Sarnak scout had me kill a pirate captain on the other side of the beach.  Without any orders from any commander at all.

Is there a storyline?  Yes, there is.  Is it better than the Colony/Neighborhood quest lines?  No, not really.

Gorowyn takes you to level 20.

Actually, it only takes you to level 19, which is hella frustrating.  I had to fly to Butcherblock to ding 20.  And that was with my finding the obscure quests hidden in the Timorous Deep zone – the extra intact artifact, the acting as a peace negotiator on the beach, the killing of the Sarnak in the duel, etc.  If you aren’t into reading the fluff, or don’t have someone guiding you through the zone, you could easily fall short of even the 19 mark.

The crafting tutorial is better.

I don’t even know what to say to this.  I skipped it with my second character.  It saves you about 12 silver in books, and gets you to tradeskill 9.  But it makes you create a wide variety of items that will be of absolutely no use to you, that you can only sell for the cost of the fuels you bought to make them.  Suck it up, pay the silver (which you will get back in one quest over in Butcherblock) and spend the levels crafting equipment that you will use.  Or stuff for your room, like I did.  Since crafting works the same no matter what your crafting, having a player craft one of everything is rather daft don’t you think?

Gorowyn gives you a smoother transition into regular content.

This one makes me hopping mad.  It does no such thing.  You know what happens when you finish the starter quests in Gorowyn?  Absolutely nothing.  Not a damn thing.  No quest giver suggesting which zone you shoud head too, no travel funnel to get you to the next rung in the leveling timeline.  Do I use the carpet?  Go to Butcherblock?  Freeport?  I’ve played the game before, and *I* had a moment of panic when I finished the area, because I had literally been cut free in the big world with zero direction.

Say what you will about the colony, but that never happens in those quest lines.  You may get sidetracked in the big city or lost in the catacombs, but there is always an NPC to tell you where to head to next in the chain of quests.

Devs, you may think you are doing yourselves a favor by giving players less choices…but history says thats never a good thing.  You wanna revamp the Colonies, or even offer new ones?  Go for it.  You want to remake Qeynos/Freeport as end game content?  Good luck with that.

And for what its worth – I’ll put up with a tutorial that has no story, crappy rewards, and choppy progression, if that’s the price I have to pay to not hear a little girls crying and  ultra-violet-hued fairies squeeking at me.

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3 thoughts on “The Gorowyn Myth

  1. Weeellll… I don’t like to disagree, but I do disagree. At least in parts.

    For one, I haven’t failed to ding 20 on a single char that’s gone through the TD starting area, even when I was boxing 2 chars (and thus sharing the kill xp, such as it is) — and that’s without doing the stupid “dive down into the Mayan ruins to find the skelly” bits. Not sure what the difference is — vitality maybe? I adventure so little I always have that.

    Class-based rewards… they’re not as good as in WAR, granted, but they’re a damn sight better that what you get in the old starting zones. Run through those before they yank em and you’ll see what I mean.

    Regarding those old starting zones — they dump you in Qeynos or Freeport at (max) level 10, usually level 7 or 8 by the time people are done with the quest lines. After which your choices appear to be the city outlying areas (yuck!) or Antonica and the Commonlands. Again, I’ve run chars through these in the last 3 months and trust me — the newer areas are, at least, a little more streamlined and offer at least slightly more targeted rewards. Getting 37 coppers and a +1 agi bracelet at level 16, and most of the time in the old zones you don’t even get the item. And oh god! the running!

    “To do that means that in Mok Rent, at level 11-12, you have to fight your way past level 17 mobs to complete a level 12 quest. ” — erm, where? If you choose to run from Gorowyn Beach to Mok Rent then yes, you have to run a bit of a gauntlet but iirc there’s zero aggro near the road. Or you could just take the griffon. What that area DOES need is continuity checking on the quest sequences in Gorowyn Beach (they’re out of sync in several cases) and then some better info on the fact that if you want to get to Mok Rent, you need to take the bird to Goro Beach first. That, sadly, is typical of EQ2 (and I suspect typical of huge old games where several people work on a zone and they don’t always consult with each other).

    Unless you mean the “Talk to the Throm bint” quest — and yeah, that one’s stupidly done. You should never get that quest BEFORE you finish the “Throm genocide” quest line, but I think it’s based purely on level and not on other quest pre-requisites. If it is indeed level 12 (I thought it was 15-17 or so but my memory isn’t the best) then yeah, there’s no easy way to get to the NPC you need without going through a bunch of aggro birdmen first.

    Taken together the questlines sadly make little sense, when individually some of them are pretty good. Again, I think that goes to having multiple people working on stuff and nobody checking to make sure it all actually fits together. The pirates just disappear halfway through, too, which is odd.

    Now, you do get transitioned into Butcherblock, though as usual in EQ2 you have to run around looking for the quest giver. IIRC they’re on the docks and they ask you to take a package to BB docks. Clunky, but time-honoured.

    As for the crafting tutorial… that’s bosh. The tutorial is the same no matter where you do it, so yeah, there’s no improvement for being in TD. As far as whether one should do it or not — I almost always do it because if you have crafting vitality and you’ve been around the block a few times, that tutorial line gets you to level 9 before you can say “ZOMG fast levelling!” It also shows you the kinds of things you can make by having you make one item from each crafting profession, though in my opinion that still doesn’t really give you a feel for what some of the profs can do.

    In terms of being an introduction to crafting, the tutorial sucks and has always sucked in its various incarnations. However, the #1 block to people carrying on crafting in EQ2 is that it is NEVER harder than from levels 1-20 — it may be quick at those levels (provided you’ve done it before and know what you’re doing), but OMG it’s freaking painful. And if you *don’t* know what you’re doing you’ll end up flubbing item after item and spending 10 minutes to make a damn cup of tea and wondering why the hell anyone bothers.

    But that’s another kettle of fish and one I’ve ranted about on my own blog before. That’s why I made my 4 part crafting guide. 😉 I still owe a harvesting guide I haven’t got round to, come to think of it…

    /end wall of commment text

    1. You dare disagree with my opinions! Why don’t you go get your own blog or something! (-:

      Point by Point:

      Leveling) I’m not sure what the problem is here either. I even scaled my AA’s back a bit to level faster and still didn’t make it. I must be missing a quest or three somewhere, but they ain’t showing up on the map. That I didn’t ding 20 may also be why I didn’t get a quest to BB. Because nobody on the dock had anything for me. I’ll look into it.

      Old Zones) I have run through them recently. In fact, I chose it over Gorowyn for one of my alts. I realized that I was getting the same amount of cash for quests, yet another myth. Yeah the equipment wasn’t as good, but again, the Gorowyn items often don’t boost relevant stats. I got a +10 Int item for my Brigand, for example. Woot.

      Mok Rent Mobs) To start the Haorian (sp?) questline you have to go up through the top of Mok Rent, and then somehow get past level 17 Jungle Khavas. I was 11-12 at that point, and I wasn’t willing to try it, even with stealth. It must be scaled to provide the new Shadowknights with something resembling a challenge, lol.

      Crafting) I don’t recall the Colony having a crafting tutorial at all. So I guess I’ll agree and go with ye olde “a bad manual is better than no manual” argument. I’m not sure it takes all that longer to get to 9 without the tutorial quests though.

      As always YMMV. (-:

      1. Mok Rent — you mean the ones where you kill the birds/poison the barrels/poison the eggs etc? The two main NPCs for those quests can be reached from inside the Mok Rent cave, there’s a ramp and some bridges. The only really stupid thing is the Khavra sitting right outside the exit up there in the water, but you can squeak your way past it if you hug the left wall. Interestingly, that critter dropped an Exquisite Chest for me the other day when I killed it out of irritating for aggroing me. 😉

        So I’m still confused about that one.

        I’m wondering how much the recent stat revamp has hurt the itemization in these starting areas. I was doing some stuff in GFay the other day and kept thinking “Man, this +int chain would have been great for my dirge a couple of months ago, but it sucks now!” I suspect there’s a lot of catch-up work to do from that. Though I agree, +int for a brigand? /scratch head

        And hey, if you don’t want me commenting just say so and I’ll slink back into my corner. /sniffle

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