Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Classic Kunark

So, it’s been pretty damn tough without the net at home. You really don’t realise how much you use it until it’s gone. Just the other day I was watching a movie and couldn’t place one of the support actor’s names that I had seen in a different movie the week before. Usually, it’s straight to http://www.imdb.com/ for some info, but not this time. I was shockingly left wondering! I have not missed the ‘phone that much, in fact not at all. But the ‘net? Wow, that one is stinging real bad.

So, what have I been doing? I’d be remiss if I said I had been working hard, filling the time with lot’s of chores. I haven’t done those things, well much anyway. Mega Summer has started here and already we are pushing crazy temperatures. So, what to do in this wonderful weather? Would you do chores? Well, you might if you were more diligent than I am. I have been spending much time with the little rug rats. Although I’m not so sure my nine year old would like being called a rug rat. I’ve also been spending some very important time nursing cold beers by the pool. Yes, it’s a tough life. Not sure how I cope with it to be honest.

It sounds like my Bro is having fun in EQ2 still testing the new mounts, although he does say that he’s not had the impetus to log in as much without ye’olde Voltaan. I must admit, it is my gaming sessions with my Bro that I am really missing. Was looking forward to getting in to some Rise of Kunark fun with him. That’s my fave expansion and have many happy memories of those questlines, both solo and grouped and of course the RoK raiding. So, in anticipation of our RoK sessions (fingers crossed on t’internets solutions), I thought I would highlight the things I find most desirable about the Kunark expansion.

I played Everquest and when I first visited Kunark in that game, I was in awe. From the crazy boat trip over there to the wonderful scenery on arrival. It was an epic expansion and held so much fun for many a year, even when it was superceded by new expansions. I have found RoK in EQ2 to be very similar indeed. I still head back there from time to time and always enjoy my stay.

When you start in Rise of Kunark, you catch the boat from Antonica or Commonlands docks and it gracefully bobs up and down until you reach Dreg’s Landing in Kylong Plains. Immediately you are greeted with a pretty vista and lots of little feathers floating above NPC heads. I love this part. It is the start of what I think was the best set of linear questlines for some time. They led you neatly through Kylong Plains from Dregs Landing to the snowy peaks of Teren’s Grasp, on to Brakthyr’s Post, Kunzars Edge and then Highton with the Bees. Some of the main locations in the zone are awe inspiring. From the sprawling mass of Karnor’s Castle to the spires of Teren’s Grasp, from the lofty heights of Varis to the deep canyons of The Gash of T’Thelin and from the Tunnels of Charnax to the devilishly evil and well populated Chardok. Kylong seems to have it all. The zones you move in to after Kylong (Fens of Nathsar, Kunzar’s Jungle and Jarsath Wastes) tell the same story. Excellent questlines leading you neatly through each and every area of the zone, guiding you through faction gain and very interesting zones and instances. Oh, and there is the great questline given by Anda too, starting with ‘Fistful of Metal’ and in to ‘A Few Coins More’ (Carries on in Fens of Nathsar with ‘An Ugly Bounty’). Anda is fun to reach too. I first saw him on my first trip back from Teren’s Grasp on the Sokokar, half way up a mountain with a little quest feather above his head. I couldn’t help but think that I must go and speak to the guy (is Anda a guy? I don’t recall) who hangs around on his own half way up a mountain, and I am glad I did. The questline is great fun.

So, on to instances, well, there are just so many that I think are quality. In fact pretty much all of them are. In this expansion, they seem to have go the mix just right. What’s more the instances have a nice amount of quests linked to them which means that the first few times you go in there, you are actually achieving stuff and not just going through the motions. This expansion was also (imho) the last one where truly fun shared dungeon zones could be found. Yes, later expansions had them, but I personally feel that RoK was the last time they were done well. Even the Hole doesn’t live up to Sebilis or Chardok. OK, so moving on. I’m going off memory here, but here are my fave instances to be found in the RoK expansion. I reckon the Crypt of Agony (CoA) is one of my faves. Sharing some of the layout of the Protector’s Realm raid zone with the entrance to be found in Sebilis, it really is a fun zone.

We also have the two Charisis’s, Vault of Eternal Sleep (VoES) and Maidens Chamber (both great dungeons with linked Legendary weapon quest), The Court of Korocust and Chelsith the gooey yucky zone inhabited by funny fishmen and horrid wurms and gooey floaty blobs.

Aside from the zones, of course this expansion saw the introduction of our Epic weapons. The level 80 quests to gain the weapons were huge and depending upon your class, pretty damn tough, especially not long after release. When you have finished the weapon questline you get the fabled version of the weapon,), then you could indulge in RoK raids to make your weapon a Mythical weapon. Nowadays, you can do the ‘Enervated’ quest line from the Sentinels Fate expansion to side step this part, but the weapon remains fabled (with the Myth stats) and the special class specific ability you get now comes as a spell not as an effect on the weapon (allowing you to upgrade the weapon but keep the buff). Personally, I like having the Mythical version before I trade it over to the newer enervated version because there is nothing quite like the server wide message stating that you are awesome (see below - note the different guild tag. Clan Werre was the raid group I was in during TSO expansion).

Adurj is awesome. Look, it says so on the screen...kinda.
I know it’s an old, used and rather baggy questline by now, but it still feels good to do it properly. Oh, one hinter before you start the Kunark expansion, research your Epic Weapon timeline as you will most likely need to watch your faction for when you come to do the quest. It's handy to know so you can start to build the required faction early as some of it is a right ole bugger to get.

On top of all this, the raiding in RoK is damn fun indeed. The first of what appeared to be the tiered raids, there was a nice linear progression and your Mythical questline led you nicely through the tiers also. The equipment was nicely balanced, so the further you progressed through the raid zones, the better the fabled equipment you gained. It was all nicely thought out and very interesting indeed, with some cracking scripts for fights, especially in the final raid zones in Veeshans Peak (I’m including Trakanon’s Lair in that).

To sum it up, the Rise of Kunark expansion is probably the most fun I have had for a sustained period in game, not just because of the great company I kept, but because of the amazing and varied content too. I love the expansion and am chomping at the bit to have another go at it with my Bro. Just need internets to start complying now.

Oh, you can check out my original thoughts (amongst others) under the 'kunark' tag on my old webby ' Revenants', here. You'll need to scroll down for my first impressions, or just click here and here.

Be well.


  1. Good stuff mate, can't wait to really start exploring there. Just started the faction quests at the docks at the moment, but sounds like there is lots to look forwards to!

  2. Yeah, there is loads to look forward to. You'll be fine starting the solo questline. It really is easily soloable. It's only near the end of the soloable questline in Kylong when things can start to get a bit sticky. Or if you have to visit Varis. Think the Varis Beacon quest is the first time you go there. Anyhow, plenty of good soloable stuff if I can't get back soon.

    We have an engineer coming round today to look at it again. I'm not getting my hopes up.