Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

No More Camping

Deep in the bowels of Lower Guk stood a minotaur. A monk sits quietly, contemplating the minotaur. After many hours, the minotaur leaves and in his place is a human monk, Raster of Guk. Our hero quickly rises and challenges him, defeating him, and bringing back the fruit of his patience, Raster's headband. This item is essential to completing the monk's epic quest, a hallmark of player skill and accomplishment.

Defeating Raster requires that you be there when he spawns, and be capable of defeating him. Since many monks report an accumulation of 30 or more hours spent waiting for Raster to spawn, that means that you either need to be able to defeat him in single combat, or be able to persuade a group to put up with that much boredom for your sake. Especially since as the game was expanded, few players ever ventured into Lower Guk, as better zones to gain loot and experience entered the game.

Camping. What a pain.

There were other types of camping. Since mana regeneration was faster sitting rather than standing, there was a big advantage to parking the group somewhere close to mobs, but out of the path of wanderers and having the casters stay seated. Except while casting.

Under such conditions groups often became territorial. Most players followed a first-come, first-serve policy, and if they saw you parked by a Dervish Cuthroat camp, they would ask if you had space or move on. But some would set up in competition. The concept of a camp was never endorsed by the GM's, and was probably unenforceable anyway.

In order to advance quests, certain drops from certain mobs were necessary, perhaps in number. Also certain good items dropped off of certain rare mobs.

Camping is pretty much dead in Everquest 2. May it rest in peace.

In the first place, sitting confers no advantage to standing in regenerating health or power. So there's no reason not to move.

In the second place, power and health regenerate so fast after a battle that groups are ready to fight again long before the encounter they just killed will respawn. And since in-combat movement is never really any faster than the mob's movement speed, long pulls are much more of a problem. So there is a reason to move on.

Finally, groups and raids share quest credit. With the quest system, if two players both need to kill Sabertooth oracles, and are grouped together when one drops, they both get credit for it. The quest system also has a notion of a quest drop, such as a note from a Bloodsaber. This item doesn't take up inventory space, and again, everyone who needs it in the group or raid that killed the Bloodsaber gets credit for the drop when it drops.

This gives a huge incentive to cooperate. I recommend that when you find yourself in competition for a spawn, you tell the others, "Hey, if we group up (or form a raid) we'll both get credit for it on our quests when we kill the Sabertooth Captain. How about it?"

I find this works a lot better than asking the other group if they need help. To some people this is an indirect method of asking to join. But others take the question at face value, and are miffed that there's somebody else there competing for the spawn I need for this quest, grrrr...

But both groups can get credit for the quest drop. Problem solved. No standing in line.

There are a few things that are actual drops that are needed to advance quests. And loot doesn't suddenly duplicate itself for every member of the group. However, I believe that chests drop more often as a group takes on harder mobs.

Add to this the instancing of popular dungeons that alleviates crowding and camping is a thing of the past. And that makes us all happy campers.

I've heard some complaints that some of the armor quests involve killing rare spawns, for which there is excessive demand. But I can't tell whether those who complained are aware of the raid option and its consequences for quest kills and drops. If someone knows better, please leave a comment.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only trouble I've run into with spawn "camping" in EQ2 has been with those rare named mobs (like Bloodtalon, for the Dwarven Work Boots quest). A group of friends and I spent most of a Sunday clearing every griffon by the giants in TS, and we did have competition - a level 39 toon (we were levels 23-28). Because of the level spread limitations, we won't get quest credit if we group with a toon that much higher. As it turned out, we could clear the mighty griffons faster than he could solo them, so we finally got Bloodtalon to spawn and took him out. But it was a bit stressful for a while, worrying that he'd take BT's spawn when we were too far away to engage it.

11:38 AM  

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