I Had to Swim to Work, and It Was Uphill, Both Ways!

Like so many others, I couldn’t resist trying on my former glory in Everquest’s launch of it’s new Progression Server, Fippy Darkpaw.

But I am behind the curve and the downloader was very very slow. It stalled out several times, and I would cancel and restart it to get more progress. I’m sure it didn’t help that Mrs. Darkwater was downloading it to her computer too. Hers finished the night before mine though. My download didn’t finish until noonish yesterday.

So, naturally I took the rest of the day off.

First, there was character selection. This is where the fabulous red hair started, after all. Or maybe I should say, this(?!!?) is where the fabulous red hair started? Sheesh! Because I’m a trial account, I guess, the options available for appearance are extremely limited, maybe 10 different faces with no customization options. I took the one for which the hair looked vaguely red, but really it looks more blonde once in the game, and silver-gray from behind. Which is where I’m looking at mostly.

Perhaps if I decide to pay up and play, I’ll be able to look just a tiny bit more fabulous.

Ok, High-elf enchanter check. I have a dagger, some food and water, a lantern and a backpack. Oh, and two spells. One gives me a slight boost to AC, the other does 4 points of damage and weakens the target a tiny bit for a little while. Not exactly overwhelming.

But my first obstacle is to get out of Felwithe. There’s this whole big pond in the way, between the enchanter’s guild vendors and the rest of the city. And water is just a bit hard to get out of. Ugh. Mrs. Darkwater gave up on the elf she thought she’d try and decided to make a troll shaman, Jasper, instead.

But I’m persistent (some might call it stubborn), and eventually I find the right spot, go to first person, look straight up, and try to move forward. I’m on dry land! Shouldn’t there be a trumpet fanfare?

Part of the difficulty is that the keyboard isn’t set up to use wasd for movement. I’m using the arrow keys for now, and switching to mousing left handed. But the game comes equipped with keyboard mapping, so I may implement wasd in the very near future. No WASD!!! Wow, this feels like archeology or something.

Then there’s the zoning. You are walking along, and all of sudden the screen freezes for no apparent reason. WTF? Oh yes…eventually the famous words appear: LOADING…PLEASE WAIT

Greater Faydark near Felwithe is very crowded, and so many people are wearing green robes, you would think that it’s graduation day at the University of Oregon. And yes, I’d forgotten the standard issue thong for female wood elves. Not that male wood elves are all that clothed.

I buff up and pull my first mob, a bat. No, excuse me, it’s “a sylvan bat”. I poke it for a while as it gnaws on me, and eventually I worry it to death. This is not going to be easy. Any pull of a yellow results in near-immediate flight to the guards and a long rest. Some kind soul stops to watch me and hands me a worn great staff, saying “You need this more than I do”. And he was right. With the worn great staff, I can now down level one sylvan bats with ease!

My youngest stops to watch over my shoulder. I am finding my utter incompetence hilarious, and she finds it infectious. We join together in mocking not only how bad my character is, but how bad I am at running these controls. This is inexplicably fun. Eventually, I go into Felwithe to sell things, and buy a few more spells and some tiny daggers. These allow me to summon the enchanter pet, a disembodied shield and dagger that will attack anything that takes a swing at me. I can’t give it commands though, that will have to wait until I learn Charm.

But he follows me around, at least sometimes. Sometimes he gets lost or has pathing issues and has to be resummoned. (Remember pathing issues?) One time he was stuck in a little hollow and was just furiously swinging about, apparently looking for a way out of a shallow 1-meter depression.

But his dps is another big boost, and we ding level 2. A little later and it’s time to be off to my RL martial arts class. It’s just as well, since GFay is swamped now. It’s prime time: 6pm PST, and the whole USA is home from work and wanting to walk to little adventurer’s old school in the snow.

Yellows are still a gamble, some of them are manageable, but others require a hasty retreat. But my running, unlike my swimming, is swift and sure. I haven’t yet died. Eventually, I ding level 3, and since I’m having difficulty keeping my eyes open, I head off to bed.

Officially, Fippy and it’s sister server (there was so much demand they started a second) are Locked/Voting progression servers. What this means is, each expansions features and geography will only be introduced when

  • Certain ingame actions are accomplished. I’m thinking that for the first swing, dropping Vox and Nagafen will count.
  • Then, after a grace period of 90 days for the first expansion, and probably 60 days thereafter, an ingame vote will appear, and the next stage will only be opened when a majority of voting players vote to move on. There is talk of a minimum voting level, perhaps 30.

I saw players of level 14 last night, and Wilhelm saw a 15. So, I’m thinking that the first raid on Naggy/Vox might take place within the month.

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