Whew… that EXP loss


MMOs can bore me. In fact, they can bore me quite easily. I get bored of MMOs all the time. What MMOs typically can not do is frustrate me or give me that moment of pure grief where I’m literally sliding to the edge of my seat clinging to my mouse for dear life.

I had such moments recently while playing EverQuest. I dinged level 37 and decided to try farming Hill Giants for some spending money. The giants conned anywhere from yellow (above my level but not more than a few levels) all the way down to blue (a few levels below me). Giants being a little stronger than most mobs are typically harder than their con. I stuck to the blues. I pulled a giant and suddenly had another giant on me. I died and de-leveled back to 36.

I decided to try my hand at this again after spending a little bit getting back to 37. I tried again and succeeded for several pulls, but died again when for whatever reason a blue giant completely wrecked my pet and outran me to the zone line. I died literally one step, less than one second, from safety. I died and de-leveled back to 36 — again.

Screw that. I’m going to Guk to get my level back and get some more exp! Sure enough I made it to level 37 again and even 12% in. I’m in the clear! Or so I thought. The cleric went AFK and we all died. Yep, I de–leveled back to 36.

While infuriating, and eliciting squeals of angst, I did not lose my desire to play EverQuest. Overcoming this two day ordeal of fluctuating levels has strengthened my resolve to keep pushing on. I’ll tell you what I’m not doing: Going back to giants. I’ll wait until level 39 when I get my next pet and I’m strong enough. I’m also going to be more careful about joining groups with certain people.

Some people may look at a scenario like I have described above and think that such an ordeal is horrible and not fun. Some may even call the game ‘bad’ because of such mechanics. When I died and lost exp that was absolutely not fun. But being able to lose exp makes the rest of the game more fun. That danger makes surviving more rewarding. There’s a level of thrill associated with success that I absolutely can not find when there is no opposition to my success. Does that make the game bad? I haven’t had this much fun in a while. If this is torture, chain me to the wall.

  • I’m not sure it ever made it fun but it did make it solid, actual, meaningful in a way most MMOs aren’t and back then that was an interesting experience. However, it’s an experience I very much feel I have had, and one that isn’t going to have the same impact or effect fifteen years on.

    I’d quite like to see a modern MMO that could achieve something similar without resorting to the artificial penalties though.

  • Call me a soft-core carebear but if I’m not really into a game and I die without saving for an hour I get so frustrated I’ll stop playing the game. The game has to have its hooks in me deep for me to push through playing the same portion of a game over and over. Which is the exact reason why I know I will hate DarkSouls.

  • SoW potions man, you need them. If memory serves, more than a decade since I last played, components for a full stack is 62.5 plat. A few giant kills should cover that much.

  • Yeah, you’ve got to have SoW to make giant hunting worthwhile. Man, those were some good times back in the day 🙂

  • Ahahaha. That brought back some memories. It’s good to know that in this “not really original Everquest” world you can stil de-level. Because as much as we claim we are too old for it, or just generally over it now, it’s stuff like this that kept us from going banzai into every group of mobs and just trying to dps annihilate them. It’s the risk reward, or the work reward, that’s completely gone from modern games. Similar to how little league teams get trophies now for coming in last, so not that surprising it’s gone from mmos too. God forbid somebody actually pays a price for bad decisions or lack of practice.

    It was basically just Druids that could solo hill giants when I was this level. I was very jealous as a very underpowered ranger.

  • @Baa Baa Black Sheep: The risk vs. reward or work vs. reward elements are everything to me. I have to feel like what I’m doing has meaning otherwise the reality of what I’m doing sets in and I get bored.

    @Kaybek / Whorhay: Yeah, looks like sow pots are 45pp a stack. That’s not bad. I definitely must have SOW if I ever go back.

    @Yotor: I too hate Darksouls. I hate that reset. I don’t see death in EverQuest as a reset. I don’t see it as returning to the last save point and feeling like I’m starting over. Somehow the difference to me is way more dynamic. I can’t explain it.

    @Bhagpuss: If it were possible without the penalties then I too wouldn’t mind having such things in modern games. I just don’t know if it’s something that can be accomplished. At least I’ve never seen it.

  • Sounds like what happened to me when i tried killing the druids in commons. Got owned, deleveled, releveled, got owned after awhile.

    Decided to take a break and come back another time!