Out of the starter zone and into the first big city in Taborea. Or maybe the only big city in Taborea. I don’t really know since I have been next to nowhere in the game. Anyway, I continue on with Runes of Magic.
I didn’t so much run down all the quests in the Howling Mountains as started seriously out leveling the zone. There are a lot of quests to choose from so some will no doubt end up getting left behind. That might be a good thing, though I will get to why another time. So I headed north to Silverspring, the next zone to explore.
Silverspring also has a city, a real city and not some jerkwater town astride a goat path, a city that is done up in the grandiose style that seems to both feel out of place and be a regular part of the fantasy MMORPG genre. So the first thing I did on entering Silverspring was head to the city of Varanas.
Varanas is a big enough place… both in scale and area… and has all of the necessities of a big city, including a series of quests that make you run all over the place.
It isn’t as big as Stormwind and it doesn’t seem as well integrated into the local terrain as cities in other MMORPGs. Qeynos and Freeport and Darnassas and Ironforge all like ogranic parts of their region, or at least it is obvious why a city might have sprung up in that location. Varanas, on the other hand, is this giant walled-in city in the middle of a sketchy neighborhood, sticking out like a brand new McMansion in a neighborhood of old, run down tract homes. It doesn’t even have a port to justify its existence. It is just there because somebody decided to put a city there.
It also betrays some of the early design choices of the genre, with lots of partitions and curtain walls and such, so that you can only ever see a small section of the city at one time and thus limits the number of characters being rendered on your screen. There are also a series of teleporter NPCs to move you about districts of the city so you don’t have to wade through any crowds.
Not that crowds seem to be a problem these days. The last time I made it this far in Runes of Magic… and this is about as far as I ever made it previously… I was greeted by gold selling bots spamming the local channel.
This time around things were quiet; very quiet. My co-worker told me they had done a server merge a while back, but still the population at this end of the game seemed pretty sparse. Perhaps I will run into more people as I progress.
Anyway, I ran around the city doing some of the fetch and carry quests as I explored the place. While doing that was when I realized that back at character creation I had left the height slider set at the smallest setting. Out in the countryside I didn’t notice. How do you get scale when you’re dealing with wild animals? On the other hand, once I was in a place like the bank, my child-like stature was a bit more noticeable.
I found that I could re-do my character features by spending diamonds, but decided I would stick with my “cousin of lil’ sweet” look for the time being. At least I won’t hit my head on anything, save the under side of a coffee table.
After exploring the city I headed back out into Silverspring to take on the quests it had for me.
Before I got to that though, I had noticed something with Curse client, which recently became the Twitch client. It offers up addons still, in the way Curse did, and it noticed that I had installed Runes of Magic. In a bit of a surprise, it turns out that there are still addons for the game.
I browsed through until I spotted an old school addon for an old school WoW-esque experience; Quest Helper.
I am glad I did too. I did not really need more information crowding out an already busy screen.
However the upside was pretty good. The quest descriptions are improved, locations are listed and shown on the map, and some details that I might have otherwise had to go look up were included as well.
Its space on the screen also gives you some additional options, like being able to use the built-in auto-move feature to get you to a location (not recommended in areas with aggro mobs) and the ability to postpone quests until certain criteria are met.
And I was doubly glad to have the addon as Silverspring features a copy of one what might be one of the most famous/infamous quests from Vanilla WoW; The Green Hills of Stranglethorn.
You remember it, right? The quest chain that took up five quests slots in your already crowded quest log as well as all your available bag space? Runes of Magic has pretty much duplicated the whole thing as the Legends of Taborea quest chain.
There are only three, rather than four, quests that require you to pick up pages for the chapters, and then a quest to assemble the chapters into the book, and then a quest to deliver the book, but it is all about the same. You still have to go out and kill mobs in the zone to get the pages to drop and you still end up with dupes of many pages while still missing a few.
My first idea was to go to the auction house and see if I could buy a couple of my missing pages. However, not many pages were for sale. I found one I needed… then listed some of my dupes… by I was still held up. But looking at the quest details, as updated by Quest Helper, I got a line on where I might camp for kills to get the right drop.
I still had to camp the location for a while and kill quite a few mobs… and collect many more duplicate pages… but eventually I got the final page I was missing and was able to finish the whole thing up in a single session. I am not sure I ever managed that with the old vanilla WoW version of the quest.
So that is where I stand, running quests in Silverspring. And there are a lot of quests too.
My progress has slowed down a bit. In part, that is to be expected. That was the model back in the day, that every level had to take a little longer than the last, all else being equal.
But I am also slowing down some as I am finding mobs harder to kill. Even though they are lower level than I am, fights can get pretty tough and adds make things tricky at times. I suspect that this is because my gear, which I have collected rather haphazardly, mostly from quest rewards, sucks. I might have to make this a priority, and maybe look into crafting to see if that will offer any decent upgrades. For now though, I plod along.