Blunderhoof Hills

April 25, 2010 at 1:04 am | Posted in mmorpg, Runes of Magic | Comments Off on Blunderhoof Hills
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The Other day, Runes of Magic released a new zone as a part of it’s next expansion. I wouldn’t release my expansions piece by piece over the course of months but then I don’t run an MMORPG.

I probably would’ve jumped in the first day too, except when I went to download it, it took about 3 hours and by the time it was done, I didn’t really want to play. One new zone, 3 hours of downloading. It just seems wrong.

On the second day of the Thunderhoof Hills release, I logged in to check it out. I had last logged out in Boulderwind, and the town was jumping, I thought that was a good sign. I warped over to Dimarka, and stumbled across the NPC that takes you to the continent of Zandorya. Fantasy settings: Putting random consonants and vowels together to form place names since 1954.

Thunderhoof looks pretty good. High grey cliffs, rivers, peppered with small villages and castles throughout the relatively small zone. There are new daily quests all over the zone, but actual quests are laid out in succession. You basically do 2 long chains of quests that take you through the zone.

I barely fought anything. All of the quests (so far) were talking quests, or Fed-ex quests, I had two maybe 3 quests where I was asked to kill something. I got 2 million experience from about 20 or so quests this way. I’m still 15 million xp from leveling.

Dalanis, the capital, is similar to Varanas (and Obsidian Stronghold), the capital of Candara. They’re both very large cities filled with NPC’s, they give a very grand sense of size, and majesty. Sometimes these cities are so large they seem practically empty because of how spread out everything is. Dalanis is cluttered though, and narrow, parts are abandoned and filled with vagrants. Completely unlike the clean, white, sort of elven feel of Varanas.

Unfortunately at one point, I ran into a fairly normal problem in any MMO, and a common one in RoM, one of the quests was bugged. Since all quests in the zone are basically chained, this means I couldn’t continue that chain. Great right? Kind of makes the whole idea of chaining all your quests together a bad idea. You’d think they would have learned that in Weeping Coast when it happened there.

It’s also pretty painful for people who want to level up immediately. 17 million xp is a lot to just get one more level. Not having access to the normal quests is a big barrier.

When I finally made it to Dalanis, after questing around for a while, I realized I’d missed something important. Particularly on my first day there. Although I spent some hour or so moving around TH, I had only seen 3 people. On the second day of release. A Friday no less.

When Weeping Coast, or Savage Lands, or Aotulia Volcano had been released (all in the same parceled out, delayed fashion) people had rushed in there. You couldn’t go anywhere without bumping into people. People tripped over each other to complete quests. There was bustling activity.

Not so with Thunderhoof Hills. It was about a half hour before I saw my first person. I won’t deny on my second day, it was a lot busier. I only went several minutes without seeing anyone a couple times. Okay it wasn’t that bad, but it still wasn’t anything I would call busy.

I started wondering if it had anything to do with the Diamond trade being removed. I went to the forums to check it out. After looking around for a few minutes, I got a little confused for a moment. I couldn’t find any threads on the subject. On an internet gaming forum. About a major change to the game. On the internet. Emphasis via short sentences.

They deleted any and all complaints about the removal of diamonds on the Auction House. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I had forgotten that RoM forums are particularly… deficient. Check it out, I was polite there. You should see the two sentences I deleted.

The forums being a completely uninformative waste, I checked in with some friends. Yes, players are pissed, yes my old guild is 90% people who buy all their diamonds via the AH, yes, it’s a big deal. I’m not predicting a collapse though, as this game seems to have survived any major screw ups previously.

That’s phase one of the expansion and it just leaves me wondering if I should even go back. I probably will, I’m a wimp like that, but they don’t make it easy.

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