Tales from Norrath: You Are Currently Bound in The Plane of Fear

Posted by Marino (4647 posts) -

Previously on Tales from Norrath, I described the concept of binding your soul and respawning, and the dangers therein. Today, I'm here to tell the story of how I ended up binding my soul to one of the most dangerous place in the game (at that point), the Plane of Fear.

The Intricacies of Bind Affinity

Plane of Fear

I described some of this in the previous entry, but let's recap just in case you didn't read that entry. Casters (enchanters, magicians, necromancers, wizards) and priests (clerics, druids, shaman) all have a spell called Bind Affinity. Casting this spell on themselves or any other player would create a spawn point for that player. You could only have one spawn point at a time. Those with the spell could cast it on themselves almost anywhere, while melee (warriors, rogues) and hybrids (paladins, rangers, shadow knights, bards) could only have the spell cast on them in a city zone.When a player dies, he/she resapwns at that one specific bind point with no equipment. All of his/her equipment remains on the corpse left behind until it is recovered by the player. Obviously, being bound somewhere near where you are playing is quite important especially for melees and hybrids. A corpse run from across the world is no fun at all.

You Are Currently Bound In: Plane of Fear

The Portal from The Feerrott

My guild, Dol Amroth, had just decided a few days prior to ally ourselves with another guild, Echoes in Eternity. We were both of about the same skill level, but alone we were each having trouble with some of the top tier content, and were losing those mobs to the two top tier guilds on the server. Together, we figured we could at least challenge them.

We decided to test our skills against the ruler of the Plane of Fear, Cazic-Thule the Faceless. The Plane of Fear was a place that I'd lost levels in before from dying so many times during raids. The only way into the plane was through a one-way portal in The Feerrott, and it was not safe at the entrance. You might just zone in to a pack of harpies or nightmare horses that would almost instantly kill you. Plus, in order to have a chance against Cazic-Thule, you needed to kill everything else in the zone first, otherwise, he would summon them all to his side once he was attacked. Even a completely error-free, successful raid of Fear could easily take several hours.

It rains blood here. Literally.

The risk of losing experience was accepted due to the high chance of getting some great loot, of course. The planes of Fear and Hate had some of the best class-based armor in the game. And the loot from Cazic-Thule himself was some of the best in the game period. We had a strategy planned out and cleared the zone of everything except CT pretty easily. Cazic, more affectionately known to us as Mr. Potato Head, had several abilities that makes fighting him a real pain in the ass. First of all, he has a skill called Cazic Touch, which would instantly kill whoever had his attention at the time. He could do this every minute or so. He also had an AoE fear that would send your character uncontrollably running away if your magic resistance wasn't high enough. To make things even worse, he had an AoE snare that made your movement about 30% slower. And lastly, he had an AoE debuff that would cancel out your buffs several at a time.

Cazic-Thule the Faceless

As I said, we had a plan, but we also had a backup plan. Me. As a cleric equipped with an epic weapon, I was able to resurrect fallen players without using any mana. The Water Sprinkler of Nem Ankh's spell effect was called Reviviscence, which not only brought the person back to their corpse, but also gave them 96% of the experience lost from the death back. So, I was stationed well away from the fight, but within sight. One of our monks, Rokudan, was tasked with dragging bodies to me. A monk was chosen for this because they have the ability to feign death if things go bad. My purpose was basically to get people back into the fight as quickly as possible, to the point where it may turn into something resembling a zerg rush if things went poorly. Also, if things went really bad, and everyone died, hopefully I'd have time to camp out (log out), then have Rok lure CT away while I logged back in and rezzed some people.

The real kicker in this plan is that I had to bind myself in the Plane of Fear, so that if by some crazy chance I died, I would be able to quickly get my epic back and keep on resurrecting people. The risk with this being that if somehow the fight with Cazic-Thule got pushed close enough to where I was stationed, he may be able to see me, thus sending me into an infinite death loop that would leave me helplessly leveling backwards until someone else could get into the zone to grab his attention. So…that was kinda scary. You should expect nothing less from a place called The Plane of Fear, I guess.

Here's some screenshots of my view of the fight, with a big ass picture of CT in the middle.

.

Cazic-Thule in Plane of Fear. Those aren't tiny horses.

.

Luckily, the battle went quite well. At one point, I got a bit too close and got hit with the snare, which sucked for a minute or so. Between Rok and I, though, we had a resurrection machine churning there for a bit, but we ended up killing ol' potato head without too much going wrong. This was before we started using DKP, so loot was doled out by guild officers at their discretion. So, I don't know if was a reward for taking the risk of being the dedicated rezzer, or for a more cumulative reason, but I was given the Halo of the Enlightened, which was one of the few 100 HP/Mana items in the game at the time. Maybe it was a bit of both, for it was the first "god" loot I ever got.

Nice Hat

That was our second endeavor as two guilds in an alliance. It was an alliance that would last nearly a decade (well after I stopped playing) and through two server mergers. I guess next time I should talk about our first encounter as a tag-team.

Staff
#2 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Marino:

Mr. Potato Head, indeed xD

How many EQ-related pages have you created solely because of this blog?

#3 Posted by Marino (4647 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

@Marino:

Mr. Potato Head, indeed xD

How many EQ-related pages have you created solely because of this blog?

Because of this blog series? Only a few.

In total though? 813.

Staff
#4 Posted by manuelmagana (8 posts) -

Brings back fond memories of playing on FV. Thanks for the story!

#5 Posted by Lanechanger (458 posts) -

Great read as always. I never got into the end game contents really, so these have been thrilling reads of danger and loot that I've never encountered.

I'm not sure how I feel about the Cazic touch ability haha, would be a huge bummer knowing that none of your skills or loot matters, at least it's not AoE instakill I guess.

I forgot what server I was on. I think the very first one I chose was Rallos Zek, I remember liking that name for a god of war. I settled in another server after that and mained a snare kiting necro.

#6 Posted by Marino (4647 posts) -

@Lanechanger said:

Great read as always. I never got into the end game contents really, so these have been thrilling reads of danger and loot that I've never encountered. I'm not sure how I feel about the Cazic touch ability haha, would be a huge bummer knowing that none of your skills or loot matters, at least it's not AoE instakill I guess. I forgot what server I was on. I think the very first one I chose was Rallos Zek, I remember liking that name for a god of war. I settled in another server after that and mained a snare kiting necro. <3 the darkness line of spells.

Yeah, there were a few other bosses that ended up getting a version of Cazic Touch. Usually it meant sacrificing one player before sending in the main tank, but then having an organized strategy for who would tank next. It never really ever went perfectly, due to the AE knockback/snare. It meant that clerics had to be super alert to who had aggro in order to keep that tank up as long as possible before the next death touch. The one funny thing about that skill is that whenever the mob used it, he/she/it would shout the player's name. So everyone in the zone knew who just got owned. Everyone knew if the monk that was pulling messed up.

Choosing RZ must've been rough. Jumping straight into PvP had to have been kind of weird.

Staff
#7 Posted by tescovee (356 posts) -

Great read as always, really get jazzed when you post these.

This was one of my favorite raid encounters (Kael Drakkal AoW / Idol / Vindi were probably my favorite and I'm hoping perhaps you have a story), being a non res healer (druid) meant we got to help be the main healers... I still have a screen shot of a few death touches delivered to my toon. The thing I remember about fear/hate was how bad I felt asking for kei every 2 min. Not only were chanters mezzing every damn thing in the zone then you have me needing to be kei'ed every time i got dispelled. (Good) Enchanters during that period of EQ were gods, always loved that class. Yet never wanted to make one.

#8 Posted by Jams (2960 posts) -

Good read, thanks!

#9 Posted by Silvergun (297 posts) -

Man, this takes me back. There's really nothing quite like your first MMO.

I still vividly remember my first raid. I was running around killing Ice Giants with my Bard when a whole raid storms past into Permafrost. A few of them stop to watch me kiting them, and I get a tell asking if I want to come kill Vox with with them. I respond that I have no idea what a Vox is, but the raid leader was super cool and basically held my hand and gave me a quick 'Raiding 101'. I still remember getting to her and being like 'holy crap, we're going to kill a dragon!' then just messing her up. Even better, I got a white dragonscale for my epic (I started with Kunark)! After she went down, I was invited to come kill Nagafen with them too, and got yet another part for my epic.

I think within a week, I'd also killed Trakkanon and gotten all the other pieces to get my epic. It's almost assuredly what made me fall in love with MMOs, and led to me doing progression raiding for years to come. Thankfully I don't have any 'EQ ruined my life' stories so I can look back on it as a totally positive experience too!

#10 Posted by Marino (4647 posts) -

@tescovee said:

Great read as always, really get jazzed when you post these.

This was one of my favorite raid encounters (Kael Drakkal AoW / Idol / Vindi were probably my favorite and I'm hoping perhaps you have a story), being a non res healer (druid) meant we got to help be the main healers... I still have a screen shot of a few death touches delivered to my toon. The thing I remember about fear/hate was how bad I felt asking for kei every 2 min. Not only were chanters mezzing every damn thing in the zone then you have me needing to be kei'ed every time i got dispelled. (Good) Enchanters during that period of EQ were gods, always loved that class. Yet never wanted to make one.

I don't think I have anything super interesting to talk about in regards to AoW/Statue. The only thing that jumps to mind is that my cable went out during our first successful run at AoW. It died during the Statue fight and came back just as AoW was dying. Was a huge bummer for me, but also awesome that we finally won.

And, yeah, good enchanters were priceless.

@Silvergun said:

Man, this takes me back. There's really nothing quite like your first MMO.

I still vividly remember my first raid. I was running around killing Ice Giants with my Bard when a whole raid storms past into Permafrost. A few of them stop to watch me kiting them, and I get a tell asking if I want to come kill Vox with with them. I respond that I have no idea what a Vox is, but the raid leader was super cool and basically held my hand and gave me a quick 'Raiding 101'. I still remember getting to her and being like 'holy crap, we're going to kill a dragon!' then just messing her up. Even better, I got a white dragonscale for my epic (I started with Kunark)! After she went down, I was invited to come kill Nagafen with them too, and got yet another part for my epic.

I think within a week, I'd also killed Trakkanon and gotten all the other pieces to get my epic. It's almost assuredly what made me fall in love with MMOs, and led to me doing progression raiding for years to come. Thankfully I don't have any 'EQ ruined my life' stories so I can look back on it as a totally positive experience too!

That's a pretty great Vox story. It's crazy how big the world felt even at the beginning and how you were constantly discovering new things. That sense of wonder and discovery is all but dead in MMOs now due to extensive hand-holding within the games as well as outside the games. Everyone can just go to a website and read exactly how to complete what should be a difficult encounter.

If you missed my previous entries, I've written about a few other things from this era including The Hole, Veeshan's Peak, and Nagafen/Ragefire.

Staff
#11 Posted by FourWude (2261 posts) -

Did anyone used to read the Fabled Lands books? Now they were the shit.

#12 Posted by Silvergun (297 posts) -

@Marino said:

If you missed my previous entries, I've written about a few other things from this era including The Hole, Veeshan's Peak, and Nagafen/Ragefire.

Those were some excellent reads, thank you so much for sharing them! It's funny how little I remember about MMOs like WoW, but I vividly remember stuff like my guild's first adventure into Sleeper's Tomb, getting killed by Holly Windwalker (I think that was her name) in Qeynos Hills right after I started and then yelling at her in /shout asking why she PKed me, the time I fell off the boat while encumbered with cash, trying to camp Jboots, and the time our entire guild got banned! Good times were had indeed.

#13 Posted by Marino (4647 posts) -

@Silvergun: Thanks.

I plan doing one of these once a week for a while. I definitely have some stories to tell about Sleeper's and JBoots.

Staff
#14 Posted by Silvergun (297 posts) -

@Marino said:

@Silvergun: Thanks.

I plan doing one of these once a week for a while. I definitely have some stories to tell about Sleeper's and JBoots.

Awesome! Reading about you trying to get that VP key fragment (which I did too...ugh) totally reminded me of all the theorycrafting around just how you got the mobs for the Jboots to spawn. I wonder if anybody ever figured it out. Man that game was weird sometimes...

#15 Posted by Dunchad (483 posts) -

@Silvergun said:

@Marino said:

@Silvergun: Thanks.

I plan doing one of these once a week for a while. I definitely have some stories to tell about Sleeper's and JBoots.

Awesome! Reading about you trying to get that VP key fragment (which I did too...ugh) totally reminded me of all the theorycrafting around just how you got the mobs for the Jboots to spawn. I wonder if anybody ever figured it out. Man that game was weird sometimes...

One of the devs posted the spawn cycles of Ancient Cyclops and Quillmane at the Station forums some years back. Some really interesting stuff:

There's one spawn in South Ro with a 30.66666666 minute repop time that has a 10% chance of being the ancient cyclops, but he has to spawn at night. He's on the same spawn table with a_desert_madman, a_dervish_cutthroat, a_sand_giant, and a_mummy.
ENCOUNTER_DESCRIPTION SROHusamAncientNightfall
MONSTER_1_NAME a_desert_madman
MONSTER_1_NIGHT_NAME an_ancient_cyclops
MONSTER_1_PERCENT 10
MONSTER_2_NAME a_sand_giant
MONSTER_2_NIGHT_NAME a_mummy
MONSTER_2_PERCENT 20
MONSTER_3_NAME a_sand_giant
MONSTER_3_PERCENT 10
MONSTER_4_NAME a_dervish_cutthroat
MONSTER_4_PERCENT 30
MONSTER_5_NAME a_desert_madman
MONSTER_5_PERCENT 30
#16 Posted by Silvergun (297 posts) -

@Dunchad said:

@Silvergun said:

@Marino said:

@Silvergun: Thanks.

I plan doing one of these once a week for a while. I definitely have some stories to tell about Sleeper's and JBoots.

Awesome! Reading about you trying to get that VP key fragment (which I did too...ugh) totally reminded me of all the theorycrafting around just how you got the mobs for the Jboots to spawn. I wonder if anybody ever figured it out. Man that game was weird sometimes...

One of the devs posted the spawn cycles of Ancient Cyclops and Quillmane at the Station forums some years back. Some really interesting stuff:

There's one spawn in South Ro with a 30.66666666 minute repop time that has a 10% chance of being the ancient cyclops, but he has to spawn at night. He's on the same spawn table with a_desert_madman, a_dervish_cutthroat, a_sand_giant, and a_mummy.
ENCOUNTER_DESCRIPTION SROHusamAncientNightfall
MONSTER_1_NAME a_desert_madman
MONSTER_1_NIGHT_NAME an_ancient_cyclops
MONSTER_1_PERCENT 10
MONSTER_2_NAME a_sand_giant
MONSTER_2_NIGHT_NAME a_mummy
MONSTER_2_PERCENT 20
MONSTER_3_NAME a_sand_giant
MONSTER_3_PERCENT 10
MONSTER_4_NAME a_dervish_cutthroat
MONSTER_4_PERCENT 30
MONSTER_5_NAME a_desert_madman
MONSTER_5_PERCENT 30

Wow, yeah, that is actually pretty close to the logic I was following when I was camping them, although I think at the time the going theory was that there was some sort of spawn chain between then that could lead to an AC spawning. Thanks for sharing!

#17 Posted by Lanechanger (458 posts) -
@Silvergun

@Marino said:

If you missed my previous entries, I've written about a few other things from this era including The Hole, Veeshan's Peak, and Nagafen/Ragefire.

Those were some excellent reads, thank you so much for sharing them! It's funny how little I remember about MMOs like WoW, but I vividly remember stuff like my guild's first adventure into Sleeper's Tomb, getting killed by Holly Windwalker (I think that was her name) in Qeynos Hills right after I started and then yelling at her in /shout asking why she PKed me, the time I fell off the boat while encumbered with cash, trying to camp Jboots, and the time our entire guild got banned! Good times were had indeed.

Holly Windstalker I think, she's killed my necro oh so many times... I just wanted to goto Blackburrow! Why did she have to hate?

Bard was a fun class too, the song twisting mechanic was pretty innovative back then... to me anyways. It made combat more interesting.
#18 Posted by Marino (4647 posts) -
Staff
#19 Posted by Silvergun (297 posts) -

@Lanechanger said:

Holly Windstalker I think, she's killed my necro oh so many times... I just wanted to goto Blackburrow! Why did she have to hate? Bard was a fun class too, the song twisting mechanic was pretty innovative back then... to me anyways. It made combat more interesting.

You know, to this very day, my left hand has a certain 'fidget' to it that I'm certain came from years of twisting. I will seriously catch myself drumming the 1-5 keys in sequence, even though I haven't played EQ for like 9 years. It was such an awesome class, in all the MMOs I've played since, I don't think I've loved playing any class as much as the EQ Bard.

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