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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.