Cheese, please.

3 06 2007

The past several days in game have been for me what they once were five years ago. Kind of. I have been lurking about the classic lands and absorbing the scenery; the very reason I enjoyed playing initially. I am trying so desperately to re-immerse myself in finishing my novel and I have been growing stumped at the need for adjectives. I logged in to take a stroll back up to Llyn Barfog and found myself once more closing my eyes and picturing myself sitting on the shore of the bearded lake, watching the tall grasses blowing about and almost feeling the chill from the breeze blowing down from the peaks.

I always wondered why Mythic never took more time or paid more attention to these beautiful places. Years ago I had done contrast images of the real bearded lake and that of the one in game. So near in appearance; both dismal, quiet and murky. Same with the Snowdon mountain ranges or even down into the Land’s End areas of Lyonesse. It is clear to me that the person, or persons, who played out the hand of God in re-creating the beauty of the island for Mythic, took the time to appreciate that land. If I were them I would be outraged, personally, that the work is ignored and cast aside for the likes of graying dungeons and empty halls of no real merit. Now players only care that the line of sight is tended to.

January 2002. I was playing Diablo 2 for the sole purpose of farming SOJ stones to earn back money my ex had spent in purchasing them on eBay. I tried encouraging my friend to join me to make the farming less cumbersome. Plus, it was rumoured that if your account had earned one previously, you could not do so again.

Nonetheless, she went down to BestBuy to pick up a copy and next to it in the D’s was Dark Age of Camelot. Turning over the cover of each, she saw the graphics of DAOC in contrast to D2. Lush fields to scamp about in or a poorly lit maze from an overhead view to traverse? Snow capped peaks and lake filled valleys or a poorly lit maze from an overhead view to traverse? Castles with turrets and towers where you could examine the details of even the stones used to build it or a poorly lit maze from an overhead view to traverse? There really was not much of an argument. Since it was my birthday, she purchased me a copy of DAOC, and we began our online adventure in the thralls of Camelot!

I spent my first few days in Campacorentin Forest, trying to make my way northward to the area marked on the handy paper map they provided with the game as Stonehenge. Stonehenge! Oooo I was so elated. Would it be like Stonehenge at present, or would they have taken the liberty to create it as it is surmised to have once been? And if the latter, whose theory would they depend upon for design. Oh I hoped it was Aubrey’s, his was the most sensible really.

It actually took me several weeks to get there, I had wound up creating a Briton cleric so the trip would be shorter than that of an Avalonian wizard. I monkeyed around the stones, admiring that they seemed to have the size relation correct, if my Briton truly were the height of an average being. The layout was wrong, they had the hele stone due north, not northeast and they showed only two station stones, when most all agree there were four. But I could see the counter that by this period they may have been long gone. But the slaughter stone was fallen, when it was believed to have done so far well into the Tudor era. And they included either the Y or Z circle, filling the pits with stones which have never been proven to have been there, and even thus, they had the wrong number. But all in all, the stones were in full and untouched, which was spectacular to see. I loved the fact they followed druid mythological beliefs that the altar stone, under the right conditions, would lead one to another world. They could have coloured the saracens and blue stones better, to allow for a distinction, but I was mostly aesthetically pleased.

Alas, the eye candy is not what matters now. It doesn’t need to look pretty, just be functional. That is a part of the game that Mythic allowed to die; a part of this game that some of us appreciated. They could have revitalized the area, made it worthwhile. But someone behind a desk with stock options in a drawer decided against it. When the water was made to move initially, Barfog’s lake was left still. It was entirely forgotten. I had my hopes up with the champion levels that sent travelers back up into the hills of the Snowdonia. That was short lived.

I know I bitch a lot about what is no more, but it is truly because I wish they had not allowed it to arrive at this state. I will try to find something I can appreciate in current game to write about next time.

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