"With each day that passes brings us a day closer to the launch of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen" – The Nathan Naplam.
This statement from Nathan enticed me to contemplate what the launch day of Pantheon will be like. While I did not experience the launch day of Everquest, my day one was memorable.
Img Source: https://wiki.project1999.com/File:Qeynos_Day_Art.jpg
After the agonizing wait that occurred during the installation and patching process on a 56k modem, my Everquest adventure was about to begin. Luckily for me, the wait gave me a chance to consume the information in the manual. My race and class were set! I picked the exciting combination of human and warrior. Loading into Qeynos for the first time I was a bit overwhelmed and awe-struck. It was amazing to see so many other people bustling around town and taking care of their business. After looking around for a bit, getting lost, running in circles, I stumbled my way to the front gates of North Qeynos. A grin grew on my face as I saw this is where the action was. The guards helped defend helpless adventures and ensured a safe area near the entrance. "I need a weapon", I thought. I dig through my inventory for the first time and discover I had a short sword. My time has come. I leave the safety of the guards to take my place as a warrior of Norrath. My first opponent, a fire beetle! I run at my foe and with all my might take my first swing. Miss. I'll surely down him with the next blow! Miss. While my attacks are missing, my enemies are not. Before I could consider the predicament I was in,
Img Source: https://wiki.project1999.com/A_fire_beetle
LOADING, PLEASE WAIT
Wait, what just happened? Was I just slain by mere beetle? With my ego in check, I made my way back to collect my goods. I was determined and willing to take another swing at combat, hopefully, this time, I won't miss. I discovered the consider system and decided my focus should shift from beetles to rats. I was successful and hooked. I pushed on for hours slaying rats, bats, skeletons, and even gnoll pups. I gained a level or two and had a few pieces of cloth armor. I decided it was time to establish my dominance over the beetles. I set my sights on one a bit down the path from the main gate. I rush in and make my attack, it connects! The beetle counters with an attack of his own, it misses! A sly grin creeps across my face as I hack at this beetle until its death was imminent. Suddenly something shouts.
BBBBAAAARRRKKKK!!!!! You humans will pay for ruining our homeland! GRRRRRR!! Family Darkpaw of the Sabretooth Clan will slay you all!! BARK!
I see a gnoll rush towards me. No problem I thought, I had taken on multiple gnoll pups at this point. I was confident I could finish off this beetle and defend myself.
LOADING, PLEASE WAIT
I was wrong. This was no ordinary gnoll pup, this was Fippy Darkpaw and he would not be denied.
Img Source: https://everquest.allakhazam.com/db/npc.html?id=3579
The rest of the day was spent killing more of the local creatures, selling their parts to the inn keep, and trying to outfit myself in some leather. I was finally able to get my revenge on that fire beetle. I purposely spent the day on my own. I wanted to experience this at my own pace and be able to wander off without interfering with others. While I may have had a more successful first day by grouping with some other players, the day I had stuck with me.
My Everquest II launch day was much different...
I loaded onto a ship and was greeted by some crew members and window pop-ups telling me what to do. I completed the first task, and another crew member gave me a second one. These quests were designed to teach the user interface, basics of combat, and interacting with objects. The ship was attacked by a dragon and I found myself waking up on a beach. I entered an outpost where I was greeted with more quest that led me further and further into the island. After working for one taskmaster, I was sent to another. This type of quest system left me not caring about what my goal was. I was simply following the task on the UI and points of interest on the map.
Img Source: https://www.ign.com/wikis/everquest-ii/Beginner%27s_Guide
At the time, the Everquest II launch day experience was fine. However, looking back I don't remember it favorably. It was bland and stale as I was doing the same quest as everyone else. Every player was herded from quest giver to quest giver, the sense of individual adventure was not there. That being said, I had a lot of great times and memorable adventures in Everquest II. I played it much longer than Everquest, but with all the hand-holding, I don't feel that day one experience was as fun. It appears Pantheon's tactic will be to use the perception system to guide players and encourage exploration. This approach feels like a great balance between the thrown to the wolves style in Everquest and the hand-holding, cattle herding, quest hub approach of Everquest II.
Do you have any memorable day one experience from MMOs? What are your launch day expectations of Pantheon?
Safe travels and see you in Terminus,