It seems we’ll be parting with two islands by May’s end. And while we’ll still be able to catch John Locke, Jack, Hurley, Sawyer, and Kate in syndication, the Qeynos and Freeport starting islands seem destined for a more permanent fate. We are providing continuing (hopefully not excessive) coverage of the impending removal of the EQ2 starting islands.
Links to Isle of Refuge
I have done some Internet Archive and Google searches to try to find Writeups and history of the original Isle of Refuge quests. Here’s what I found:
- LISTEN to the Isle of Refuge/Queen’s Colony/Outpost of the Overlord theme music
- Read an old EQ2 Zam writeup about Isle of Refuge (on the Boat)
- Read an old writeup about Crafting on the Isle of Refuge
- Read an old writeup about Garven Tralk and the Isle of Refuge (Fighters)
- Read an old writeup about Collection Quests on the Isle of Refuge
- Read an old writeup about Other Quests on the Isle of Refuge
In response to intense player reaction mounting on the EQ2 Forums, Cronyn has stepped in with essentially a repeat of the reasoning we heard from Brenlo back in February (who we have now learned had little part in the decision to remove the islands):
Hey folks. I understand that many of you would like to see the old starting islands remain, but I’d like to explain the decision, at least so you see where we were coming from.
Primarily, the starting islands and following content, simply put, are not up to the standards of the newer starting cities. Players who start in these zones are at a disadvantage when compared to players who start in the newer zones. In the more recent starting zones, the play experience is laid out better, with improved loot and quests. From an art and design standpoint, the islands were great five years ago when the game launched, but the game has changed and improved in many ways and we don’t feel the newbie islands are as good as they should be today.
A great positive effect of having four starting zones is that it helps focus players into areas with other people, and encourages interaction and community. The current content revamp helps players travel along a common path as they level up, so that they will more likely come across other people, and form relationships, form communities, and experience the game when it’s at its best – with friends. Making sure they have this chance by focusing them into content we feel is strong is one of the goals with turning off the islands as well.
Finally, I’d like to say that we are not planning to abandon Freeport and Qeynos. However, we’d like to repurpose them somewhat into content destinations rather than starting points. A good deal of overarching content deals with these cities directly, and we’d like to create even more content that basically turns these into important quest and activity hubs, so to speak – I can’t go into it too much right now (although you saw some of what I mean during the destruction of Freeport live event), but there’s definitely an idea on how we’d like them to be presented going forward. The legacy content that is there (especially the racial quests) are not being removed, but we’ve been discussing ways to make this content more functional overall.
Anyway, we really appreciate all of the feedback, and we hope you can see why we felt this was a necessary change.
Thanks again, all!
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