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July 4, 2009

Exploring Medievia
by Belladain

The explore module was recently introduced into Medievia.  My first encounter with it was actually about a month ago in Sceptrum Ishachi.  A Goddess asked me about the hermit and if people who came to Sceptrum stopped in his room.  I had no idea what she was talking about because I had only been in that room once when the zone first opened by accident and have since forgotten about him, until she reminded me.

Since the module opened however I decided to get my feet wet by exploring the graveyard.  I must say my first experience opened my eyes to how much you can truly miss in a game as large and detailed as Medievia.  The graveyard used to be the main place new players would level up.  In the old Medievia City you would kill a few janitors before graduating to the graveyard and then maybe the labyrinth and goblin castle.  There should have been no part of the graveyard I didn't know, which mostly held true, until I needed to find a bottle of wine.  I had never been into the kitchens of the Church.  I must assume they were there before after all where else did Quasimodo get his lunch from? A little part of a small zone and I had not ever stepped foot into it and I never would have without the explore module.

I finished up the graveyard fairly surprised.  I found a new part of the zone and I was reintroduced to parts I had forgotten about.  Seeing the souls of players recently deceased in a bottle is always interesting.  I decided to continue and take it easy by exploring the preserve.  Yet another zone I am familiar with and I was able to find most of what I needed but  I had never heard of the brownies before. It did not take me long to find them and since then I have noticed the most common question about the preserve is - "Does anyone know where the brownies are in preserve"?

As of this writing I have explored 15 zones which is almost half of what is available. In almost every single zone from Enara to Vanlarra I found at least a small part of the zone I had never seen before or a mob that I did not know existed or a little quirk that I enjoyed and am glad to have discovered.

There are no doubt issues that need to be addressed with explore.  The xp gains are not all in line with the difficulty of exploring the zone. More importantly it is not even possible to explore many of them due to item pops.  Crystal lake, Esacha, and Pirate Ship are zones that need items that generally only load on reset and have caused more than one person frustration when they complete all but 1 objective before realizing it is impossible to finish the exploriation.  This may not be a problem for most of us since we are experienced players but I ask you to imagine you are fairly new to Medievia and are xping/exploring Esacha Fen.  You manage to get all your objectives done and then are asked to find out what happened to the cute and cuddly baby robin?  There is little reason you would realize it almost never loads outside of a reset.  Hopefully the new player would chalk it up to experience and just complete it later but I know it was frustrating for me when I realized the item in crystal lake was reset only and I had taken time to kill all the mobs needed for all the other objectives.

While there are of course kinks that need to be worked out the overall reaction to exploration has been positive.  The minor issue of item loads is easily overcome which I can attest to having completed so many zones already.  I am excited to go to zones I had not been to in years such as the Pirate Ship or zones that my clannie Romsek helped me with since I had never even been to it before; Evermist.  This is opening up parts of the game for me and hopefully everyone else.

The Explore module has lived up to the hype and I can not wait for more zones to be added.

Oh btw - you do need to know where the hermit is in Sceptrum, just watch out for the king and queen on your way there.



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