Pic of the day: Steinhellar, the small and rotund Troll, outside the decorative entrance to Galplen, the Troll city. (The name, incidentally, has nothing to do with Hell. It is New Norwegian and means "stone cave" or "stone slab". A hellar is anywhere people and creatures can find protection from the weather under a stone, including some of the caves used by our stone age ancestors.)
Me cave troll
I've said before that Midgard is clearly the hardest realm to play in Dark Age of Camelot, and I still stand by that. But it does make a difference what class you play. The really big difference, however, comes from who you play with (if any).
I took the advice of a frequent poster on the usenet group alt.games.dark-age-of-camelot (why not DAoC, which everyone is already familiar with?) - anyway, I took his advice and started a Troll cave- spec Shaman. Actually I started a Troll Seer, which is the newbie form of the Shaman. At level 5, the Seer can advance to Shaman. Actually, I don't think he has any choice. Outside the warrior classes, Trolls are not very versatile. I believe there is like 1 healing class, 0 mage class and 0 sneaky class...
Actually, despite the Seer being a healing class, it graduates into a more destructive form with the Shaman. Shamans (shamen?) who specialize in cave magic gain control over fungi. This does not sound like the greatest career in the world, but they get a pretty good list of damage spells, varying from long distance "bolts" to damage over time and a damage aura around their own body or that of a friend. And they still keep some healing power, so they can patch up themselves and friends after the battle.
Trolls look pretty impressive close up. Even a small Troll is rather big, and seems to be made of stone. If only. Trolls don't have the highest constitution even in Midgard, the Dwarves have. Trolls are however very strong, they all start with a strength of 100 (where 100 is the highest possible start value). On the other hand, they are very slow and clumsy. All in all, none of the classes are really better than another. They all have the same number of points, only distributed differently.
Anyway, I (or rather Steinhellar, my Troll character) was newly level 3 when there was some other newbie (level 2) who looked like he could use a boost. So I cast a shield and a strength spell on him. He stopped for a little while, then asked me to join his guild, the Wild Bors. No, it is not a spelling error. The server we play on is called Bors, named after some guy in the Round Table mythos. (You may also have met the same name in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time books.)
The Wild Bors is a nice bunch. One of them took a horse from the opposite end of the realm, a trek of ca 15 minutes real time!! just to help a newbie level. The newbie in question was me. He was a Shaman too. Another player character, a Healer, cast a number of strengthening spells on me, then parked his character there so the spells would not expire while he went on with his real life. (Some people have those, it seems.) They also gave me money, weapons and armor, some of which I won't be able to use for several more levels, and others which I wear already. The guild also gave me access to alliance-speak, so I could listen in on the older characters gathering for raids and such. In short, people went above and beyond the call of duty to help me and make me feel at home. As the Americans use to say: Mad props! (I don't know what that means, but it doesn't sound obscene.)
Usually in Midgard I have had to struggle just to keep my equipment blue (one layer beyond my own level). Having as good weapon, shield and armor as I can use makes quite a difference. Actually you don't get any bonus for using better than yellow (your own level), but even that is quite a step up. Along with the spells of damage and protection, it made this character quite playable.
It was certainly a difference from the cold disinterest that I have experienced in Midgard before. I guess the different realms really do take on some traits of the peoples they are modelled after. Just like Hibernia for instance tends to be poorly organized, just like the ancient Celts. As you may have noticed, Norwegians tend to be like salt: Either nothing comes out, or it comes all at once. We may seem remote and aloof until you somehow happen to get to know us, at which point we'll treat you like a long lost relative. (Which is not too improbable, as we tend to have lots of relatives around...)
Anyway, it was a very positive playing experience. A nice break from a week of indigestion and tiredness. (Speaking of which, I could really need some sleep now.)
First day too cold to go outside in just a shirt.
Visit the Diary Farm for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.