A Fresh Look at Epics

Posted: July 4, 2011 in Perceptive Gaming

I’ve always considered myself a person who was willing to try (almost) anything once. I’m reminded of my first ‘real’ carnival ride. If I recall, it was called ‘The Rainbow’. My mother practically dragged me onto the giant rainbow colored wheel and I stood in horror as I was buckled in and the ride began to spin. It was slow at first, then soon got faster and faster. Eventually, it became fast enough the it began to tilt and then began to rock back and forth and turn on it’s side. I remember my mother and a complete stranger on the opposite side of me telling me to stay standing straight up. I momentarily thought I was gonna puke and watch it go down on the person across the wheel from me. The thought immediately made me laugh and the ride suddenly seemed less horrifying. When I finally got off, I was still white as a ghost.  Honestly it scared me to death, but not nearly as much as I scared myself before even trying it. All in all, it was a very nice thrill and I think I could do something like that again one of these days. I’m not exactly a fan of high and fast rides, but some things just aren’t for everyone.

I felt nearly the same way when it came to doing Epics in DDO. When I finally hit 20 on my first toon it was an exciting time for me, but also a time of fear. Like many other players, I read the forums and was immediately intimidated by all talk about epics and extensive gear needed. I really was not looking forward to them at that point. I was a child again looking at a giant scary ride that I really was not sure if I was even prepared for in the least. I began to struggle with myself about doing them, and if I did do them, was I geared enough for them?

I had the privilege of guildies who were there to answer many of my questions, and several of them that run Epics quite often. They helped me get the courage to do them, and even though I was reluctant, I finally stepped onto the ride. Pale faced, and stomach turning, my first experience didn’t go so well. To be fair though, we were heavily undermanned in Epic Chrono when several members of the party suddenly said they had to go for one reason or another and left the rest to die. Not exactly the introduction to epics you would like to have.

One of my guildies who had been in the run assured me that it was not like that usually. I’m glad he did, or I would probably would not have stepped into another one after that horrible rush into death. He logged shortly after and there I was alone and ready to try and give this another go. I mean… other people do this all the time. Why couldn’t I too?

I learned quick doing more and more epic quest of what it actually took to succeed. I had my share of failures and completions. I faced ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’. It was a learning experience like any. The mobs were tough but I pulled all the stops to try and succeed. My gear at this point became the least of my worries. I don’t think I have really the best gear, but I had decent gear and I learned to work with what I did have.

Soon, I learned the thrill in Epics. I might have still had that pale face, but it was slowly lighting into a fierce fury of excitement. That number ’25’ that had scared me before as a dreadful quest level had opened my eyes and seen it as a chance to do something even better than what I had did in the past.

The difference? The party. There was no one person that ran off and did one part of the quest while the others did another part to hurry and finish it. Everyone knew better and stuck together. Any arguments in my head of what was ‘optimal’ and ‘Mellee vs. Caster’ or whatever petty arguments that I may have seen on the forums when it came to end game was relinquished and I realized it was about how we worked together to succeed together. For the first time in playing this game, it dawned on me that we were in this together. I mean… I knew this before, but I REALLY seen this when it came to epics.

Somehow, when I clicked on the LFM, we as a party were ‘One’. It wasn’t just ‘roles’ but how we could help one another to succeed, whether that meant you were stuck in one role or you had to become a little versatile and change up your tactics. Before we enter the quest, we had to discuss and make sure we had everything we needed for the quest. We took as much time as needed, going over numbers and stats. It truly became a game of strategy and teamwork like it had never been before for me.

This new closeness has caused me to enjoy Epics now, and when I finally get everything I need and TR for my next life, I’ll be looking forward to doing Epics the next time around. It is no lie that Epics are tough, but when you realize what is needed to compete with the hordes of mobs, it becomes an adventure like it was never before.

I will urge anyone who is intimidated by epics or considering  just passing it up, that you at least try and do more than one because just one might not accurately portray what is really there in Epics. Don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops, get comfortable with your party, or even use your mediocre gear. Better is always better, but a game is a game and there is always more than one way to complete a quest–even in Epics.

Just like carnival rides, it might not be for everyone, but you won’t know until you really give it a chance and try. The chances are, that you will probably enjoy it as much as I have, so get out there and EPIC AWAY! 🙂

–Kobay (Culver.Civello)

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