I constantly have moments when I think I am done with Oakmyst Forest, for good, but I never am. Oakmyst Forest is a low level adventure zone in Everquest 2, it’s adjacent to the burrow Castleview Hamlet in Qeynos (where almost all my characters have set up their first home), and it has always been one of the first places I’ve gone after one of my new alts have arrived in the big city.
It is green, small and snug, with one or two trails you can follow around the zone. It has fairies and badgers and noisy blue frogs and evil dryads and bears and a waterfall. Sometimes a very pretty white unicorn spawns, which walks slowly around the forest being all alluring (you know it has good loots, but come on, who would kill a unicorn?!). Sometimes there’s a big ass bear that spawns and he always surprises you and rips you to shreds. There is a cave with a pretty impressive dried up tree creature that has killed a lot of brave, enthusiastic adventurers.
You always go back to get revenge.
Oakmyst Forest was one of the places where you picked your first roots and rocks to craft armor and pointy weapons. And it is absolutely bursting with shiny objects you find of the ground, little trinkets to collect and turn in for XP and loot. I remember the first year I played EQ2; I must have spent at least a third of my gaming time in that tiny forest. See, you could always make out a couple of sparkly pixels in the horizon, you knew there was another “shiny” to pick up, you just had to do one more lap, what if you missed a really rare collection item because you were lazy or sleepy or hungry?
Just one more lap.
So, now that I’ve been playing the game for six years one would think that that low-level newbie zone would be out of my system. How could I possibly need to go back there? I have two accounts with 13 characters in total, all of them well beyond that level in both adventuring and crafting. Also, Oakmyst is one of the original zones from when the game launched, a lot of things have happened since then, whole new continents have been discovered, a lot of new content has been added, including several more low-level zones in the same range. I have certainly spent to much time in that one zone already.
Yet I always go back. I realize that one of my characters are missing a spotted butterfly for one of the collections, and that zone just happens to be the best one to find it in. Or maybe I decide to do the introduction quests for crafters on an old toon just for fun and Oakmyst is just so well placed next to Castleview, it’s so easy to run back and forth to the quest giver. And since I’m there, why not do some low level harvesting and sell what I find on the broker? And, I might have another character who’s missing a collectable, so I’ll just pick a few more shineys. And it’s nice and quiet there now, with everyone adventuring in the new zones. And, happy sigh, the old trail, my favourite way of running through this zone, so fast and efficient, it feels like yesterday. And there is always a shortage of ore on the broker, let’s pick some more. And OH, there is another shiny over there, it’s MINE! And…
Just one more lap.