This past weekend I spent my time in Free Realms grinding out some Brawler levels. I was only level 4 and had that stupid “Get level 5!” as my only brawl quest. Well, I had other quests for the brawler, but they all required that I fight things recommended for level 5 and over. So I went and found a few random encounters and got level 5, then set about questing again.
Back in the days of EverQuest, I played a monk. The reason I chose a monk was because the guy who introduced me to the game said it was hard to play and was the class least reliant on equipment. And it was true, in the beginning. My monk was about 80% effective when “naked”. Of course, as the game expanded, monks became just as reliant on gear as every other class. But the point is, I played a monk. One thing monks did in EQ was called “pulling”. If you aren’t familiar with the term, it means that my group would pick a safe spot to sit and I would run out and find monsters for us to fight, dragging them back to the group for the kill. The reason monks did this was because they got a skill called Feign Death which allowed them to escaped monsters if they happened to get too many chasing them. Play dead, monsters go away. As all monks did, I learned the observable mechanics of the game, how monsters would walk back to spawn points at different times, how some would “reset” their “hate list” upon reaching their spawn, and lots of other little things. Over time, as I observed more and became a better puller, I used Feign Death less and less. I learned how to pluck a single monster from a group just by standing in a particular place a particular distance away at a particular angle. Honestly, being a puller in EQ was probably what kept me playing for so long. One of the main reasons I quit was at the high end game during raiding your team only needed one or two monks for pulling, and any extra monks were just a part of the killing team. Auto-attack is boring, especially after a life roaming zones in search of danger.
The point of that little trip down memory lane is to preface the following: Monster pathing and aggro hasn’t changed much over at SOE.
I find myself going under equipped and lower level than I should into brawler fights and using my monk skills to splits monsters and fight them one at a time when they are clearly intended to be fought in pairs or threes. You can even run from most groups of monsters and watch your “radar” to see when most of them turn around and go home, leaving just one tenacious follower to combat. I’ve even gone so far as to defeat “events” that clearly shouldn’t be something I do alone. In one quest instance, you get to a certain point and it triggers waves of monsters to attack. If you stand and fight, you have to take them on 3 or 4 at a time, but instead you can run off to the side and hide, wait for all the waves to show up, and then use aggro and positioning to pluck them one at a time out of the mess. Sure, it takes longer, but seeing as how actually finding people to group is one of the most difficult things to do in Free Realms, taking the time and doing it on my own is preferable.
Anyway, I managed to get myself 4 levels doing Brawler quests, and then I headed back to Sanctuary to see if I could exhaust it like I did Seaside. I haven’t yet, but I’m getting close.