Mark of Masochism
by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
Have you ever had a really emotional experience resulting from something you saw on television? Obviously visual mediums such as TV shows, movies, commercials, etc can play upon our emotions. This is why we cry happy tears at the end of Bridget Jones Diary.... errr I mean the Dirty Dozen. *sniff* Poor Franko never had a chance. What about video games? I'm not talking about doing a victory dance in your underwear because you beat Mother Brain (I was 12 years old...yeah that's it) , or weeping in Best Buy because they tried to make yet another Might and Magic game. I mean a moment of total victory resulting in screaming or utter devastation resulting in "-50 DKP" being screamed in a thick German accent. Playing since launch, I've had plenty of emotional experiences with EQ2, and it's really hard to narrow it down to the best or worst. Here is the one I think was most significant.
First, you need to understand, I'm a very laid back person. It takes a lot to get me excited. However, nothing can devastate me more, than getting my expectations up, then being shown just how wrong I was. Mark of Awakening (which I refer to as Mark of Masochism now). If you aren't familiar with this "signature" quest (signature is SOE's word for hard), it requires a few updates within common dungeons, then the completion of 4 trials. The first three trials require a full group, and really aren't that big of a deal if you know what you're doing. The fourth trial requires a series of epic X4 encounters.
The people I normally raid with, are competent, well equipped, and good at what they do. The fourth trial, I expected to be challenging, but to be doable based on the fact we had experienced people who had done this a number of times. If I had only gone with those people the first time. My first attempt at this was a pick up raid, which was a mistake. Chaos and miscommunication were the theme. It took us seven tries to get past the first encounter. Seven. After about 2.5 hours, we had made it to the third encounter and wiped again. Having broken almost everyone's armour, the raid leader put us out of our misery, and gave up.
My next attempt was with my guild, and another guild we raid with on a regular basis. A labs raid is completed, and we transition into MOA, with no big deal. After the raid leader yells at us about "DO NOT PASS ME" and attempts to blame the Templars for what is going wrong, we make our way through the zone. Each fight brings us closer to the last fight with the ghostly dragon. After a very deliberate setup, using careful timing and clearing mobs exactly, we pull our final enemy. I prepare to embrace victory, as I shout into group chat "This guy is so going down because..." then we died. Wow, apparently there is a reason so many Templars were brought along, because his area of effect can kill people in 8 seconds or less. Interesting, but I blame the main tank.
Let's just say my next 18 attempts (that's not an exaggeration) met with similar circumstances. Getting to the last creature? No issue. Last creature? Gives us a sound beating. Disappointment after disappointment, week in and week out, this went on for a solid month wasting untold hours and probably 3 platinum in armor repairs. Dying on the last mob presented frustration that I have never felt in a game. Attempt number 19 someone actually just wandered too close and wiped the entire group. I wanted to take away their walking privileges but I wasn't allowed. Attempt number 20 we very carefully set up, as we've done every time I've gotten here. I'm beyond annoyed, I want my freaking quest done! *sob* I'm healing, I swear! Ok well there was that one time I had so much Droag butt in my face I couldn't tell we pulled the named. Let's just say I blamed the main tank in that instance as well.
The dragon comes forth, and the heals start to fly. People begin to fall...Cannon to the right of them! Cannon to the left of them! The boss is at 75% and I'm healing arcane like it's after my manhood. My group is dropping like flies, and I scream "GET UP! Are you going to let a little death take this fight from us! Screw your armour and damn the torpedoes!" He's now at 50% and the main tank is screaming something I totally ignore. I'm watching my power bar now 2/3's depleted. NO! Oh wait, I got one of those wood chips. I use my wood chip and...wow it gave me like 2% power. He's now punching us with his AE regularly, and half my group is dead.
We're down to 25% health, which is farther than I've ever been before. I realize I'm standing up now, screaming at my monitor. "I swear to god if you guys <insert profanity> this up, I'll gate right out of here! Come on kill him!" My dog, eyes me curiously for a moment, gives me a "shut up" look, and goes back to her rawhide chew. Watching his health bar go down, is like watching a CD being burned,.it's never fast enough. I'm almost out of power, and I'm panicked. It's also at this moment, I realize, I should've gone to the bathroom before we tried this. Why do I always wait?
10% health and I'm jumping up and down, which on a side note if you have wood floors, disturbs other household members. 5% health and I'm screaming...err more than I was. At long last, the dragon dies. I knock over a bottle of Bawls in my utter joy, not even caring that its running all over my laptop. Some of the raid is babbling about a master chest. Master chest? Who cares about a master chest? Do you KNOW how many times I've tried to kill this dragon? I'm so happy I don't even remember why I was here? Mark of Awakening! Right! I finished my quest! OMG! I run out of the room down the hallway screaming "OMG we got him! We got him!" Sadly, no one cared.
Ok, that's my story.
Seriously, that's all.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our EverQuest II Game Page.