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Tour of Wyvren's Hell - Jan 15, 2013

This area tour was run by Dentin. A rough, edited transcript of the text, with notes and additions, is provided below.

Hell was an area created by the god Wyvren in the very early days of the game. It was huge, and had a lot of useful things in it for players, at a time when the number of areas on the server was pretty thin. It was taken offline and turned into a museum nearly a decade after its initial construction by request of the area author.

This tour starts from one of the old linkage points on the southern end of the area.

Dentin: this area is very old, and has hardly anything that would actually be considered dangerous

Dentin: the only real dangerous things I can think of off the top of my head are the queen, the phoenix, and the bobcat

Raven: I remember doing a cr here for ashton, and we all ended up dead and had to ask aja the nun to save us all

Note - 'cr' means 'corpse retrieval', and Raven isn't lying. Ashton was in fact low enough level to die at one point, and Aja the Nun was a real character, the mortal of the builder Astarte, who has several areas to her credit.

Dentin: first, some history

Dentin: hell was originally created by the god Wyvren, a long, long time ago

Dentin: I'm not sure why she wanted to make it, but she had this idea of a shadowy forest, which gradually became a different place and ended up off plane and descending into hell

Laniloa: is she still around?

Raven: nope

Dentin: that's why originally, this area was on a different plane, and when you entered it, everyone on the who list vanished

Dentin: her plan, as I recall, was that the forest would slowly turn to desolation, and eventually lead to lower layers. I seem to recall she had at least 7 different sets of areas in mind, but she only ever started working on the third or fourth before leaving AA

Dentin: that's why the initial part of it, which is what we're exploring today, looks like a relatively normal area, instead of hell on earth

Dentin: hell has a lot of levels, and the outer ones are simply desolate

Dentin: these glyphs are one of the only reliable ways into the area. The teleporter rooms allow teleporting between the various points, and sometimes you can end up at this one

Dentin: just fyi, for those of you who might like to visit

Dentin: as I mentioned earlier, this area was originally connected. It had two connect points - the room we started in was connected to light forest west, and the room two west of here was connected very near castle dragnok

Dentin: the area was taken off line due to a dispute I had with wyvren, the creator. It may never come back online in any official capacity, and for now it remains as a museum and historical zone

Dentin: the first creature we'll encounter is the black ochre

Dentin: the ochre was a play on words from hidden worlds

Dentin: there were many, many obscure references to hidden worlds in the old, original areas

Dentin: near the chaos area on that game, there was a 'black ogre' who had the belt of ogre kind

Dentin: wyvren somehow got it into her head to make it an ochre instead of ogre, and so we have this plant like tree thing instead. Close enough

Dentin: a few years later, the ochre was changed into a willow. I dont remember why

Dentin: there's a boatload of little creatures like the fruitbat that populate this area

Dentin: basically the whole zone is one big set of open rooms, and only a few things have limits on where they can go

Dentin: we're going to hit most of them randomly

Dentin: I always found the muskrat to be funny

Dentin: the steel trap of the muskrat was leveling eq back in the day

Dentin: leveling eq was needed for type 1 chars

Samon: type 0

Dentin: yeah, type 0 and 1

Dentin: people would wear crap eq that lowered hp and other stats so they would get more hitpoints when they leveled

Note - all new characters are type 2, and this technique has no effect. There are approximately 100 old type 0 characters still in existence, however they cannot gain levels without switching to type 2 first.

Dentin: ah, the wilies

Dentin: wyvren, who built this zone, had a lot of experience with ballet and ballet history

Dentin: wilies were betrothed dancers who had died in some way, I dont remember the details

Dentin: anyway, they end up here

Dentin: her shout out to ballet in Alter Aeon

Raven: 18 years and I finally find out they not just walking willys

Dentin: something you may find amusing is that wilies were considered damned dangerous back in the day

Dentin: certainly to mid level characters, they were risky as shit to approach solo

Athlon: they do like to attack in groups

Dentin: I dont know how characters would fare today

Raven: they were a bitch

Dentin: here near the beginning of the area, there's a big lake. We're on the south shore of the lake right now, which is where the wilies lurk

Dentin: the lake is north of us, and we'll be going through more of it later

Dentin: I never did understand this one

Dentin: I asked about the stone crying blood, and the river of blood, but never got a clear answer

Dentin: these blood clots only hang out in the blood river

Dentin: when I would come here as a mid level, I would always go up the river so I didn't have to risk the wilies at the lake

Dentin: usually, as a mid level, you'd just come here for collars, mithril, or the priest

Dentin: ah, the coyote. There's tons of those around here

Dentin: we'll head to the priest now

Dentin: one of the things you'll notice is that this is a really, really big area. When you're a mid level just trying to get through it, there's enough mobs, but certainly from a group standpoint there's not nearly as much here as in more current zones

Dentin: the locusts are basically a biblical pestilence mob

Dentin: swarms of locusts eating your crops and the like

At the Druid Priest:

Dentin: back in the olden days this guy was pretty much the only one to teach certain spells and skills

Dentin: for a long time, he was the only high level teacher

Dentin: if you listen to the cleric guildmaster in ralnoth, he'll talk about some old druid with weird spells

Dentin: this is that guy

Dentin: he taught leth for a really long time

Smith: he was the only one that taught the heal spell for a long time

Raven: funny story

Raven: druid once lost half his xp here when drunk by fireballing druid

Jadon: how long ago was this?

Dentin: ten years or more

Dentin: the player druid killed himself by fireballing druid here

Raven: when half xp meant healf xp

Dentin: I dont remember this stallion at all

Dentin: ok, lets go hit up the lake

Dentin: I'm pretty sure that the water mobs and other watery stuff here was related to wyvren's real life playing in the potomac river

Dentin: I went water skiing there with her and some friends once, and the flavor of this area matches that pretty well

Samon: she told me she used to wander off into the woods there and explore all over

Note - the group went underwater, beneath the lake, for this part of the tour.

Dentin: so this nightgown here

Dentin: it was leveling equipment as well

Dentin: there was a lot of leveling style stuff in this zone

Dentin: and now, we're on the surface again

Dentin: strangely enough, most of the rooms down there are linear and link up right

Dentin: that was a freaking miracle back in the olden days

Dentin: this is one of the other exit points for the underwater part of the lake

Dentin: I'm pretty sure this was built before we had waterbreathing and underwater drowning

Dentin: myrtha here, queen of the wilies, was brutally dangerous

Dentin: if you were afraid of wilies at all, you stayed the hell away from the queen

Dentin: this chunk of rooms here used to be a ridiculous, ugly maze of nonlinearity

Dentin: you could always follow the paths back and get somewhere, but it didn't lay out at all. I beat on it a bit last night to make it navigable for this tour

Dentin: now this, this has history

Dentin: the wolverine originally loaded with a level 18, 2 dam, 1 hit, 2 ac collar worn on neck

Dentin: and I'll be darned, it's still got those stats

Dentin: anyway, those collars were the shit

Dentin: it used to be a rite of passage for mid levels to go get their own collars

Dentin: when the area closed, that was a big deal too, because most people didn't know how to replace them

Dentin: one of the classic mobs

Dentin: the phoenix lives down here

Dentin: and apparently the phoenix doesn't like zinge

Note - Zinge was a player in the tour group who got attacked by the phoenix.

Dentin: the phoenix loads phoenix wings, which back in the olden days were level 25, 4 hitroll, 1 damroll, and -10 armor

Dentin: they were stupid overpowered, and it took a long time for the composite to catch up with it

Raven: i still have two pairs hehe

Dentin: and this is the famous bobcat

Razer: used to scare the hell outa me

Dentin: yeah, me too. You never knew when you were going to run into the cat

Dentin: as a low level, the bobcat was as dangerous as wilies, or more

Dentin: this eye (from the bobcat) was the only +2 con piece of leveling eq on the game for a long time

Dentin: hardly anyone used it though, the mages spellbooks were better

Dentin: this is the section of hell that has the mist demons in it

Dentin: the mist demon was also based on a hidden worlds area

Dentin: a lot of the stuff that I and wyvren pulled in was from a specific set of two areas on HW

Dentin: in particular, chaos, which is similar to but smaller than my chaos zone here

Dentin: and things like the mist demon

Dentin: the mist demon on HW didn't wander and had the ice whip, which for a while was one of the most powerful whips on the game. It still sucked, but as I recall it was level 25, and 7d4 or something similar

Note - the one that loads on AA is much better.

Dentin: this part of the zone was disconnected for some reason, and I only reconnected it last night when I was collecting notes on the zone

Jadon: why?

Dentin: we dont have area logs going back far enough to figure out why it was disconnected

Xorg: Dentin, is there any history to the barrows?

Dentin: I'm really not sure

Dentin: I wouldn't be surprised if they were from the lord of the rings and or hobbit

Dentin: but I'm pretty sure the mist demons are wyvren's amped up version of the HW mist demon

Dentin: you'll notice a lot of typos

Dentin: wyvren was very, very bitchy about people modifying her descriptions

Dentin: even minor typo fixes caused a lot of drama blowups, so after a while I simply put a moratorium on modifying her stuff

Dentin: the typos persist to this day

Dentin: now we're at the castle

Dentin: kill the gargoyle

Dentin: I'm pretty sure this iron crowbar is the only way to open the gate

Rhorae: nah it should be pickable

Dentin: this is metacles

Dentin: I have no idea about him

Westie: it loads the key to the next door

Dentin: there's a handful of things without descriptions in this area, I get the feeling not all of it was completed properly

Dentin: lets hit the moat before entering

Dentin: khet lives down here

Dentin: that's odd, I wonder why ammit is dying

Dentin: I'm not sure why the demon of the deep and other things are here in the moat, but they definitely made it an interesting place

Raven: was there not a way in under here

Dentin: I dont think there was a way in directly from the moat

Dentin: ok, into the castle proper

Dentin: there's altarian guards all over the place

Dentin: this inner section of the castle really only contains two important things

Dentin: one is this fireplace

Dentin: which really isn't very important

Shadowweaver: what's in the fireplace?

Wily: fire

Dentin: the other is in here

Note - this is where the skeletons in the closet are, on the ground floor, leading to Rothgard.

Dentin: everyone has skeletons in their closet

Dentin: some have more than others, heh

Dentin: this is the other important thing

Dentin: Rothgard, the castle master

Dentin: he's a pain in the ass to find

Dentin: ok, lets go up to the top

Dentin: this is the lookout. There's a lookout on each tower, there's four towers

Dentin: staircases go from the basement to tower top in all four

Dentin: the stone gargoyles at the top of each tower have mithril eq

Dentin: so back in the day, mithril was another one of those must-have equipment sets

Dentin: it was all level 25, and a lot of it was like 3 hit 1 dam

Note - the earliest stuff might actually have been level 20, not 25, but with similarly high combat stats.

Dentin: usually was the first thing I would get when I was high enough level

Dentin: we're not going to hit up all the gargoyles, but remember that they each have different things on them

Ladislaus: how is there binding eq here?

Dentin: there have been some updates over the years, and some automatic updates, which is why you'll find binding stuff in here

Dentin: here on the deck of the castle, there's cannons for defense

Dentin: and there's also the cannon master and a few guards

Dentin: these stationary cannons I recall had some goofy uses if you could pick them up

Colonel: those cannons are fun to leap with

Dentin: ok, basement time

Dentin: this is the second level from the bottom

Dentin: near as I can tell, the idea behind this level was that there's an open floor with rooms in it below this walkway, and the various rooms are basically an entertainment area for guests and the like

Dentin: there were also some really, really awful nonlinear linkages and maze style rooms, which I destroyed, because I'm a bastard

Dentin: if this area ever does come online again, at least it won't be ridiculous in terms of how the map is laid out

Dentin: there's a lot of gaurds, and as a mid to high level player this was a pretty good exp zone

Dentin: even for me, and my characters sucked

Dentin: we're going to walk down into the entertainment center now

Dentin: each room has something or other in it

Dentin: there's the princess, in the previous room

Dentin: this is colonel wilma derring

Dentin: I actually dont recall who she was based on

Dentin: I think this was the secret disguise of wonder woman back in the olden days

Dentin: oh wait, wilma derring was in buck rogers

Dentin: anyway, pop culture reference

Dentin: this is shannon of the celts

Dentin: the emerald glazed bracer on shannon was awesome

Dentin: and it was even more awesome when ltype 2 came in

Dentin: not only did you get a hitroll and a damroll, as type 2 the extra con gave you actual hitpoints!

Dentin: I thought it was awesome anyway. Then again, I was pretty much the only one using type 2

Dentin: and this is the good lady of no long description

Dentin: I have no idea who she was supposed to be

Dentin: we are now in the great hall, on the lowest floor

Dentin: all the staircases end up here, and from here you can effectively quick travel to any of the castle corners and towers

Dentin: this is the mad cook

Dentin: I think he was related to fozzie in ralnoth

Dentin: speaking of fozzie, he was made after my roommate in alaska

Dentin: guy was built like a bear and had the hair to prove it, hence the name

Dentin: there's wine cellar and pantry and all that connected to the kitchen if you're bored

Dentin: this set of rooms in here is an indoor garden. It's connected to the queens room directly

Dentin: but since this is after all hell, the royalty and other inhabitants aren't in the greatest condition

Dentin: a lot of these mobs, like the lass here, dont have descriptions and I have no idea what the builder was thinking

Raven: yay, the look of death, weird weapon

Gordan: ah, so that's where the look of death loads

Dentin: that look of death was a very special weapon for a very long time. We ended up having to make nonorm changes to nerf it, but only because other weapons were even worse

Dentin: man, every [door] in this zone has a lock on it

Dentin: this wain gyro thing, I dont remember

Dentin: and this concludes our tour of the castle

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