The Abandoned Labs
Thursday night I made my first trip into the Abandoned Labs within the Vasty Deep. I’d heard from several guildmates that it was a pretty cool looking zone, and was psyched to finally check it out. My initial impression is that the instance is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in EQ2 thus far. The atmosphere is very dark, and similar to those found in survival horror games such as Doom or Quake.
The first room in Labs provided our group with a pretty intense fight. The room was packed tightly with mobs, which made small group pulls nearly impossible. Due to having two very good healers, we were able to survive an intense sequence of fights, along with the named, Kadara’Mola, and multiple adds. Kadara’Mola can fear, which caused for some close calls during the encounter. After dropping the ghosts we pushed further into the Labs.
Deeper in, we began to catch our first glimpses of the horrors created by the misguided experiments of the Erudites. The facility is full of glass tubes containing grotesque creatures and research terminals, along with trails of smeared blood along the floors. The impression given is that something terrible occurred here, something that resulted in the massacre of the researches and the release of their machinations. Quite a stark difference from the bright, lush Conservatory above.
While the corridors aren’t exactly pitch black, they are dark enough, that when mixed with flickering lights and terminals and splattered blood, they can be somewhat disturbing. Especially when your focus shifts to the red glowing eyes of creatures running right for you. I wouldn’t go as far as saying the instance was scary. Far from it, but the vibe was pretty cool in that survival horror kind of way.
After fighting our way through winding corridors, we came to one of the first visually impressive sights within the Abandoned Labs; a two story room with a glass ceiling displaying the ocean above and a bridge leading to an immobilized dragon. The bridge itself was partly made of glass, allowing us to view the room below that housed even more dangerous looking creatures.
As we battled our way across the bridge, I kept waiting for the dragon to break out of it’s prison. Which was odd considering there haven’t been many instances I’ve ran in EQ2 that had a lot of surprise, sudden encounters. I imagine it had quite a bit to due with the atmosphere created by the artists and devs. It would have been something I would expect in a game like Resident Evil, and at times, I did find myself forgetting I was playing EQ2.
Honestly, considering the positive responses people seem to be having over this instance, and it’s dark, horror-style nature, it makes me wonder if we’ll ever see something along the lines of a survival horror style MMO with RPG elements . Personally I’d love something along those lines.
Once across the bridge we made our way to the dormitories for our second boss encounter with Herep’Hilos. The dormitory itself consisted of sleeping quarters connected to a circular common room. In the middle of the common room there was an intersting looking device that appeared to be some kind of power-based reactor. For what purpose it served other than a light source, I don’t know.
At this point we were feeling pretty confident, so we decided to pull all of the researches within the room. After burning them down we turned our attention to Herep’Hilos, who didn’t prove to be a challenge either. We dispatched him in short order and took a quick break. I took the opportunity to explore the dormitory and get a few screenshots of the sleeping quarters. I must say, the art and dev team have done a nice job this expansion of creating instances full of little details. I’ve loved exploring dungeons, something that I didn’t find myself doing in TSO.
Up next was the library. Hands down, this was my favorite part of the Abandoned Labs. The view of the ocean and other facilities along the ocean floor outside was simply amazing. As for what these other buldings house, or their purpose, it is unknown. However, I’m hoping we will evently find out over the course of this expansion.
The library itself is a large, open, two story room. After clearing the upper floor, we descended to the lower floor for our third boss encounter. The head librarian, Zaina Zumurrud, didn’t put up much of a fight, but did have one interesting mechanic. At about 30-40% health, he spawned a group of adds that auto aggroed first to our swashy and then on me. Nothing the tank could do. Evidently they eat scouts for dinner, and are supposed to be kited around the room.
Finally we made our way to the lower floor of the room we had witnesed earlier from the bridge. The floor of the room was covered in water and blood, and appeared to be the location where some of the more dangerous experiments were performed. The room was massive, and patrolled by Homunculis, a giant behemoth of a creature. We cleared the entire room, and set up in a corner so that our tank could safely grab Homunculis. For the most part he was a tank and spank, although I do remember him calling adds part of the way through the fight, which we largely ignored.
We accessed the final section of the instance via a red glowing teleport pad in the center of the room, near a large terminal. Evidently this final room was the hidden, personal research room of Perah’Celsis. From what I was able to gather, it was Perah’Celsis that was responsible for the events that transpired within the Labs. Before engaging Perah’Celsis we first took on two of his specimens, an orc warlord named Gorad Tholl, and a ravasect warlord named Nekletk K’Tokt.
As soon as we dropped Nekletk K’Tokt, Perah’Celsis and two remaining warlord adds enaged us. Perah’Celsis had a very nasty power drain. Our illy was doing everything he could just to keep our main healer’s mana up, so I’d imagine that running this instance without an illy or coercer would flat out not work. For the rest of us, we dps’d as best we could, and evently downed the head researcher and his warlords to finish the instance.