Ever stop to level a character to level 5 and lose 3 days?

For the past few days I’ve been in Wendle Mansion on a couple of lowbies, learning the heck out of the area and driving Romani pretty well nuts with my on going tells as some parts of the area drive me strange with frustration :->  To be fair, she’s tight lipped, I didn’t really expect her to share too, too much as I know she takes her immortal duties very seriously.

I originally visited the area to obtain a cloak of spirits, a lowbie body wear with con on it for rogues and aberrants so that I could get my level 2 thieves to level 5 and slow the autodelete timer.  As I got to looking around the area I found a number of interesting programs and the heart of Lord Wendle that sort of sucked me into the story line of this haunted mansion.

In many ways the area reminds me strongly of the Shining with the blood appearing at night and disappearing through the day, whispering warnings to you and so forth. Romani certainly captured the atmosphere right down to the idea of the ghosts tormenting the house guests to insanity … though that’s more from the book than the movie adaption.

The GOOD

An excellent little levelling area it’s got a good story line that draws you further into the area. It relies on a number of easily found skills like search and dig to get you through the area, though there is a spot you can adept mount if you’re paying attention. (Minor spoiler ahead) I didn’t realize that you could search in a container on the ground, so after all these years I learned something new which finally answered the question of where the skull-bone mask comes from.

A few useful levelling items all in a small spot with a quick repop (as low as 8 minutes from time to time). It’s possible to get most of the puzzles solved without fighting, which is helpful since most of the items in the area stop popping once you hit level 10. This makes farming trickier but not impossible when you’re hunting for the level 2 versions.

If you pay close attention to extra descriptions and hang out in rooms to wait for programs and read everything that’s said, it does prod you along towards your goal.

The BAD

There are a couple of things I’ve come to loathe thanks to this area, or maybe I always did and this area reminded me of how much I hate them.

Oh my god I’ve come to hate waiting 30 minutes for a mud day to cycle. When you’re trying to figure out a puzzle whose triggers are midnight in almost every hot spot you only get to try one thing per half hour. That’s a half hour you’re not leveling because you’re worried that maybe you’re going to become too high a level for the puzzles. You’re standing in the next spot eating mushrooms out of a chest and drinking off your dragonskin waiting for 30 minutes in case there’s a program in the room that fires off. Of course you could start a lowbie army and sit in several spots at once but that does sort of defeat the idea of a real new player experience right? I mean that’s a big bad avatar approach …

I had been thinking of using this technique in my building but I’m right off it now. Either that or there needs to be more going on … I can live with ALL NIGHT something’s happening in the area and at MIDNIGHT something special happens in a part of it, but to have to be in 2 different spots (at least) at once means a lot of sitting idle logging the room.

The only other critique I’ll throw on this is that it’s not at all clear if I’ve finished the area or not. I found and fought a beast that looks like the end dude and received the items that other old Cry of Despair articles point to … but … did I break the curse or not? Should I have idled more in that last room I got to?

And what was up with Sarah in the shed? I spotted her there once, and now I can’t for the life of me seem to get her to appear again, even though I’ve moved to a different character… I’m wondering if she only appears to higher level characters now because my first time through was on a higher lowbie.

So there are a few things left to figure out. Romani did a great job on this area my personal frustrations aside 🙂 I will certainly revisit it and try to figure the rest out, there can’t be a ton left :> If you’ve never been, it’s a great way to learn how to explore.  Until next time!

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