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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Lore in the Desert

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Yes, I know E3 didn't even start yet but I already have some Desert of Flames news for you.

Scott Hartsman, Senior EQII Producer was kind enough to e-mail me regarding the lore behind the expansion pack's PvP system.

"Maj`Dul (and the surrounding area in DoF) is what happens to the Desert of Ro when you leave the Dervish Cutthroats unchecked for five hundred years, as they attempt to form their own take on a "civilized" society.

Given their past, the methods by which the inhabiting factions pass laws invariably took a turn toward the violent, as they've evolved a system where disputes and challenges over matters of law are settled not by lengthy debate, but rather with immediate conflicts by proxy."

Who can blame those Dervish Cutthroats? If you've ever sat through a long-winded political debate on C-Span or watched a tiresome legal argument on Court TV you may have wished such matters were instead decided by bloody combat or at least by
an inflatable sumo wrestling match.

When I first read about the Arena combat in the press release I thought of the gladiators of ancient Rome. But, such fights were held as mere spectacles for entertainment, rather than to settle legal disputes. No, the Expansion Pack PvP is more akin to the Nordic Holmgang.

The Holmgang was a way for fierce Norsemen to settle property disputes and other legal matters. Literally meaning "to travel to a small island," a fight was held on a piece of cloth or hide. Much like the mention of "proxies" in Scott's quote, a person who was clearly not a warrior was permitted to have a friend who was skilled in the arts of combat stand for him.

Duels, by sword or later by pistol, were a more modern version of the Holmgang. For a time, such duels were even known as "judicial combat," because it was widely believed that God would ensure the person in the right emerged victorious.

I appreciate that SOE took the time to come up with some fairly intriguing lore rather than simply saying, "Here's an Arena, fight in it!" I look forward to seeing what other "innovations" the Dervish Cutthroats came up with during their 500 years of growth in the desert.

Scott also stated that there would be group PvP, which I is why I edited my earlier post. I know some people I play with were really hoping for this so I am happy to hear it.


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