Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Delving those MMO Pool Labyrinths

There was a viral Twitter post I saw yesterday that kind of sparked something inside me late last night.

Looks awesome, doesn't it?

So I did some digging and looked up a couple of magical places like this.  There's something called the Y-40, which is located inside a Hotel swimming pool in Italy? I found more details at poolinsider.com.

"The Y-40 is really a labyrinth of spaces designed for different underwater swimming, diving and viewing activities. The pool features various depths for divers of all levels and some cool interactive features. It has four artificial underwater caves that simulate what you might run into in the ocean, a cylindrical area with extreme depths for experiences divers looking to push their limits, various ledges, underwater glass viewing panels for spectators and even a 43 foot transparent tunnel for visitors who don't want to get wet."
There's also a deep dive pool called Nemo 33 in Belgium. It sounds like a scuba diver's playground! 
"Nemo 33 features numerous structures meant to simulate the experience of deep-sea diving, including intricate passageways and underwater caves submerged in 660,000 gallons (2.5 million liters) of water. Endowed with surreal vastness and astonishing architecture, visitors can participate in aquatic activities like swimming, scuba diving, and freediving."
Those places sound amazing but are way out of my budget. hehe. And that's why my mind naturally went to video games and particularly to a couple of weird MMO zones. 

First, in Everquest on the continent of Velious, there's a little underwater dungeon called Siren's Grotto. Gimme a shout if you remember this spot! 

I actually downloaded Everquest, logged in, and went to Siren's Grotto last night.  It took me a few minutes to remember how handy some of the map tools were in the game and before I knew it, I had a glowing trail leading me to exactly where I needed to go to get there.

You just need to kill a few sirens and head on into the underwater cave in Cobalt Scar.

When I was spending a lot of time in this zone, oh . . . what 17 or 18 years ago? It was because I needed a quest item from a rare mob for my Beastlord epic weapon quest. I remember I spent quite a long time at the entrance of the zone killing the same mob over and over again. I think boredom eventually caused me to branch out and start hunting in other areas of the zone, but this place was a bit of a nightmare and it was easy to aggro multiple mobs and not even know it because, just like Dory, you just keep swimming.

Well Goo Goo G'Joob to you too, Mr. Walrus.

Before I knew it, I was killing mermaids. These old school mermaids man . . . they were the best!

Red tails and green hair . . . it's an unusual breed of mermaid . . .

I remember one time I came to this zone with an actual group and we were killing things for experience and loot, which was odd because it wasn't a popular spot to go because of it's maze like nature and because the risk vs. reward just wasn't there, but yeah . . . it's all a distant memory now.

This place definitely feels like a virtual crazy pool maze, and those swimming pool pictures got me thinking about this place hard.

Apparently that lady in the middle is a boss for an Enchanter epic quest?


Second, in Wizard101 there's a zone called "The Grotto" in Celestia.  While this place isn't as much as a maze as Siren's Grotto in Everquest, it really does have some of those same watery corridors that feel like a maze.

How exactly does an underwater pool work inside an underwater dome work? Magic!

It's too bad you don't stay in this zone for too long. I really like it.

Swimming underwater in the grotto in Wizard101! Yes!

Everything in this zone has a nice muted sound to it and you really feel underwater. It even features a fun giant shark/eel/monster head tunnel that you can swim through and a castle made out of coral.

An Icy crab man named Governor Nereus lives inside

Going inside the giant eel's mouth was always one of my favorite moments in Celestia.

If there's a great questing spot in Celestia, this is definitely on the top of the list for me.


. . . and of course there are other areas in other MMOs that are underwater. Most recently I've visited Atlantis in DCUO where you can even transform into a seahorse and race through the seaweed. That race would qualify as a maze for sure! 

Project Gorgon also recently added a few underwater caves to Sun Vale. From what I remember it was a seaweed crafting reagent paradise.

As for other MMOs, I've read about them, but I can't really remember running the underwater Aquatic Ruins fractal in GW2, I don't think I've ever seen Vashj'r in World of Warcraft, and I've never found the secret underwater cave in Sea of Thieves. but those are all underwater "mazes" I wouldn't mind visiting in the future.

What do you think? You got any good underwater game spots? Lemme know in the comments below.

Happy Dueling!


Bhagpuss said...

I spent a lot of hours in Sirens' Grotto. It was a hot zone at one time and very good xp and later I used to farm Deepwater Ink there and sell it for very good money in the Bazaar.

If you have EQ up you could also go look at Kedge Keep. That may have been the first-ever underwater zone in a 3D mmorpg. It was psychotically dangerous back when I first played and I never dared to go inside. Even by the time I was in a guild that dared to go in there for someone's epic it was still horrifically scary. I remember us wiping horribly and counting myself lucky I even got my corpse back.

Stingite said...

Ha! Tipa mentioned Kedge as well. I had COMPLETELY forgotten about that zone and like you, back in the day, it was super scary. Check out the convo here: https://twitter.com/tipadaknife/status/1343940103186477057

After swimming around in there, you all are absolutely right. Kedge actually matches the feeling of a swimming pool maze a lot more closely than Siren's Grotto. Could you imagine trying to map that place back in the day? LOL!