Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Nobody's Perfect: EQ2

When SW:ToR finally hopped off the fence and set a date for what they refer to as "same-gender romance", a phrase that manages to be both clinical and coy at the same time, the long-awaited move attracted a lot of attention. Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away this kind of thing has been going on for years.

Over in Norrath, Erollisi Day is back once again. Naimi Denmother has her usual, impeccable overview of what's new this time around and Zam has comprehensive and clear details for the entire event. There are no new quests this year but there are extra rewards for some existing ones plus a new crafting book, so I took the opportunity of this morning's GW2 server maintenance to take a stroll round Freeport and smell the roses.

Dalron Pinot has been setting up his Love Clinic on the East Freeport docks for six years now, offering classes on How To Pick Up Anyone Regardless Of Gender, Race, Species or Interest. He really doesn't care who he hits on and as you follow his lead it soon becomes apparent that he has a point - in Norrath anything goes! 

I've done this quest many times but every year it swings its fat, wet fish of gobsmackery full into my unsuspecting face yet again. Armed only with a selection of pick-up lines that would get you bodily ejected from any self-respecting singles bar, and with a persistence that could only end with a court order, Dalron sends you out to walk the streets of Norrath's most unforgiving, corrupt, neo-fascist militarized seaport looking for love.

Your mission, should you be suicidal enough to accept it, is to approach complete strangers and with no pre-amble of any kind launch into a hamfisted attempt to inveigle them into some kind of "romantic" tryst. Never mind if you happen to be a meter-high talking rat. Or, for that matter, a six-inch tall pixie. Don't worry about your own sexual orientation or that of your intended paramour. Don't worry if  any kind of physical relationship between you would even be physically possible, let alone welcome. Just get in there and start flirting!

Amazingly, rather than leading to armed combat, which would hardly be an unusual outcome for a quest or indeed any chance meeting in the streets and bars of Freeport, all your victims are either flattered, amused or take pity on you. No matter whether you're trying your weary lines on a muscular male dwarf in a vest, a bouffant-coiffed gnome with mental health issues or a Priestess in a Celibate order, everyone takes it all in good part.

And it isn't really all that surprising. Norrath is and always has been a wonderfully tolerant place (if you overlook the rabid and intense racial hatreds, and the predilections of some sentient species to use others as a food source). Once Erollisi day passes we'll soon be onto Brew Day, when a drunken dwarf will send us around his many old haunts to review the mismatched collection of drunken one-night stands he vaguely remembers so you can report back to him on whether any of them is good-looking enough for another try. Oh and incidentally, while you're at it, what species were they? Then, on a more positive note, there's the charming Commonlands inter-species romance between a young Ratongan Romeo and his Kerran Juliet. That's bound to end well...

I love it. It's wonderful and bonkers at the same time, which just about sums Norrath up. Long may Everquest continue its admirable tradition of tolerance, open-mindedness and complete disregard of logic or sanity. It better still be like this in EQNext, that's all I'm saying.


  1. Are you implying Ratonga are snacks for, say, Sarnaks? Can't imagine... gads.

    Yes, I've acquired the damn GW2 bug, too, but, like you, I like getting back home to disjointed and convoluted (can you have both?) Norrath. Never at a loss for what to do -- uh...always too much -- and it's...comfy. At that, I usually enjoy the holidays more than I think I will. No exception now.

    Anyway, nice premise for this posting. Never really noticed it -- which is probably a point -- but you're right.

    -- Yesler on AB

    1. I was thinking mostly of EQ1, where the all the playable races can drop "meat" when killed and the cooking craft skill offers a wide range of recipes for them. Just as an example that I happen to remember, Gnome Kabobs. Discussions on the edibility of fellow group-members was a given back when I played regularly.

      I don't think somewhat peculiar quirk made it into EQ2. Presumably 500 years of progress has made some customs culturally unacceptable. I bet it still goes on somewhere in Neriak, though.

  2. Omigawd::::: That's... great, sort of. Had no idea.

    -- Y.

  3. My daughter and I miss Furglebin! ...Is he ok?


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