Monday, 8 April 2013

Bounce! Bounce! Everybody Bounce! : EQ2, Rift,GW2


Spring is here - Everybody Bounce!

Over in Telaria there's a little fenced-off plot where you can jump up and down like toddlers at a three-year old's birthday party. See those water-filled balloons pop! For added ridiculosity, bounce on your unfeasibly gigantic horrorshow mount alongside half a raid force in full war armor.

Bouncing is srs bzns
I did that last year and it wasn't much fun. TAGN and his Saturday Adventure Group made a much better fist of it than I did. I gave up after a couple of tries. There were some rewards I wouldn't have minded getting but nothing really grabbed me. As far as mounts go in Telaria, I like the two-tailed cats and...well, I like the two-tailed cats.

You Are Here
Over in Tyria they have the Super Adventure Box. Well, we all know about that. The whole Internet knows about it. We recently had the unexpected pleasure of a friend from EQ/EQ2 joining us in GW2 and knowing his propensity for throwing himself off high places I guessed this would be his kind of thing so we ran through the first world again the other night, without the training wheels this time. It was fun but a little does go a long way and again there's nothing in the rewards on offer that does much for me.

And so to Norrath. In a little oasis just off the beach in Sinking Sands stands Princess Evelynn Fadia and she has a game for you to play. It's called the Bristlebane Bounce. What you have to do is "Race around the Croc Hunter Camp gathering shiny baubles by propelling yourself through the air with Bristlebane Bouncers".

Maybe I should run up the top of the cliffs and jump down...

The baubles hang high in the air. Really high. Scattered among them are fish. Yes, fish. Where Bristlebane's involved it's best not to ask too many questions. Like why is a Princess running a carnival stall? The important thing is this: if you hit a fish in mid-air it bounces you higher still. All the best baubles, the gold ones, are way up at the top. Going to need a good fish slap to grab them.

I'm not sure if this is new to Bristlebane Day (Bristlebane fortnight, more like) this year but I can't remember doing it before. I noticed Mrs Bhagpuss bouncing there the other day and I'd been meaning to give it a go. I finally got to it this morning.

Would make a fine coat
There's something about EQ2 mini-games that just works for me. Some mini-games I've played in Rift and LotRO seem earnest, plodding, even dour. GW2 mini-games, contrarily, aren't mini at all. The regular jumping puzzles and the S.A.B. are full-on games in their own right and they sometimes leave me more exhausted than doing a Fractal.

EQ2's pitch is perfect. Mini-games like the gnomish sky racing circuits or the many variations on "whizz around running over stuff for a high score and prizes" are fast, frenetic and fun. Moreover, they contrive to be just hard enough that I can't sleepwalk through them and just easy enough that I convince myself one more try will do it.

Remind me what holiday it is again?
Do what? Get the prizes! That's the other part they get right. Stuff I want. Also, stuff I get that I wasn't expecting. Yes, I could look it up on the many estimable EQ2 info sources. EQ2Traders always covers holiday events in exhaustive and entertaining detail. Usually, though I just dive in and it all comes as a surprise.

Surprises from Bristlebane aren't always welcome but these turned out just fine. A full set of appearance clothes that make my ratonga beastlord look like he stepped straight out of a pack of playing cards, a Friesian bovoch housepet and perhaps best of all a great title. That's what motivated me to spend two hours bouncing after breakfast.

You said it.
Two hours, because I'm a bad bouncer. My best run netted me 69 points. The current high score on the billboard stood at 297. Which is where SOE win again. Holiday events in Norrath generally set a very low bar. It almost feels like someone wants you to have fun, even get what you want. The title comes with persistence. After a few dismal runs up it popped. Some of the clothes were on offer even after my most terrible attempts (32 being my worst). To get all the clothing options and the pet I think I had to break 65. Even I managed that. Eventually.

I envy anyone coming fresh to EQ2. Under the recently revised Freemium model it has to be the best value offer of its kind anywhere. And while I may be living elsewhere at the moment, I'll always be back for the holidays.


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