Sunday, October 30, 2016

Home For The Holidays : EQ2, GW2

Having said that I don't have any great affection for Halloween events in MMOs I find I've spent the last few days doing pretty much nothing else. Circling GW2's Mad King's Labrynth with a never-stopping zerg exerts a counter intuitive, zen-like calm, especially with post-Heart of Thorns autoloot enabled.

This year there are several items of mild interest available, either on the vendors or as drops, not that I ever need much encouragement to farm stacks of lucky bags. There was some consternation Chez Bhagpuss over the appearance of a nifty shadow raven mini with the frankly insane price-tag of 120,000 candy corn (120 Candy Cobs if you prefer) as well as a cute cat-in-a-hat mini that, according to Dulfy, was an ultra-rare drop from Trick or Treat bags.

Fortunately there turned out to be a vastly more achievable Endless Raven Potion, which made an excellent alternative, and - gasp! - Dulfy was wrong about the provenance of the cat. It arrived on the Trading Post as a four-day special for the eminently reasonable price of 350 gems, putting paid to a frenzy of speculation on Reddit.

That was GW2 sorted but to my own surprise I then found myself hip-deep in Nights of the Dead activity over on EQ2. I was lured in by the new collection with the Baby Bone Dragon house pet reward but then I made the mistake of looking on the vendor, something I haven't done for a few years.

That Bone Dragon, by the way, is incredible. Not only does it do all the usual house pet tricks, it breathes fire on command and does a head-stand. A head stand! If you play EQ2 at all do try to get one before the event ends on Tuesday. Or pay through the nose for the shinies on the broker later.

EQ2 really is head(stand) and shoulders over every other MMO I have played when it comes to holiday events. Not only does it have more actual holidays than just about anyone else but each of them has more content and the rewards are more extensive and more desirable. Although probably only if you love decorating.

With characters spread over two active accounts (let's not even think about the inactive ones) and four or five servers I used to have my work cut out servicing everyone even when EQ2 was my main MMO. Playing just a few hours a week there's no chance of even-handedness. I had to play favorites.

The Berserker, who I guess I have to accept is my EQ2 "main" these days, or at least my go-to character, went first, followed by the other two high-levels on his account. Then the Shadowknight on the TLE (aka Progression) server, whose first ever Halloween this was.

Running him over to Loping Plains (a level 70-80 zone) at level 24 was peculiarly satisfying. Completing the Haunted House instance there, usually a face-rolling romp, was touch-and-go at times, even though it scaled to his level. He prevailed in the end and in doing so established himself as a character who deserves to be played more often. He's fun and so is the TLE server.

At that point I might have been done but I happened to notice on Niami Denmother's invaluable EQ2 Traders Corner site that the moment Nights of the Dead ends we go straight into Heroes Festival. I really like Heroes Festival but this year it includes something absolutely unmissable: a gorgeous patchwork griffin mount that can fly at Adventure Level 35.

I thought from Niami Denmother's brief caption that Heroes Festival was up on Test already so I patched up (an extremely easy and painless process these days) and logged in my much-missed Level 90 Bruiser to take some screenshots for this post. After a few minutes fruitless flying around I realized that Test only has NotD the same as Live. If Heroes Festival is up anywhere it must be on the Beta server.

That's why the picture at the head of this post was stolen borrowed from EQ2 Traders. Meaning it won't count for this year's IntPiPoMo, curated once again by Chestnut of Gamer Girl Confessions. I signed up although really it's hardly fair since I post more than fifty original screenshots every month. I hardly need an incentive - more like an intervention.

That was how I came to be running around picking up purple shinies for yet another Bone Dragon. And shopping at the vendor. And decorating. And when I finish this I have to go back and do the same for my Level 90 Necro on Test because she's one of my all-time favorite characters. And after that I really ought to get one for my Defiler, on yet another server. It never ends.

Fortunately it also never ceases to be relaxing, enjoyable entertainment. MassivelyOP did a thing recently about Your Five Favorite MMOs. My five would most likely include both EverQuests and Everquest-wannabe Vanguard but as I suggested the other day, if I had to choose just one it would be EQ2.

I really could play it forever. There are just so many things to do - more than any other MMO, I'm sure. Just while I was rooting around in the bank my Bruiser found three volumes of his old diary, written in some books crafted by my Necro. It occurred to me that you could perfectly well blog - in  character, in game - in EQ2.

Then there's the housing. I'm not much of a decorator in the accepted sense but I can fiddle around with fixtures and fittings with the best of them. I have so many half-decorated houses in need of care and attention...

Anyway, if there's anyone reading, who dabbles in EQ2 on low or mid-level characters, a flying mount for Level 35s is not to be missed. Heroes Festival begins on November 3rd and runs until the eleventh. Don't miss it.


  1. Thanks for the reminder about the new collection quest. I have been busy in game getting the pre-req's done for the expansion (I could complain a bit about this too). I was a little disappointed that there were no new quests for NoTD this year that I barely paid any attention to it.

    And I am with you about EQ2 being the game I could play forever. It is always the game I come back to after trying out some new game. I have questioned a lot of decisions by the devs through the years but I always have fun playing.

    1. I was a little disappointed that there was no new quest this year but I have to say that the Bone Dragon is a really good reward. Worth a lot more than the minimal effort required.


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