It's not often I spot something in an MMO I know instantly I just have to have. You could say I'm lucky that way. It does mean I rarely have to suffer those hair-tugging moments that come when you realize something you really wanted needs raid access or a faction you don't have and aren't going to be able to get.
There's a down side though. Those electrifying moments of desire that make a dull day come alive, they can be few and far between, sometimes.
Mostly I just potter along, contented to take what virtual life gives me and work with that. Well, not always. Not when I see something as wonderful as the Ancient Melodic Gnomophone. It's the classic wind-up phonograph. I want it!
And I can have it, too, and so easily! This mechanical marvel is going for a song - actually for a mere five Ancient Platinum Coins - from the Chronoportal Event vendors who stand around in the baking sun or the pouring rain in The Commonlands and Antonica for a whole week this time every year.
Chronoportals is possibly my favorite EQ2 holiday. I've done it most years since it began. I've done it in pick-up groups, in guild groups, in duos and on my own. I've done it when it was so tough we couldn't finish some of the instances at all. I've done it when I had to stand around outside the zone-in spamming /lfg because I couldn't do it alone. Some years I've run the instances over and over trying to get rare drops.
I've written about the event before, twice, so I won't go over it again, save to repeat just how very well-observed most of the little vignettes are and how richly they reward and repay close attention. This year I bought some of the books I'd never gotten around to getting and they are just as cleverly written.
Because I've done it so often I could just have woken my Berserker up and sent him to buy the Gnomophone. He has over 80 Ancient Platinum Coins in his currency wallet but The Warlock is trying to get those final five levels and Holiday Events offer a great grind-free way for characters struggling through the latter stages of the hundred level race to kick back and have fun for a while. There are eight instances, each with its own rewards, plus a quest to do them all, and a collection as well.
It took the Warlock about an hour and a half to do the lot. He filled out maybe a bubble of 95 and pocketed just over fifty Ancient Platinum Coins. He bought the Gnomophone and all the books, then he ported back to his cavernous Gorowyn mansion, where he realized he had nothing to put them all on.
One new table from the broker later and the job was done.
The Gnomophone plays a two-minute tune. That's nothing unusual. We've had music boxes and musical snowglobes that do that for years. The thing is...it's a gramophone! With a turntable. And a record! I can't really express how magnificent that is.
Next year I really hope we get a stack of records to put next to it. They don't have to play. Be nice if they did though. If you could select them and then the Gnomophone would play that tune.
After a brief interruption ( I had to take three of my characters all the way to Obol Plains to get the Guide quest Nebulous Newsies. It's a rare opportunity for which anyone on the server, who hasn't already done it on every character, traditionally drops everything the moment they hear the broadcast) I woke my Berserker up and sent him to buy a gnomophone of his own.
He bought four. He's like that. That's why he can barely get in his house these days.