Monday, March 8, 2021

Another Year, Another Beer

I could have written at least three lengthy posts based on what I did yesterday and today in Valheim. The game continues to generate stories (or, if you prefer, anecdotes) at an astonishing rate. It also kicks up any number of discussion points concerning the mechanics, the gameplay and the design.

My problem with posting about Valheim remains the same, however: I'd rather play it than write about it. And I love writing about it.

Also, all Valheim and no other games make Inventory Full a dull blog. And I am still playing other games, when I can force myself to stop building and exploring

To be strictly accurate, I'm down to two other games most days: Guild Wars 2 and EverQuest. In the first I manage to get two sets of dailies done every day, pretty much, which takes between fifteen minutes and three-quarters of an hour depending what the randomiser spits out. 

Not infrequently I'll end up staying longer to do a world boss or defend a keep. World vs World continues to be vibrant even though there's absolutely no reason it should be and many why it shouldn't. 

GW2 in general seems to be as busy as ever although I have no idea how well the new stuff that we're all supposed to be working on is going (recruiting allies for the next big dragon fight, I think it is, although I'm really not up with the plot). I only ever see the zones that have dailies in them but those are always very well-populated.


My participation in EQ is limited to farming the Overseer quests for crafting mats to sell in the Bazaar. I was doing it every day without fail but since Valheim took over every waking moment that's slipped to as often as I remember. I'm still managing better than every other day, though.

The game I imagined I'd be concentrating on in the opening months of 2121, EverQuest II (the one I bought a new expansion for just before Christmas) has almost fallen off the playlist altogether. It's frustrating in a way because I did for once have some plans there. That'll teach me.

I do keep track of what's going on and I'm making an effort not to miss anything new. I logged in last month to do the new Errollisi Day quest and today I forced myself away from Valheim for long enough to run my berserker through the new Brewday quest, "Yours, Stein and Ours".

Brewday, as I've mentioned more than once, is not my favorite Norrathian celebration. It's based on a holiday we don't really celebrate where I come from, St. Patrick's Day, and it has the increasingly uncomfortable theme of heavy drinking.

I'm no longer as puzzled as I once was by the quasi-religious fervor with which some players and developers regard the simple act of getting drunk but it still unsettles me a little. I always felt it was cool to drink, uncool to talk about how much. To be strictly fair, it's by no means an attitude unique to gaming. I've encountered it often enough elsewhere. Wherever it turns up, I always find a little awkward.

Brewday is all about drinking too much. It's also the official feast day of Brell, the Duke of Below, god of all who dwell in the Underfoot but especially god of Dwarves. Everyone knows dwarves like a drink so it makes sense.


Over the years I've done all of the Brewday quests and activities many times over. Some of them are fun. Some are very annoying. I've never liked the way most mmorpgs attempt to represent drunkenness by futzing about with the graphics. The sensation of having the room spin around you was always one of the worst side-effects of drinking too much in real life so why anyone would want to replicate it in a game beats me.

Thankfully the new quest involves nothing like that. It's another by-the-numbers instance that follows the well-trodden path of many similar holiday quests before it. Which, as I said about the new Erollisi Day quest, is absolutely fine with me. I don't come to EQ2 for cutting-edge innovation or out-of-the-box thinking. I come for what I know.

What I said earlier about people treating drinking as a religion was metaphorical but for this quest it's nothing more than the simple truth. The questgiver, Acolyte Kosma, is a priest of Brell and she's lost some special steins that were destined for the Brewday festivities. Actually, they've been stolen. By Brownies.

I get the feeling someone at Daybreak (and before them at Sony Online Entertainment) thinks brownies are the same as leprechauns. Or maybe they're just the nearest Norrath gets. Leprechauns would, naturally, be just the thing for a holiday based on St. Patrick's Day (although I don't imagine St. Patrick himself would have been any too pleased with the association). Since we don't have any, Brownies will have to do.


Acolyte Kosma, who I was delighted to see is a ratonga, ratonga also being children of Brell (although my own ratonga berserker is a follower of Rallos Zek, God of War) is skulking in a tent at the Highland Outpost in Butcherblock. She's scared to tell her boss, Steinsister Daglara, that she's lost the steins. Naturally, my ratonga volunteered to help. Ratonga solidarity - it's a thing.

The brownies hang out in Lesser Feydark. They were there in EverQuest twenty years ago, when they made many a poor adventurer's life hell, zipping out of the undergrowth at Spirit of Wolf speed, too small to see let alone target. I was surprised to find there's no Fast Travel option for Lesser Fey. You'd think it would have a druid ring if nothing. Fortunately Kelethin is only a few moments away by flying mount. 

When I got there I almost missed the entrance. If I hadn't had copied in the waypoint details from the wiki I hate to think how long it might have taken me to find it. As it was I ran straight past it in the tunnel and had to come back.

Once inside everything was fairly straightforward. I had to find eight of the missing steins, easy enough since the brownies had just left them lying  in the middle of the path. I also had to arrest six brownies, even easier since they all just stood there like dummies and let me cuff them. Well, click on them.

The only slight hitch was finding the explosive to blow up the crystals blocking the pathway. The combusti-ball needed pops out of the crate you open and lies there on the ground. I didn't spot it right away. Only delayed me for a moment.

Finally there was the pot of gold. Two pots, actually. It is leprechauns who have those, isn't it? 

I picked them up and the boss of the brownies (well, the bigwig of this bunch, anyway) appeared. His name is Lugharcan, which is a Leprechaun name if ever I heard one. After some strong remonstrations involving my berserker beating Lugharcan viciously about the head and body with a two-handed sword, the bad brownie surrendered, albeit with very bad grace.

As he pointed out, the gold was his, so we didn't get to keep it. Forget that my berserker is supposed to be "evil" by faction. In Norrath being evil just means you wear your boy scout badge upside-down.

The rewards, when I got back to Acolyte Kosma with the repentant brownies and the stolen steins, were sweet. Good enough, in fact, that I struggled to choose between them. Well, two of them. I wasted no time rejecting the Root Worm Larva Plushie. I have enough wiggling worms in my house already.

The others, though, were highly desirable: a replica of Brell himself, wearing the very hat my berserker wore for years, the mining hat with the candles, or an excellent appearance item, a shield that looks exactly like the lid of a barrel, complete with spigot.

In the end I went for the replica god but I like the shield enough to go do the quest again with someone else. It only takes about a quarter of an hour and Brewday runs until March 19th.

Even taking Valheim into consideration, I think I should be able to fit it in somehow.


  1. I prefer WoW's approach to being "drunk," when all the mobs around you suddenly look so easy to kill.

  2. I always liked to think that Lesser Fey doesn't have a druid ring, wizard spires or anything else teleport-related because no-one would go there voluntarily's so hard to navigate (at least it was before I could fly) that it's pretty much my least favourite MMORPG zone ever.

    1. I never liked it. The original in EQ was terrifying back when I started and the EQII version is just really annoying. All the weird tunnels and ledges and dead ends. I was forever getting stuck in some corner and not being able to figure out how to get back.

  3. Lesser Fay was really annoying the 1st few times I played through it (I had a ton of alts, so.... yeah, I'm a glutton for punishment, I suppose), but after the 3rd or 4th time I knew it pretty well so it became "not a big deal" at that point. This was before flight was implemented, so... didn't have that alternative. TBH, I quite EQ2 before flight, so I dunno what it'd be like to have it now.


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