Thursday, November 11, 2021

Yes, Of Course I'm A Hero. Didn't You See My Cloak?

With New World swallowing the lion's share of my gaming time these last few weeks (153 hours played according to Steam although I'm beginning to doubt the accuracy of that.) I've been uncomfortably aware of the way I've been neglecting old favorites like EverQuest II. I don't think I've logged in at all since I did some Nights of the Dead quests towards the back end of October.

This being EQII, almost as soon as one holiday comes to an end, it's time for the next. November is the game's anniversary (Seventeen this year.) which means the Heroes Festival

It's one Norrathian holiday I tend to skip these days. I've done my share of patchwork-bashing in my time, especially back when the weapons and armor you could get were more than decent for a casual player, but most of my characters outgrew those years ago. I do like to keep up to date with holiday quests, though, so when I heard there was a new one this year I thought I ought to drag myself away from Aeternum and catch myself up with the latest happenings in Norrath.

I started off in Freeport, looking for anyone new wearing a feather for a hat. I cantered around for a while but I couldn't see anything. I checked the obvious spots - down by the docks, the various squares and parks - before I remembered the Heroes Festival generally happens in the cheery surroundings of Execution Plaza. Nothing like an hourly hanging to get the party going with a swing.

I couldn't see much going on there that I hadn't seen before so rather than waste any more time I looked it up, first at EQ2 Traders and then on the Wiki

I'll save us all the long version in which I bumble around trying to figure out why the NPC won't talk to me (the first time and the second time) and the part where I resort to watching a YouTube video to find a quest item I  walk right past. I will mention something that still puzzles me, though.

Everything I read said that to get the new quest, One Afterlife To Live, you have to have done the quest A Dream Adventure this year, even if you've done it before. It needs to be re-done every year, apparently, to get other quests in the festival. I had to do both that one and the one that precedes it, Shattered Remains and the one before that, Thuramore's Absence as well before the new quest popped.

  I remembered all the older quests very well so I've obviously done them on someone. It's possible it wasn't the character I was playing today. It seems unlikely because he's the one most likely to have done everything but it is true that the reward for one of the quests was a cloak he didn't have and as you can see from his wardrobe he's not one to miss out ona good cloak. He has a bit of a thing for them. 

The new quest itself was interesting. Not for the mechanics, which were the usual EQII holiday fare, pleasant and simple, but for the locations in which it takes place. The set-up refers back to the 2012 and 2013 expansions Chains of Eternity and Tears of Veeshan, which take place in EQII's afterlife, the Ethernere

After a little reminiscence, Lothaire Stormgazer, the questgiver, sends you back to some of the places you supposedly ought to remember from when you acted the hero and saved a load of people, including him, from some fate if not worse than death then possibly death itself. I completed the solo signature quests for both those expansions but I forget how it went. Even so, I thought I'd at least recognize the scenery but two of the three instances were unfamiliar to me. 

I'm guessing they're probably raid zones I never visited. Any raid from more than three years ago, of course, is probably a walkover for any max-level character of today but although I've done my share of sightseeing in older content I can't claim to have seen everything and I don't remember either of these.

I think I would, had I been there before. The first instance was particularly striking. Very attractive decor, if you like giant, staring blood-red eyes. The second was less original, architecturally but it had a kind of mob I can't recall ever seeing before, the Lujin, a kind of gnoll that looks like it works out a lot.

Just seeing those zones and creatures made the whole thing worth my time. Just as well. It was a fair old investment. Longer than I expected. I think I was an hour and a half getting it all done, including the false starts and do-overs. 

There's a twist in the tale when you come to do the final hand-in, too. I'll refrain from using the screenshot that gives it away completely although there's a hefty clue in the one I have used, even after I redacted the quest text. As you can see there's another cloak although this time I didn't take it. I'm not all that keen on the filligree but the weird back-waistcoat upper part is the real deal-breaker.

Since I'd picked up quite a bit of the holiday currency, Tokens of Heroism, I thought I'd have alook at what the vendor had to offer. I was very impressed. New this year are a couple of flying carpet ground mounts and an unusual cloak and hood combo (Pictured left.)  and some nice house items, all of which you can see in the EQII Traders article linked above. There's plenty more good stuff to be had, too. I'd forgotten how many really great paintings and statues had been added to the vendor in previous years.

I have a strong feeling I already bought most of the paintings I wanted a few years back but I suspect I may have missed the statues when they were added. I might have to farm some tokens this weekend to buy a few.

After that I guess I'd better play catch-up with the panda quests. I need to get my EQII groove back in readiness for the expansion. It won't be long until we're off to Vetrovia

Since it's IntPoPiMo and I took a bunch of screenshots, I'll close with a mini-gallery, all taken during the new quest. They look rather good which seems to be a feature of zones from that era. Another reason to do the quest, I'd say.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide