Monday, October 30, 2023

One Hundred Hours And Whole Load Of Pumpkins

Yesterday evening I finally clocked up one hundred hours in Dawnlands. I'd been stuck at 98.5 for several weeks after I suddenly and entirely unintentionally stopped playing. I'd been logging ifor an hour or two pretty much every day since the game launched back in August and then just like that I wasn't playing any more. No reason for it. I just stopped.

And now I've started again and look what's happened while I've been away. They've only gone and decorated the whole place for Halloween! And what a great job they've made of it, too.

The first thing I was greeted with was a splash page telling me there were eight days of the Enchantment Night Gala left. It didn't tell me eight out of how many but I checked and it's ten so I only missed the start.

There are four main strands to the event, three of which revolve around the inevitable special event currency, Enchanted Night Candy.  It's for spending only. Don't try to eat it. You'll get sick.

Daily quests give candy as a bonus on top of their regular rewards and if you find yourself with too much candy on your hands, the ever-hungry Carromu will happily swap it for Diamonds. 

For the more active Warriors (We're all called Warriors in Dawnlands, just like other games call everyone Adventurers.) there's the opportunity to steal candy from babies monsters, specifically the pumpkin-headed ones who only come out at night. 

Technically, it's not stealing because the monsters stole it from us and we're just taking it back. Although it's candy that only monsters can eat and it's made specially for monsters. Just not these monsters. It's complicated. My advice is just kill 'em, take the candy and don't think about it too hard!

A very nice touch is that some of those pumpkin-headed monsters are the regular little goblins who've dressed up for Halloween. Not all of them, either, just a few, which adds a weirdly convincing gloss to the nightly murder spree. I pity the poor saps who got so excited by the thought of Halloween they couldn't resist getting all dressed up - they might as well have painted targets on their backs.

There are also some new, spooky, wraithlike creatures whose pumpkin heads look a lot more sinister. They're tough, as I found out when I attacked the first one I saw but not that tough. Or maybe it's me  that's tough now. Pretty sure I wouldn't have wanted to fight them when I was new here.

The final event is double yield when you grow pumpkins. I'm not sure I want that many pumpkins but thanks for the thought.

The candy gets you all kinds of season-appropriate items in the aptly named Candy Exchange. Although the new store stocks a few items that can only be bought with cash shop currency, there's far more you can get for candy. 

That seems to be how Dawlands usually works. I'm really not sure how they're making money on this game although it appears people are playing it still. I got a big message when I logged in, reminding everyone about the rules against botting and trading accounts for real money, so I have to assume there's enough interest in the game to fuel some kind of black economy. That suggests some level of popularity, at least.

There are a few things in the candy store I'd like. Furniture, mostly. A couple of recipes. Maybe one of the wearable pumpkin heads, although I've never been a huge fan of those. Prices range from a steep 100 candies for rugs and tapestries all the way down to just twenty for a pumpkin lamp hanging from a dead tree. 

Unusually for an event like this, there's a hard cap on how many candies you can collect during the whole event. You can only do three daily quests and the night-time killfests are capped at 60 per real-world day, 440 for the whole ten days. It's a clever way of reducing the compulsion to overdo things. 

So far I have about 160 candies. There were several new one-off quests that gave me about 40 or 50 and then I did the dailies two days running, which took me over a hundred. The rest are from kills.

I haven't worked out how many I need for the things I want but I'd guess even half of what I'm allowed would be more than enough. I'll be logging in every day to do the dailies, anyway. It's a chill, fun event and it's new to me so I'm enjoying it quite a bit.

The decorations in the villages are very impressive, if not wildly over the top. There are pumpkins everywhere. There's also a nice backstory about the lore behind the festival. It would be nicer still if the translations were better but I appreciate the effort that went into it, all the same.

All in all its a very solid effort for a first major holiday. Makes me wonder what they'll do for Christmas. 

I just hope the game is still around come December. I'm not done with it yet.

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