Saturday, March 30, 2019

Fool's Gold: EQ2

I am not a fan of April's Fools Day. Not since I was about nine years old, anyway. Game developers, however, seem to love it. Or pretend to.

Every MMORPG you can think of will be paying some kind of service, lip or fan, to the Feast of Fools this weekend. Guild Wars 2 long ago locked the date to the inexplicably popular Super Adventure Box, which returned on Thursday.

I haven't bothered with it yet. I don't hate it. I liked it well enough when it was new. Probably seen enough of it now, though. I hear there are some new races. Might try those, I guess. I do like racing.

Over in EverQuest II we have a much more appealing prospect in Bristlebane Day. There really is a "day", too. The whole festival runs for a couple of weeks but there's a bunch of stuff that only happens on the First of April, including rabbit-catching, special harvests and the Sphinx questline.

Also, and this is one I always forget, it's the one chance in the year Beastlords get to tame a were-rabbit warder. Also a were-bear but who cares? Were-rabbit, dude!

I may jump on that later. You get the whole of the two weeks for that one, fortunately. I have a highish-level Beastlord although I never really got on with the class. Too much like hard work compared to the original EverQuest version. Still, were-rabbit...

A lot less fuss and an easy run is the new quest, handed out by Zruk the troll in Enchanted Lands. All Bristlebane quests begin in Enchanted Lands, presumably because Bristlebane Fizzlethorpe, God of Mischief, is a Halfling. Identifies as a halfling, maybe I should say. God, after all. Pretty much be what he wants.

I did the new quest right before this post. It took maybe fifteen, twenty minutes, most of which was me running around not knowing what I was looking for. I thought I'd do it the proper way, without looking anything up.

I was expecting it to be quick. On a max level character with unlimited Fast Travel via All Access membership, most movement-gated questing is trivial. Add in both Tracking (which I give my Berserker by way of the extremely cheap Scrolls of Tracking that I buy from the Cash Shop) and Track Harvestables, which I have by dint of being a maxed-out crafter, and there's not much that slows me down on a scavenger hunt.

Apart from being in the wrong place, looking for the wrong thing, that is. Turns out pretty much the entire Antonican seaboard is known as the Coldwind Coast and I was on the wrong side of the map. Plus the clovers aren't shinies as I thought they would be, nor are they drops form the Bristlbane holiday harvests, Jester's Gardens.

After ten minutes looking for the things I lost patience and googled the quest. That got me nowhere. No-one's written it up yet. It must have been tested, though, and EQII testers love to chat about what they're testing and how much it's annoying them, so I went to the forums to read the feedback.

Unfortunately for me the general opinion seemed to be that the quest worked pretty much just fine from the get-go, so no-one felt the need to walk through the steps. I finally had the brilliant idea of googling the item I was looking for, the Coldwind Clover. That took me to an EQII Maps link, where the location was marked.

I opened my map in-game to orient myself and guess what? There was a big, green quest highlight picking out the area where I was supposed to be searching. Could have saved myself a lot of time there if I'd looked but I thought they'd dropped that system a couple of years back in the interests of "immersion". Not for holiday fluff quests, evidently.

Once I'd got that sorted it was barely five minutes to do the whole thing. Clovers in Antonica, Vulriches in Kylong Plains, White Heather in Butcherblock.  Back to Zruk each time for a hand in and the next stage. Without Fast Travel I guess it would take maybe half an hour.

As I've said before, that Fast Travel perk is all but worth the monthly sub on its own. Which does beg the question of why I'm spending 90% of my EQ2 playtime at the moment on Kaladim, where All Access is mandatory but Fast Travel is disabled, along with every other innovation that happened after 2005. Also, no holiday events.

That's a post for another day. Today's all about the silly. Actually, now I come to think about it...

The reward for helping Zruk is a housepet. Like I need any more of those. Y'know what? I just had an idea. I think I'll start a zoo. I'm about fed up of all the creatures lurching and hopping and flapping about the halls of my Maj'Dul mansion. I just might round them all up in some kind of wildlife sanctuary somewhere. That Baubleshire Prestige Home I bought looks a bit like a park...

While I was in Enchanted Lands I did the race a couple of times. Got a hat. Then I went to Freeport and bought the new Bristlebane crafting book. Also last year's, which I seem to have missed. And a rubber chicken.

Playing on Kaladim, and also reading Wilhelm talking about his adventures in old Norrath and Middle Earth, it's finally coming home to me how unecessary my search for a new MMORPG to indulge my passion for meaningless leveling has been. It's not new games I need, it's just more characters in the ones I'm already playing.

I think I might treat myself to some more character slots.


  1. At least your house pets work... Mine just sit there doing nothing, no matter how much I poke them. :-(

    1. I only discovered when I bought the Mara Prestige Home that in some Prestige houses pets don't run their behavior scripts. They basically act as plushies. Are you maybe living in one of those?

    2. I've tried in a couple of Neriak houses (the basic one and one of the upgraded ones). I can go in a wake them, but whenever I re-enter they're, as you say, acting like plushies... I guess the thing to do is just put them where I want them to stay and stop wanting a menagerie!


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