Monday, October 25, 2021

Graverobbing For Fun And Profit

New World continues to eat every other mmorpg's lunch but I did manage to get some time in EverQuest II this weekend, courtesy of a couple of days at work. By the time I got home I was too tired to deal with my aging and underpowered PC struggling to cope with the demands made on it by the weekend population surge, even with graphics set to Low. I didn't log into the game at all on either Saturday or Sunday.

It was a fortuitous break. I'd been meaning to check if there was anything new in this year's Nights of the Dead festival in EQII. I realize this isn't a news site but I still feel mildly uncomfortable if I miss the oportunity to report on any significant changes in the handful of games I play regularly and thanks to New World I hadn't even made time to look at the EQII Traders write-up, let alone to log in and see for myself what was happening.

As it turns out, there's quite a lot that's new. I won't get out my soap-box or my loud-hailer and bang on yet again about how Darkpaw seem to be able to add more content with a small team than other developers manage with one ten times the size, even though I'm not alone in having noticed the discrepancy, but once again I was impressed. 

There's a gigglegibber goblin who'll cast an illusion spell on you that cycles though a selection of creepy costumes. It lasts until you click it off. I particularly liked this one.

The EQII Traders article gives full chapter and verse on all the new content so I won't rehash all of it. There's a new quest (which I have done), a new crafting book (which I have bought and used - I strongly recommend the beautiful Rubicite windows.) a new collection (which I have finished) and a number of new rewards for old quests (a couple of which I have acquired.) There are also some new things to buy on the Nights of the Dead vendor, several of which are very nice. I haven't bought those yet but I will.

The new quest is fun. It's nominally a crafting quest but it requires no actual crafting skill. You trot around Freeport (or Qeynos, if you're that way inclined) gathering burial dirt, scarecrow bats and ephemeral frights to use as ingredients to make "fright conjuration powder". 

The frights are easy to spot. They're blue wispy ghosts that swirl about in a very obvious and striking manner. The burial dirt comes from mounds of earth next to the gravestones that dot the capital cities at this time of year, the same ones you dig up with the shovel to get all the various goodies, including two of the three collections, one of those being the new one that was added this year.

You might want to draw me a picture, Zintris.


I had a bit more trouble finding the scarecrow bats, mostly because I seem to be as blind as one. A bat, that is. It took me ages to notice there are scarecrows next to many of the pumpkin patches. After I'd run past about a dozen of them I finally realized what I was missing and clicked on one, which was how I got my first bat.

The quest, when completed, gives a very nice vanity pet in the form of a set of those whirling ephemeral frights. It also allows you to use the three fright dispensers you placed around the city for the second part of the quest. Every time you do that you get either a trick or a treat. 

The first time I did it I got swarmed by bats. The second time I got five charnel caramel bars. I ate one and next thing I knew I was surrounded by a shoal of what looked like ectoplasmic eels... or something even less savory. There are several more candies with aura effects and they're non-tradeable so it's well worth stocking up while the event is on.

Is it just me or are those bats flying upside-down?


There's still time for that, I'm happy to say. Even though this post comes unhelpfully late, Nights of the Dead runs for another ten days, finishing on November 4th. Plenty of time to get everything you want.

Compared to certain other Halloween holidays in games I won't mention (*cough* Guild Wars 2 *cough*) doing all that's required to fill your bags with all that's needed is a relaxing and enjoyable experience. There's still the inevitable rng to contend with, naturally, but at least if luck doesn't go your way you can sometimes buy your way out of a lengthy grind.

I spent over an hour digging up graves in the hope of completing the new collection but there was one piece that eluded me. I know it would have shown itself eventually but I already had more grave mounds, bloody toothed skeletons, snuffed candles and patchwork baby dragons than I knew what to do with so I stopped digging and checked the broker for the elusive Unholy Chains of Fear.


The reward is a very striking and deeply horrible plushie of something called the Dream Scorcher. I assume it's a raid boss in some raid I've never done and I would certainly not want to meet it on a dark night or even in broad daylight for that matter. 

Probably fortunately, given its looks, it can't be re-sized so it shouldn't give me the heebie-jeebies every time I use the storage chest I've set it to guard. It's too small to be scared of. So I keep telling myself.

I still have a few more things I'd like to do before the event ends. I got all three of the Phantasm Witchcraft pieces from my grave-robbing exploits but they're attuneable (aka bind on equip) and also heirloom (aka account bound) so I need to get them again for my necromancer and maybe my warlock, too. That's going to take a while.  

Which is fine by me. Digging up graves goes very well with listening to the T20 world cup on the radio and it's something to do in the evenings when New World gets too laggy to be fun. 

I also need to get a few rounds of the Public Quest in, if people are still doing it. There are Familiars to be had. New ones.

All in all, another fine holiday event from the game that does them best.


  1. Sorry to hijack this, but did you see Kathy Rain finally was released on Steam?

    1. Yes, I got an email about it today. It's on my wishlist and Steam is very good about notifying me when anything there becomes available or goes on sale. I, on the other hand, am very bad about buying anything they tel me about. I haven't yet bought anything on my wishlist this year, even though there are now seven games there that have launched since I put them on.

      Kathy Rain, good though it is, would be at that back of that queue anyway because although it's an updated version with new areas and puzzles, I do own the original and I have finished it. I'd get the ones I haven't played before I get revamped versions of the ones I have (Disco Elysium is another that's had a major revamp but I feel it's to soon to replay that one - I remember it very clearly.)

      The real reason I haven't bought anything from my wishlist, though, is too many new games and too many free games. I have about half a dozen point and click adventures lined up to play already and I can't get to those until I run out of steam with New World. Not to mention my increasing enthusiasm for other mmorpgs now I'm not playing them... I might do a post about that...

    2. Fair enough, but based on your recommendation I added Kathy Rain to my wishlist, so I figured you were interested enough in the remake.

      The irony is that there's a lot of games out there in early access that I'd like to buy, but I'm using that early access moniker to keep me from buying them.

    3. Was that based on my posts about the original game or my post on the demo for the Director's Cut, though? I was really quite negative about the latter, saying "...the main effect of partially playing through the demo has been to convince me I need to see some evidence of the extent and value of the new content before I pay again for what might end up being pretty much the same game I already have." My summing up was "Recommended for anyone who doesn't already have Kathy Rain. Otherwise, maybe wait for the reviews when it comes out to see if it's really worth paying twice". I'm going to take my own advice but even if the reviews are stellar (Looking forward to yours!) there's not much point buying it if I don't have time to play it.

    4. Yes, it was the demo of the Director's Cut, and the "if you don't already have Kathy Rain" part that caught my eye. I'd not expect you to buy another version of the same game (my Midwestern background popping out here), but your belief that the game is good enough for people who don't have it already.... Well. I guess we'll see about that.

    5. I think if you enjoy point and click games based around investigation and mystery then it's a solid buy. The writing is good, the story is interesting (not all that original but then when are they?) and the characters are plausible, especially Kathy herself. The only real caveat, I guess, is that there are a lot of fairly similar games available and a lot of them are free if you have the various services like Prime, Epic etc. I originally got Kathy Rain free with Prime, I think. I would definitely pay money for a sequel but maybe not just for a revamp of the one I already have. I also think they could have made the Director's Cut a free upgrade, which is what Disco Elysium did recently, but that's another barrel of worms.


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