There were 80+ players gathered in Antonica for the opening ceremonies of the Festival of Unity – 5th year running. The SOE staff had done an amazing job of decorating the festival sites (there are 6 total) and a huge thank you went out to Domino who showed up to watch, which was nice to see. I’ve always loved that sort of interaction. The ceremony was beautiful, the beginning was a dedication to Klumpp (may have spelled his name wrong, he was an ogre paladin who served Marr) who started with the idea of the festival of unity 5 years ago. There were thanks given to Tunare, and even those from Freeport, Neriak, and Gorowyn were in attendance. After the ceremony we moved to a joust event, and Wayfinder’s hosted drinks and seating for people to enjoy while watching the tournaments. This was followed by an amazing crafting fair at Windstalker village, as well as an Archery event in (you guessed it) Archer’s Woods. Afterward the Wishing Well event took place, which included a lot of awesome stories and songs told by various volunteers, while people sat in the stands and watched, attention rapt. Finally the night ended with an event called Over the Edge, which involved a lot of .. falling.

The festival runs all this week and finishes off Saturday June 25th late into the evening, there’s a schedule of all of the events posted on the festival’s guildportal site which you can find here. Tonight the festivities begin at 8pm EST with Whose Line? and on Wednesday is my favorite event – Feyiron Chef. All of the events take place in Antonica well away from any guards so if you’re evil aligned please don’t hesitate to check it out.

I had an amazing time, there were fantastic prizes and great friends to be seen everywhere. Even if you’ve never taken part of a roleplay event before, there’s no better ones in EQ2 (except maybe the counterpart to the Festival of Unity, which is the Festival of Discord and takes place in the fall). The amount of work that the organizers must have went through to insure that this event ran smoothly is one that I can’t even begin to imagine. Whether you’re a beginner roleplayer and just want to wander around drinking in the sights, or have been frantically screaming your characters history to anyone who would listen for years now – you’ll find something to enjoy.

Just keep in mind that there ARE some silent rules when it comes to roleplaying, especially on this grand of a scale. Keep in mind that this is the festival of UNITY, it’s not exactly the time to walk around slicing everyone around you with your sword drawn. Be respectful of other roleplayers, and don’t go God-mode (your character is invincible, the best at everything, etc). There are bound to be a few conflicts here and there, it happens with a crowd so large but for the most part everything I saw was pleasant and worked out well. Keep in mind that everyone has their own ‘style’ of roleplay, and just because someone doesn’t conform to yours is no need to get upset.

I hope everyone who went had an amazing time – you may have to turn down your graphic settings if you’re to visit some of the more popular events. You can find me in game and at the festival as Sharatan, be sure to say hello!

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.