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8th Annual Festival of Unity – Antonia Bayle


I am excited. One of my favourite things in EverQuest 2 has always been player driven events. At the end of August, one of the largest is taking place, the Festival of Unity. This will be the 8th year in a row that the festival has run, and it is because of dedicated players that this event is able to happen each year. I have been writing about the festival here on MmoQuests for years now, and last year posted a video of the opening ceremonies. It’s a fantastic time to just wander the crowds and take in all of the excitement. If you’re any sort of roleplayer you’ll feel right at home – and even if you’re not, but have been interested in what it is all about, there is no better time.

The festival runs August 24th until August 30th.

While I was looking through my old posts about the festival, I came across one that discussed one of my first raids with my mystic. Right now she’s a defiler, and her name is Stargrace not Misako, but I betrayed a few times and renamed when I moved servers (also a few times). It brought back such a rush of memories. It was the year I first met “Kilanna” – a woman from Australia who has been an amazing friend of mine these past 7 years. I’m still friends with Lader who I mention in the post, too. It just got me thinking.

Video games are pretty amazing things, no?

Festival of Unity Opening Ceremonies #EQ2 #EverQuest2

The festival of Unity on the Antonia Bayle server kicked off with the opening ceremonies. I did some commentary during the event since the text is way too small to read – however xsplit (program I use to stream) did not play very nicely with recording it, so it cuts in and out a LOT. For future events I will more than likely not stream them, and just record with fraps and post after the event.

Still, a great time was had by everyone, and the jousting that followed was a blast! I’ve got screenshots of that part to post next.

For those of you who don’t know the history of the festival, it started 7 years ago with an Ogre paladin named Klumpp. He had a vision where for at least a week everyone would come together in unity and celebrate good friends, food, and entertainment. It just goes to show how much impact a single person can have.

Festival of Unity on Antonia Bayle #EverQuest2 #EQ2

EQ2_000115Me and the Festival of Unity which is run on the Antonia Bayle server go way way back. This will be the 7th year the festival has run and I’ve really had a blast at every single one of them. You can check out some of my blog posts about previous years. The festival runs from August 11th to 17th, with events on every single day. There’s a map of the happenings, and of course you can check out the web page for day by day schedules. There is also a facebook page.

This festival grows every year, and a huge number of people are involved in putting it on. I usually attend the event with a lesser known character and stay in character the whole time while I mingle with the crowds.

Events like this are important, and they’re not just limited to EQ2 but they happen in pretty much any game that has a community. If you’ve never been to the festival before, I implore you to check it out. It’s a great way to meet others from the community, and participate in some really neat games – there are even prizes. Even if you’re not much of a roleplayer it’s a great time to observe other people participating. You can guarantee that I’ll be there taking screenshots and posting videos.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Festival of Unity Day One #EQ2 #FoU

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.

5th Annual Festival of Unity Starts Sunday! #EQ2

It’s almost that time again, time for the largest eq2 player run festival! The Festival of Unity has been around for a number of years now (5!), and this year it’s bigger then ever. I’ve gone to every single one, and even if you’re not a large roleplay gamer I HIGHLY suggest you check it out. Here are some of my older posts about the festivals on Antonia Bayle – I’m including posts from the counter-part, the festival of discord as well.

Each year the festivals grow in size, and this year there are 15 different guilds involved. You can check out the Festival on facebook, and you can also check out a map of the events as well as the time over on their guild portal page. The opening ceremonies begin June 19th (this Sunday) at 2pm EST and will end at 10pm EST. They’ve also included a very thorough FAQ about the festival, so if you have questions be sure to check out their forums.

Some events previously have included Feyiron Chef (one of my favorites) as well as races, matches of strength, and of course the grounds are filled with vendors selling their wears and entertaining the crowds. So many people show up to this that you may have to adjust your settings or risk crashing. I will be wandering the event in one guise or another (I haven’t decided which character I’ll be bringing yet) so if you want to say hello feel free! It’s worth creating a character on Antonia Bayle just for this event.

Festival of Unity – Why the Fuss?

I’ve been tweeting up a storm about the Festival of Unity on twitter, and yesterday was the opening ceremonies. If you’re not familiar with this event, it is a week long of celebrations that incorporates everything good including order, peace, and friendship. Those aligned with Freeport, Lucan D’Lere, and the other denizens of evilness are requested to disguise themselves or lie about their alignment which I find very amusing.

Why am I so excited about this event? Well you really have to be there to soak up the atmosphere. First of all it is BY FAR the largest player run event across all of EverQuest II. In fact I would even say it’s one of the largest events across EQII period. No, we didn’t crash any zones (that I know of) but there were well over 200 people clustered into Antonica for the opening ceremonies in the afternoon, with more showing up to partake in events and just mingle with their fellow role players.

This is a massive event with a LOT of planning and work put into it by players and employees of sony alike. In fact there was a Gnobrin spotting, as well as a Domino spotting. I tried to rush after both for autographs but alas their evade skills are far beyond what my level 12 dirge could manage.

The community of SOE gets involved by means of decorations for the fair grounds, which is incredible every year. This is the third annual festival, and of course Gnobrin out did himself. tents, cooking areas, merchant grounds, lights, flowers, everything was perfect.

If you’re not on Antonia Bayle but would like to listen to the public announcements (which are always humorous) and see what else is going on you are more then welcome to join their festival channel: /join antonia_bayle.festival. Of course if you’re like me the first thing you did upon hearing about this festival (since I no longer technically play on AB) is rush right out and create a character. Thankfully Malfi had some spare party clothes for me so my baby dirge didn’t have to wander around in her uncomfortable chain mail.

There is a calendar of events with times that you can find, as well as a map of festival locations. Not a role player? I’d still suggest checking it out. There are so many other stories going on that you don’t really have to have one of your own in order to enjoy the party atmosphere. If you’re a people watcher (like I am) it works out wonderfully. I heard so many stories last night from characters I have never heard of before, it was amazing. I plan on writing a role play introduction from my bards perspective later on today (depending on work, it is Monday after all).

I can not stress enough that THESE are the reasons people will play your game. The community. Sure, it is fantastic when the game itself has festivals and events but player run events on a massive scale such as this are simply astounding. The creativity that goes into it just amazes me every time.

So if you happen to be on Antonia Bayle this evening, you’ll want to make sure you catch the events! They start at 7pm EST and include Gnome punting, Antonican Idol (eep!), and Golden Lemming. The festival closes after a full day of fun and games on Saturday June 6th, so if you’ve never witnessed something like this before, make sure you head out that way.

Antonia Bayle and the Festival of Unity – Part I

The GM’s have been very nice in aiding with the festival, adding tents to the celebration areas in Antonica

Last night I decided to take a break completely from things. I was going to work on L&L for Stargrace, and decided not to. I declined power leveling and guildies. I decided to say no to crafting. So what did I do? Well, a few guilds on Antonia Bayle have been hosting the Festival of Unity. It is a week long event located mostly in Antonica so that people from various factions can attend and not worry about the guards. There are games, contests, prizes to be won. It was one of the best nights I’ve ever had in EverQuestII. I’ll be posting my role play version of this event a little later today, but in the mean time here’s an overview.

At about 8:15pm EST, an auction began in Windstalker village. Nice of the GM’s to erect a stage and some tents for the festivities.

The crowd was huge, there were people of all factions, races, and guilds gathered together. The bidding began at 10g and went steadily up from there. The funds went half to the festival community to help pay for things like food and drink and costumes, and the other half went to the people auctioned. It was all in good fun, and it seemed that most people enjoyed themselves. It may sound a little weird, auctioning someone off in an MMO, but they were “dates” for the night, for the tavern event that was to follow the auction. Everyone volunteered themselves, no one was forced. Some people went for as high as 10p. Misako herself tried to make a few bids, but it was a little to steep for her pockets.

Afterwards the Fellowship of the Dragon hosted a fishing competition on the docks in Windstalker village. The winner was Shirrar, who got some nice prizes. Other prizes were donated to the second and third place winners. I had a lot of fun playing a reporter, and wandering around the event in general. There were peddlers selling their wares, froglok totems made from by real frogloks, dresses in case you had nothing to wear to the event, food and drink abound. There was also fortunes told, by Drakael – or rather, futures told. Misako got in on that as well, as there was a huge line up. The event was quite popular. The auction itself went on for nearly three hours, while people wandered around the event. After the auction and while the fishing competition was finishing up, Annwen gathered a crowd beneath a huge old tree to talk about some old Norrathian stories, her tale of the night was about Mujaki the Devourer – I couldn’t listen to the entire story though as it was Misako’s turn to have her future told.

There were drinking competitions hosted along with the stories, and at midnight EST there were card games. My eyeballs were threatening to close by 11:30 though, so I had to call it an early night. I really had a great time. If you’re looking for more information on the festival, you can find it here there are events like lemming cliff diving, there were jousting tournaments, and there’s so much more. There is an event schedule as well. There is also another post with some screen shots of the event here in the offical AB forums. If you’re on the AB server, I suggest you check it out and embrace what a wonderful server you’re apart of, and even if you’re not from AB I’d suggest rolling an alt just to see the events.

Community Effort #WurmOnline

This weekend Sincor organized a mass casting of ‘Rite of Spring‘ ‘Holy Crop‘ and ‘Ritual of the Sun‘ on the Deliverance server. Each of these spells belongs to one of the three Freedom Gods, and requires 300 favor to cast which means a lot of linking. I was only too eager to help out in any way that I could and so I volunteered a priest of each deity, and helped out with a few gems.

One of the major benefits to casting these spells is that the players online who are followers / priests of that deity will gain 5h of sleep bonus when the spell goes off. The downside to this is that too many people want the sleep bonus but don’t want to help out with the cast. I was sad to see that a few of the ‘old timers’ were unwilling to come to Green Dog to help with the cast, giving some pretty feeble excuses. All community events like this only work if they have the help of the community behind it.

For those who did come out, I was thankful, and had fun. It was nice to see parts of the community come together to help benefit the entire server, although it did not help that the following day the servers all went down numerous times so everyone (online or not) was granted 5h of sleep bonus. Some players even went so far as to complain that they already had 5h sleep bonus so they didn’t personally benefit from the 5h that was granted from server issues. Really? We are so selfish that we have to complain when others benefit from something that we already have? Honestly, it just made my head hurt.

There are a few other community events scheduled for this summer, including a summer festival of sorts on the Independence server which I am looking forward to attending. There will be games and prizes given out as well as priests casting and other good things. I love these player run events, and I think they really add character to a game – as long as they can be managed well. It’s only too easy for one person to spoil it for a group and for arguments to follow. Thankfully we don’t see too much of that.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Festival of the Sands – Coming to Antonia Bayle Soon(tm)

There are a few fantastic player-runĀ  events on Antonia Bayle, and if you want to hear about them you can /join festival (or even /join antonia_bayle festival if you’re interested from another server) where they’re typically announced, with instructions on individual events at a later date. I always love going to these events, some of the largest ones include the Festival of Unity and the Festival of Discord, a 3rd newer one was added not so long ago, Festival of the Sands – this takes place in – you guessed it – Sinking Sands. It takes place later this august (exact dates escape me, I’ll have to do some research) and if you’re looking for fun in the sun this will be the place to head.

I had been saving my final character slot for a beastlord when they release in November, but of course patience is not one of my strong points, and I decided to create a warlock last night. Thanks to the 180% veteran bonus I have on the account and one large ogre, in two hours she had reached level 63. I’ve always wanted a warlock but had never leveled one up before, and I find them fascinating. Whether or not I’ll actually play her in any honesty I am unsure, but it’s fun in the mean time. Thankfully all hopes of owning a beastlord are not lost, as the station cash store sells character slots for $10 each, which is not too bad.

I also finally spent some time in Tinkerfest, collecting cogs and saving gnomes. Crafted an awesome looking cog backpack – I love how backpacks can have appearance in game. There’s only a few more days left to take advantage of this festival as well as the Kelethin city festival, so be sure to take a peek before it’s gone for this year!

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself. I’ll see you in Norrath!

Festival Of the Sands

If you play on Antonia Bayle (and these days it seems like almost everyone does) you’ve probably heard of two large player run festivals. One is the Festival of Unity, and the other is the Festival of Discord. This year, a third festival has made it into the play list. The Festival of the Sands. It takes place from August 15th to the 21st in Sinking Sands, and has even had some help with setting up thanks to one Gnobrin.

I decided to go to the opening ceremonies last night, and while there was not quite as large a turn out as I have seen for the previous festivals, it was still a sight. The week is split up into numerous events – and if you’re interested in meeting some fellow role players I highly suggest you check it out.

Sunday, August 15, 2010
Remembrance of the First Sultan and Founding of the City

Blessing of Ro and Opening Ceremony
Location: Fires of Ro
Sponsor: Rhana
4:00 CST

Battle of the Bards
Location: Poet’s View
Sponsor: Sihayya
5:00 CST

So You Think You Can Belly Dance

Location: Poet’s View
Sponsor: Hipolita and Meridyth
6:30 CST

Wishing Well
Sponsor: Tregarde
9:00 CST

You can find a calendar with a list of events, as well as a map of locations on their web site. Player run events like these take a lot of work to pull off, and I really appreciate the guilds that are working to put it together. If you’ve never attended a festival like this before I highly suggest you take a peek. They’re always a LOT of fun!

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself.

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