If you happen to be a housing buff (or even a quest-o-holic) then there is no doubt that you had heard about the 5 new grotto that (as of yesterday) appear in Norrath the 20th of every month for players to explore and quest in. If for some reason you were unable to partake in the event this month – don’t worry, there will be another one next month, same date. When I started working on these quests I had so many questions shot my way about it that I put all of the information I knew into a player-written book, made 10 copies of it, and sold it on the broker for others who did not want to spend the time to look it up. Surprisingly enough, I sold out. Of course I also advertised the books on the channels too.

The grotto appear in Antonica, Darklight Woods, Greater Faydark, Enchanted Lands, and Nektulos Forest. Each zone has a collection quest associated with it, as well as one regular quest (aside from Darklight Woods, which has two). Each zone has a merchant with 10-15 house items for sale that use the tokens you receive from completing the quests. If you do not collect the purple shiny in the zone, you will only have a 39 minute lock out and you can go back in and complete the zone again for another house item. I am not certain if this is intended. The 2 day 12 hour lock out only sets once you have collected the purple shiny.

I have never seen so many house items at once before that I wanted to have. They were absolutely beautiful. I ran through the quest on three of my characters for this month and decided that would be more then enough for me. I love the work that must have went into an event such as this, and the giggles of pleasure from watching everyone and their new house items. There were sea shells, coral, flowers, vines, trees, grass, illusions, 20 charges of temporary mounts (that lasted a day each, fantastic for those lowbie alts since the quests scaled and were quite simple). There were plushies of every shape and size, and all of it for a very limited time only, until next month. What a fantastic idea.

I don’t think people understand the scale of the content that gets added to EQ2 every single month (or two). We have huge massive updates on a steady basis that give players not only basic bug fixes and updates to things like graphics but incredible zones, house items, gear, and even the more unique like player-written books. I think a lot of us take advantage of the fact that we expect these updates to happen – but they should NOT be expected. We pay our monthly fee and while there are those who may say the developers of the game are obligated due to the fact that this is to keep subscriptions, it’s simply not true. This content is something that is extra, and done amazingly well in EverQuest II.

On that same note, there is also the guide program in EQ, EQ2, VG, and the EQ that’s on the mac (the name escapes me right now). How many other games have a guide program, where a group of volunteers are set to interact with the player base on a daily time frame, giving away goodies, providing role play opportunities, and other games that can reward players. The time and effort that goes into these games is astounding and every once in a while we all need to sit back and appreciate that effort. I know, I know, we pay $15/m and that’s a lot of money and we should be getting everything for free and how dare anything break in the game without us the players the game would be nothing. I’ve heard it all before. I even agree with certain aspects. That doesn’t mean we can’t be thankful and appreciate what we’re getting as a player base. I hear often on 70-79 players ranting about how no one listens to them, and about how they feel ‘screwed over’. I think this opinion is slightly misguided, while individual players may feel as though no one listens to their specific set of unique problems, over all, things are not that bad.

Sorry, I got carried away there and started ranting. You certainly don’t have to agree with me, but if I’ve learned anything over the past five years it’s to be thankful, both in game and out.

The grotto quests are amazing. So amazing that I spent my time in game yesterday doing nothing but that, and decorating the museum I posted about yesterday. It was one of those nice calm relaxing days that are typically so rare. I ended up crawling into bed with a book at 9:30, and watched ‘Pretty Woman’ until I fell asleep. I couldn’t have thought of a more perfect way to spend my Saturday if I tried (except maybe down in San Diego, I’m so jealous of all of you who are headed to Fan Faire)!

Have a fantastic Father’s Day, everyone. I’ll see you in Norrath (and Telon)!