Daily Archives: February 19, 2007

Finishing The Return of the Light

Saturday night I decided I would just poke my nose into EverQuest II for a little while, just to see what was going on. Due to life pitching high and inside at couple of the team, our regular Saturday night WoW instance run has been on hiatus, otherwise I would have been there instead. 

I thought I might run down a couple of quests, but I was going to call it a night early.  It had been a busy day.  Our house is on the market, so we had an open house this weekend, which meant we needed to be out of the house most of the day.  My wife was working a trade show up in SF over the weekend, so while she was sleeping at home, she was spending most of her waking hours up in the city.  As she got home to have a late dinner and get to bed I told her I would not be far behind her.

I logged in as Blintz and found myself in Nektulos Forest at the Commonlands gate.  I knew I had an update for “Hadden’s Earring” to get in the Commonlands, so I figured I would go get that, taking a run out of my way to check to see if any of the mobs I needed for “Return of the Light” happened to be wandering around.

For “Return of the Light” I was on the step where I needed to find and kill Captains Gaer and Ogof. 

As I passed through the orcs, I saw a Sergeant Fogo on tracking.  I seemed to recall something about the two captains being given placeholders, so I stopped to look that up.

Sure enough, Sergeant Fogo is Captain Ogof’s placeholder.  Captain Gaer has a placeholder named Sergeant Reag.  So I killed Sergeant Fogo, then ran off to find the other placeholder.  I found Reag not too far away and killed him.  Then I ran back to where Fogo was and there was Captain Ogof waiting for me.

How nice!  How easy!  How completely in pattern for me.

I have this habit of lucking out the first time I do a quest like this.  

For example, way back in 2005, I did “Return of the Light” with my level 35 paladin, solo, in under two hours. 

Really.  From the point I spotted Lightbringer by pure chance to the point when I finished the quest was under 120 minutes, done completely solo, including Bloodskull Valley access.

This was back when a low 20s mob could barely touch a level 35 plate wearing fighter.  Bloodskull Valley consisted of wading through a ton of orcs until General Drull showed up, killing him, and walking away.  It was also a weekday morning, I was at home on a boring conference call, and the Commonlands was empty.

Of course, I have never been able to finish this quest in anything like that time frame since then.

So following that theme, Captain Ogof came easy.  Then there was Captain Gaer.

Sergeant Reag repopped.  I killed him.

Sergeant Reag repopped again.  I killed him.

Sergeant Reag repopped yet again.  I killed him.

I began making hash marks on paper to count the number of times I had to kill him.

I timed his respawn.  He shows up again in a little over six minutes after you kill him.

On I went.

I ended up killing poor Sergeant Reag 17 times before Captain Gaer finally showed up.  That is nearly two hours spent stalking Captain Gaer.  That is about an hour and a half longer than I had planned on staying in the game.

You kill the placeholder and then think, every time, oh, he’ll pop this time.  Over and over.  Still, you feel more in control than when you used to just roam around waiting for him to spawn.

Finally, having slain Gaer, I ran over to Cannix, updated the quest, then headed out to get my “Hadden’s Earring” update so I could go to bed.

As I hit the update for the fishbone earring quest, somebody said on OOC “anybody need the high priest of Val’Marr?”

“Well, crap” I thought, “I am this far in, I might as well get that step done.”  So I replied on OOC saying I needed him and got an invite from Kiry, a level 34 fae troubadour, and headed out for to the Ruins of Val’Marr.

This was one of those chance encounters that makes me love EverQuest II.  I seem to have the best luck with chance pick up groups and this was no exception.

While I flew the griffon out to the station at the ruins, she managed to spawn the High Priest, so I just had to run over and start the fight.

We ran back to Cannix and updated the quest.  Kiry then asked if I was up for killing T’Sanne for the shiny brass halberd quest in Nektulos Forest.  I wasn’t up to that step and I did not want to spend the time getting there then hang around waiting for T’Sanne to spawn.  I was done with that routine for the night.

So I suggested we give Bloodskull Valley a try.  I told her I was a cocky level 39 swashbuckler and was ready to take on the world.

She was dubious about our chances, wanting to find a healer at least, but agreed to give it a shot.  It turned out that she had done this quest at least as many times as I had, though a bit more recently in her last run, so was more up to date on the details.

For example, I had done the usual access quest for Bloodskull Valley.  She skipped it.  You do not need that quest any more, you just talk to some guy outside the instance to get into the right version for “Return of the Light.”

Still, my nutty ideas were not without merit.

We got there, got in the right instance, and the orcs came to get us.  The first wave wasn’t much of an issue.  I did some area of effect attacks to grab all aggro then we started slaying.

The next wave started to get on us a bit.  And then the third wave, the one with named Legionnaire (Gorluk?) came and began to beat on us.  I knew we were not going to make it.  Before we could bite into that wave too far, I was down, dead.  Then she was dead.

But something has changed since I last did this quest.  We revived in the instance.  All the remaining orcs were back in their groups standing around, but nobody was attacking us.

We walked over to the Legionnaire and pondered the situation, then came up with a plan.  We would start on the Legionnaire’s group, hoping that the remainders of the two other groups would not come to their rescue.  Then we would try to hold out and kill until General Drull finally spawned.  Once he was on the scene, we would jump on him and then evac.

And the cool thing is, it worked.  We started in on the Legionnaire wave, killing him first.  Another wave jumped in after not too long.  We kept on hammering away at the orcs.  Then Drull’s party spawned.  We jumped on him, I unleashed everything I had as quickly as I could until he went down.  I saw the update, hit evac, and out we went!  We did it.  We were both down to two bubbles of health each, but we were just a step away from finishing.

So we ran back to Cannix, spoke to him, he died, we slew his assassins (Qeynos aligned version of the quest) and we were finished!

I always think this quest should be worth more.  The status is okay, but the experience is marginal (it is at level 39 anyway) and there is no AA experience because the quest has long gone grey by the time you can reasonably do it without a raid group.

I told Kiry I had to log.  It was already 1am my time.  I had planned to get to bed by 10pm.  Kiry put me on her friends list and I put her on mine.  We had a fun time finishing this up, the crazy swashbuckler and the knowing troubadour, so we said we would try more quests together should we be on again at the same time.

Another heritage quest down.  I need to plan on which one to do next.