We got ourselves together on Saturday night, counted noses, and found ourselves short a warrior.
Earl, who promised to be drunk, was also missing. However, now that he lives in the wilderness, trivial things like power and net connectivity cannot always be taken for granted, so he might not have been able to get on. Or he might have overshot the mark on the whole drunk part of the equation.
Anyway, our group in Howling Fjord was:
70 Paladin – Vikund
71 Warlock – Bungholio
71 Priest – Skronk
71 Mage – Ula
It appeared that everybody except me found time on Thanksgiving to run out and get to level 71. Still, Vikund was not too far behind and, after indulging in a little back-tracking for some, we were able to carry on with our mission for the night: equipment upgrades through questing.
Though, to be honest, after getting the full cobalt armor set from Earl the previous week, it was hard for Vikund to find a real upgrade. Everybody else, not being able to don cobalt attire, was keen.
I won’t go into detail on most of the quests we made it though. It would be dull and even more long winded than usual. But I will say that Howling Fjord has some of the more interesting twists on the standard MMO quest mechanics that I have seen. For example:
We went hunting with birds of prey. Something new in that for me.
We became birds of prey to collect eggs from nests on a cliff. This was particularly neat because you got a five minute timer during which you could fly freely. If you finished up your eggs, you could just fly around and scout out the area.
We rode in rickety gnomish flying machines.
We donned flying mechanical suits.
And then we went off to sample crystals among the dark iron dwarves and scout out what they were up to.
And, of course, we killed fjord turkeys.
At the crossroads near the Explorer’s League Outpost, one at a time, we each did the Fjord Turkey achievement, called “Friend of Fowl.”
When you slay your 15 turkeys in under three minutes, a mass of Fjord Turkeys attacks you… some times. Skronk and Bung got attacked at the end, but neither Vikund nor Ula did. And not getting attacked seemed to leave us flagged aggro to all normally neutral animals in the zone. Even the critters were flagged as aggro, though they never attacked. So Ula and I had to dodge the shoveltusk herds, lest we get mobbed by angry ungulates.
There were hilarious moments, like when we noticed that the big axes the mobs throw at you outside of Valgarde follow you for a long time, turning corners, dodging obstacles, and slowly pursuing you until finally stop and take the hit.
And then there was a depressing moment when I saw my least favorite of all mounts, the flying carpet.
I hope these end up being more rare than in EverQuest II. Made available en masse as part of the Desert of Flames expansion, carpets are still everywhere in Norrath. They were an interesting sight when they were rare, but when they became common, the charm wore off and they became an immersion breaking eye sore.
That is my opinion of them anyway.
All in all though, a good night. Vikund made it to 71, everybody picked up at least a few upgrades, and I even spotted a quest that has a gun upgrade, so I got Tistann out the next day and ran him through to that quest so he had a Norend weapon.
And now having spent time in both Howling Fjord and the Borean Tundra, I would have to say that the former is the place to go for interesting twists on quest mechanics.
Not that Borean Tundra is… boring. I had fun with the whole D.E.H.T.A. quest line, especially since I have been looking to get back at Hemet Nesingwary since I first ran into his group in Stranglethorn Vale and had to kill 270 animals and collect all those pages to The Green Hills of Stranglethorn Vale way back when. But Howling Fjord really has some different things going on.
So, having advanced a level, armed with a little bit better equipment, and having done some research, perhaps Utgarde Keep will be within our grasp this coming weekend.