As I was working on getting back into the swing of things in EverQuest II after the prolonged downtime, I had a moment of anger as I was waiting to start a public quest. For those not familiar, EQII's public quests are similar to those in other games, but there are only two, and they run at rather lengthy, and predictable, timers. So I flew over to Storm Gorge first, only to arrive seconds too late and miss out on the chest. I flew back to the Ring War, only to find that I had 40 more minutes before kick off and the only other person there was an Ogre Shadow Knight standing AFK with the angry mood emote. (Why on earth anyone finds that animation cool is beyond me.)

"No problem," I thought, "I'll just use the time to peruse my bags and find my Frost Giant illusion that goes so well with the event." I tapped on my "B" key, and then something horrible happened...

Inventory crisis. I had been so lax in cleaning out my bags prior to the downtine and hadn't bothered with it while I was running Aether races. So now every one of my bags was full, and I had about a dozen items in my overflow slot. How could this happen? And more important, would I be able to find my Frost Giant illusion in time?

Suddenly, I felt like the lead character in Run, Lola, Run. The clock was ticking, and I was frantically trying to troubleshoot my missing illusion. I started to mouse-hover over each item, realizing that it would take several precious minutes and that if I skipped it by accident, I'd have to start all over. Then, in a flash of brilliance, I remembered the new Inventory Search function on the character window. Twenty minutes left and I was wracking my brain to remember the name of the item. I tried "illusion," something safe, but that only turned up my Gruengach illusion and a Gnome illusion. (How and when did I get a Gnome illusion?!)

Next, I tried Frost Giant, but that came up with no results. I decided to go back to mouse-hovering, trying to target only items that might have the appropriate icon for a Giant illusion. Skull icon -- nope. Odd-looking crystal -- nope. Snake head -- defiinitely not! Then, all of a sudden, I found myself distracted by the appearance window. The next five minutes were spent modeling cloaks, weapons, and various pieces of armor that were tucked away in my bags.

Now I'm down to only 10 minutes left with still no sign of the illusion. I went back to mouse hovering over individual items in my bags in a futile attempt to find it. And then I remembered that I can hover over each bag to read its contents. I got through bag one with no luck, but as I skimmed the list of bag two, I saw "Visage of Kael" -- Kael! Kael Drakkel! Bingo!

With about a minute and a half to go, I donned my illusion, equipped my spoon of doom, and had scored a victory before the battle even began. Now I could finally focus my attention on the Coldain Ring War event.

I was curious now as to how the public quest system is functioning in EQII. It's gone through a bit of a rocky relationship with the gaming population. Early on, it was well-received, but there have been some road bumps along the way. First, the items weren't powerful enough. Then they became so powerful that people were shunning instances to run PQs. They've been nerfed since then, but there were other issues. Lag was one, particularly for the Storm Gorge event. More recently, there had been an issue with the loot chest's poofing. And as if that wasn't enough, there's been some fine-tuning around participation and how to fairly dole out rewards based on contribution.

Our event kicked off without a hitch, although one brave Monk decided to try to solo a group of mobs well out of the range of the rest of the raid. I began to run over to heal him, realized he was out on some random ice floe, and concluded that if he wanted a heal, he would know how to flop back to us. The last thing I wanted was for my group to yell at me because I was out of range to heal its members.

Each round went well, and we were spawning epic mob after epic mob. We finally got to the last round, when Narandi's ghost appears, and we settled in for the long-haul. Healing is fairly straightforward, and thanks to Profit UI and a few helpful click-to-cure addons, the task of cross-healing and cross-curing is made much more manageable. But all that healing and curing requires power, and our group was without a power-feeding class. (Curses to whoever put the Coercer and Illusionist in the same group!) As Narandi's health approached the red, my power began to trickle out. "No matter," I thought to myself, "I'll just hit one of my power-regen clickies." And before I could even finish that though, I instinctively hit the B key and realized...

Sonofabiscuit! Doomed by my own inventory! Fortunately, one of the power-feeders hit us up, we finished off Narandi, and everyone got loot from a super-sized chest. (I'm assuming the larger chest is the devs' way of repairing the poofing chest from before -- "can you see me now?")

I scooped up my loot, which of course went straight to my overflow, and waved tiny fists of pixelated fury as I had to pass on all the event shinies that spawn right afterward. I was victorious, but at the same time, I had to take the walk of shame back to the guild hall to start the tedious task of cleaning out my bags. You see, if you think my bags are a problem, that's nothing compared to this:

Anyone want a Necrotic Flashpot?

From the snow-capped mountains of New Halas to the mysterious waters of the Vasty Deep, Karen Bryan explores the lands of Norrath to share her tales of adventure. Armed with just a scimitar, a quill, and a dented iron stein, she reports on all the latest news from EverQuest II in her weekly column, The Tattered Notebook. You can send feedback or elven spirits to karen@massively.com.

This article was originally published on Massively.