You see, initially this guide was just going to focus on speed to help you get through that short two-day event that comes but once a month on the 20th and 21st in EQII. Now, however, we get to delve into the changes and new things coming to the Enchanted Grottoes, from even more housing items (yes, that's on top of the new additions in March) to two new repeatable quests to earn the tokens to buy the items. And with this month's festival right around the corner, having a game plan ready to get the most out of those two days will benefit new and old players alike.
For folks unfamiliar with this monthly festival, let me explain what all the fuss is about. Every month on the 20th and 21st, five special little mini instances called Enchanted Grottoes open up for players. In each of these areas, entered via an enchanted mushroom ring, players can complete a quest to earn an elemental token -- a special currency that can be used to purchase housing items, temporary mounts, and some cosmetic pieces from the special merchants inside the grotto. One grotto even gave a second quest that was made repeatable, allowing players to accumulate even more tokens. Each grotto also has a purple collection associated with it, with one shiny per month for players to collect.
What keeps players coming back to the grottoes? They offer the easiest to obtain and cheapest housing items in game, not to mention simply the best variety of plants available. And there are no restrictions preventing any character from participating; beginning characters with no money and no experience can go in and get themselves some nice items to decorate their homes with. Even old-timers who've dismissed Moonlight Enchantments for a while are renewing their interest because SOE has recently begun adding cool new items to the merchants. And it looks like this month, two new repeatable tradeskill quests will be joining the grottoes, giving players even more opportunities to stock up on tokens and fill their homes with finery.
If you're ready to dive in and collect yourself a veritable jungle of greenery and/or the shinies, here's a guide to get you going.
Guide to grottoes
All five Enchanted Grottoes are in places accessible by even the lowest of characters, so feel free to run this on any and all alts. Although there is no reason to necessarily collect tokens on multiple characters, each quest does give XP and each toon can nab a purple shiny. Who knows, with enough alts you might complete some of your collections all in one month! You can also level your crafting on the repeatable crafting quests, albeit very slowly, but the glory of the grottoes are the goodies, not leveling.
Where to start? Especially with the new crafting repeatable quests, there are different ways to approach the grottoes, depending on what you want. If you want to go for all the shinies, either to collect yourself (they have some fun rewards!) or to sell, you'll want to hit up all the grottoes with as many toons as you can. In that case, speed is of the essence. You can also end on a grotto with a repeatable quest to stock up for future purchases if you have the time. If, however, you want to load up on tokens and then shop without having to repeatedly return to grottoes, you should start in one with a repeatable quest and go from there. I'll give an example of both a speed run and a shopping run.
The following guides will work for any level and any class. (Note: If you or a groupmate can call a personal druid ring portal or wizard spire portal, you can cut down the travel times significantly more.)
For a chance to gather all the collection pieces when short on time, be sure to skip all interior quests; you can always go back and do a repeatable if you have time and gather more tokens than if you did the individual quest in each grotto. Of course, for even quicker runs, group up with someone who can spawn portals if you can't. If you have a call to guild hall (especially a hall with a travel system), feel free to substitute that in anywhere as well.
To maximize your time, park your character at the entrance to the Enchanted Fae Grotto in Greater Faydark the day before Moonlight Enchantment starts; it's the farthest out and takes the longest time to travel to. Once the mushroom portal spawns, go grab your shiny -- it's usually found in the vicinity of the path that leads to the quest giver in the back. After that, use your recall home to get back to civilization (if you aren't bound near a travel globe, I suggest you do that before the festival) and take the bell to Enchanted Lands. From there, run to the druid ring to the east and port to Darklight Wood, where you'll run north to the Enchanted Brownie Grotto. Do not be tempted by the repeatable root beer quest! Then return to the druid ring and port back to Enchanted Lands.
At this point, use the spire to return to Enchanted Lands again (I tell you it's a great travel hub!) and then run back to the travel globe and select Antonica. From there, run due east until you reach the last one, the Enchanted Dryad Grotto. Nab that final shiny and viola! Done. Log out, then rinse and repeat for all other toons. Now you can see why having a druid in your party helps so much, as it cuts down on repeat trips to EL!
So here's the run in a nutshell: Greater Faydark > recall to travel globe > Enchanted Lands druid ring > Darklight Wood > Enchanted Lands (via druid ring) > Nektulos Forest (via wizard spire) > Enchanted Lands to travel globs (via spire) > Antonica. Check out the locations of each grotto in the maps below.
As cool as shinies are -- and I say that as an addict myself -- skipping out on getting the goodies from the grotto merchants is a travesty, especially since there are new and incredible things coming this month! Want a bear or an owlbear plushy? How about a darklight growler wolf? Maybe you'd prefer some cacti or flowers or pretty shells and rocks. There are plenty new offerings to stock up on for all your decorating needs on top of what was just added in March. So much to get, and only limited time to get it! In that case, we'll minimize repeated trips to the various grottoes by altering the above plan to accommodate our shopping needs.
You can actually leave the entire order of the collectables run intact and just grind yourself a bunch of elemental tokens on the new Blooming Good Tea quest offered in the Enchanted Fae Grotto in Greater Faydark. However, as the zone is so big and the ingredients inside are not as easy to collect, I'd recommend starting with either the original root beer quest in Darklight Wood's Brownie Grotto or the new Comforting Confections quest from Nektulos' Zygomyd Grotto. For folks sick of brewing root beer, head straight to Nektulos. As an added bonus, that grotto is the smallest and doesn't involve much moving around to get to anything.
Once you've got your pockets full of elemental tokens, you're ready to go start spending them! Use the aforementioned guide -- with a minor adjustment for starting location -- to visit the other grottoes using druid rings, wizard spires, and your recall to make the journey as quick and smooth as possible. Be forewarned: Make sure you have many empty bags because none of the items stack! And once you see the incredible variety of trees, plants, flowers, and plushies, you'll have a hard time limiting your purchases. For a full look at this month's additions, check out the official forums. March's additions can be seen on eq2traders.com.
Since your shopping days are limited to just the two days per month, you might even want to pool all the elemental tokens from all your toons onto just the one making the shopping trip before starting out on your adventures. To do that, just drag the items from your currency window to your bag, then drop in your shared bank.
I have long said that housing is one of EverQuest II's greatest features, and I am very excited to see that the decorating options available to all players are being expanded through Moonlight Enchantments. Rich or poor, old or new, all players have equal footing for getting some very worthwhile items. It's really great to see these little zones getting some attention lately. Not to mention it's definitely a smart move to get folks back into the grottoes instead of brushing them off as irrelevant. I really hope new items will continue to be added over time. After all, one can never have enough housing items! I just have to figure out what to do with them all...
EverQuest II is so big that sometimes MJ Guthrie gets lost in it all! Join her as she explores Norrathian nooks and crannies from the Overrealm to Timorous Deep. Running every Saturday, The Tattered Notebook is your resource for all things EQII and EQNext -- and catch MJ every 'EverQuest Two-sday' on Massively TV!