But when it comes to Tinkerfest, the Gnomish festival held every year over in Steamfont, I have decidedly mixed feelings, because I love steampunk, and this year's Tinkerfest event has lots of new items that almost make it worth spending time at Gnomeland Security.
I was faced with a dilemma: should I go hang out with Gnomes and build up my steampunk collection? In this week's Tattered Notebook, I decided to don my Environmental Hazard Suit 3000 and march straight into the lion's den, to take a look at Tinkerfest 2011.
That duck said what?!
Gnomeland Security, in Steamfont, is where you'll find the Tinkerfest Quests. There are portals in the cities that will take you straight there, but it's easy enough to reach by foot as well. As I reached the little plateau where the Gnomes were holding the event, I was reminded why I feel the way I do about gnomes. They'd actually be likeable if they weren't so, well, weird. I love their little clockwork gadgets and steam-powered robots, but then they start mumbling incoherent, multi-syllable words, like Fizzkibble, or Cogmogorator. And then there's the hair. Apparently if you're a gnome, it's trendy to style your hair like the Mayor of Munchkin City. I passed by one particular gnome that was having a deep conversation with a duck, and if I hadn't noticed the battle-bot arena in the distance, I probably would have left right then and there.
The arena was made from a giant cog, turned on its side, and in the center were a couple of battleclocks with rotating saw-blades prepped and ready to do some serious damage. One quest had me build my very own battleclock, and off I went to collect the needed pieces. Questing is much less tedious, now that the locations are highlighted on the map. That, along with the luxury of flying mounts, makes it easy to get through the winding paths and maze-like canyons. The only tricky part was finding the grease, which is actually found inside the buildings in Gnomeland Security, rather than outside on the ground like the other items.
I returned only to learn that I had to make my own battleclock. Crafting, oh no! Luckily, you only have to be a level 2 artisan, and I pieced together my very own sawblade of death. Unfortunately, it didn't last that long in the arena (that's my battleclock smoking in the middle), but for my efforts I was rewarded with a nice-looking polearm.
I was beginning to get into the Tinkerfest spirit, and decided to seek out another quest. Unfortunately, the quest giver wouldn't give me the quest, because I didn't speak Gnomish. Off I went, over to the Baubleshire, to pick up a Gnomish primer and hopefully avoid as much jumjum and cabbage as possible. The Qeynos revamp can't come soon enough!
When I returned, I was given a task to fill up some jugs of Gnomish spirits, which meant that I had to go right back to the Baubleshire. At this point, I was beginning to lose my Tinkerfest cheer, but I took heart in the fact that I could at least zone there with the bells, rather than having to cross several little hamlets as was the case in the past. After that, I helped out Mad Mattie, who had tinkered an army of self-replicating, out of control clockwork robots. He needed a hand blowing them up, and if there's anything I do well, it's break things. The quest is repeatable, and after completing it five times, you can select one of two new cloaks that were made for this year's event. In addition, if you do the quest 25 times, you earn the title of "the Explosive," which is a bit strange, because I'm not exactly sure I'd want to be known as someone who's explosive.
There are a couple of other quests related to Tinkerfest, which give rewards ranging from tinkered backpacks to gadgets and contraptions that you can place in your home. If you complete Mad Mattie's quest, you can get a follow-up quest from Blantsworth nearby, and completing that rewards you with another nice appearance weapon. And if you visit Didyma, she'll send you on a journey to find her missing friend and explore the legend of the Geargobbler. The Geargobbler is a mysterious clockwork that steals tools, and its latest victim is Nell, who is missing a left-handed wrench. Eventually the quest takes you into an instance full of heroic mobs. You can either stealth past them or fight them for experience -- a task that's made easier by the fact that you have a special buff on you while in zone. Completing this quest gives you a backpack, which is new this year, plus a control console house item and a left-handed wrench to put in your appearance slot.
I have to admit, I'll never completely understand Gnomes, but they build some really cool stuff, and they throw a pretty fantastic party. I headed back to my guild hall with a few nice appearance weapons, a new cloak, a backpack, and a battleclock that I can let loose in our courtyard. In addition, I was able to collect the special purple shinies for the event to get a tinkered inspiration, which floats around the guild hall and even performs several tricks. Also, if you can accrue enough shiny cogs from quests or from ground spawns, you can purchase even more Tinkerfest items from the vendor, located at each celebration in various towns. The event will only last through August 9th, so if you are interested in participating, you only have a few days left. And if you're looking for more details on Tinkerfest quests and locations, make sure to visit the EQII Wiki.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.