Finally, after a couple of weeks on the AB role-playing server, an actual moment of gen-yoo-wine role-playing took place. A rare late night, well 2am, here in the UK must have coincided with peak US hours and just as I was preparing to wind things up for the evening (morning) after a solid few hours killing orcs around Kelethin and clearing a few questlines…

(Quick aside: the learning to speak Faelish/Faelian/Faelenese/whatever quest with you running around the nearby pub speaking gibberish to everyone inside, while brief, showed some lovely comic writing and dialogue and was a great little diversion from what is either a far too serious nature to the game, or is the kind of comedy that really died out with early 80’s sitcom writing. Memo to SOE: let your quest designers go crazy like this a lot more often and it’ll do everyone a world of good. If you’re going to go comedy, go Seinfeld, The Office, or dare I say it, Monty Python, rather than Leave It To Beaver or Mr. Ed. Although maybe that’s just my cynical British sense of humoUr coming through) …

… when what looked like an NPC with a quest feather above his head stepped out of the descending acorn elevator, hailed me by name and started telling me about his love life. A live event, of course, which I quickly cottoned on to by the NPC having a green name instead fo the usual white, the slowly gathering crowd of players settling down to listen to our hero’s tale of ardour, and the fact the NPC was answering my typed questions directly. Cool, I’d not done something like this before and settled in for the fun ride ahead.

Tiswas (or whatever the gnome’s name was. Something like that. I can’t quite remember in the cold light of day and don’t have the screenshots to hand) basically wanted to create a tinkered bunch of flowers or somesuch, but was missing some glowing material too dangerous to be harvested by him alone (apparently the local fawns gave him a nasty nip). His lady love would be here within the hour, so there was no time to lose! In my best Gimli, I knelt before him and pledged “My (pick)axe is yours!” then with a battlecry of “To the harvestings!” the gathered players were off like a Norrathian version of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, scouring the area clean of any and every harvesting node going.

Everywhere you turned, pickaxes were flying, rat traps were being picked apart, berry bushes were being stripped and fishing rods were hoovering the local waters clean. Also, since finding these glowy things was bloody impossible, groups were gathering and heading to the brokers, then dishing out the spoils. To cut a long story short, with the aid of a fellow Love Quester, the material was obtained (yeah, we bought it, so sue me – I did spend twenty minutes filling my bags with harvest and it was getting on for three in the morning) the goods delivered, the role-playing role-played out and rewards obtained. And it was immense fun, even if ultimately all I was doing was Speed Harvesting. The added dimension of the Live NPC enriched the experience no end and to his credit, he didn’t break character once, no matter how silly things got. Kudos to FizWiz (or whatever his name was, hey I was tired). I couldn’t stay to see if there was an end result to the little play and the lady love turned up or not, but it was still a great deal of fun.

Apparently Cherry Fizzlepop has been linked to low sperm counts in males. Still, tasty…

Also, just as I was logging off, an OOC msg went out saying the Spider tavern was now open for business for more RP larks. Sleep won out, but it definitely warrants exploration next time.

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