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Summer Solstice 2019

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Summer Solstice Event
Year 2019
Date From June 21
Date To July 8
Main Organisers Shadowfax
Theme battlegrounds
The Summer Solstice Celebration 2019 was an event organized by Shadowfax that ran throughout the latter part of June and into July 2019. The event featured two long scenarios and three short scenarios. The first were the Endless Waltz and Shoot-the-Curl quests, and the latter were the battleground missions.

Pre-event

Last summer, there were two different versions of the popular Puzzlewood Forest area, a solo version and a group version. Either a solo or a group version had been provided in previous summer events, and 2018 was the first year to provide both. To further distinguish the two zones from one another, the solo version was renamed "Starving Rock" and redesigned into a somewhat smaller, circular area (as opposed to the rectangular Puzzlewood Forest). Several of the monsters were changed to better fit the new setting, and many others had their special attacks changed to be more appropriate for one-on-one fights.

Schedule

Date Summary
June 21 The Starving Rock and Puzzlewood areas are opened.
June 25 Act 1 of the main story was released.
June 27 Act 2 of the main story was released.
July 2 Act 3 of the main story was released.
July 8 End all events and close event areas.

History

The Puzzlewood Forest has become something of a tradition. Having gone through several iterations, the two most popular versions were used in last year's event. This year starts another tradition, further differentiating between the two event scenarios, by renaming and reconstructing the solo version as "Starving Rock". This name was inspired by the legendary Illinois landmark called "Starved Rock", famous for the vicious, vengeful genocide of the eponymous Illini tribe by the Ottawa and Potawatomi. The Illiniwek fled to the butte for safety, but their attackers pursued and laid siege. Surrounded by enemies and unable to escape, legend has it that the entire tribe starved to death atop the rock.

Story

Welcome to the seventh annual Summer Solstice Celebration!

The war between the Naginag Combine and the Duchy of Takar is heating up. 
With the latter desperate to break the siege of its capitol, Takari mages
have devised a new strategy to drive the Combine from ducal lands.  In an
effort to counter this new strategy, the Naginag Combine needs every
mercenary that they can get to put down this new threat to their operations
in the Dunn Hurr.

Three battlegrounds are now available!  You can join the fight via 'event
start'.  The minimum level for these battleground zones is 30.  They are
intended to challenge small groups, and at least one group member should
know the 'dispel magic' spell.  Mission quests can be completed multiple
times and in any order.  (Special thanks to Colonel, Rhorae and Sandman for
playtesting.)

We also have two longer scenarios available for play: Endless Waltz and
Shoot-the-Curl.  The first is a single player autolevelling zone, while the
latter is a high level group zone with wave after wave of monsters of
increasing strength!

The "Endless Waltz" scenario is for players of all levels.  To complete the
scenario, you must defeat 1500 monsters.  Monsters in the "Endless Waltz"
area will autolevel to be a challenge for your level but will not increase
in strength (unless you level up).  You can leave the area and start a new
instance at will, and will pick up where you left off in the monster death
count.

To complete the "Shoot-the-Curl" challenge, you must survive 41 waves of
monsters, with each new wave more difficult than the last.  If an instance
washes, then the waves will restart at Wave 0 in any new instance. You
receive credit for slaying monsters that are of equal or greater wave than
the quest you're currently working toward.  For example, if you are working
on Wave 2 (as indicated in your 'quests' command) and join a group that is
working on Wave 10, then you will receive credit for Wave 2.

Happy summer, everybody!

Areas

The two long scenarios were:

  • Starving Rock - Endless Waltz (108)
  • Puzzlewood Forest - Shoot-the-Curl (137)

The main story event areas were:

  • Battleground #1 (151)
  • Battleground #2 (152)
  • Battleground #3 (153)

Quests

The following visible event quests were displayed on the 'event list' command:

Current Event Quests:

Vnum   Name
--------------------------------------------------------
30511  Completed Mission 1 of the Summer Solstice Celebration 2019 event
30811  Completed Mission 2 of the Summer Solstice Celebration 2019 event
63303  Completed Mission 3 of the Summer Solstice Celebration 2019 event
32001  Killed 100 monsters in the Endless Waltz scenario of 2019
32005  Killed 500 monsters in the Endless Waltz scenario of 2019
32010  Killed 1000 monsters in the Endless Waltz scenario of 2019
32015  Killed 1500 monsters in the Endless Waltz scenario of 2019
32130  Completed Wave 0 of the Shoot-the-Curl scenario in 2019
32140  Completed Wave 10 of the Shoot-the-Curl scenario in 2019
32150  Completed Wave 20 of the Shoot-the-Curl scenario in 2019
32160  Completed Wave 30 of the Shoot-the-Curl scenario in 2019
32170  Completed Wave 40 of the Shoot-the-Curl scenario in 2019

Battleground missions could be completed up to 12 times.

Mission 1

The goal of Mission 1 was to eliminate all of the portals in the immediate area, as explained by the briefing officer:

The briefing officer says, 'The war between the Naginag Combine and the
Duchy of Takar is once again flairing up.  The ducal military has
discovered another dimension of pliable creatures that they are utilizing
en masse.  Their current strategy is to open portals to this other
dimension and allow these creature to flood any area they wish to control.

'We are attempting to establish a forward position from which we can launch
future attacks.  Your mission is to locate every portal in the immediate
area and destroy it using the 'dispel magic' spell.

'The primary enemies will be the other-dimensional creatures.  Their basic
soldiers are called gorps, while their elites are called gopusas and often
lead groups of gorps.  They are essentially bodies of negative energy that
are vulnerable to attacks that affect undead.  These are in turn being lead
by Takari officers, in this case dustmen, which are a kind of sentient
golem.

'Keep in mind that even after a portal is dispelled, a residual energy
remains for a short time.  Enemy officers have the means to re-open the
portals, so you need to defend that spot for a short time until the residue
dissipates.  Otherwise, the enemy may overwhelm you.  Good luck.'

The black glowing portals would frequently disgorge more enemies to fight. Once all twenty portals were dispelled, any players in the area were transported back to the briefing tent, where they could finish the mission by talking to the briefing officer:

The briefing officer says, 'You've done it!  The enemy has been routed, and
soon their entire army will fall!'

Mission 2

Mission 2 was an escort mission, explained as follows when started:

The briefing officer says, 'The war between the Naginag Combine and the
Duchy of Takar is once again flairing up.  The ducal military has
discovered another dimension of pliable creatures that they are utilizing
en masse.  Their current strategy is to open portals to this other
dimension and allow these creature to flood any area they wish to control.

'One of our scouting parties was trapped in the Painted Canyon.  Your
mission is to locate their leader, Sergeant Sangreal, and lead her back to
this supply tent so she can report on her findings.

'The primary enemies will be the other-dimensional creatures.  Their basic
soldiers are called gorps, while their elites are called gopusas and often
lead groups of gorps.  They are essentially bodies of negative energy that
are vulnerable to attacks that affect undead.  These are in turn being lead
by Takari officers, in this case necroknights, who, as their title may
imply, are consummate necromancers and fighters.

'Most enemies will enter the area via portals.  If you wish to slow down
them down, you can destroy any portals you encounter using the 'dispel
magic' spell.  Keep in mind that even after a portal is dispelled, a
residual energy remains for a short time.  Enemy officers have the means to
re-open portals so long as the residue remains.  Good luck.'

The Combine soldier to be escorted was Sergeant Sangreal, a red murlock. Sangreal was a level 14 character who used druid spells for offense and cleric spells for defense and healing. (Given her level and spell selection, she was presumably an adept-level biomancer.) While she was able to hold her own against the enemy for a short while, she would eventually be overrun if not saved by players.

Once again, black glowing portals would frequently generate more enemies to fight, but these could be avoided as dispelling every last one was not necessary to complete the mission.

Once she was successfully lead back to the supply tent, the sergeant would thank players for rescuing her and dash off to report for her debriefing. The mission would conclude as such:

The briefing officer tells you, 'Thank you for escorting Sergeant Sangreal
to safety.  The intelligence she has gathered is invaluable, and you have
saved the life of a loyal soldier.'


Mission 3

Mission 3 was a bit different that the other two, though it began like the others by talking to the briefing officer to start:

The briefing officer says, 'We believe that the Duchy of Takar is preparing
to attack the Viscounty of Rogonia.  To prepare for this invasion, Takari
mages have set the Eastern Everglades ablaze, probably hoping to raze the
wetlands and make it easier for their armies to cross the terrain.
Irregardless of their motives, the Eastern Everglades is the sovereign
territory of the Viscounty, and as per our treaty, the Naginag Combine is
obligated to render assistance.

'A team of Rogonian firefighters started stem the tide, but they were
assaulted by the Duchy's new otherworldly allies and were forced to
retreat.  Their basic footsoldiers are called gorps, and their elites are
called gopusas.  Gopusas often lead groups of gorps.  They are some sort of
energy beings from another dimension that are susceptible to turn undead. 
These are entering the area via portals which can be destroyed with the
'dispel magic' spell.

'We have not detected any Takari officers in the area, however, the enemy
is using a thoqqua to keep the fire going and set the wet vegetation
ablaze.  It's probably hiding in the flames, but putting out some of its
fires should lure it out of hiding.  Be careful, because this creature can
rekindle any fires that you might have already put out.

'Your mission is put out the fires as quickly as possible.  Once the fire
is out of control, the area will be lost to the enemy.  Good luck.'

A few portals vomited out enemies to slow players down, but these would largely be ignored as players struggled to put out the flames using ice and water spells before time ran out. After half of the fires were put out, the thoqqua would emerge and have to be dealt with, or it would spawn more fires to fight. The fires became more powerful the longer they persisted. Should the players be victorious, they were transported back to the briefing officer:

The briefing officer says, 'The fire is out and the enemy defeated.  We
couldn't have hoped for more.  Good show.'

Items

Mission Equipment

Missions 1 and 2 gave players a wand of disjunction when they started the quest, a level 30 wand with 13 charged of level 30 'dispel magic'.

Mission 3 gave players a wand of firefighting when the quest was started, a level 30 wand with 12 charges of level 35 'create water'.

Both of these items could be recharged for 1000 gold. This was suggested by the player, Lexie.

Players also received The firefighter's badge when completing Mission 3:

Item: 'firefighter's firefighters fighters fire fires badge'
Weight: 1  Size: 0'1"  Total levels: 47
Type: OTHER   Composition: FABRIC
Object is: RARE NO_SAC ACCOUNT_BIND QUESTLOAD NOWIELD IDENTIFIED 
Wear locations are: HEAD NECK ARMS WRISTS HANDS ON_BODY ABOUT_BODY WAIST HELD 
Item has other effects:
Affects:  ABSORB_FIRE by 5

Endless Waltz and Shoot-the-Curl

In addition to the many recovery items that slain monsters would drop, completing every 100 kills of the Endless Waltz scenario or each wave of the Shoot-the-Curl scenario yielded a scroll of convalescence.

Item: 'scroll white shining case convalescence'
Weight: 1  Size: 1'0"
Type: SCROLL   Composition: PAPER
Object is: QUESTLOAD NOWIELD IDENTIFIED 
Item has level 30 spells of:
restoration
restoration
restoration
restoration
restoration
rejuvenate
rejuvenate
rejuvenate
rejuvenate
rejuvenate

Completing each scenario yielded the ring of limitless possibilities, a item that randomly loads different stats every time dispel magic is cast on it and relevels itself to the bearer. In the possession of a experienced and patient player, each ring has the potential to become the most powerful item in the game.

Notes

The event was originally scheduled to end on July 4th, but Draak convinced Shadowfax to keep it going for a few more days, reasoning that some players could take advantage of a long weekend because of Independence Day.

Date:    2019 Jul 10 06:31
From:    shadowfax
Subject: event followup
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
I hope everyone had a great time playing this year's Summer Solstice
Celebration!

I've reviewed collected data regarding Starving Rock, and further tinkering
to make the scenario fair for lower level players is definitely in order. 
We've got some good tools for building specps for lower level players that
I need to take advantage of, and we'll probably just swap out the most
deadly mobs for some new ones.

The way the Puzzlewood quests played out this year was interesting.  I
observed that the scenario was heavily played through the first week, but
lightly touched for the following two.  The first part didn't surprise me,
because I expected players to be prepared.  I was a bit dismayed in the
lack of interest after the first week.

Of course, there are folks who don't really care for either one of those,
so we had the anti-Takari missions.  I think I managed to capture the
frantic portal-killing aspect of the Chaos corruption summer event, but
they fell short in the defensive department of the Drakdrol event.  Being
swarmed by loads of weak enemies is atypical in this day and age, so my
hope is that the strategy offered a nice change of pace.

Mission 3 was a remake of the firefighting trial from years ago.  It seems
like it was bit too hard, something I will have to fix before using it
again.

And now for the post-event statistics:

150 players completed Mission 1
159 players completed Mission 2
81 players completed Mission 3

97089 monsters were killed on the Starving Rock
Players were killed 1691 times on the Starving Rock
169 players slew 100 monsters
63 players slew 500 monsters
40 players slew 1000 monsters
38 players slew 1500 monsters

34204 monsters were killed in the Puzzlewood Forest
Players were killed 402 times in the Puzzlewood Forest
The average group size was 14.5, and the average level was 37.3
138 players completed Wave 0
92 players completed Wave 10
57 players completed Wave 20
48 players completed Wave 30
36 players completed Wave 40






See Also

Darklord completed Mission 2 with three other players. Footage of this was used as the visuals for the July update:

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