We live in the middle of nowhere. Without exaggeration, it is an hour drive to get anywhere interesting. Each way.
This is not conducive to a great New Years Eve. Staying up, drinking, then driving an hour to get home … not appealing. Maybe this is a sign than I am older, or wiser, or just lazier, but regardless, we do our New Years Rockin’ at home. With or without the ghost of Dick Clark.
But we are not alone. We have DDO. And more importantly, we have our DDO friends.
We’ve dragged them over to Elder Scrolls Online too, splitting our playing time between something old and something new. We started New Years over on ESO, enjoying their holiday New Life festival, running around Tamriel playing a variety of mini games and micro-quests to earn useless holiday-themed achievements and cosmetics. Useless, but fun.
And then it is off to DDO. My Gamer Girl has an idea that we might enjoy Precious Cargo. “It’s different; it’s not just waves of bad guys”. Plus our friend Tessa has never run it, a big plus.
Except Precious Cargo is a flagging quest and we are not all flagged. No worries, it is early, we have several hours till midnight.
And so goes our New Years Eve. Fun with friends, much laughter, and even more DDO. First Epic Two-Toed Tobias, then Epic Old Garls Tomb, then Ghost of a Chance and eventually, Prove Your Worth, where we fail utterly at timing our taunts and yet defeat Producer Glin anyway.
Good times. Really. Drinking, eating, enjoying each other, enjoying our shared game. Spirits are high, and not just the liquid kind.
I have the actual New Years Rockin Eve going on one screen, still titled Dick Clark’s but now hosted by Ryan Secrest. Plastic festivities, pre-recorded, although the party that takes place in Times Square is real enough. Fun too, as long as you don’t need a bathroom. I was there one New Years Eve long ago, with a pregnant woman, which is why I know the bathroom part, but that is a story for another day.
As the hour approaches, so does Precious Cargo, and soon we are aloft, explaining how to work ballistae and broadsides. Maybe it is the spirits but I am completely useless firing the ballistae. I shoot over, and then under, and then around but never actually hit anything. Fortunately we can defeat our attackers even when aiming-impaired by boarding them and that is what we do.
Until Captain Tews (now Commodore Tew) makes his reappearance. He and his respawning crew supported by archers aloft are overwhelming, and we are quickly reduced to mostly soul stones. Not entirely soul stones, my Gamer Girl – the energizer rabbit of us all – is still going, picking off the bad guys one at a time, running our soul stones into the shrine.
We develop a pattern. Nearly everyone dies, we recoup, we attack, nearly everyone dies.
With ten minutes till midnight, I excuse myself during one of many soul stone appearances and pour the champagne. Then back to the quest. Slowly we are gaining the upper hand, but this is only the first part of the end fight, we still have yet to take the fight to Commodore Tew on the Banshee.
But that will have to wait. It is time.
5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1! Happy New Year!
After appropriate celebrating, and toasting, and kissing, we are back to Commodore Tew. The Mage Cannon room always blows me away. The best part is when we finally (finally) defeat it, and are about to leave the room, someone throws the lever that re-cocks the cannon. As one, they all raise and turn outward with a nicely mechanical sound effect – causing an involuntary intake of breath by my Gamer Girl who momentarily thought we were going to have to fight them all again.
It is nice when something in a quest catches one by surprise. May 2017 be the year when we are showered with new content so we can all experience such surprises regularly. But I digress.
There are levers that have to be carefully timed to get to Commodore Tew in the engine room. Only one of us dies before we’ve noticed this, at this point in the evening that is considered a victory. Without much delay we get the timing down and soon, Commodore Tew as well. Victory! Except we have to exit the Banshee before it blows … half the group runs outwards, only to be killed by the same traps we’d avoided on the way in.
We get everyone raised, and are trying to re-time the timing levers, but too late: the Banshee blows and we all die.
The old year went out with a bang.
No worries, the developers were kind enough to let us win anyway, our soul stones reappearing near a shrine. Formalities remain, repairing our ship’s helm and flying the rest of the way home, but it’s over, we’ve won. More or less.
But in truth, we’ve won in full. Our real victory is happiness and friendship, a New Years Eve well spent with people we care about doing things we enjoy doing. Lots of laughter. Memories.
Happy New Year!
🙂 😀 🙂