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AdevntureQuest: Analysis of 7/23/09 Release

Posted by alabamapitty on July 27, 2009

This week’s release, while obviously filler for something even grander next week, was nevertheless a great release in AQ history, with not just one but two new quests in an old quest chain. Let’s check it out!

Necromancers Galore! (The Obelisk of Darkness: Parts 1 and 2)

Part One

About

Well this week saw an expansion to one of the oldest quests in AQ history. Morgul in Granemor once had a single task for you, to find and bring back a darkness orb from a Light Sentinel. However, Morgul now has more tasks from his shadowy master, and of course you’re the guy for the job.

The second task he gives you is to head to the Obelisk of Darkness and inform a Slaxe (Hulking, powerful creature of darkness) to ‘fell the obelisk’. Morgul sends a charming undead by the name of Grink along with you to help you and guide you. The area where the Obelisk is was changed into No Man’s Land when The’Galin left his mark, so quite a few mutants impede your progress. When you reach the obelisk, you meet Balthor the Slaxe, and give him the message. However, as is the way of things, he doesn’t believe that you’re telling him everything and challenges you to a fight. After beating him, he believes you and attempts to take down the massive Obelisk.. To no avail. It seems that the 6 centuries he’s been guarding it, that he’s forgotten how to destroy the thing. So of course, you have to go off and ask Morgul how to help this lumbering, lax Slaxe.

(I’ll condense the Pros and Cons of these two quests into one area.)

Part Two

About

After returning to Morgul, he tells you that the best way for Balthar to take down the Obelisk is to rub it with Shadow Glaze. As usual, you have to gather the necessary materials for said concoction. One snayl mole (Eww..), one mantik antenna, and one deadwood leaf. After gathering these, Balthar creates the ointment and rubs it on the Obelisk, which shrinks down to your size and attacks you! Needless to say, you completely destroy it and Slaxe decides to take a nice long vacation. But who exactly is the shadowy master behind all of this? Who needed you to destroy the Obelisk?

Why Kaley Obsidia, local necromantress, of course! She created the Obelisk as a focus point for her to work her magic in Darkovia. When the area where the Obelisk was located became part of the No Man’s Land, it changed, and the mutants were able to draw on Obsidia’s power through it. This was basically killing her. But hey, you’re an awesome guy! Mad l00t for you and your hard work!

Pros

It was good to see some of the old quest chains finally wrapped up. This adds a lot to the exploration feel of AQ, as these quests have great rewards, enemies, and add a good bit to the story. Obsidia got a good bit of the spotlight this week, something we haven’t seen since Necromancer came out. The addition of a sentient new undead, Grink, was also well-done. In the AQ world, not all undead are mindless and stupid, something Grink helped to prove. In addition to all this, some of the old enemies (Snayls, Slaxe’s, and Mantik’s) were revamped with new art, something I’m very happy to see.

I was pleased to see that this release was tied into the main sagas by adding the No Man’s Land. This is the way such releases should be, just so the main sagas aren’t left desolate while filler releases take place. There were also several cinematics in the quest, something the AE team is getting very good at doing lately. These really spice up the quest and make things feel a lot more important than simply walking from one situation to the next.

The rewards were also very nice. Powerful darkness melee weapons, as well as some nice darkness pets made an appearance.

Cons

As much as this release managed to connect to the main storyline, no one can argue that it was filler. Still, it was excellent filler, I suppose. The weapons that were released, Darkness melee weapons, weren’t really needed, since one of the Destroyer quests already has that area covered. It would have made a bit more sense to release a magic or ranged weapon of a different element. However, I understand that it would have been hard to add such a thing considering the quest’s content.

The two quests were also very easy. Only the first one posed any real difficulty, since the strong enemies of No Man’s Land were in abundance. The second quest pitted you against a slew of enemies, some difficult, but most rather easy. Still, this isn’t too major a thing.

Final Grade of Release

Well, this week’s release, while rather random, was very well done. Great, albeit unnecessary rewards, as well as teh continuation of a quest that AQ has had since almost its very beginning made this week a great addition to the game. That’s why I’m proud to give this release 9 Hilarious Undead Guys, out of 10.

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