After a few years, it can be difficult for long-time EverQuest II players to get excited over the return of a festival; not only are there many festivals to keep track of, but most have been going on for numerous years. You can feel like you’ve seen and done all there is to one and might give little more than a cursory glance to check for a new item or two. And if little to nothing is done for a festival some year, it only exacerbates the problem. To spark interest and enthusiasm, Daybreak needs to tinker with the event formula each year to add something fresh beyond just a new reward or two. And tinker it did: Tinkerfest 2017 adds a whole new experience atop the regular fare, so even the oldest of veterans have reason to jump in and participate.
So what is new for Tinkerfest? (And what is Tinkerfest if you are new to it?) Here’s a guide to get on on the gnomish goodness before it leaves for another year; departure is set for early Thursday morning, August 3rd, at 2:59 a.m. EDT.
What is Tinkerfest?
Tinkerfest is a summer celebration in EverQuest II that revels in all things Gnomish. When you think that Gnomes are all about gizmos and gadgets and things that go boom, you’ve pretty well defined Tinkerfest. Gnomebody knows explosions like the diminutive tinkerers themselves! They are the very model of mechanical engineering at its best — and often at its worst! Want a robot? Well, you know whom to see. And robots you will get at Tinkerfest.
This year’s main event is the the new public quest, which takes place in Antonica and Commonlands. The bulk of the festivities and the festival merchants, however, are in Gnomeland Security Headquarters, a little mountaintop retreat in Steamfont Mountains. There you can build bots, beat up on bots, and even befriend bots. It is all about the bots! Travel is via world bells or any of the special portals located in East Freeport, Gorowyn, Neriak, Kelethin, North Qeynos, and New Halas. You can also be transported directly there from Solusek’s Eye, The Bonemire, Moors of Ykesha, and Great Divide. Once you reach GSH, and as long as you can speak Gnomish, you can start in on the many quests available and start raking in the special festival loot. A few other events are scattered about Norrath — namely, the Aether Races.
Last year’s festival offerings may have been a bit lackluster, but 2017’s are explosive. That is due to this year’s big change: the addition of the Hack ‘n Slash public quest. While after a few days it might turn into the same loot grind folks are used to with other events (I mean, we are all here for the loot, right?), it offers something unique enough for the festival to boost interest and participation.
The PQ has three distinct phases. Players of all levels can participate, and all levels can get the loot (although the armor and familiar cage are possibilities only for level 100s). It is important to know what to do during the PQ so you don’t make it harder and longer than it needs to be. Here’s the run down:
Stage one: Bhoughbh Bhildur, an underworld Gnome, sits in the center of a field filled with Berzerk-o-matics tinkering on a large mech. There are also broken little mechs scattered about, and players need to go up to one, click on the repair-o-matic MkII to get the parts, then click on the disabled assault-o-maton MkI to fix it. Once fixed, players run around as the mech fighting the Berzerk-o-matics, which cannot be harmed in any other manner. Tip: Multiple player mechs together can cause much damage to large groups of mobs using the big mechnomagnetic discharge skill.
Stage two: Bhoughbh Bhildur has constructed his mech and is now rampaging about the area dropping chest bombs. Players must first click on the small tinkered pet following him (named Kerser) to get Kerser’s magnifying lens (which must be equipped!) as well as bomb-diffusing ingredients. Then, the goal is to diffuse the bombs via a crafting window. The one who diffuses the bomb will get a special bomb in their inventory that is then thrown on Mech Bhoughbh. As before, nothing else will damage him except the bombs. Tip: If you put the bomb on your skill bar, the skill will persist and bombs will go there every time you craft one.
Stage three: At half health our mighty mech foe transforms into Bhoughbh Nova-Prime MkII, and a ginormous transformed Kerser appears in the sky (trust me, you can’t miss it!). Four energizer pylons (aka pillars) also appear at the edge of the PQ area. This stage is where players really need to work as a group or it will elongate the whole process and tick people off. Tip: Always stay as one group! All four pylons must be destroyed before Bhoughbh can be hurt, and then he is damaged only by the electromagnetic field he places on one player. The trick is he is always following one player, and so the one he follows and the one he places the field on must be in the same spot for any damage to occur! If either of the two have wandered off, Bhoughbh won’t lose any health. And since only the one Bhoughbh is following is following can move, that player is responsible to get the mech into the electromagnetic field! Pro tip: Do not sic mercs or pets on Bhoughbh and do not attack him directly as it does not damage him but does slow and otherwise hinder the whole PQ.
The final part of the PQ involves looting the giant treasure chest, collecting your goodies, and then mining the ginormous scrap metal off of the downed ginormous Kerser. This metal is vital for Tinkerfest’s new crafts, like the clockwork spider familiar. The good news is that anyone can mine it five times whether or not she was helping at the PQ. (Those who have bountiful harvest turned on may receive anywhere from five to ten pieces depending on how many times that ability procs). The ginormous scrap metal will disappear about one hour after the end of the PQ, and then a new wave of PQs (Antonica first, then Commonlands) will start about 30 minutes after that, making the PQs run approximately every two hours.
Your missions, if you choose to accept them
If you’ve never participated in Tinkerfest before, know that there is plenty besides the public quest to keep you busy. There are nine quests, four aether races, and two collections. Many are repeatable each year so you can collect more loot. The available quests (with links courtesy of EQ2 Wikia) are as follows:
|Tinkerfest Quest||Starting NPC||Special note
|Foray Into Ulterior Mechanica||Professor What||No|
|Friendly Competition||Jon Jeffas||Annually|
|Great Balls of Fire||Mad Mattie||below GSH||50 times|
|If They Only Had a Brain
|Blantsworth Coggington III||must complete Great Balls of Fire five times||Annually|
|The Legend of the Geargobbler||Didyma||Annually|
|The Reticent Tinkerer||click door (-533, 176, 1013)||can reenter to hire mercs||No|
|We Can Rebuild||Tinker Thermald||No|
The aether racetracks can be found in Lavastorm, Butcherblock Mountains, Great Divide, and Tenebrous Tangle. Completing these gives titles and mounts. For completing one race in any area, you get the title Test Pilot. If you complete five in the same area, you can select a crash pad mount to keep; the choices are gray, dark, blue, green, and red. Completing ten races in the same area grants the title Crash Test Dummy Extraordinaire. And finally, each zone has a specific reward title for those who beat a certain time: Lavastorm is Smokin’ Ace, Butcherblock is Sea Hawk, Great Divid is Frigid Flier, and Tenebrous Triangle is Cloud Buster.
The two collections are Tinkered Parts and the newly introduced The Tinkerer’s Extraordinary Toolbelt. After collecting and turning in the first one, you will start seeing the shinies for the new one. These purple shinies are split between the main cities around the Gnomeland Security Headquarters portals and in GSH itself, so be sure to collect from both places! The reward for completing the first is a Platinum Tinkerfest Cog (two if you are an All-access member!), which is a valuable bit of currency: It is required for buying the leaper mount jet pack. Don’t forget to collect plenty of the little shiny cogs as well as they are both the currency for shopping at the Tinkerfest merchants in GHS and a crafting component of Tinkerfest recipes.
There are six different achievements players can earn during the festival: three crafting and three adventure. The three crafting are Full Metal Domicile (crafting a set of Tinkerfest building blocks), Famed Phosphorescence (crafting a set of Craft a set of Tinkerfest lighting units), and Bits and Baubles (crafting assorted Tinkerfest items). The other three are Furiously Fast (participate in all four Tinkerfest Aether races), Gnomachine Too Complicated (complete all Tinkerfest quests), and the new 2017 one What About Bhoughbh (do public quest 5 times).
Gadgets and gizmos aplenty
Now, a very important part of every festival is the loot! And there is loot galore for Tinkerfest. Not only are there rewards of special bot mercs you can hire and plenty of housing items and wings to buy from the merchants, but there is new loot in the PQ to collect. That chest can reward ingredients to craft a new clockwork spider familiar, a gazer house pet, a clockwork spider housepet, petamoph wands, an automated targeting eye helm cosmetic, a familiar cage for a random familiar, and more. Multiple loot items drop in each loot chest. Sadly, you can build the spider familiar only if you are a level 500 tinkerer (which necessitates your being a level 100 crafter), and it is a bound item, so your alts can’t even make it for you if you don’t qualify. However, I hope to gather all the required parts and have them ready to craft at a later date when I finally can.
There are also new items to stock up on this year at the merchants, including building blocks with cut out shapes; you can see more pictures of all the new items on the EQ2 Traders Corner. Since the event only lasts another week, if you want all the whosits and whatzits galore, you’d better get cracking. One spider mech familiar will take 28 public quests of mining to finish, and that doesn’t even count the RNG of getting the pieces in the loot chest! (Luckily, from my own experience, I have found you do get the pieces fairly frequently, and you only get the ones you don’t already have.)