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The Spring Hero Autoquest
by Xaaxacus

As many of you may have heard, on March 9th, the Autoquest Department delivered a groundbreaking announcement: the first ever team autoquest was coded and set to run in less than two weeks. Team registrations (open, unfortunately, only to heroes) were to be mailed to the Goddess Celylia, and a scoreboard was placed just south of the Level 31 Tree House. The chat and immortal channels were abuzz with speculation about the content of the quest, and players frantically looking for able partners.

The Saturday of the quest rolled around after a week of relative silence. The Autoquest Staff advised players to grab any items (staves, orbs, elemental stones) that they felt would help, and meet at the score room promptly at 8 PM. Unfortunately for the players, several contestants didn't show up on time, and dismayed partners (myself included) were left without a teammate. Needless to say, the autoquest was off to a rocky start! Celylia juggled around teammates until everyone was able to compete, and the games began.

First came the qualifier round. Twenty four baskets of eggs were given to random mobiles around the continent (one for each player), and the teams were charged with the task of finding one. Despite a few minor coding problems, the process went fairly smoothly, with the players' teammates being transported back to the score room (rather abruptly) as they found the eggs. From there onward, things started to heat up. Amidst flashy appearances from such celebrities as Naima and Lunavina, Celylia outlined the basic rules of the quest.

For each objective, teams had to designate a team captain. The captains were then sent on one autoquest per round, most of which followed a common pattern: kill a few mobs, and give a few items to the helpful autoquest imp. This particular quest included a couple special features, however: there weren't any specific objectives! If players were told to kill "a kitten, a puppy, and a duck", all they had to do was find creatures with those words in the names. The same went for items.

As each round was played, the captains flew around the game in search of their prey, while their teammates went off to find the required items. The catch was that after each round, the team that finished last was eliminated! It was a race against the competition, as the players racked their brains for the locations of their targets and hoped that everyone else would choke.

The numbers dwindled quickly, and the final round rolled around just as the excitement peaked. Celylia offhandedly pronounced the final objective: "Just go kill an animal that starts with "n" - and hurry up, so we can see who wins." Those still around in the finals recalled and summoned their dragons... and stopped, completely unsure of what to do. What animal starts with the letter "n"?!

Apparently, the answer was "newt" - and Gloumewood Farm just happened to have one to offer. Murghen and I were fortunate enough to call ourselves the winners, and received our "mystery prizes". Everyone who competed was awarded a medal for participation, and I think it's safe to say the feedback for the quest was unanimous: it was an incredibly exciting event, and one of the best times we'd all had in the game in recent memory. It really was a blast. Our heartfelt thanks go out to the Autoquest Department and the coders of the quest, who made all the fun possible! We can only hope that we'll have the opportunity to try our hands at the experience again in the future.


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