EQ2: Those Magnificent Gnomes In Their Flying Machines

Today is the day of the EQ2 Aether Races! When you hear a bell ring, that’s the sound of a Ratonga getting his wings.

Ordinarily, you don’t unlock the Velious flying mounts until you complete a chain of level 85 quests, which come in adventuring and tradeskill varieties. Little Maltheas is a ways off being able to do either, so he has had to watch from the ground as his comrades took to the air. That changes today, briefly, as the Gnomes hold their new air race, which will allow all comes to engage in aerial daring-do over the the Butcherblock Mountains, Lavastorm, and the Tenebrous Tangle.

Race course signup NPCs are close enough to globe or wizard spire zone-in positions that *any* level of character can participate in these races, despite the courses being set in zones that are normally too difficult for some folks.

Prizes include:

* Cool new titles that show how awesome you are at racing.
* The ability to toodle around the zone in the racer that you used…as long as you beat the course time when racing. (This goes away when you zone or log out.)
* A new mount to use after you complete the Velious flying mount quests! (This is a permanent object and can be used after you complete the Gryphon quests in Velious.)

There are hazards and boons as you race so you need to study courses to get the best times, high-score lists, and more.

We know that there’s prizes, but we don’t know too much about how everything is going to work yet. Remember that these races are for one day only, though they’ll almost certainly be coming back for Tinkerfest later this year.

We’re still waiting for the servers to come up, but I’ll be updating this post with all of Maltheas’ aeronautical exploits, and fresh information! If you check back later, there’ll be video!

6:24 pm GMT

We’re off! Turns out I’m really bad at racing, especially when trying to commentate a video, but here’s a picture of the Butcherblock flying mount to be getting on with.

EQ2 Butcherblock Flying Mount 600x383

You'll believe a Ratonga can fly!

Here are the instructions for the race. They only pop up once, and I didnt have time to read it before my first race, and ended up dodging the scary looking golden clouds. Oops.

New C.R.A.S.H. Test Pilot instructions:

The first rule is: don’t crash! If you find yourself grounded, use spacebar to take off again.

Watch out for twisters! The red lightning will sap your engine power.

Definitely look for the floating gas clouds. They turbocharge your prop unit and make you really zip along!

The blue gas clouds vanish when you grab them. That means that other pilots can steal them, so watch out!

The green gas clouds never go away! they have the same effect as the blue clouds.

The golden cloud with the blue halo will blast away the twisters. It’s rare so grab it when you see it!

Warning: If you fall into water or lava, your flying machine is kaput until you get out. The C.R.A.S.H. pad requires a solid surface from which to take off!

Rewards

You get a temporary mount for the zone, and the Test Pilot title just for playing.

I just got the Cloud Buster title for scoring well over in the Tenebrous Tangle race.

The Sea Hawk title comes from Butcherblock.

Smokin’ Ace is the reward for Lavastorm. It also turns out that you might just get the rewards based on how many tries you’ve had rather than your time. It seems a bit random so far. I may have gotten a little bugged on this title, as it turned up in my reward window, when accepting the quest, but I never received it.

Aha! The track specific titles require you to get a decent time. Smokin’ Ace seems to require a time under 55 seconds. Fear not! If I can do it, so can you.

The Crash Test Dummy Extraordinaire title appears to be a reward for doing a lot of races.

Update: So in summary:

“Test Pilot” suffix: Earned from your first race.
“Crash Test Dummy Extraordinaire” suffix: Earned for doing quite a lot of races. 15 perhaps.
“Sea Hawk” prefix: Reward for a good time at Butcherblock.
“Smokin’ Ace” prefix: Reward for a good time at Lavastorm.
“Cloud Buster” prefix: Reward for the good time at Tenebrous Tangle.

You can choose one of 5 differently coloured reward mounts. They won’t fly until you complete the regular flying mount quests, but it turns out you can use them as an appearance for your land mount if you’re so inclined. It looks like you can pick one of these up per racetrack, doing wonders for your mount collection!

The beginning of a race can be rather laggy, as more people appear, so you can help matters by turning down your graphics a little. You’ll want to keep your view distance as high as possible though.

EQ2 Green Crash Pad In Tenebrous Tangle 600x356

Maltheas shows off his Green C.R.A.S.H. Pad in front of the Tenebrous Tangle Aether racetrack.

Update: There is a video on the way. T’is a 25 minute epic, and won’t finish uploading until tomorrow. Which will make it far from timely, but there you have it. The Aether races have been enormous fun, and rather well done, and you should definitely try to catch them while they’re around.

5 comments to EQ2: Those Magnificent Gnomes In Their Flying Machines

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