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Friday, April 22, 2011

Runescape Easter 2011 Event: Holly and Hawthorn

Runescape recently released the 2011 Easter content.  It seems mildly misnomered; a more accurate call would be the 2011 Winter/Spring Seasonal content.  That aside, this has got to be my all-time favorite Easter content.  The graphics are breathtaking, the story is nice,

 The first thing you see upon arriving at Rimmington is the absolutely gorgeous trees.  I just couldn't stop admiring them.  They look so much better, I hope this will be a permanent in-game improvement.  Run a little north and east from the house portal, and you'll find the portal into the new realm.  Many old friends from previous seasonal events are present, lined up either for the Spring queen, or the Winter queen.  You'll see the Easter Bunny, Jack Frost, and others, trading taunts against their counterparts from the other side.

The event has two phases, the quickest being the Winter Queen's champion.  To side with her, you'll kill an evil Hawthorne Tree, bring the physical representation of the new season to her, and she will award you a crown.

  The Spring Queen's side is  much more entertaining.  You defeat an evil Holly tree for her, but things go wrong from there.  The new season you bring her is incomplete or false, and you must run around talking to earth, water and air spirits, following the clues.  You'll be led to an underground river, then find a passage to a large cavern.  The true culprit waits for you there.  Her story is touching, and requires a sensitive approach on your part.

I liked making the sculpture, was continually impressed with the graphics and story.  For temporary seasonal content, Jagex really pulled out the stops.

The rewards are a mixed bag.  The crowns offer the ability to teleport you to any current evil tree upon the land, but the ability is only temporary.  Once the seasonal content is over, the ability will go away, leaving you with 2 decidedly feminine crowns.  Monique got a giggle from me trying them on...  but I certainly don't care to wear them for anything serious.
The emote reward is much better.  A very gentle and appealing visual; soft sunlight streaming down, raising your hand to to the air, then kneeling down to run a hand along the flowers that suddenly bloom at your feet.  Not your typical 'guy' rewards, these have a definite 'softer' feel than usual.

Overall, this was an enjoyable diversion.  Very easy, and simple, yet a beautiful story and the graphics are a huge step forward for Runescape.  The only potential hiccup I could imagine is if you only did the Winter Queen's side.  You could conceivably think that was the entire thing, when it was truly just a small portion.

Maybe not for everybody, but if you're can appreciate a softer gentler Runescape, you should enjoy it immensely.

Don't forget to visit Diango and see his new toys for the wedding... they don't translate well into pictures, but are fun to play with!

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