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Bad Day At the Tatooine Health Fair

Doc: Uh… It looks like you got something in your eye.
Vry: Rawrrawrsnarlrawr!
Doc: I’m going to take that as “No, I don’t need help Doc. Go wait on the ship.”

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[SWTOR] Rakghoul Pandemic World Event Guide

Joooooin usss

ANNOUNCEMENT: As this post has been getting tons of hits as of late, I felt the need to put this note right up top and in big bold red letters: This guide is for the April 2012 Rakghoul one off event on Tatooine. It is NOT a guide for the Rakghoul Resurgence reoccurring event. For a guide to that, I highly recommend Dulfy’s guide found HERE.

Because there’s nothing to unite the player base quite like a hideous disgusting plague that will turn the infected into strange monsters, Bioware has graced us with a strange and wonderful world event on the quiet little world of Tatooine (aka The Planet Where Everything Goes Wrong… ALWAYS).  The story behind this event is that a ship infected with the Rakghoul plague has crash landed in the Dune Sea, spilling disease all over the area and infecting the wildlife and locals.  It is up to you to figure out what happened and to act quickly to try to contain the disease before all of Tatooine falls to the Rakghoul menace.

During the event you’ll also be collecting Rakghoul DNA Samples to trade in for various rewards.  You can get these by doing the daily missions.  You can also get them by ‘exploding’ from the plague.  During the missions, or from other players exploding, you can contract the rakghoul virus.  This can be treated with a vaccine that you receive from the daily missions or purchased from the rewards vendor. However, if you let the virus run it’s course (estimated to be about 20 minutes), you too will explode and infect everyone around you.  This will reward you with 5 additional DNA Samples and can be done as many times as you want during the day.  There’s even a side mission to infect 10 enemy players with the virus, but it only rewards 5 vaccinations.

Another thing to note is that the DNA Samples are NOT bound.  Meaning you can trade them or mail them, including across Legacy.  Do keep in mind that while the event is on Tatooine, most of the related mobs are level 50.

The Dailies

UPDATE: It appears that the mobs that are spawned that drop the mission items will scale to your level.  Anyone above level 27-28 (normal Tatooine level range) should be able to complete the dailies!

UPDATE: It appears that these missions are added progressively as you do them and do not all unlock at once.  You must do the day 1 daily to get access to the day 2 tomorrow, and the day 2 to get access to the day 3 the next day. As such, THURSDAY (4/19) is the last day to begin the dailies to get all the pieces of the social gear.

One of the first things you can do during the world event is the dailies.  In the North-East corner of Tatooine’s Dune Sea, you’ll find a downed star ship. Immediately, you’ll be given a multipart area daily mission that has you gather up some stuff from around the crash site and then take down the captain of the ship who has become a rakghoul.  It’s pretty simple and doesn’t take that much time once you know what you’re doing.  Mostly it’s kill this, gather that.

During that mission, you should also come across a blood sample drop that will give you a second daily that will take you to eastern Jundland to perform some tests on the sample.  This leads into the second daily where you get a light side/dark side choice to use the sample to make a cure for the local sand people who got infected, or to turn them into living biological weapons. UPDATE: It appears that additional missions are appearing go along with this one that reward different pieces of containment officer gear.  You can complete all of these dailies every day, Blood Samples is still available along with Passenger List.

Dailies Added to Event:

  • Day 1: Blood Samples. Acquired from drop in Crash Area.  Rewards: 2 Samples, choice of 1 extra sample or social boots.
  • Day 2: Passenger List: Acquired from clicking wreckage with mission indicator at the Crash Site. Rewards: 2 Samples, choice of 1 extra sample or social gloves.
  • Day 3: Hybrid Strain: Acquired from drop in Sand People area. Rewards: 2 Samples, choice of 1 extra sample or social pants.
  • Day 4: Pure Virus Sample: Acquired from clicking datapad with mission indicator in crash area. Rewards 2 Samples, choice of 1 extra sample or social helm.
  • Day 5: Recently Infected: Acquired from item with mission indicator in Sand People area near the Murals from Outbreak. Rewards 2 Samples, choice of 1 extra sample or social chest or social belt.

While you’re completing the second daily, you will automatically receive the third and final daily. Another multipart chain across the Sand People’s territory.  The big trick to this is the first part – get infected wrappings.  You need to kill the level 27-28 non-hostile infected sand people to spawn 2-3 level 50 sand people that drop the wrappings.  Beyond that it’s mostly just fetch quests that end with killing another elite.

Completing these dailies will reward you with a total of 10 DNA Samples, and the choice of 1 additional DNA Sample or a piece of social gear that looks like the Containment Troops armor that you see around the cities.

There is a final daily that I mentioned above but as Psynister pointed out in the comments, deserves repeating as it is a daily. Simply spread the plague by getting 10 uninfected players infected.  The reward is 5 vaccinations.

Tracing the Source

There is one more mission to do during the world event, and that is the tracking the source of the outbreak.  This is actually more of a hidden thing, because it requires some know how to activate the mission.  There are three items you must find in your factions main city on Tatooine (Mos Illa for Empire, Anchorhead for Republic).  There is a crashed escape pod, a crate of medical supplies and the large monitor just outside the spaceport.  You have 10 minutes after clicking the first one to find all three or else you’ll lose on of the buffs and have to go back and find the object again.  After you have found and interacted with all three, you can find a new mission available by the speeder taxi of the city.

This mission is to find 12 pieces of the crashed ship that got scattered all over Tatooine.  They aren’t marked at all, so it’s a huge scavenger hunt that will have you skirting around cliff edges and leaping down to small ledges. There are a total of 9 in Jundland and 3 in the Dune Sea.  If you want a slightly more detailed guide, I would recommend checking out the one at SWTOR-Spy.  After you find all twelve pieces, you’ll be directed to find a crate in the sand people territory of eastern Jundland.

After completing this quest, you’ll receive a companion pet: The Crimson Rakghoul!

The World Bosses

During this event, there are three world bosses that spawn across the planet:

  • Infected Trapjaw: Level 30 champion found by clicking the skull in the Dune Sea.
  • Urtagh: Level 50 champion that is found the open world PVP area of Outlaw’s Den.  Be warned that you will be flagged for PVP by entering the area, and the opposing faction may want to kill the boss themselves.
  • Zama Brak: Another level 50 champion that is found just north-west of the crash site in the Dune Sea. He has the ability to send the tank soaring into the sky and dropping large toxic fields that do high damage.

Defeating all three of the bosses will earn you their respective codex entries and award the ‘Containment Officer’ title.

Rewards

So, you’ve been collecting these DNA Samples, but what do you do with them?  Well, just north of the crash site in the Dune Sea, there’s a little jawa with a dewback named Jeelvic.  He’ll gladly take those samples off your hands in exchange for some neat items.  They include:

Black-Green Color Crystals: 75 samples for the level 31 versions or 83 samples for the level 50 versions. Depending on which stats you want. These crystals are Bind on Equip, so you can sell them or trade them.

Infected Companion Appearance Lockbox: 20 samples. A lockbox that contains one random companion’s custom ‘infected’ appearance.  I haven’t seen it yet, but it sounds pretty awesome! Mr. Robot is reporting that these contain an infected appearance for a humanoid companion, and are bind on legacy.

Pale Rakghoul Companion Pet: 60 samples. A small white rakghoul that will follow you around. Remember, you can get the crimson version by doing the Tracing the Source chain I talked about above.

Hope everyone has some fun with this event!  It kinda came out of the blue and there has been no formal announcement that I’ve seen about when it began or when they plan to end it.  So let’s enjoy it while we can! 😀

Fire in the Twilight: an Elemental Invasion Retrospective

The final phase has hit us, the invasion has begun.  The thunder cracks over Stormwind, and the flames engulf Orgrimmar. But in the end, after all is said and done, how will we be looking back at this event?  How will it be remembered by those of us who were there to witness it?  Will you be grasping on to those precious pieces of gear you pried from the dead hands of the elemental lieutenants?  Are you going to be telling all the new players that come in during the Cataclysm era about the valiant battles that were fought against the forces of Twilight’s Hammer? Well, I can only speak for myself, but the overall feeling was mixed for me.  Allow me to explain.

The Build Up Was Fascinating

The first few phases honestly were very intriguing to me.  The plot line surrounding the Twilight’s Hammer cult and their infiltration of the cities was probably the best part of the whole event honestly.  There was a sense of intrigue and instability.  I did the quests first on my horde alts, and I was honestly concerned that by the end of the whole thing, Garrosh was going to pull out martial law on the city.  He didn’t.  Why?  ‘Cause Garrosh is my boy!  But honestly, it was a fascinating trial that played out with much less intrigue on the Alliance side I’m sad to say.  It was the same thing but with none of the risk.  I mean, while there are people who don’t like Varian for one reason or another, but it’s nothing compared to the sheer animosity that people have for Garrosh (So much that I was shocked to find that I was not the only one who voted for him in the Warchief Election.)  So how this whole thing shook down on the Horde side could very well color a good deal of the Horde’s feelings in Cataclysm.  I mean, not everyone is going to forgive Garrosh.  Probably not ever.  Mostly because he is not real, and because, well, haters gonna hate.

The lead up quests did a magnificent job of setting the tone of both the fear and concern of the people of the Horde and Alliance.  When facing dire times, there will be those who panic, those who become outraged and those who search for solutions…  regardless of where they come from.  The people who joined the doomsday cults were not bad people.  They saw a way out and they took it.  The Twilight’s Hammer is no longer a faceless, nameless enemy.  They are us.  Well, most of us.  Try as I could, I didn’t find any gnomes wandering about in Doom & Gloom chic.

The quests also set a tone of inevitability.  You tried to stop the devices, they still got in.  You tried to stop the cultists at the gate, they still infiltrated the city walls.  You tried to stop the rituals, and the invasion still came.  Ultimately, try as you might, the Shattering is going to happen.  The world is going to be changed forever.  Deathwing IS coming.  These quests were a perfect summary of that kind of mentality.

The Invasion Was Epic

I remember noticing a sudden change in the weather while walking the streets of Stormwind.  Like a shadow cast across the cobblestone and yet there was an otherworldly brightness to this engulfing darkness.  It was followed by a crack of thunder and a peel of lightning and as the rain started to fall, panic engulfed the city.  The guards began to pile up sandbags and fortifications, the heroes of Azeroth gathered in the Trade District knowing that the very thing they had tried to stop had come to pass.  The Elemental Invasion had begun.  It was really exciting to see it all come together.  There was a real chill down the spine moment as you saw people rushing to evacuate the city and seeing dozens of players rushing about the city to repel the invaders is a pretty awesome sight and it really reminded me of the demon attacks that lead up to the Burning Crusade expansion, minus the piles and piles of dead low level players at the feet of Highlord Kruul.

There was a real sense of suspense in the invasion, especially after the first day when no one was sure exactly how often the invasion would occur.  A sense of unpredictability fell upon many players that didn’t know when the next attack would come.  However, this unpredictability fell quickly to the side as the pattern was figured out.  Which brings me to a big issue I had with the entire event.

Following The Script

I’ve long thought of the elements themselves as a strange duality of balance and chaos.  They make up everything and anything, and at the same time they are foreign, unknown and unpredictable. And if there is one word to describe this entire event, it certainly was not unpredictable.  Everything happened on a script.  The elementals spawned in zones on a set routine, almost on the hour every hour.  The invasion of the cities ran on its own clock and showed up every couple of hours reliably.  The quests were naturally scripted as all quests were, there was no random spawns or surprises beyond the initial introduction of a new phase.  The entire thing was the epitome of ‘see it once, don’t need to see it again.’

The reason for this is easy to guess.  Seriously.  Try it.  No, it’s not “Blizzard is lazy.” Try again.  That’s right.  The Zombie Apocalypse.  There was serious outrage at the whole thing.  People couldn’t use the cities for days, Shattrath was covered in nothing but zombies on my realm, and for a short period the dead ruled everything – the majority of people HATED it.  I know plenty of people who actually enjoyed it, but it seemed that at least at the time, the majority was against us in that regard.  I think a lot more have come around to thinking of the whole thing fondly, but its hard to say how much of that is hindsight and how much of that is nostalgia.  All I know is that the entire thing at the time was hated by a lot of people, and I loved it.  Not the people hating it, the actual event.  It was dynamic, it was unpredictable and it was player controlled.  The players could battle it, give in to it, and choose to die alone and zombified or carry out the call of the grave and spread the plague.  There were countermeasures, the Argent Healers for one, and the Necropolis attacks that followed were less dynamic and more farming, but for a glorious moment (to me) the players had full power of the course of the world.

That’s what I always wanted to see in the game.  Player choices and player actions deciding what was to happen. It doesn’t happen enough in my opinion.  Maybe that’s just because I don’t play on a RP realm where such things occur on a regular basis (maybe someone can suggest one.  I’ve seen so much back and forth on the matter of which RP realm is good or bad I’ve, thus far, washed my hands of the matter.  Though I do have an un-played character on Shadow Council) but it’s one of the reasons I’ve been looking forward to the use of phasing in Cataclysm.  At least then our actions, albeit scripted and defined by quests, will have a noticeable impact on the world around us.  It was one of the subtle and yet most enjoyable additions in Wrath and I look forward to see it’s expanded use in the expansion.

The Afterword Was a Big Let Down

So the invasion is over, and the elementals beaten back from the city gates.  Now what?  Well, now we go and a few packs of trash and a boss.  Does the boss drop anything unique and interesting?  Eh, some raid quality epic gear that uses models from the ICC 5-mans.  And?  And nothing. That’s it.  It’s over. Here’s some loot pinatas with a dash of nostalgia, and we’re done.  If you weren’t still raiding and needed an upgrade or two, the entire thing was pointless except for a couple of points and some gold.  In my opinion, the entire post-invasion activity was a huge let down and I have a slight inkling that I’m not alone in thinking that this was the weakest part of the whole event.  There were no special drops, nothing to collect or farm, and just nothing to do once it had been done.  The Burning Crusade event had a tabard, the Wrath event had some meh gear but some really amazing flavor items (A Castlevania item, a tabard, an epic-in-more-than-just-color axe, and many other weird flavor bits) and this event had some good gear that will be useful for a few weeks.

Conclusion

After all is said in done, the event was fun and epic, the first time I went through it all.  But the fact is that the second verse is the same as the first, and watching the same reruns over and over can only be done so many times before it becomes tedious.  I got my feat of strength, I saw everything I needed to see, now I just want the world to blow up and the real fun to begin.  Am I alone on this?  I can’t imagine I am.  Maybe the minority, but surely not alone.  When a Warcraft-fan but not WoW-player friend asked me how the event was, the best I could offer was, “It was neat. Really neat.”  I think that sums up my experience with the whole thing pretty well.  Epic but repetitive, good build up but disappointing ending.  Still I can happily say that with minimal play time I experienced everything, and had my fun, and go forward without regret.  Maybe that is the point all along.  But even without regret, I was still wanting more.  Oh well.  See you all after the world ends.

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