On Saturday, February twenty-first, a group of adventurers gathered around Edgeville. Like most people gathering at this place they were quite literally dressed to kill. Unlike most groups of bloodthirsty adventurers though, this group had an air of general giddiness about it. They were not just another band of killers-for-treasure, but also friends, brought together under the guidance of the Tip.It Events Team.
This night's event was dedicated to killing big stuff, one of the favourite activities of the team. Our target would be the King Black Dragon, the fearsome three-headed beast that lurked deep inside the wilderness. While these days its reputation as a fearsome devourer of men (and women of course) has diminished somewhat, it does not even hold the status of most powerful dragon anymore, it was still a worthy foe.
At level 72 I was definitely one of the weaker players, but I did not came unprepared. As usual my method of attack would be ranging, so I came wearing all the obvious choices: Black dragonhide armour, an archer helmet, Ava's Accumulator, an amulet of glory, a rune crossbow with adamant bolts and of course an anti-dragon shield. My inventory was filled with the usual array of colourful potions and sharks and a teleport tablet to bail out in case of emergency. Of course, even without this quick escape death would hardly be an issue, as we had plenty of holier-than-thou enough players who could bless the graves of the fallen.
Our leader for tonight would be TET-veteran Evil_mumm_ra, who would lead the expedition towards the King Black Dragon's lair. I did not envy his task, but as always he took it upon him graciously and with the authority necessary to keep a group of our size in check. The difficulty of herding dozens of players to a single place became evident quickly, as every time the ancient magicks took us to a random place within the wilderness we lost more than a handful of players who in their bloodlust ran off the platform before we could move on.
Once the main group had made its way inside the King Black Dragon's lair, the party continued to be a victim of its own success. With dozens of players jockeying for position, it became almost impossible for people to see what was actually going on. The King Black Dragon probably didn't know what hit it either, as it never seemed to last for more than ten seconds within its initial spawning.
From that point on the party took on an atmosphere of controlled chaos. People were constantly scurrying about trying to find their loot and trying to find their place in the square. There was yelling, much yelling, at people who didn't move into the right place, at people who yelled at people who didn't move into the right place, at people who got a disproportionate amount of loot and at people who yelled at people who got loot. There was plenty of other randomness, such as the lone attendee in the chicken suit (I guess the idea of dragon bait was worth exploring) and the person who released an army of mechanical dolls on the unsuspecting crowd.
A special round of applause here should go out to Evil_mumm_ra, who did his very best to keep the entire group together even though people were complaining constantly about the fact that there didn't seem to be enough loot to go around, and that the dragon was often dying too fast for them to get their shots in. It was with remarkable patience and authority that he kept the party on track, and it was only because of his hard work that the party lasted as long as it did, even after he left.
Of course these events are rarely attended for its profits. With 100 yew logs and 6 Toadflax from the random events that always seem to haunt TET parties I ended up making more money than most. Of course we still saw plenty of nice drops. Rune longs especially seemed to drop by the armful, and everybody's patience seemed to be rewarded eventually (even if some got rewarded more thoroughly than others). When the second kill of the night already yielded a Dragon medium helm, people seemed to expect the very impossible, but despite various chants and spammed emotes, over fifteen hours of dragon slaying and over 550 confirmed kills yielded no visage.
Did I mention the party went a bit long? Apparently I didn't. I had left the party at 1am local time, having spent nearly three hours killing the three-headed menace. When I woke up after eight hours of deep sleep the first thing Skype told me was that the party was still going. Slightly frazzled I hurried back into the wilderness to find that the party was indeed still going strong. From the original group of about sixty, fifteen or so diehards were still holding strong. Of course the smaller group meant that the dragon would take a little longer to die and people were going through their food a little bit faster, but even though fatigue had begun claiming its victims we were still having fun. There was the occasional random-napping and one or two people actually died, but the party had gone all through the night and well into the wee (and not so wee) hours of various timezones.
It might be corny to say that time flies when you're having fun, but in the case of tonight's party it was most certainly true, and fun is what TET does best. While this party wasn't as elaborate as some of their past celebrations, it definitely shattered the record for longest party ever held. Of course we didn't get visages, most of us didn't even cut a profit, but we all had fun, and in a game that can be so much like work it's not even funny, isn't that the most important thing?