The new Mabar event is much like the old – in that the public area is still being over run by undead (well most of them are anyways) in Deleras Graveyard. And similar to the last couple of years, it’s divided into several level instances so you don’t have the wonkiness of level 5’s spawning tiny skeleton in an area where level 28’s run. Altho I don’t think it stops people from entering those instances I do believe they only spawn creatures for that level.
And like before you do this for a new base material and a more rare chance for a key. Draughts work as well, but for some reason it doesn’t proc in the public area (only challenges). Hopefully this will be fixed. The Draught of Midnight and the key can be bought in the store. The key drops about 1 every 15-20 minutes (seems to be the average) and you can turn in material for the Draught.
There are 4 challenges/quests/events or whatever you like to call them. The level range is low (whatever the lowest might be) to 35 – so for once you can underlevel from 28. However these new 4 materials are capped at 23 which seems to be the max amount you can get. So it’s going to be 23 if you say step in as level 25 and do 35 or 28 and do 35. Each of the 4 drop a new type of material but all in all you only have to worry about 4 different ones in a very simple scheme compared to any other type of schemes in the other or previous events.
That goes for any of the old Mabar gear. None of the saved materials work anymore and it has all been translated into this new scheme.
There are some new items with a ‘spooky’ stacking mechanic including +2 int and wis augments, and several BTA clicky’s in the shape of armor, docent and hats. I prefer the idea of hats – the armor is less useful since only the docent is an instant switch. If you’re a caster type that use light, medium or heavy armor, it’ll take a while to re-equip it after applying the 90 second clicky.
Perhaps the most controversial idea is that some of the materials including consumables vanish at the end of the year. Part of the claim is that this prevents duping.
Personally I think it’s silly. First – most players don’t run these events 24×7. Perhaps the worst part is that if you want to make any of the old materials you have to start from scratch and it takes an increasingly higher pile of material to make since you buy at lowest level and upgrade each item up till 24. And THAT is a chunk load of stuff.
However, putting these gripes aside, this is by far the best version of ‘Mabar’ and probably the easiest material scheme compared to any other event. Crystal Cove have a bunch of different gems. Granted you can now ‘downgrade’ but it’s still way too many different types of materials for essentially being able to upgrade items similar to Night Revels. And it’s far simpler than any other previous Mabar gear scheme.
The challenges are also fun – it takes 4 existing low level quests and makes a quick challenge/quest out of it. 2 are very short. Replacing Sharn syndicate thugs for undead in the quest where you save that tavern.
One is the harbor quest where you’re going down into a room to clean out scorpions. This time of course it’s a bunch of undead with a boss ambush. Again – just as quick as it sounds.
The third is another harbor quest using a Kobolds new ringleader to fight zombie kobolds lead by a Lich where even the traps remain from the original quest (a few doors don’t work tho including that passage to the spiders – pity).
And finally one of the quests out the Carnival series in house of P – the Snitch. It’s actually not the entirely thing. Only the last portion of it where you sorta do it in reverse to end up fighting a Lich in the court yard where you can either evade a bunch of dogs or kill them.
I like that at most they’re medium long and that with a full group you’re going to hit through this in quick succession. You can of course solo it and dependent on class it’ll be either relatively drama free or with specific class dependent on boss somewhat hairier. I also like the mechanic of finding keys to unlock the events.
You could spend one day farming keys and another looking for groups to do the challenges – and you can still join up to 12 people for a group farming in the public in order to drive up spawn rates.
All in all – I like this event much better than previous event mechanics. No longer an error prone ‘raid event’ with an unlock mechanism that tend to break down when people are fed up running or very late at night when there’s not enough people running it.
Finally – the vanishing material is a silly mechanic. But it should detract from just how streamlined and clean this is. Turbine tried to revive the Mabar stuff through another abysmal scheme during the Mimic event. I loved the mimic event since it added an extra unknown to all chests in all quests – but the scheme to turn in for stuff was terrible. If I remember it correctly you got things from the event, turned them in for a random card and THEN combined these cards for a reward.
It was so dreadful that while I enjoyed the event I never turned anything in since it wasn’t worth the hassle.