Shade’s Eve! It’s almost here! After a year of anticipation, WildStar’s first holiday event opens on October 19. Based around the tale of the sinister Jack Shade and compassionate Angel, this dark chapter in Ancient Cassian history threatens to spill into modern-day Nexus. Be sure to get your flu shots, as things are about to get… contagious.
The Halloween-themed holiday event is steeped in lore and adventure, but also has plenty of rewards on offer. There’s a brand new expedition, new public events, and new daily quests to keep you busy. Likewise, there’s plenty of Shade’s Eve for you to keep, including a new companion pet, new costumes, and more housing items than you can throw a Granok at. Believe me, I’ve tried.
Coming hot-on-the-heels of WildStar’s free-to-play switch, Shade’s Eve is open to all comers, and is the first chunk of new content since Carbine’s conversion last month. And while it’s not the biggest event to arrive in an MMO, it’s certainly a welcome addition to the WildStar experience. After managing to sneak a glimpse at the event earlier this year, here’s my guide on what to expect later this month.
A Sinister Tale
The origins of Shade’s Eve stretch back to a dark event in the earliest chapters of Cassian history. Exhausted from their journey, the earliest colonists of planet Cassus quickly became infected with a virulent plague. The first victim was struck down within hours, with outbreak rapidly advancing on the remaining settlers.
As day turned to night, the few remaining survivors built funeral pyres from the bodies of the fallen, breathing through respirators in a desperate attempt to ward off the contagion. But, just as hope started to burn out, a breakthrough was discovered. A young girl was discovered with a natural immunity to the plague, and her blood was used to synthesise a vaccine. Their lives were saved, even as the ashes and embers of their friends and family lay scattered around them.
Since then, the grim episode has become a cause of celebration in Cassian culture, of discovering salvation in their darkest hour. The plague became known as the Shades, but was twisted and personified into a wicked figure known as Jack Shade. Likewise, the unlikely saviour became known as the Angel, with the two figures taking a central role in the event of Shade’s Eve.
How do you know when Shade’s Eve has started? The Halloween-themed event is due to run from October 19 to November 2, giving us two weeks of frightful festivities. Not only that, but each capital will be dressed up for the holiday – black rowsdowers, eldritch candles, omniplasmic cobwebs and sinister pumpkins will be used to hauntingly decorate each of the cities. If you want to get in the spirit of things yourself, don’t despair – housing decorations will be available as part of the holiday event.
There are special sections in each capital city devoted to holiday events. In Illium, you’ll find questgivers and vendors in the Parade Grounds near Fate’s Landing. Over in Thayd, there’s a cozy little corner called Shindig Hollow. If you’re completely stumped, a new Holiday Event indicator button will in the bottom-right hand corner next to Madame Fay’s Fortune carrot. Hit it, and a new window will pop up to tell you all about the event and give directions on where to go.
Besides being a hub for daily quests and the new holiday instance, the capital cities are also home to your faction’s Shade’s Eve Effigy. By completing daily quests and collecting rewards, you also contribute to building a grand – and highly flammable – monument to Jack Shade. So get to work, and help make Old Jack burn!
In order to take part in the Shade’s Eve festivities, you’ll need to be over level ten, so now is a great time to get busy. The central piece of the event is a new Expedition for 1 to 5 players, transporting you to the tranquil village of Quiet Downs. It’s a level 50 instance, with anyone not at level cap being boosted up. I did manage to solo through while the event was on the PTR, but I’d definitely recommend teaming up with a few friends to share the experience. You’ll find the instance entrance, and daily quest NPC, in the holiday event area of the capital cities.
Why Quiet Downs? Well, the Angel herself has become manifest, pleading for help in eliminating the sinister Jack Shade. Apparently his malevolent presence has begun to stir once again, and only a band of true heroes can put a stop to his nefarious plans. It’s time to tool up and shed light on the shadowy goings on.
It starts out in utter darkness, with only a simple lantern to light the twisted forest that surrounds you. And don’t expect help from the rest of your group, as they’ve been teleported to different sections of the zone. Forget your map as well, as satellites don’t tend to penetrate into the land of dark dreams.
Once you’ve all managed to huddle into the village at the centre, there are various events to unfold and bosses to defeat. Like WildStar’s adventures, you can also choose how the story will unfold. Ultimately though, Jack Shade is the big boss that you’ll face at the end. Pulverize him into piñata paste, and earn a Gallery of Ghastly Goods as your holiday loot bag reward.
Let’s face it, holiday events are great, but holiday loot is even better. Whether it’s dressing up your character or spooking up your house, Shade’s Eve has you covered. However, to get your hands on the fancy new swag, you’ll need to earn Shade’s Silver. And for that, you’ll need to complete the new daily quests. Don’t frown though, as they’re actually fun to complete. Most of them are also housed in the capital cities, although there’s also a ‘Trick or Treat’ mission that sends you around player housing, and a ‘Gotta Getta Geist’ public event that has you ghostbusting around the capital.
Afraid of death by grinding? Don’t fret – there are three daily quests per day. Combined with the Quiet Downs expedition, you can be wrapped up with everything Shade’s Eve in about an hour. There’s a pool of 9 daily quests that get picked from, making each day a little different. On the PTR, the earning rate for Shade’s Silver was pretty healthy, so you should be able to buy everything you want within the two-week holiday window.
Just what can you buy? Well, there’s the new vanity pet – a little Shadeling of your own – and a couple of toys that will summon either Jack Shade or The Angel. There are also a couple of costumes to collect, with each one being made up of a series of parts. And for those housing fanatics, there’s 17 different decorations to get your cement-covered hands on, including a new fab kit.
Don’t let the Shade’s Silver rot in your pocket though. WildStar’s Shade’s Eve event runs from October 19 to November 2, so be sure to scoop up on all the spooky shiny loot before it ends!