I feel like writing something for this blog today (read: am at the office but don’t want to work), but haven’t finished the book I’m currently reading yet (because I spend too much in Second Life this weekend). So I’m doing the post on the treasure hunt at Plod today that I said I might do yesterday.
Treasure hunts are starting to become like a bad addiction for me – I don’t really like them, I don’t really want to go there and do them, and yet I show up at each and every one of them and drive myself crazy trying to find every single item… I might be missing out on something after all. I did the grid-wide ghost hunt on Halloween, was exhausted for days afterwards, and still have unpacked only about one third of the treasure I collected – and furthermore, am pretty sure that, once everything is done and over with, I’ll be keeping maybe 10% of the loot, if that much. I vowed to myself I would not do the Peace on Earth (or short PoE) hunt, seeing as that had triple the amount of stores participating that the ghost hunt had. Of course, I caved in. But I vowed to myself, I’d at least confine myself to raiding those stores I know and liked, and ignore the rest. Big surprise – I caved in there too. After all, I might stumble across some exciting designer I never heard of… Of course even if I do, it’s unlikely I’ll even notice – either I’ll be cranky because the globe is presented out in the open (and maybe even with a big, red arrow pointing at it), which isn’t the idea of a treasure hunt at all, is it? Or I’ll be cranky because the globe is actually hidden, and you can’t really expect me to actually hunt for it with 340 stores to get through, can you?
Having said that, there are reasons (I can think of, there might even be more) that even a mammoth hunt like PoE can turn out to be fun – 1) because you’re doing it with friends, and are basically hanging out with them while doing some hunting on the side, or 2) because you run into another hunter, you get to talking for some reason or other, then get all distracted from the hunt because you discover the two of you are getting along fabously, and before you know it you’ve made a new friend.
Sometimes, though (and this officially ends the rant part of this parts and brings us to the supposed main topic) you come across a hunt that is actually fun in and of itself. One of those rare cases was the Noob hunt some time ago (that also took me some time to recover from, but only because I was laughing so hard while doing it), or the Snowman hunt Plod is having in their sim.
I’ve been visiting there before, shortly after they opened, and was very impressed by the atmosphere, which is sort of American Midwest ghost town, spooky in a cute sort of way, with cornfields inhabited by strange (and rideable!) creatures, stuffed patchwork bunnies doing weird things in apparently deserted houses, and lots and lots of squirrels all over the place. I found it utterly charming, and barely noticed it was a commercial sim, so seamlessly were the items on sale integrated into the ambience.
Since my last visit, they a couple more buildings have been added, but the place has retained all of its charm; in addition, it’s all wintery right now, and they have a hunt going on. You start by clicking on a sign (the one that is all in Japanese – presumable the instructions for the hunt) and get a HUD that, when you equip it, shows ten empty snowman slots. And then off you go, roaming the sim, peeking into corners, to stumble across sights like this one:
Poor guy, but hey! – it’s another slot in your HUD filled.
There also is some fun to be had on the side:
It’s not without it’s dangers, though – glad I managed to avoid attracting the attention of those guys:
I’m the tiny, tiny figure at the bottom, btw. I just knew there had to be something up with all those squirrels… But finally, after having braved all dangers, after having scaled all heights and plumbed all depth, after having searched every nook and cranny – I finally had my HUD filled with all ten ghosts and proudly carried it to a glowing Christmas tree to collect my reward:
As cool as that bag undoubtedly is (and it drops acorns, too! just think how many virtual squirrels you will make happy by carrying this bag around), the main attraction of this is the hunt itself, and the extended exploration of a fantastically invententive and atmospheric sim. I have no clue for how much longer the hunt is going to last, so I strongly suggest you get your ass over to Plod asap.