Familiar news terminals appeared by the outer ring elevators on the fleet, showing a new cinematic introducing us to the leader of THORN: The Hyland Organization for Rakghoul Neutralization, making a plea for everyone to help him on his mission to contain the rakghoul threat. I got a quest to talk to someone on Alderaan but didn't want to jump into the action without my pet tank, so I decided to pass the time until he could come online with some PvP.
Addalar Hyland wants YOU to
spread contain the rakghoul plague!
However, I wasn't safe from the event there either and soon got infected by either one of my team mates or an unhealthy Imp. By exploding and spreading the plague even further I got the infection daily done, as well as my first achievement for infecting five people. (As an aside, getting a THORN reputation token for spreading the plague is so very wrong!) I also spotted some people that had already vaccinated themselves against the plague - a wise move in PvP, where random plague-induced stuns are really the last thing you want to happen while you're trying to win a fight.
Another PvPer with a silly name succumbs to the plague.
Once my pet tank arrived, we made our way to Alderaan, where we were given a quest to use a vaccine on some infected citizens and soldiers around House Organa while they were still in the early stages of the plague. We drove in circles for around ten minutes without finding anything other than a lot of plague bearer spawns. A golden one I killed dropped a Pale Rakling for me, which I already had from the previous event so I just handed it over to Pet Tank (fortunately it didn't bind on pick-up).
Eventually we figured out how to do the quest too. We were confused since we couldn't find any NPCs to click on, but as it turns out you have to keep an eye on the large groups of unclickable NPCs and every now and then there will be a single clickable one among them who is infected. I don't know if that's supposed to make your targets easier to find, but if it's your first time doing that quest and it happens to be during a busy period, it certainly is confusing that none of the NPCs in the area actually appear to be selectable!
Once we were done with this mission we were sent to a special area, the "Rakghoul Tunnels". I had somewhat mixed feelings about that. One of the things I loved about the original rakghoul event on Tatooine was that the event quests were sort of "mixed in" among the regular ones and it very much made the whole planet come alive. By confining most of the event on Alderaan to a special underground zone, that effect is lost - however, I am kind of impressed that they made a dedicated new area just for the event. It's actually oddly beautiful for a dark underground cave full of space zombies and I kept stopping to take screenshots of my surroundings. I think it's all the strangely glowing fungus that makes it.
The dailies in the caves were fairly standard fare: kill some of these, click on some things over here, scan for something over there. The kill quests seemed to follow the model introduced on Tatooine, meaning that all the mobs sitting out in the open were only in their twenties (appropriate for the planet) but once you attacked one it spawned a group of opponents appropriate for your level.
I liked the lore about rakghouls reproducing independently, and the specimens with things growing on their backs looked funky. A lot of people were running around with their PvP flags on, presumably because there are achievements for killing members of the opposite faction inside the tunnels, but we decided not to get involved in that part for now.
When we killed a neutral champion rakghoul he dropped a rakghoul DNA sample - the old event currency! I briefly went into a spaz of excitement at the thought that it might still have a use, as I still had twenty-odd left somewhere in my bank. At last, my pointless hoarding tendencies would pay off! The reality wasn't nearly as exciting though, as I think you can just trade the old currency in for the new one, but only at a rate of 50:1 or something.
Pew-pewing rakghouls with fungi on their backs!
Once we were done, we ran into the strange problem of being unable to return to our base. There were exactly two access points, and both involved jumping down a ledge when you set out, with no way to climb back up that we could see. Eventually we just used our quick travel, but it seemed very odd. We were probably just being blind.
The one thing we haven't done yet is try the new event boss. Bioware seems to like the way things worked out with Xenoanalyst on Ilum, as the Eyeless One uses a similar model of requiring a minimum amount of reputation to unlock and then you can kill him inside an instance without having to compete for a spawn in the open world. (EDIT: Apparently you don't need any reputation to enter the instance, just to unlock the associated quest.) I'm hoping to have a go at him tonight.