In a surprise move, expected by absolutely no-one, the new EQ2 Timelocked Expansion servers, Deathtoll (PvP) and Stormhold (PvE) launched smoothly, slightly ahead of schedule and without issue today.
Oh, wait, no...that wasn't the surprise...well, yes it was, but...
THIS was the surprise :
Having spent years telling us it was impossible, it turns out the devs have been playing a game of Chinese whispers all along, telling each other the code for the Isle of Refuge had been knitted into socks and could never be unravelled. Finally one of them decided to go and have a look down the back of the sofa and lo and behold, what did he find? A fully working Isle of Refuge complete with all the original quests!
Actually I'm far from sure which "original" version this is. I know it was changed several times but beyond that it's gone all fuzzy. It was a long time ago. I do remember this version, where the wyvern drifts past, sets the ship on fire and incidentally frees the caged goblin but I could swear there was a version with a much longer fight.
One thing that definitely was there right from the start is the execrable voice acting. It really is some of the worst I have ever heard. What those accents are supposed to be Mel Gibson only knows. Whoever's playing Captain Varlos even gets a line reading totally wrong - the seafaring term "swinging the lead" is clearly new to him and presumably to the director. He pronounces "lead" as if it rhymes with "deed" not "dead". Some sea captain he is. And why does the dwarf refer to himself as "me" all the time, like Superbaby in a 1960s Bob Haney script?
Never mind, they might be the least convincing jolly jack tars on Norrath but somehow they muddle through. My little ratonga shadowknight is safely ashore, literally and metaphorically wet behind the ears, ready to be indoctrinated in the ways of Lord Lucan D'Lere and introduced to the "culture" of Freeport.
I wonder what the weather's like this time of year?