Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Very Merry Frostfell To You : EQ2

As is generally the way of things when news editors are involved, the only headlines DBG saw yesterday concerned a couple of bugs in the latest update. I'm sure the disappearance of the Signature Questline reward set a few pulses racing but it was swiftly addressed - no rollback necessary.

Far more worthy of comment in my opinion is the ongoing effort DBG's EQ2 team consistently maintains in order not only to keep the game ticking along but to make sure it's continually growing. We've just had what I consider to be an excellent expansion and yet, before the paint is dry, here comes Frostfell.

Of course, every MMO - quite possibly literally every MMO -  will be putting up some sort of mid-winter festival this month. I happened upon a swarm of Grimps over in Qeynos Hills when I popped into the original EverQuest to take a few screenshots and Tyria will begin the Wintersday celebrations next week. It's a racing certainty that everyone reading this will see some kind of snow-related event in his or her MMO of choice within a matter of days.

Frostfell remains my favorite nonetheless. I can vividly remember the excitement when the Frostfell Wonderland Village first opened its wardrobe doors way back in 2006. The times we spent there, fighting over present spawns or running the Icy Keep instance over and over and over for Eci tokens. The Christmases we spent running through half-finished quest chains on Test. The goblins, the gifts, the bad puns. Happy days!

Year in, year out Santa Glug's Goblin Helpers SOE developers and designers went above and beyond the call of duty, adding new quests, new presents, new crafting recipes, new house items and new gear every year without fail. In 2013 the zone got a complete makeover and it looks fantastic.

The transition to DBG may have reduced the budget but the Frostfell Spirit remains undimmed. This year, yet again, we got a full, new quest in addition to three new books of recipes, seven new gifts, and more besides. Playing GW2 as I have been these past four years, where ANet profess to make an actual virtue out of leaving holiday events unchanged, (if, that is, they don't remove them entirely), I am acutely aware of the exceptional efforts of Holly "Windstalker" Longdale's small but dedicated crew.

The new quest, which I completed last night, is excellent. A fun romp through a repurposed Sleeper's Tomb involving plenty of snowballs, it's straightforward enough that I was able to complete it without reference to the wiki. Just as well, since when I checked afterwards to see if I'd missed anything I found no-one had written it up yet.

The rewards are excellent - if you like housing as much as Syp or I do. I was spoilt for choice between the two icy gargoyle models but in the end I chose the one that didn't look like it was about to bite my head off.

With that it was off to my Maj'Dul mansion to find somewhere to put it, along with the rat in a snowglobe given to me by Santa Glug. My ratonga's is house is now so full of junk treasures that it takes up to thirty seconds to load every time I zone in.

I really should think about using one of the  several Prestige houses I've acquired over the years to take some of the overspill but somehow that  place is home. It was a lot of hard work getting the faction to buy it and I can't really imagine living anywhere else.

The other big Frostfell news is that the festival is coming to the TLE Stormhold server for the first time. That is very definitely enough to get me to log my SK there in and spend some time in the Village.

I also took advantage of the free transfer token offered to everyone on the now-redundant Race to Trakanon server, which closes in the New Year, that race having been won by...someone. I moved my mid-teens Bruiser to Skyfire and he may be the one to get the benefit of the Level 100 Boost that came with Kunark Ascending. I did play a max-level Bruiser regularly back when the cap was 90 so I feel reasonably confident I'd get the hang of it again. He deserves some Frostfell fun too.

In the old days, when EQ2 was my main game, I'd have seen so much of Frostfell by the end of December I'd be almost as keen to see it go as I was to see it arrive. These days my concern is more over how I'm going to fit in all the things I want to do over the holidays in both Tyria and Norrath.

I guess I'd better get on with it instead of sitting here chatting!


And look what Santa Glug had for me today! This fantastic "Alabaster Pekin" house pet! Just what I wanted!


  1. Even with the extra week of Frostfell this year, we're a bit daunted by it being the first one in TLE/Stormhold. So much to do with FF newbie toons -- gah! Still, it's full-on squee, especially with the new Glug gifty ducks.

    Haven't had time to do the new quest yet, but will hit it this weekend. Stoked.

    -- 7rly
    AB & Stormhold

    1. I'm working through all my favorite Frostfell quests on my Stormhold SK and having a great time. I did the McScroogle quests last night and today I'm going to do the Kidnapped elf one. I did make the mistake of trying to do that vicious timed Frostfell cube one, which I'd forgotten. Now I remember why I hated it the first time round!


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