Tuesday, June 7, 2022

A Welcome Surprise

I had a clear plan for today's post. I was going to write about my odd experience in EverQuest II's new Tinkerfest solo instance, Tinkerer's Trial. I had the screenshots all ready and everything. Now it's going to have to wait. I have something even odder to report.

I logged in this morning to set and collect my Overseer Missions and this happened. The EverQuest II Welcome Windfall Crate. Excuse me? 

At first, I thought it must be a reward for some Achievement I'd completed or some hand-in I'd done.

I'd been having yet more computer problems last night. They didn't affect me while I was playing but as soon as I tried to change characters or log out it was as if the entire machine had been dipped in molasses. EQII took forever to shut down. Something could easily have glitched and left a reward hanging.

But no, that's not what it was. It appears that for reasons unknown Daybreak have decided to give everyone a present. And I do mean everyone.

Well, I think I do. Certainly everyone with an All Access account. I logged on all my characters including the ones on Time Limited Expansion and other special ruleset servers and every one of them got the crate. The servers are down right now or I'd check one of my unsubbed accounts but for reasons I'll explain later, I'm fairly sure they won't miss out.

I was curious to know why the unheralded largesse. I googled to see if I could find out what it was all about but the only thing that came up was the automated update from EQ2U's item database. Reports had come in from ten servers about the new addition, providing a very interesting snapshot of activity across the game.

First to report, at seven seconds after seven this morning, was the new TLE server, Varsoon. All five Live servers followed in extremely short order with Antonia Bayle trailing the pack. It took less than a minute for the new item to register on all live servers.

There was then a ten minute wait before someone logged into Tarinax, the PvP server, followed a couple of minutes later by the first report from long-running TLE server Kaladim. Somewhat ominously, recent addition to the roster, Kael Drakkel, the Legend and Lore server, didn't return a result until 7:16, more than a quarter of an hour after the item was, presumably, added to the game.

Last but very much not least came Test, where the first player of the day didn't arrive for another hour and a half. Given that Test regularly has a concurrency measured in single figures that's hardly surprising but it's conclusive evidence that the item hadn't already been released on the Test server and therefore hadn't been tested by players before going Live. 

It's probably unwise to draw too many conclusions from a single event like this, not least because players have to opt in to the data-gathering tool that feeds EQ2U's database, something I have chosen not to do. I have no real impression of whether I'm the exception or the rule in that regard. It's entirely possible that plenty of people logged on to Tarinax, Kaladim or Kael Drakkel every bit as quickly as happened on the Live servers, just that none of them were running the data-gatherer. 

Still, it's an interesting new way to monitor relative activity on the various servers, one I'd never thought of referencing before. I'll bear it in mind in future, if and when new items get pushed to all players.

So, what's in the box? That's the important part. Is it anything worth having? Should I be prompting the handful of people reading this who play EQII to dust off their passwords and log in to grab the goodies while they can?

Yeah, well, I did that yesterday and my advice hasn't really changed. The freebies not to be missed right now are the Pride familiars. Definitely make the effort to pick those up. Then you'll get the Windfall crate as a bonus.

And it is worth having. There's no specific explanation but I'd guess it's intended to appeal mostly to new and returning players. There are four items inside:

  • Veridian Horned Dragon Vanguard Crate
  • Mercenary Unlock Scroll
  • Portable Translocation Device
  • Portable Circle of Growth

The first is a full set of cosmetic armor in green. I tried it in the dressing room on a Berserker and a Necromancer and it displays as plate armor on both, making it an interesting option for all classes.

I thought the Mercenary Unlock Scroll might be an actual, new mercenary but it turns out to be a free "use anywhere " unlock you can apply to any mercenary you might already have. That's a very useful item that will save you some Daybreak Cash. 

Not only is it pretty much essential to have your regular Merc unlocked for practical purposes, only unlocked Mercs can be sent on Overseer missions. I've unlocked a bunch of mine for just that reason and I'll be very happy to add another to the roster.

The other two items are consumables, stacks of five summonable Wizard Spires and Druid Rings. That lets you use the two transportation systems from anywhere, on demand. Well, until you run out of charges. 

The inclusion of those last two items strongly suggests this Windfall is going to all players, not just Members. Anyone with an All Access subscription already has access to the instant transportation system, which gives you unlimited use of all Wizard Spires and Druid rings from anywhere, just by clicking on the map. It's literally the best reason to subscribe. I use it constantly and it's game-changing.

It also means I have no use for a consumable that does exactly the same thing but if I was a F2P player I'd be very excited to be able to carry some of these portal tokens around for emergencies. As I said, if the servers weren't down for the weekly restart as I write this, I'd log in one of my unsubbed accounts to check but it seems exceedingly unlikely they'd be excluded.

The Game Update notes (if any) for today's downtime aren't up yet and there's no mention of the Windfall Welcome on the forums that I can see, so the reason for its appearance at this time remains opaque. If I find out any more I'll update the post but I very much doubt we'll get much of an explanation. It wouldn't be the first unexplained freebie I've received in EQII. 

Never look a gift crate in the lid, as they say, though, so thanks Daybreak! I don't know why you're giving it to me but I'll take it and Welcome.

*** Late Breaking News! ***  Report at 11. (Or more like Thursday.)


  1. I actually got an email from them informing me about this. Strange that you didn't get one.

    That mail indeed said that everyone gets the crate you described, and subscribers get even more, namely another crate containing:
    - Dreamdash Clothwork Pegasus Mount
    - Vah Shir Heritage Bundle (5-pack)
    - Welcome Windfall Overseer Crate

    Since you're subbed that crate should also be there for you to claim...somewhere.

    1. Yes, see today's post! I did get the email, but not until a few hours after the items were added to the game. Of course, that might be down to my email provider rather than DBG. I do think it's odd they didn't flag it up either in the launcher or in game, though.


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