Read below for a look at 11 for '11, and ring in the New Year in EverQuest II.
1. Frostfell. There's still some time left to participate in all the events, and while the decorating might be over, it's always wise to stock up for next year. Make sure to stop by Gardy Ex-Gifter every day for a chance at some nice gifts. My personal favorite is the Santa Glug plushie that I placed in our guildhall. Also, scoop up some purple shinies from the Winter Wonderland, and then be sure to head into the Icy Keep instance for some token farming. One of the new rewards is a nice appearance helmet, which my guildmate Philly is sporting in the screenshot toward the end of this column. If you still need more holiday cheer, make sure to visit the EQII Wiki for all the details on Frostfell quests and activities.
2. Velious Beta. If you haven't signed up for closed beta yet for Destiny of Velious, be sure to head to the official site and register your accounts, which takes about 30 seconds total. Beta begins on January 5th, and email notification starts today, so don't delay if you'd like to help test out one of the most highly anticipated expansions EQII has had yet. I'm looking forward to test driving the flying mounts!
3. Geocaching. I dare you to find another MMO that has geocaching! What's geocaching you ask? It's basically a fun treasure hunt, using GPS clues to uncover the location of whatever's hidden. In EQII, it involves watching this visual clue and using the hint to find the selected location. It's a clever adaptation of a fun real-world activity, and to sweeten the pot, the event organizer is offering 100 plat and 1000,000 status (which is also 10,000 guild status). You can read all the details and updates on this thread in the official forums. I saw the video and was immediately stumped, but I'm hoping one of the Massively readers figures this one out! Good luck!
4. Child's Play Cloak/Burnai pet. Whether you love or hate the Marketplace, you have to admire SOE's effort to use it for charity. The company has a history of being supportive of worthy causes in the past, like Curt Schilling's ALS charity. This year, SOE is once again supporting Child's Play with two purchasable in-game items: the Cloak of the Snowfall and the Festive Burnai pet. (I'm modeling the cloak in the very first picture in this article.) Both are nice items, and if you stocked up on Station Cash during the recent promo, you probably have plenty of cash to snag one or even gift a couple to friends. SOE has raised thousands of dollars in the past thanks to the support of the players, and I'm sure this event will continue that trend. Hats off to the community!
5. EverQuest II's very own Ice Palace. How many times have we seen those impressive ice hotels in Sweden and thought, "Wow, I would love to see a place like that, but crikey, that must be cold!" Well fear not, because one creative player, Kathy, has constructed EQII's very own Ice Palace! It's got all of the eye-catching beauty of the traditional ice hotels and none of the frostbite. Keep in mind that every part of the palace was designed and hand-placed by her (no use of the layout editor that many pro-decorators use), from the basic structure down to the tiniest icicle. She's finishing up the first floor decorations and then announcing her address so you can stop by to visit. In the meantime, check out the screenshots of her amazing work!
6. Update your EQII Maps mod. If you have been using it, you might not have updated it in a while. And if you haven't been using it, you need to download this handy custom UI. EQII Maps has been such a helpful map interface that it was actually adopted by the development team, and many of the map skins and POIs have been added as part of the default in-game maps. But there are still several instances and zones that are not covered by the default, so this is one of those "must-have" UIs. It's easy to install and even easier to update.
8. City Festival. This is another monthly repeatable event that I always tend to miss, but I'm making a resolution to participate in more festivals this year. January's festival already started, but you still have a few more days to stop by, and the host city this time is Gorowyn. I can't wait to get my hands on a few of the red marble tiles for a decorating idea I'd like to attempt. As always, Naimi at EQ2 Traders has a great guide to all the rewards.
9. Catch up on lore, yes, even Freebloods. I'm as guilty as anyone of spam-clicking through quest text, and yes, I feel guilty about it afterward. But even though I am sorely lacking when it comes to soaking up lore in-game, I do like to peek at the lore out of game, on the official site, and on the forums. EQII has always had a strong lore community, and the lore team has obliged in the past with in-game lore quests and even the big lore puzzle leading up to the release of Sentinel's Fate. It's increasingly difficult to write lore for places and characters that have appeared in EverQuest, but trying to fill in the gaps and sew up the loose ends is half the fun. You can head to the official site to read more about the Freeblood race and keep your eyes out for more Velious lore that's bound to come out very soon.
10. Holiday Image Challenge. Today is the last day for this fun forum challenge, but it's definitely worth trying. Send in your in-game screenshots for a chance at some nice prizes. Winners will receive a Robe of Fesitve Tidings and a red Community Present, which can be placed in your house. Winning entries might also be featured in an upcoming video collage. Even if you don't submit an entry, head over to the forums to check out some of the other entries and relive all the fun of Frostfell.
11. Tour select EQII dungeons with the new MV Guide! That's right -- starting this Friday, you can watch me showcase various EQII instances through Massively's livestream video channel. If you've ever been curious to see what group instances are like at the high levels in EQII, now is your chance! I've hand-picked a group of guildmates, chosen for their prowess in battle and their keen problem-solving skills. OK, I really picked them for their charming personality and their knowledge of the zones. Actually, I had to bribe them with coffee to convince them to play with me. Anyway, I'll be recording on alternating Friday mornings and Saturday evenings, and I will feature one instance each show. We'll field your questions, chat about EQII, and supply plenty of laughs, so make sure to watch for more details on Massively this week, and tune in on Friday for EQII.
From the snow-capped mountains of New Halas to the mysterious waters of the Vasty Deep, Karen Bryan explores the lands of Norrath to share her tales of adventure. Armed with just a scimitar, a quill, and a dented iron stein, she reports on all the latest news from EverQuest II in her weekly column, The Tattered Notebook. You can send feedback or elven spirits to email@example.com.