Let's look at the details of the promo for returning players and then take a look at what those players should be sure to check out during Frostfell.
From now until January 3rd, all former player accounts are upgraded to gold for free. After logging in, you can claim an adventurer's pack in the promotions tab, which grants you temporary gold membership as well as an extra character slot and two double experience potions. Those who end up subscribing will also get to choose either the Blood Saber Corruptor armor, a deed to an Arcane Academy house lot, or a storm cloud mount. What's nice about this promotion is that it allows returning players to skip past the frustration of limited character selection, unequipped gear, and inventory issues. Players can basically pick up where they left off, at least for the next two weeks.
This holiday is easily my favorite, and it's always had lots to see and do, just as the game does overall. I covered most of the highlights from last year in a previous Tattered Notebook, and all of it seems to be back this year. There are quick quests for holiday themed items from NPCs both in the Wonderland Village and in town. You can also head outside the city gates to participate in the Candy Grab and win some nice prizes based on how well you do.
There's also a larger storyline within the confines of the Icy Keep. Players can still complete the series of quests to find out what is going on inside (and earn some E'ci tokens along the way). And tucked away further back in the Wonderland zone is good old Mr. McScroogle. His quest has you taking his place and meeting up with the Frostfell ghosts of past, present, and future. It's a unique and original storyline that rewards you with a choice of various cloaks, hats, and vanity items.
And of course, the purple shinies are back in the Wonderland village, so you can once again work on your frozen toe collection. However, the snowball buckets are also back, and if you hit someone on the ice, it seems to push him back quite a bit. Now, I'm not saying I've thrown snowballs here and there at people who were bending over to pick up shinies, but let's just say that it is possible to do so.
In addition to the plethora of activities that are back from previous Frostfell events, this year's theme seems to be all about disgruntled holiday treats. There's a new instance this year called "Merry Mischief." It starts in the wonderland village near the crafting area; players can enter a special instance by talking to Candice Cheriwith. Apparently, she was baking treats when something went wrong. Now her confectionery is overrun with holiday goodies that bite back, including gumdrops and some nasty gingerbread men. And when I say nasty, I mean it. These little guys are creepier than Billy Dolls and wield a candy cane shiv. I can just picture a group of the little cookies sitting around sharpening their candy canes for the next poor customer who wanders in. If you complete the instance, you can get dungeon maker activators that allow you to place gingerbread men in your dungeon of choice.
As with so many adventuring activities in EQII, there is a holiday token that players will collect by doing the various Frostfell quests and farming the Icy Keep. You can visit Gerbi Frostfoot by the rainbow in the Wonderland village to check the selection and purchase Frostfell items. This year, there is a new set of icy wings that serve as a flying mount, but there are all sorts of gear, house items, and trinkets for sale with tokens. There are also goblin merchants who are selling new snowglobes to add to the already large collection available. You can buy a Nek Castle snowglobe and a Village of Shin snowglobe to add to the 20+ various snowglobes that have been available each year.
We're up to Volume V now in the Frostfell crafting book series, and as usual, there are plenty of new recipes for crafters to make. There are new scarves in a series of color combinations, and they look fantastic. There are also some new candy-striped weapons, a pair of antlers that players can wear, new holiday house treats like taffy and a green bean casserole, and even Gingerbread building blocks that allow players to build their very own gingerbread house to live in!
Even if you aren't into house decorating, it's well worth taking a few minutes to browse the leaderboard and visit some Frostfell homes. Every year, the decorators seem to outdo themselves, and this year is no exception. There's a decorating contest currently underway, but I think most decorators are motivated not by the contest but by the real enjoyment of building and decorating. With the abundance of holiday items, including many new ones this year, they've enabled designs that really push the envelope.
The overview of Frostfell events really reflects the best of what EQII has to offer, and there are activities that fit a wide variety of playstyles. Whether you're an adventurer, crafter, collector, quest-a-holic, or decorator of dungeons and homes, Frostfell has activities for all. If you're a new player or someone who's coming back for the promotion, this holiday event is actually a nice introduction to the overall game, albeit with a festive theme.
Lastly, if you're a returning player and you've been to Qeynos, you surely crossed paths with Nathan Ironforge, the yappy kid who runs around pestering players with questions. And if you remember Nathan, you'll get a chuckle out of seeing him at the Wonderland zone in. Apparently his curiosity got the best of him, and he got his tongue stuck to an icy pole. It's one of many fun little details of Frostfell, and yet another reason it's my favorite EQII holiday.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.