EverQuesting: Frostfell blues and end of the year news for EverQuest II

Snow? Check. Good cheer? Check. Catchy tunes everywhere? Checkity check. Goblins and gigglegibbers in goofy get-ups? Great big check. New guide? Er…

Yes, it’s Frostfell time EverQuest II. And right about now is when I offer a guide to this wonderful winter event. Unfortunately, this year I won’t be. Actually it’s more of I can’t: I’m not being stubborn, there just isn’t anything to guide you through that hasn’t already been covered between the 2015 and 2016 guides. When the devs were passing out 2017 content, Frostfell was unfortunately skipped — or maybe it was out back recovering from too much celebrating last year! Whatever the scenario, there isn’t anything new to do, though there are a few new things to acquire or buy (eight new items at Santa Glug, five new ones at Gerbi Frostfoot, and three crafting scrolls.)

Now, if you are are still newer to EQII (or on the Time-Locked Expansion server Stormhold), then there’s a ton to do and you should totally dive in and revel all the way until the holiday ends at 1:00 p.m. EST on January 4th, 2018. You’ll need all that time to try and collect all the goodies, and you don’t want to miss out on one of the greatest celebrations in Norrath! However, it’s a slightly different story for me. Frostfell just doesn’t have the magic for me this year. Having nothing new to bring folks back in for more than a couple of seconds is disappointing. Like other long-time veterans to the game have likely experienced, I’m feeling more “done that so much, just not into it this year”. I’m not even bothering with Santa Glug gifts — we’re talking free gifts here. Then on top of the disappointment, I can’t help but consider what a lack of Frostfell content might be saying about EQII.

Nothing new for you

As a big fan of EQII, and a huge fan of the holidays in Norrath, it is pretty disappointing that Frostfell is a dud for 2017. The humor, the twists on classic tales — Frostfell quests were so much fun, and I totally looked forward to what would happen next. But more than just disappointment, it’s also a missed opportunity for Daybreak. I’ve said it before: Frostfell is a huge nostalgia draw that brings back a number of players who want to experience the new festivities. Getting people back in can lead to them staying longer. And folks who stay and play longer are more apt to buy things, like goodies and even expansions. But if there is nothing to draw them in, then why would they return? Daybreak has seriously excelled some years with this concept, from the mega Frostfell Wonderland Village overhaul in 2013 (seriously, you have to go check out those before and after pics!) to the added quests in, well, multiple years! So I know it is possible; it just didn’t happen this year.

Now before anyone tries to insert the argument that we just got an expansion so time couldn’t be dedicated to Frostfell, stop. That reasoning is total poppycock. Frostfells have followed a November expansion for many, many years with no difficulties. The first live event celebration took place in 2005, the second Christmas of EQII’s life. (Fun fact, it then migrated to the original EverQuest the next year in 2006.) Of the 14 subsequent expansions, nine launched in November, with that month being the regular release window since 2012 (with 2011’s in December and 2005’s in September). So obviously the studio is quite able to develop Frostfell content alongside expansions. Heck, it even introduced that mega Frostfell revamp less than a month after Tears of Veeshan released.

That leaves us with wondering exactly why we don’t have some new content in Frostfell — the biggest holiday event of the year — for 2017. (And no, adding the expansion as a level 105 area for the old A Gigglegibber’s Work is Never Done quest does not count as new content!) I mentioned earlier this fall that I was feeling the precariousness of EQII’s life for the very first time. So many little indicators were pointing to the possibility of nearing the end of my beloved game. I was actually facing the thought of a life without EQII. So the next few months of fall and winter were about looking for signs that could ease those worries and demonstrate the game’s vitality and the dev’s commitment and love (and resources!) for Norrath. I wanted those little nagging worries put to rest!

Well, it started with a positive note, as I received a personal message from Daybreak that yes, there needed to be more communication from the devs and studio and that that was planned. A good first step (though I don’t feel I have seen much of that yet). Then came the expansion. I was nervous. Was there substance to it? Yes! Planes of Prophecy has three areas, and while I have not experienced all of it yet, it looks promising. The next big hope indicator I was waiting on was the attention given to Frostfell. And here’s where things fell short. While it isn’t a final nail in the coffin, it is one. How many more nails there are I do not know, but the lack of Frostfell content is not allaying my worries about the continued longevity of one of my all-time favorite games. Said lack of content is certainly not boycott-worthy nor will stop me from playing the game (or praising praiseworthy things!), but it is another indication of the possible impending death coming much sooner than any of us would want.

Celebrate on Stormhold

Not all is sad news for 2017! The good news to come out of this year is that the progression server Stormhold has access to the entire Frostfell experience! Whoot! There was a chunk of it available last year, but this year those players get to go for it all. There’s access to all all the quests and all the crafts — and most importantly, all the rewards! Now folks there can finally design their impressive Frostfell homes. What? We know there is more to EQII than housing, but these are some pretty awesome decorations! Ducks, sleighs, snow drifts… I have a house stacked wall to wall with fabulous winter goodies. There are so many options available, and now this server finally has the opportunity to take advantage of them all. Totally cheer-worthy.

The newer progression server, however, is left out for the most part. Yes, Fallen Gate will have decorations and event merchants in Qeynos and Freeport offering a few themed items, but none of the quests is available nor is access to the Frostfell Wonderland Village. Maybe next year, my friends. Maybe next year.

End of year news

There hasn’t been a plethora of news coming out for EverQuest II in the last couple of months.  Obviously any news would be competing with the expansion, and that’s just no fair. But there are a couple tidbits that fans might liek to be away of so they can take advantage of deals.

First, there are new Frostfell items in the marketplace. Besides holiday decor, there’s a black bag o’ cats that offers a random kitty familiar. This may not seem very Frostfell-y, but some have wreaths around their necks or Santa hats on their heads. And the bags will disappear the moment Frostfell ends! The new Frostfell carousel items and the stately street set of homes in the Player Studio, however, will not disappear when the holiday does.

For a limited time there are also Legends of Norrath loot packs in the marketplace. All seasons (1-4) are available for 299 DBC. Each pack contains one special item from the LON loot sets. To facilitating gift-giving among friends, the LON loot is also tradeable until used on a character.

Unlike the previous two (read: completely unrelated to Frostfell), The Kingdom of Sky expansion unlocked on Fallen Gate mid-month. That means all of that content is now available on the progression server for folks to enjoy, even is Frostfell isn’t.

The EverQuest franchise is a vast realm, and sometimes MJ Guthrie gets lost in it all! Join her as she explores all the nooks and crannies from Antonica to Zek. Running biweekly on Thursdays, EverQuesting is your resource for all things EverQuest, EverQuest II, and Daybreak. And keep an eye out for MJ’s OPTV adventures!
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Tandor

This has been my first Christmas without Frostfell, and I can’t say I’ve missed sliding around on the ice while looking for shinies. The whole EQ2 game just fails to do it for me any more. So sad, given that SOE were the major gaming inspiration for me since 1998. However, it all went downhill from selling out the European playerbase onwards, and I no longer miss them.

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Eboni

That’s how I feel. I remember that I used to be online waiting for the Devs to turn on events. Frostfell and Nights of the Dead where my favorite and I just wasn’t up to either this year.

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Bhagpuss Bhagpuss

The negativity piled on to the MMO I have just 30 seconds ago voted for in your poll as “Best MMO of The Yeart” is nauseating. What sense of entitlement leads you to expect new content every single time for every single holiday event? If you want to throw snowballs with stones hidden in them at MMOs for inadequate attention to festivities there are scores of more worthy candidates – GW2, my current main MMO, prime among them.

You may well be proved right in your doomsaying. Clearly the EverQuest I.P. is in an unusual place right now, owned by an entity we don’t know much about, whose intentions are opaque. We may indeed just have enjoyed our final Frostfell. As someone who has played since beta in 2004, under all the various flavors and attitudes of developers and owners and management, I feel that in all the aspects that matter to me EQ2 has been at it’s best since it left SOE’s chaotic control.

It may be that Columbus Nova decides not to carry on with the franchise but until that happens, as a player I rejoice in the renewed focus and coherence the game has found since the change of ownership. In-game, however, since the really excellent Planes of Prophecy expansion, I’ve been delighted to see more players playing and a happier, more positive tone in game. Of course everyone complains all the time – it wouldn’t be EQ2 if they didn’t – but there have been may periods of the game’s life when things felt a lot more precarious than now and when a lot more people were expressing a lot more discontent.

If CN want to keep the franchise going I am certain there are still enough players left who are committed to playing the existing MMOs to make that worth their while, especially if development carries on as it has done these last couple of years.

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Denice J. Cook

I actually have three new alts that I was happy to run through the current Frostfell content, especially seeing as how the whole Frostfell Wonderland Village was just given a major revamp a couple years ago.

If Frostfell was there 24/7 all year I might get more sick of it, but I work a ton of hours every holiday season, so I don’t get nearly as much gaming time in as I would like.