Norrathian Notebook: EQII's new Frostfell experience

There's no place like Frostfell.

No matter how long you've been absent from EverQuest II, and no matter how many expansions come and go, you've known that there was always one thing you could be sure would stay the same year in and year out: Frostfell's Wonderland Village. Well, no more! Like Freeport and Qeynos before it, the staple of Frostfell celebration has undergone quite the transformation. So stepping through the Magic Closet now might be a bit of a shock in a going-back-home-and-finding-your-parents-converted-your-bedroom-into-an-office kind of way.

But unlike the parental remodeling, this renovation is meant to make the place more inviting for your return. With a beautiful new setting to go with the year's new quests and achievements, EQII's Frostfell experience is better than ever.
A fresh coat of snow

The most obvious change to the village is, well, the village! From the first moment you enter the zone, you can see just how much it has changed. Instead of a sparse and barren tundra with icicles hanging from dead trees, the zone is a lush forest filled with snow-encrusted evergreens. Where once there was nothing but ice, now there are sculptures, massive burning candles, and northern lights. The topography itself is more varied, and there is a light snow always falling. Even the colors are richer and more vibrant. It is a beautiful sight, a true wonderland. And you can actually enjoy the view from anywhere as flight is enabled!

All the Frostfell elements you knew are still there, from the unicorn and faedrakes to the rainbow bridges to the crafting tables and quest givers. Even that poor skater you knock down every time you go by is still there. And no Frostfell would be complete without Santa Glug and his daily gifts! They are all just nestled amidst a more beautiful backdrop. If you haven't been in EQII in a while, you really should come back just to check out the zone.

A reason for the season(al change)

I will be honest: I am not a fan of change just for change's sake. And I really hate when random things are just thrown into my favorite virtual worlds with no accounting for why. So I really appreciate how SOE handled this Frostfell revamp; not only is there a new quest that clearly explains how (and why) this renovation came about, but you can't even skip it if you want to get to any of the quests from years past.

Before wandering too far into the village, you'll notice that the ice island where a few of the quests started is populated by popsicles instead of NPCs. The only quest that is available there is from Jingle, who gives you A Deepice Mystery. (If you are a low level completing this quest, don't stress about having to go to Lavastorm and Everfrost -- the mobs you need are right on the beaches and you can avoid the normal mobs.) I won't spoil the story part for you, but this quest sends you on a pretty decent tour of the zone to show you where things are, and once you complete it, the usual NPCs will be able to give you their quests.

Celebrate Frostfell year round

One thing many Frostfell fanatics look forward to each year is the chance to finally craft the special Frostfell recipes. With tons of clothing and food options as well as housing decorations (want a gingerbread house, anyone?), there's plenty to make. Unlike crafts during other holidays such as Nights of the Dead, Frostfell crafts can only be made on special crafting tables, which are available only during Frostfell and on April 1st. All that is about to change.

You see, players with level 90 or higher crafters can now acquire the Frostfell crafting tables for their homes and guild halls. To get these tables, buy a key recipe from Ginneldarf Gigglegibber located in the Frostfell Decoration Committee: Permafrost! quest instance. There are three separate key recipes: cheery, festive, and merry. Each of those keys opens its respective chest located out in Norrath, and each chest holds a certain crafting table. The festive chests in Frostfang Sea and Darklight Wood hold the workbench, while the cheery chests in Antonica and Timorous Deep contain the loom. The stove and keg is found in merry chests in Greater Faydark and Commonlands. Each chest can spawn in various locations. Note: Even if you have the tables year round, the materials can be gathered only in the Wonderland Village during Frostfell, so stock up!

Need something to do with all those holiday decorations you are crafting? How about building your own personal Frostfell hideaway in the new Snowy Dwelling prestige house? This island captures the feel of the revamped zone (it even has flight enabled!) and needs only your decorations to make it perfect.

Finishing Frostfell

If you want to get all the holiday content in before it disappears, possibly on numerous alts, be prepared for some effort. With five new achievements and the two new quests -- one being a daily tradeskill quest -- on top of the 10 or so other missions, the collection, the Icy Keep dungeon (with all the E'ci tokens you can earn to buy decorations and the new 90+ armor), and all the gathering and crafting, that could take a chunk of time. And since Frostfell ends on January 9th at 1:00 p.m. EST, you don't have time to lose! To make sure you don't miss anything, you can get a full listing of holiday quests on the official EQII wiki.

The EverQuest realm is so big that sometimes MJ Guthrie gets lost in it all! Join her as she explores the franchise's nooks and crannies from the Overrealm to Timorous Deep. Running every Saturday, the Norrathian Notebook is your resource for all things EverQuest Next and EverQuest II -- and catch MJ every 'EverQuest Two-sday' on Massively TV!

This article was originally published on Massively.