After bringing down the servers for a full day this past Sunday, Cryptic has decided to give their players recompense in the form of the Caterday Survivor's Pack.
In the decade that I've been playing MMOs, I have watched lots of developers handle emergency situations with a wide array of methodologies. Back during my World of Warcraft days, the servers would occasionally go down without notice for a day or more at a time, and we simply worked around it. My friends and I instead spent the time on Thottbot or Ventrilo figuring out the next piece of armor we wanted to grind for, or which reputations mattered the most. During my tenure with League of Legends, Riot only brought down the servers very infrequently, and provided IP (the in game currency) boosts to appease the less-than-content fans. The Neverwinter developers at Cryptic have gone even farther than that, announcing this morning that a token of gratitude would be distributed to Neverwinter players for enduring a less than 24 hour downtime this past Sunday.
The token of appreciation being given is the Caterday Survivor's Pack, and it is a thank-you for enduring the server downtime and rollback that deleted progress made by players after 5am PDT on Sunday. In a follow-up article on the AD/AH exploit, the Neverwinter developers write, "We know that character progress matters in Neverwinter, so as an apology for the lost time and as profound thanks for your continued support throughout this Beta, we have put together a package of items to give everyone."
The Survivor's Pack seems to be offering less of an olive branch, and more of an olive tree. The pack itself is loaded with goodies, including 2 XP Boosters (to offset the pains of the server rollback that accompanied the downtime), several helpful consumables (a Stone of Health and 5x Teleport Scroll to Protector's Enclave-the game's capital), as well as two collectors' items: The Cape of Catastrophe and the Dwarven Facemask. Cryptic's post on this subject is beyond tongue-in-cheek, attaching the goodie-bag to an in-game mail with the message, "You Survived!" They're clearly poking fun at some of their more tense fans, while still providing a helpful recompense to offset some of the losses experienced by the time loss and server rollbacks that occurred on Sunday.
It's been over century since the Spellplague forever changed The Forgotten Realms. Now, explore the city that's been at the center of a thousand adventures: Neverwinter. Adapted from the real Dungeons and Dragon's ruleset, Neverwinter will feature action-oriented combat and storytelling unlike any other MMO. Take the world in your hands with the Foundry toolset and make your own tales. Make your mark in this legendary world.
The cape and mask provided by the pack will be Bound on Pickup, and only characters created before 5AM PST this past Sunday will receive the Caterday Survivor's Pack. This means that these items are going to be somewhat difficult to find down the road, and provide a cool reward for players like myself whose prime goal in MMOs is to collect rare and obscure items that nobody else can find. Even better than that, the Cape of Catastrophe has a unique in-game model, displaying a crowned back cat on a red field.
If I had to guess, I would say that in addition to a thank-you and apology, Cryptic also wanted to draw attention away from their Auction House mishap and towards the internet's compulsory love for cats. Although it seems like a somewhat straightforward ploy, I won't burn them too hard, as I am currently waiting for the Neverwinter servers to come back up so I can run around with the cape on my alts.