In Dark Souls, first encounters are wonderful. Your first fight is exciting. Your first death is a lesson. Your first ragequit proves you are human. Travelling from Things Betwixt's dark cavernous walkways into Majula's sun-kissed sprawl for the first time remains one of my favourite things about Dark Souls 2—and while I can't relive my first steps, the annual Return to Drangleic community event asks players to start over.
Having kicked off yesterday, Return to Drangleic is live now through March 11 and encourages players to engage in PvP and co-op play as often as possible. Much like the first Souls game's Return to Lordran endeavour, new and old players have begun filling the game's subreddit to discuss tactics and tips and to arrange meet-ups for topping challenging bosses.
As outlined by the event's organisers, players across all platforms are advised to play at the own pace with a new character, and to drop the message "Don't give up, skeleton!" by the Majula bonfire, which acts as a marker for other players.
I've not had a chance to jump into this year's undertaking, however the first few days of last year's were definitely the busiest—with Forest of Fallen Giants and Heide's Tower of Flame particularly active.
More information on Return to Drangleic can be found via the game's subreddit. If you fancy more Dark Souls 2 mileage in the aftermath of the event, I've enjoyed benzoingum's Enemy Randomizer and Jgwman's SotFS Level Editor and Repacker of late.