Details on both games' upcoming expansions and more!
SOE Live kicked off its opening ceremony last night, and while the keynotes are still to come this afternoon, we have some great information on the upcoming expansions and more for EverQuest and EverQuest II!
EverQuest is continuing its 15th anniversary with an emphasis on player feedback. Next week we'll see new Player Studio robes, with lots of customization possibilities including textures and colors. An advanced looting feature will roll out later this year. It will be a hybrid of a random rolling and a master looter system – an adaptive system that you can 'teach'.
The game's 21st expansion, The Darkened Sea, is set to launch on October 28th for All-Access members and November 11th for F2P players. The expansion pays tribute to The Buried Sea by revisiting storylines and characters, bringing back classic characters such as Lanys T`Vyl and Firiona Vie – a battle of good and evil. Level cap will raise to 105 with the expansion.
A mount keyring feature will be introduced in the upcoming expansion so you no longer have to carry a slew of mounts around in your inventory. With this feature you'll be able to choose a stat mount and an appearance mount.
The expansion art will have a lot of everyone's favorite thing: water. There will be underground caverns in the water, moving islands rising up out of the water and murky water. Luckily for those who are water-navigation challenged, not much gameplay will occur inside the water.
Out of eight new zones, the six that have been revealed so far are: Arx Mentis, Caverns of Endless Song, Combine Dredge, Tempest Temple and Degmar, The Lost Castle.
On a final note, during our interview with Senior Producer Thom Terrazas he mentioned that the team has a couple of zones ready they are considering using for monthly or quarterly celebrations. This will be tweaked sometime after the expansion's release.
Make sure you also check out the Q&A recap that Ralius has posted!
EverQuest II will celebrate its 10th anniversary on November 9th, 2014. One much-requested prestige home will be released as the 11-year Veteran's Reward: the Isle of Refuge. Most of the island is expected to be in the house version and the instances (such as tradeskill or goblin cave) will teleport you into a version of them.
Coming in November is the game's 11th expansion, Altar of Malice. The expansion is focused on Lanys T`vyl, the Shattered Seas and the mystery of the akhevans. In the Shattered Seas we'll find a volcanic island with dinosaur-worshipping pygmies, who are subsequently eaten by the dinos. A native lizardkin use these dinosaurs as mounts and also hunt them for parts to use in their armor and weapons.
The Far Seas Trading Company's headquarters, Castle Highhold, has been taken over by ahkvans – yes, the ones from Luclin. The shissar temple, while protected by The Grey, crashed down to Norrath from Luclin and landed upside down. In this zone you will play from that perspective, though in some areas the ahkevans have righted with magic. Kithicor Forest will make its debut, and you can expect it to not only be scary at night, but also impossible to run along the outskirts of because it's an island – a fact which elicited an actual "HEHE" from Senior Producer Holly Longdale. Mentioned in the keynote, you will not be able to use your map or compass while on the Kithicor isle.
In total, the expansion will include:
- Level cap raised to 100 for tradeskill, adventuring and guilds
- 2 new overlands zones
- 14 new heroic zones
- 6 new raid zones
- 6 new advanced solo zones
- HQs, L&Ls
- 4 new avatars
- New tradeskill quests
- Tradeskill apprentice with "best in slot recipes"
- CORRECTION: Aerakyn are NOT an expansion feature--see below!
Altar of Malice will launch on November 11th for All Access players and November 25th for F2P players. We can expect beta to kick off in late September or early October.
Beyond the expansion players can expect:
- New elite guild halls
- New rabbit mount with good and evil versions
- New playable race: Aerakyn (pictured above), which will have wings that grow as you level and can fly at 85 (UPDATE: we originally had this listed as an expansion feature, but after clarification from Lyndro, discovered that it will be sold separately like the Freeblood. Its release date is anticipated for 2014 but no exact ETA or pricing as of yet. You can use a race potion to change to an Aerakyn, but only if you unlock the race first.)
- A new prestige home poll for the next home decorators want
- Convenience feature: redesign of the mail system so you can pick up items anywhere
- Level agnostic dungeons being introduced for players 20 to 89 to group together. Rewards will be level appropriate.
- Shinies will be worth status on vendors (sell for guild status) Status amounts are based on the tier the shiny comes from
- Revamp of deities to include new lvl appropriate blessings and miracles. Also the ability to worship more than 1 diety.
- Reimplementing public quests
- Cross server dungeons are slated for next year, but focusing on improving character data first
- PvP deathmatch arena zones, including traps and powerups on the floor
Remember to tune in on Twitch TV at Noon PT (EQ2) and 1pm PT (EQ) to catch the keynote live streams! If you can't watch the streams, EQ2 Wire will also be liveblogging the EverQuest II keynote and panels this year.