Long, long ago — back before the anticlimactic experience that was Y2K — a fantasy MMORPG called EverQuest was released, and, unlike rival MMO Ultima Online, was in 3D (it was a semi-big deal at the time). Although EverQuest, or “EQ” as its inhabitants lovingly called it, had nowhere near the amount of subscribers that World of Warcraft does today, it helped to draw many gamers (myself included) into the at-the-time newfangled MMO fad, and helped set the bar for what was to be expected in the genre.
To this day, it stands as the only MMORPG that I’ve played for any sizable amount of time (around twoish years) and while I may have eventually gotten burned out after numerous late-night grinding sessions, it looks like some Norrathians are still happily spamming /auctions in Greater Faydark, as Sony Online Entertainment has just announced the game’s fifteenth expansion. Labeled Seeds of Destruction, it will give players the ability to recruit NPC hirelings, raise the level cap to 85, and duck tape another 20 zones onto the ever expanding multiverse.
EQ’s sequel, EverQuest II, will also be getting a new expansion. The Shadow Odyssey will be the game’s fifth expansion, and promises its own bundle of 20 new zones, which contain plenty of
recycled “nostalgic” dungeons from its predecessor. There will also be new creatures, hundreds of new quests, and an increase to the achievement level cap.
Seeds of Destruction is slated to come out October 21, while The Shadow Odyssey will be arriving almost a month later on November 18. Are any of you out there still playing EQ or EQ II? Have you long since moved on to greener MMO pastures?
LAS VEGAS, NEV. – Aug. 15, 2008 – Thousands of video game enthusiasts are in Las Vegas for the annual Sony Online Entertainment Fan Faire where the upcoming expansions for the online role-playing games EverQuest® (EQ) and EverQuest® II (EQII) were just announced. EverQuest® Seeds of Destruction™ is scheduled to be available on Oct.21, and
EverQuest® II The Shadow Odyssey™ is scheduled to be available on Nov.18. As part of SOE’s extensive Living Legacy program designed to entice new and past EQ and EQII players into the games and reward the existing loyal playerbase, all Fan Faire attendees will receive the software for both expansions for free, an unprecedented offering.
“It is such a privilege to announce the upcoming expansions for two of our most popular games, EverQuest and EverQuest II, in a venue like Fan Faire where we are joined by thousands of our loyal fans, and it seems more than appropriate to give those fans access to both of the expansions for free,” said John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment. “Both of these expansions are rich in content and adventure, and will provide our players with hours of excitement as they explore the online world of Norrath.”
EverQuest II The Shadow Odyssey is the fifth expansion for the critically acclaimed EQII franchise and follows the award-winning and best-selling Rise of KunarkTM expansion. New players and veterans alike will journey through a substantial amount of exquisite content with more than 20 new zones, including the Moors of Ykesha, a massive outdoor zone once known as Innothule Swamp, and the legendary dungeon Guk. Throughout the summer months, players were treated to prelude events, such as the Void Storms, that gave them a glimpse into the expansion lore and content from The Shadow Odyssey, building the anticipation leading up to the launch.
EverQuest is rapidly approaching its 10th anniversary, and Seeds of Destruction is the 15th expansion for the genre-defining online game. For the first time ever, players will have the ability to hire non-player characters (NPCs) to aid them in their heroic endeavors in Seeds of Destruction. These mercenaries will be valuable player assets as they thwart the efforts of Discord’s Dark God. This expansion also includes a level cap increase to 85, new dynamic high-level raid content, new spells and new alternate advancement abilities.
EverQuest II The Shadow Odyssey Feature Set:
• New Zones: Journey through more than 20 new zones, including the new overland zone, Innothule Swamp.
• Dungeon Adventures: Experience nostalgic EverQuest dungeon themes, such as Najena, Mistmoore and The Sebilisian Empire, and adventure through more than 18 goal-based dungeons, such as Ruins of Guk and Befallen.
• Achievement Point: An achievement level cap increase to 200 that offers new achievements for class-specific lines.
• Dungeon Delving: A new mission system for players to replay content with new and different experiences.
• Heritage Quests: Five new quests with unique rewards being added.
• Shard Reward System: A new, mysterious group of erudites with powerful new armor and equipment will barter for void shards earned during players’ encounters
• Epic Tales: Stories told through battles with dozens of new creatures and hundreds of new quests.
• New Deities: Rodcet Nife and Anashti Sul are introduced into Norrath.
• Access to All Previous Content: Includes all previous expansion packs and adventure packs.
• Legends of Norrath: Includes strategic online trading card game, digital starter deck and booster pack.
EverQuest Seeds of Destruction Feature Set:
• Mercenaries: Player-controlled NPCs are now available and will not only scale to the appropriate level, but also think and act for themselves with limited player guidance. Designed for extra support or extra muscle in PvE encounters, mercenary archetypes include a variety of classes from all playable races.
• Level Cap Increase: Players can now achieve level 85 with new high-level item sets, new alternate advancement ability lines and new spells.
• 20 New Zones: Features re-imagined classic content and brand-new realms for adventurers to explore, including the eerie wasteland of the Void, the Battle of Rathe on the Plane of Earth and the ultimate Heart of Darkness in the Plane of Discord.
• Access to All Previous Content – Includes all features and content from the 14 previous expansion packs.
• Legends of Norrath: Includes strategic online trading card game, digital starter deck, booster pack and loot item.
In addition to attending exclusive panels this weekend at Fan Faire, eligible players with active accounts will receive early access to beta for one or both games, depending on their preference. EQ’s public beta is anticipated to begin on Aug. 19, and EQII’s public beta is anticipated to begin on Sept. 2.