Wednesday, June 15, 2005


New EQ1 Expansion, Too

Scheduled for September.

Here's the link:

And the marketing copy:

On the surface, as the battle between Firionia Vie and Lanys T’Vyl continues to rage throughout the lands of Nektulos, an expedition of Qeynosian miners breached the barrier of Darkhollow. Only then was the first werewolf seen and the first human bitten. Now a new evil begins to emerge from the underground; far beneath the surface of Norrath. Join EverQuest: Depths of Darkhollow and journey into a world of immorality and devastation, a world that has existed purely as a vast wilderness filled with intelligent predators, destruction and disease. Go forth with courage as the terror that lies deep within these grounds must not be allowed to spread to the surface – to Norrath.

EverQuest: Depths of Darkhollow will have you adventuring in raw, bleak caverns and facing the most formidable monsters yet! Featuring 5 new feral predators, spectacular new underground environments and countless new missions, raids and events!

Monster Missions: Play EverQuest as you never have before and see Norrath through the eyes of some of its fearsome and powerful creatures as you step into their form to do battle against their ancient foes! Change into a creature with different abilities from your own to experience. Experience EverQuest lore first hand through the eyes of another character in Monster Missions and unlock the ability to use more powerful monsters!

Spirit Shrouds: Adventure with your friends of any levels. Spirit Shrouds will allow
you to play as a creature at any level below your own. So don the form of a lower level creature and join your friends in battle while earning experience for your normal character!

Evolving Items: Earn new items that advance as you use them, becoming more powerful over time and unlocking hidden abilities and wield intelligent items with a personality of their own!

New Missions: Battle your way through over 60 new missions.

New Creatures, New Environments and New Encounters: Over 30 unique creatures and 7 Zones, 15 Small Instances, with a re-envisioned Nektulos Forest.

New Crafting, Spells, Items and More: New items and tradeskill recipes! Also new spells and alternate advancement abilities

Spirit shrouds are obviously a variation on the EQ2 mentor system, and the monster missions sound very similar to the arena combat planned for the EQ2 expansion (changing into creatures).

The evolving items feature sounds interesting to me for two reasons. One, the "personality" aspect means that items have something to offer besides stats; if this is done right, it will decrease the incentive for users to play the number-crunching game and will increase immersion. Two, it relieves users of the burden of having to play in un-fun ways to upgrade their items. By that, I mean that EQ normally requires you to repeat actions (raids, camping, grinding, etc.) dozens or hundreds of times for you to upgrade a particular item. Often, these actions are fun the first few times but grow tedious after a while. If items grow more powerful as you play in whatever way you find enjoyable, then you can have fun and advance at the same time, which is a combination all too rare in MMOs.

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