Hello all!

So we're almost into our third month of 2013 already and if you are an EverQuest player, you know that March always brings something special. Not only it is my birthday, but more importantly it's EverQuest's Birthday! On March 16th, EverQuest is turning 14 and we have a few cool things to share with you.

At SOE Live in Las Vegas last October, we had a "Design a Mission" panel where we divided everyone up in smaller groups to work with a Designer on the EverQuest team. The goal of that panel was to have everyone participate in designing a mission that could be experienced by players of varying levels. We have had this panel in past years and the hope has always been to put them into game quickly for everyone to play. We've succeeded at times but other times, it takes us a while to fit them into our schedule. I'm happy to inform you that we will be launching several of these player-designed missions during our March Game Update to help celebrate our 14th Anniversary.

A couple years ago, we had an intern join our team and at one point, we let him work on some content just to fill out his remaining schedule and to see what he could do. Well, the content that he created was full of nostalgic Class-specific connections into the world of EverQuest. Some time ago, we placed a few of these missions on the test server for players to run through and they received rave reviews. So without further delay and after the Anniversary Game Update, anyone that has finished their Epic quest for 1.0, 1.5 or 2.0, will be able to test their knowledge and skills by traveling to historic locations in Norrath to earn an Epic Weapon Ornamentation to use on another weapon. We will reveal more information soon, but how can you argue against the ability to Burn Down Freeport and get rewarded for it?!

Tradeskillers, you'll be happy to hear that we will be putting in some new recipes to create some Hero's Forge Armor in March. We have several new animal-themed hats that will immediately take your thoughts to the famous Barbarian Polar Bear hats in Everfrost. Norrathians can find all the items for the recipe but they will need help from their fellow Tradeskillers in order to receive the final product.

We'll also turn on all past Anniversary events so mark the calendar for cool events to kick-off in two weeks!

Different Subject…
Now, we know that we have a good Housing and Guild Hall Feature, but we wanted to see how we could make it great. So, a couple of weeks ago, the Development team took over a Neighborhood on the Bertox Server and set up camp. We wanted to spend a couple hours and take a really good hands-on approach to find ways to better integrate the Housing system into the game. We are currently compiling our feedback and will be discussing how we can achieve this. If you want to offer your feedback, please post your thoughts on this subject as well. Also, if you want to go take a look at what some of us created, head to the Neighborhood zone from the Guild Lobby and look up the Priests of Discord Neighborhood. Feel free to vote your favorite house but remember, almost every house with substance is going to tell you that it could look better if they were able to place more items down in their lot or inside their house J

Hero's Forge Armor
Hero's Forge launched last year and we heard your feedback… We are currently working with some different tech to make Hero's Forge a tighter fit all the way around (although, I don't think I look fat in this armor, I'm just big-boned). Timing for launch of this new armor should be before the summertime. I'll be putting up some new screenshots just after the Anniversary to share our progress.

Shadows of Fear
Last year, we launched the Rain of Fear expansion (EverQuest's 19th Expansion) and in April, we will be continuing the Rain of Fear story with the Shadows of Fear Game Update. Shadows of Fear will be available to everyone that has purchased the Rain of Fear expansion. It will include some new zones while introducing some new storylines of godly proportion and you will have some Spell and AA lines that you haven't had before. Stay tuned for a Beta Announcement in March. You were signed up for Beta for the Rain of Fear, then you will be invited to come back and we'll have a small window to invite some of you that missed it last year.

Saving the best for last!
We have had a few changes to the EverQuest team lately. I would like to introduce you to Jonathan Caraker as the New Lead Designer for the EverQuest Team. Jonathan is no stranger to the EverQuest, as he has been a designer on the team for many years. Jonathan has been with Sony Online Entertainment for about 11 years, spending time on multiple games of which about 7 years was as a designer on EverQuest – most recently as on the Underfoot expansion. I hope that many of you will remember Jonathan to give him a warm welcome. We're really excited about Jonathan joining the team!

Furthermore, Akil Hooper is now the Creative Director on EverQuest. Akil, AKA "Lyndro", has recently been performing the duties of Lead Designer on the EverQuest II team and also worked on EverQuest in years past, just like Jonathan. Julie "Ellyra" Burness and Doug "Elidroth" Cronkhite have also been promoted to Assistant Lead Designers and will be working closely with Jonathan and Akil to keep EverQuest headed in the right direction. They have been working in this capacity for a couple weeks now and I really like it. This is a great change for the EverQuest team!

Thank you all for reading & see you in game soon!

Thom Terrazas
Producer, EverQuest