It’s hard to imagine that the 20th Expansion for EverQuest launched just one month ago! The team is already gearing up for more great things. Twenty expansions in fewer than fifteen years is a phenomenal statistic, but what I’m most proud of is the passion that my team brings every day, dreaming up the world that we all live and play in. There is pleasure in creating a game that demands respect in staying true to its origin and vast history. Not to mention, we love doing this.
There are some awesome stories within Norrath and some of those stories haven’t been told in quite some time. In Call of the Forsaken (COTF), we get to revisit some of those traditional stories and iconic characters while introducing something new at the same time.
One new thing introduced in Call of the Forsaken was the Heroic Adventures. You can go into a Heroic Adventure zone and accept tasks that allows for a unique experience every time you enter the zone. The content you encounter will scale to the character levels in your group allowing for some additional distinctiveness. When you successfully complete these adventures, you can gain specific rewards for your character and, for the very first time, you can collect and equip items on Mercenaries. With New Mercenary Equipment, you can now customize and upgrade your Mercenary – only available with the expansion.
The Heroic Adventure system was created in a way that allows us to scale content to your level. Currently it scales for those of you in the 95 to 100 range, but we're going to open it up to lower levels, complete with meaningful rewards for those levels as well. We are also working on having more Mercenary Equipment available at lower levels in the very near future! So even if you do not play a high level character, there will be many benefits for owning the Call of the Forsaken Expansion. We hope to have this ready for you early next year, but stay tuned for more details in the next couple months as we get closer to this launch.
With COTF, we also introduced a big feature allowing you to customize your Mercenary. This feature wasn’t solely with equipment you can obtain for your Merc; you can now also obtain Mercenary AAs to further increase its power and effectiveness. We have noticed a few questions on how your character’s experience affects the Mercenary’s AAs, so we have added more tips inside the game to make sure you know how it works. If you use your Mercenary, you can gain experience to use towards your Mercenary AAs. If you don’t use your Mercenary, you gain nothing towards Mercenary AAs. If you use an experience potion, your Mercenary also benefits from that increase to gain more experience and thus earn AAs faster. I hope this helps explain the system more.
On a side note, we have been discussing the Journeyman 5 Mercenaries and changing some of the aspects of the quest to smooth out how you achieve them and possibly have another means of obtaining this tier. We recognize that there are some issues with the quest and we want you to be able to achieve them with a realistic effort. More information will come out in the near future.
Leadership AAs – In the very near future, we will be moving Leadership AAs from the current location in game and will be integrating them into other areas so that everyone has the ability to use these AA benefits. The UI will go away during the transformation and you’ll have one less window cluttering up your screen. Win-Win! Release date is expected just after the New Year, which is coming very fast.
I mentioned at SOE Live this year that we will be creating more content for the 1st quarter of next year. This content will be available to all players free of charge, though some of the content will require the expansion Call of the Forsaken in order for you to be able to access it. Storylines in Call of the Forsaken will be extended,, which you will discover in the launch zones and in additional new areas.
In March, we’ll be celebrating EverQuest’s 15th Anniversary in great form! Still hot after all these years! At SOE Live, we announced that you’ll have new Race/Class combinations to play. We have been reviewing your feedback on the forums about what you would like to play, and one combination that frequently comes up is the Froglok Monk. So we’re going to be creating that new race/class combination for the Anniversary. That’s not the only combination we’ll be creating though! Because interest was all over the board, we have selected eight more combinations that you’ll be able to vote on. When we start voting, you will be able to vote between two combinations to promote the winner to the next round of voting. This will more than likely be a tournament-bracket style of matchups with one or two matchups to vote on each round until we determine the next race/class combination to be launched in March. More information incoming…
We also promised you the Plane of War. This zone was to be released with the Planes of Power expansion but we were unable to complete the zone in time for that launch. We have wanted to release this zone for a long time now, so we have carved out some time to release it also at the Anniversary. It just made perfect sense to release a nostalgic area during this time.
Player Designed Missions – the team had a wonderful experience at SOE Live this past year in our “Design a Mission” panels. We had such an overwhelming number of participants! The Design Team generally has all the fun during this panel. However, not this time. I was personally able to work alongside the Designers with a group of players to design a mission that was just so befitting to our surroundings in Las Vegas, appropriately named “The Pub Crawl.” This was only one of the many exciting and creative missions created by players with our team that weekend. We have 13 missions designed, and we are going to do as many of them as possible for the Anniversary.
To close, I want to talk to you about something exciting we have on the horizon, and it’s one of the things we haven’t discussed previously: Heroic Characters. If you follow or play EverQuest II, this might sound familiar to you. They recently launched Heroic Characters which permits returning players to create a Level 85 Character, allowing players the ability to try out different classes at a higher level and also giving quicker access to high level areas. Our offer of Heroic Characters will be very similar to EverQuest II’s, though our offer will be unique to EverQuest. After all, the games are not the same, so there are just some things that will be different in order to better suit our game. We are just getting underway on this project, so stay tuned for more information!
Thank you for playing EverQuest!
Congratulations to all of you who are involved in EverQuest’s success.
See you in game!