I remember when I first played Everquest. I was younger then – naive, optimistic, and completely unable to grasp the concept that a PVP server meant idly tapping the attack button around other people could cause an international incident. Still though, it was my first MMO, and what a magical experience it was. I’ll never forget my first death by Sand Giant or related, nearly naked corpse run through Terror Country. I tried it out again recently, though, and it’s, uh, really different. But I suppose that makes sense, seeing as there have been 18 expansion sets. And now it’s about to get even more different with a 19th. Also, EverQuest II’s hitting number nine, because… jeez, really? Nine? Where did the time go, everyone? What were we doing?
Let’s start with old-school EQ, though. The new expansion – titled Rain of Fear – picks up the story from the 17th expansion (maybe everyone just hung out for a while during the 18th?), ups the level cap to 100, adds nine zones, 13 raids, 110 quests, and 1800 new spells. There’s also an official aggro meter and a semi-intriguing-sounding “collection” system.
EverQuest II, meanwhile, is going to the afterlife. In the game, I mean. I just like to alarm you with outlandish statements to see how you’ll react. Really, it’s my only great satisfaction in this cruel, nonsensical world. At any rate, EQ II’s actually headed for Norrath’s version of the afterlife – namely, “Ethernere” – in “Chains of Eternity.” Apparently, things aren’t going so well over there (videogames rarely seem to have particularly pleasant afterlives, I’ve found), and it’ll be up to you to “save the immortal and mortal realms from collapse.” You’ll achieve this by way of a newly minted 95 level cap, prestige abilities, and – prior to all that – some robust pre-launch content, which SOE’s calling the “Prelude.” Here’s the rundown:
“At the same time as we’re focusing on the expansion, we are still offering live content prior to the expansion. We are releasing the first areas of Sleeper’s Tomb in mid-September which we refer to as the ‘Prelude.’ This advances the world story as players find entry into the tomb. We have another event that we’re keeping under wraps that releases closer to the expansion… We’re even releasing additional free content at the same time that the expansion launches. Players will discover that avatars are once again making an appearance in Norrath. These avatars are different from those who appeared in the past.”
Both expansions launch in November, so prance around proudly in your epic shoes that you slew 452 genocides’ worth of orcs to earn while you still can. Well, I mean, if you still play EverQuest in any way, shape, or form, anyway. Do you? Also, have they started any new Time Lock Progression servers? I want to go back to the beginning. All the way back.