EverQuest – Rain of Fear Announced

One more for SOE Thursday.

I typed, and then retyped, “Reign of Fear” three times before getting that title right because I after the previous announcements today I felt that “Reign of Fear” was far more appropriate… or ironic… plus “Rain of Fear” sounds way too literal.

Oh, and I hated the logo on the EQ expansions page, and on the Producer’s Letter Page, so I mashed up my own… because that’s the way I roll.

So there it is.  The 19th EverQuest expansion has been announced, continuing to mock my 2007 prediction that we were probably two or three expansions away from being at the end of such things for EQ.

It will be available for real money (no Station Cash!) pre-orders soon, no doubt with some sort of bonus and will launch in November, thus piling on to the already busy MMO shipping season.  Let’s see, we now have Mists of Panderia, Guild Wars 2, Torchlight II, Rider of Rohan (if it stops slipping), Storm Legion, and Chains of Eternity showing up in the three month window before the holidays. (assuming no slips by SOE)  Anything else?  What a mess!

Back to the Rain of Fear.

Okay, shards of crystalline fear are falling from the sky… blah blah blah… given that I was so into lore last night, I’ll just show how disingenuous I was by totally ignoring it now.

Or maybe I am proving my point, that lore should flow from playing the content.

Yeah, that sounds much better.  Don’t tell me, show me… or something.

Anyway, the big news for the expansion is that they are finally going to keep Stargrace from racking up countless EverQuest hours on Raptr by allowing you to keep your trader up in Bazaar while logged out!

Offline selling at last!

Saints preserve us, if  I was serious about EQ, I would pay for that feature ala carte!

Besides that, the list looks pretty standard, with a few choice tidbits.

  • Level cap increase from 95 to 100 – Achieve a new max level of 100 and set a new standard of gameplay.
  • Hunter System – Gain special rewards and titles for defeating large numbers of foes.
  • Aggro Meter – A brand new tool to help better manage your aggro. You can now see your aggro level relative to your group.
  • Collection System – Discover items throughout Norrath and collect sets for exciting rewards and titles.
  • Improved Brokering System – Sell items in the Bazaar while being offline! More flexibility as a buyer to search and purchase from anywhere in the world.
  • New Linear Item Progression – Stats on armor collected will increase as you move up from one tier to another.
  • Customization with non-visible armor – All non-visible armor in Rain of Fear can be worn by all. You’ll be able to customize your stats for every encounter.
  • Class-specific stat distribution – Collect items that are designed specifically for each classes’ abilities.
  • More than 1800 New Spells (Ranks 1, 2 & 3) – Exponentially add to your spell arsenal.
  • More than 550 AAs – Elevate your power and abilities like never before.
  • More than 3500 New Items – Create your own identity with thousands of new items.
  • More than 3000 New Tradeskill recipes – Increase your value across Norrath by creating items only available by your craftsmanship.
  • More than 110 Quests – Challenge your skills and gather useful loot.
  • 13 Raids – Collect valuable rewards from all new adventures.
  • 9 Zones – Be the first to discover untouched lands of Norrath.
  • 19 Missions – Experience intriguing lore and immersive Missions.
  • Continued opportunity to kill off Halflings.
  • Legends of Norrath™ – 5 Digital Booster Packs.

Okay, I am all for killing off Halflings and experiencing intriguing lore.  But can I get a halfling slayer title?

More levels, more spells, more items, more recipes, and more AAs simply boggle the mind at this point.  The absurdity of expanding level based MMOs laid bare for all.  Especially when you start using phrases like “Exponentially add to your spell arsenal!”  Really, when we get to exponential spell growth, we have gone too far.

(Can somebody please check the spells and then do the math to make sure the growth really is exponential and not, say, linear, logistic, or cubic?  You know how marketing people are with math.)

Some items are clearly borrowed from EQ’s younger brother, like collections. (And offline selling.) I remain of two minds on collecting little sparkly bits across the land.  Yes, it can be fun… until you’re in the group with the ADD healer who keeps running off to grab them mid-fight. (Me)

Meanwhile, Legends of Norrath has bored me for five years now, while the concept of non-visible armor customization just makes my head hurt.

It looks like we won’t see the end of EverQuest expansions (or anything like EverQuest offline) for a while yet.

6 thoughts on “EverQuest – Rain of Fear Announced

  1. bhagpuss

    That Tipa link was interesting. I didn’t find West Karana until after 2007 (the blog, not the zone – I found the zone in 1999) so I hadn’t seen that before. I’ve always wanted an offline EQ. I even bought Lords of Everquest last year just so I would have something EQ-like should the internet ever die.

    Given the way things are going (cf EA’s recent announcement of no more offline games, period) it’s never going to happen.

    On the 19th expansion, I guess if you are still playing EQ it’s going to be welcome. And from my less-than-frequent visits these days, plenty do still seem to be playing. I haven’t bought the last three expansions and while I like collecting shinies as much as the next obsessive shut-in I’m not buying an expansion just for that.

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  2. SynCaine

    It’s interesting to contrast how EQ1 is expanding vs how EVE is expanding. To me it sounds like the EQ devs are just throwing in anything and everything at this point, logic be damned, while EVE still has so many natural places to expand and grow.

    Some of this is of course the different settings, some of it is the difference in developer skill, and yet I think a large part is that long-term, sandbox design just ‘works’, while themeparks eventually collapses on themselves.

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – Yes, the level based themepark does expose its flaws as it attempts to grow beyond a certain point. We have EQ adding its 19th expansion, EQII adding its 9th, and WoW adding its 4th and they all have some of the very same elements. More lands, more levels, more quests, more more more of the very same thing. Oh, and as like as not, the total devaluation of any equipment that came before as the first solo mob drop you get will likely be better than the raid boss gear you worked so hard to get.

    But I don’t think EVE is without parallel problems. Rather than new areas of space every year… though they do add that, and have promised to do so again, wars having been fought to control access to the Jove Empire that has yet to show up… they add new ships. And the new ships often obsolete old ships.

    As an example, when I started playing EVE the Drake was brand new, and it pretty much killed off the Ferox. We’ve piled on tech III ships, tier 3 battlecruisers, and all sorts of specialty ships that have meant older ships stay in the hanger. And then there is the whole Titan debate. Titans are like the poster child for new shiny gone bad in a sandbox.

    In a way, that illustrates the same point, that adding newer, better things just leads to absurdity. And maybe CCP is still just bad at sandbox. But I think it really means that companies feel they need to add new shiny bits to their games to keep people interested, themepark or sandbox.

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  4. SynCaine

    The Ferox is a gimp ship, but the Drake is as popular as ever, even with T2, T3, and teir3 BCs. Not seeing the point there. Also any new space they introduce, like WH space, does not obsolete old space. Everyone did not move from null ‘end-game’ to the new ‘end-game’ of WH, like they will when EQ1 expansion 19 hits.

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  5. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – Yes, it isn’t exactly the same, but there are similarities. That is why I said “parallel problems” and not “exactly the same issue.” Right?

    The Ferox wasn’t a gimp ship before the Drake showed up. And I doubt you have any data at all to support “as popular as ever” for the Drake. Ev0ke used to be a big Drake alliance, now they are a big tech III strategic cruiser alliance. Not as popular there. And maybe the tier 3 BCs didn’t impact the Drake, but they took on the sniper role which used to go to other ships.

    You cannot wave your hand and dismiss the similarities with the themepark issues without looking like you are willfully ignoring the issue. In EVE, CCP introduces things all the time that unbalances the game or makes things obsolete.

    And I notice you passed on the Titan issue altogether, or are you going to insist that isn’t a problem?

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