Spring is proving to be a banner time for SOE and EverQuest II announcements. Winter wrapped up with the announced increase in price for Station Access which caused some discontent in the community and cost SOE some good will on all fronts. But winter has passed and with spring comes new blossoms!
First Game Update 35 was announced. It will have a free content update that includes a new (old) city, Neriak as well as a new race, a new outdoor zone, Darklight Wood, and a playable new race, the Arasai, sort of an evil mutation of the Fae that will be one of the races that can start in Neriak.
In addition to that, SOE relented (a little bit) and announced an increase in character slots to be included in GU35. Standard accounts go from 6 to 7 slots, which Station Access accounts go from 10 to 12 slots. I still feel a bit stifled by the standard account number, 7 slots for a game with so many race and class combinations, but compared to EQ2 on release day, where you got 4 slots and there were no other options, things are much better.
And then this morning there was the official announcement of Rise of Kunark via Allakhazam’s EQ2 site. (Pardon me while I pat myself on the back one more time for being right on the next expansion location… it is such a rare thing in my life.) While the official SOE site is not up yet (though they have claimed the likely domain), the basic information is available:
- New Race: The Sarnak
- New Starting Area: Timorous Deep
- New Adventure Zones: Kunark is back, the biggest (and possibly best) expansion from EverQuest brought forward 500 years into the Norrath of EQ2
- New Mount: That rhino from the loading screen! Forget the drooling warg, I want one of those!
- Returning Deities: More choices, more powers, more quests
- Level Cap Raise to 80 for both players and guilds
- Full screen maps, in addition to the current mini maps
- And More, more, more of everything that makes EQ2 the game it is
I think if SOE can follow this string of news up with a date for the new and improved launch pad and an intermediate pricing plan somewhere between the standard, single game subscription and Station Access, the SOE Fan Faire might turn into the SOE Adulation Faire, at least when it comes to the EQ2 community.
[Clarification of the Rise of Kunark features here.]