Daily Archives: December 4, 2010

Team Edward to Norrath?

That I even know what “Team Edward” means kind of scares me.

Yesterday the EverQuest II team posted an item about Velious Winter Rewards.  I saw it come through on Twitter.  I did not click on the link.

Then regular reader Bhagpuss said, “Oh, hey, vampires” in reference to it.  Then I had to go take a look.

The winter rewards is a set of incentives to stay subscribed to EverQuest II while waiting for the next expansion, Destiny of Velious to ship.  From the post:

‘Tis the season for giving! Winter is here and there are only a few short months until the freezing tundra of Velious is open for exploration. Starting in December and ending in February, active EQII Live subscribers and EQ2X Gold and Platinum members (with accounts in good standing) who purchase the upcoming EverQuest ® II Destiny of Velious™ expansion will receive a set of in-game items as complimentary subscription rewards each month.

Each of the three sets is comprised of two amazing items, one of which is the new Ice Wolf Mount (pictured) and the new tightly-concealed Vampire Race, which has yet to be displayed to the public! The December and January mystery items will be revealed at the time the rewards are distributed.

Keep checking EQ2Players for updates about the upcoming EverQuest ® II Destiny of Velious™ expansion launch scheduled for February 8, 2011. Enjoy the rewards!

The eye catcher, which was completely new to me, was the mention, highlighted in red by me, of a new vampire race.

Vampire race?

This could either be huge, or it could be a shark jumping moment.  It could be an invigoration of the game, a way to explore new dimensions, or it could be a goth emo, over powered and soon-to-be-nerfed race disaster.

What is also curious to me is what will be the restrictions on the race if they are giving it away as a customer retention award.  To get it you have to get through three gates of the special, hitting the mark as a paid in full subscriber on December 14th, January 18th, and February 8th.  And you have to purchase the expansion when it comes out to collect.

February 8, 2011 Rewards

  • Ice Wolf Mount
  • New Freeblood Vampire Race

Requires that a player has qualified for both the December and January rewards and has purchased EverQuest II Destiny of Velious. Items awarded one per account and will be available when the expansion is released.

But what if you do not qualify for this event?  Are you going to be out of luck on your vampire dreams, or is this going to be a new Station Cash only race?

Something to keep an eye on.

And among all the prizes you may get as part of this promotion, the only one they will actually show you is Ice Wolf mount.

Ice Wolf on Ice

And should they be handing out wolves and vampires in the same event?  How did that work out?

And that wolf looks a little dazed or cross-eyed or something.  Did the vampires get him already?

Somebody call the producer.

Me, I am still waiting for beastlords to make an appearance in EverQuest II.  But I suppose playable vampires might make an interesting addition.

How about you?

(And this is my 14th post for December.  What is going on?  Yesterday I was posting kitty videos and suddenly there is all sorts of interesting stuff.)

With Incursion, The Noctis

Incursion kicked off this past week in EVE Online.  There is the new splash screen and all.

Incursion

Sort of olive green with a spiky Sansha Nation ship gliding by darkly in the lower left hand corner.

The Sansha do love their spikes.

Given how spread out this expansion is, I think they should have changed the name to “Incursions,” but that is probably just me.

The one item of interest to me so far is the new salvage ship, the Noctis.

The stats on it are impressive… if you salvage a lot.

ORE Industrial skill bonus: 5% bonus to Tractor Beam and Salvager cycle time and 60% bonus to Tractor Beam range and velocity per level

You can reach out and grab stuff for sure.  The Noctis will be more handy for salvage than my Cormorant.

A new skill is required to fly it, ORE Industrial, which runs a little over 1.4 million ISK.  You skill level in that determines the bonuses you get.

And then there is the ship itself, which in my region is priced anywhere between 56 and 300 million ISK, with about 60 million appearing to be the median (not average) price.

And then there are the original blueprints (BPOs), which are running anywhere from 430 to 700 million ISK.

What it takes to make a Noctis

Interesting.  I could afford to buy a set.  I would have to do some research on them, always a time consuming and expensive effort, to reduce the materials needed to build one.  If I were going to go into the Noctis building business.

Or I could go into the blueprint copy business, though it seems that is already booming.  Single run blueprint copies are going for around 10 million ISK.  But none of those have any material research done to them.  I would kind of like to wait for that.

In fact, as with most new ships in EVE Online, it pays to wait until the price settles down.  The people who are selling now are trying to pay for their BPOs and get as much money as they can from a fresh market.  Later the real industrialists who compete on price will come to dominate the market and the price will be a reflection of the materials needed to produce the ship.

I can afford to wait.

SOE to Copy Blizzard’s Copy of SOE’s Idea

Have you got that?

What am I talking about?

It has been more than five years since their first MMO launched.  It has become a huge success, beyond their wildest dreams.  It is the most popular subscription MMO ever and people seek to copy it.  But they know change is needed, an update is required.

So they stage an earth shattering event, a CATACLYSM!  And from that they hope to revitalize their world, to create a new, more exciting, more up to date, and even more popular game.

So who am I talking about?

I mean, that could be SOE in 2004, or Blizzard in 2010.

One lead to EverQuest II which was, I’m sorry to say, not a more popular game than its predecessor.  The other cataclysm is Blizzard’s next World of Warcraft expansion, and we’ll see what that does pretty soon.

I’ve been reading Kotaku again.

They had an interview with John Smedley (who needs a better bio on Wikipedia), and he was talking about a cataclysm for EverQuest II, which made me think, “Urm, didn’t we come in on that note?  Wasn’t EQII your reboot?”

Okay, I am being literalistic again, one of my many faults.  But I cannot get that cataclysm parallel out of my head, false though the comparison might be.

I know he means something considerably less than the EverQuest to EverQuest II transition.  But he also must mean more than a mere expansion that throws another 10 levels on the pile, a few more zones, and some more ways to spend your alternate advancement points.

Anyway, read the article.  It must be drastically cut and paraphrased… or else Smed is all over the map.  I mean, Kotaku writes this:

While Smedley doesn’t expect the World of Warcraft expansion to have a deep impact on EverQuest II players, Sony Online Entertainment isn’t taking any chances.

And then quotes Smed saying this:

“We have five years of World of Warcraft experience behind us to know that people that play EverQuest II don’t play World of Warcraft,” he said. “We don’t see big dips in concurrency. We see a tiny drop for awhile.”

So, if WoW doesn’t impact EQII, what chances could they be taking?  And I guess that I and about a dozen people I could name are statistical anomalies, being that we play EverQuest II and WoW at times. (And it might be more correct to say that people who play WoW do not play EQII, since most of our guild in EQII at launch drained to WoW, but very few of them found their way back.  Maybe I am an anomaly.)

And then we hit on a lot of people’s favorite SOE gripe:

What they do see, though, is Blizzard potentially grabbing up a bunch of gamers new to massively multiplayer gaming, something they plan to fight with an increase in marketing for EverQuest II.

You know, there is a lot to like about EQII, but what are they going to do to sell it beyond free to play?  What haven’t they done to sell the game?  What are they holding back on, and why haven’t they used it already?

What do you think?  Are they headed in the right direction with this, or should they be focused on the next version of Norrath that we heard about this past summer?

Dark Endeavor – We Didn’t Start the Fire

Spotted over at Kotaku, this is a video of the guild Dark Endeavor set to the Billy Joel song We Didn’t Start the Fire.

The guild positioned itself throughout Stormwind, and as one player runs through with the song playing, individual members of the guild say the lyrics in chat bubbles as the camera passes.

Really an awesome demonstration of coordination.  I bet they always step out of the fire in time.

You should probably watch it on YouTube where you can increase the screen size and resolution to get the full effect.