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.
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.