After decades if slumber, Imperator Tsaph Katta awakens and vows to reform the Combine Empire – the progenitors of much of the human race – by any means necessary. He will lead them into a renewed age of prosperity. Tsaph Katta focuses on rebuilding the coalition between the races of Norrath in order to cement his place in the annals of history as The Great Unifier. But not all are ready to bend to the will of Katta and his allies, least of all the current inhabitants of Kunark. Will a unified Norrath prevail, or will the Combine’s arrival in Kunark lead to a war of catastrophic proportions. Find out in Empires of Kunark, EverQuest’s 23rd expansion!
-EverQuest Empires of Kunark promo text
The fourth new expansion this week (following Minecraft, EVE Online, and EverQuest II), which went live yesterday, is the Empires of Kunark expansion for EverQuest, the 23rd expansion for the game.
This is a nostalgia play by Daybreak as it returns to the setting of one of the most fondly remembered expansions, Ruins of Kunark.
It has actually taken them a while to get back to Kunark, given that the first expansion came out back in April of 2000. I think they’ve done pirate themed expansions twice since then.
Anyway, without a site like EQ2 Wire covering EverQuest, I do not have as expansive a list of new features to steal as I did with yesterday’s post. I have to make do with the official site, which isn’t always as helpful as you might imagine. The latest item in the News section on the forums is an announcement that Daybreak branded game cards are coming, game cards which have since been discontinued.
From what I can glean, the expansion is the standard fare of new things to do with no rise in the level cap.
- 7 Expansion Zones
- New Quests and Missions
- 8 New Raids
- 24 New Collections
- Familiar Key Ring – Access to your familiars in one easy location! Store up to 10 familiars per character, with the ability to buy additional slots to handle all of your familiar storage.
And, as with the previous day’s EverQuest II expansion, Empires of Kunark is available at various prices, depending on your need for fluff.
Unlike the EQII return to Kunark however, I am not at all tempted to pick up Empires of Kunark. I follow EverQuest mostly out of a sense of nostalgia these days. I haven’t played it in any serious way since the release of the Fippy Darkpaw progression server, when Skronk and I set out to relive old times… which we did for about 30 levels and then SOE got hacked, everything was down for a couple of weeks, and then we never really went back.
That was actually a good time… really, about as successful a nostalgia tour as you could probably get for us… but if you scroll back through the Fippy Darkpaw tag on the blog, it was also over five years ago, and every attempt I have made at the game since has ended very quickly. I am over playing EverQuest I think, preferring to just watch it from a distance these days. But nostalgia remains a draw for others. Look at this snip of the game’s server status, which looks about the same every time I check it.
The most popular servers are Phinigel, the true box nostalgia server, Ragefire, the progression server before before Phinigel, and Firiona Vie, the RP server where all the cool kids hang out and actually have a community. I am actually a bit surprised that the Fippy Darkpaw server, and its sibling Vulak’Aerr, are still around. I have lost track of where they stand, but they must be getting close to current after more than five years, at which point it would probably make sense to just roll them into a live server, as they did with the first round of progression servers, The Combine and The Sleeper, years ago.
Hell, with the zone spawning tech they put in for Ragefire and Phinigel, they could probably merge a few of those live servers together as well… maybe a lot of those live servers.
Still, I am happy to see that it is still alive and well enough to be getting expansions. That it is still there lets me imagine now and again that we might someday form another group and return to old Norrath for one final adventure. We certainly don’t seem to be in danger of getting a new Norrath anytime soon.