It is that time of year, the expansion season for the Norrath franchise at Daybreak, and today the first of the pair to launch is EverQuest II which is going live with the Planes of Prophecy expansion today.
As down as some people are on Daybreak (looking at you Massively OP) I still see a victory in every additional expansion they manage to ship for EverQuest and EverQuest II. Even though I don’t play either any more, and really can’t bring myself to stick to either when I try, they still both occupy a special place in the pantheon of MMORPGs for me.
Anyway, the fourteenth EQII expansion takes us to the elemental planes again, as the title indicates. I guess that counts as something of a nod to nostalgia as it even has the same acronym as the famed/infamous 2002 Planes of Power expansion for EverQuest.
The feature list reads as such lists tend to, with more of just about everything including levels, quests, zones, raids, and so on.
- New Zones including
- Plane of Magic
- Plane of Valor
- Plane of Innovation
- Plane of Disease
- Bastion of Thunder
- Solusek Ro’s Tower
- Brackish Vaults
- New Heroic Dungeons
- New Event Heroic Dungeons
- New Solo Dungeons
- New Duo Dungeons
- New Raid Dungeons
- New Large Overland
- New Hub Zone “Coliseum of Valor”; provides access to dungeons, raids, and public quests
- Alt-Friendly Keyring System: If you unlock a new heroic or raid zone on your main, your alt will also gain access to it.
- New Signature Quest Line
- New Public Quests
- New Timed Key Quests
- New Collection Quests
- New “Soulbound” Weapons: Soulbound weapons will be able to level up and become even more powerful!
- New Weapon Type: Crossbows, a ranged weapon usable by all
- Adventure Level Cap Raised to 110
- All Ascension Classes Level Cap Increased to 15
- Guild Level Cap Increased to 250
- New Factions
- New Achievements
- New Items
- Tradeskill Level Cap Raised to 110
- New Adornments for Crafters to Make
- New Tinkering Recipes
- Mercenary Level Cap Increased to 10
- More Mercenary Gear Slots: Six new slots for hands, legs, feet, and 3 additional accolades
Lots and lots of “new” and “more” on that list, enough to keep people busy for another year… or at least until the spring game update.
A few items jump out at me from the list. I am curious as to how this Coliseum of Valor will work, or what it actually is. Is this the EQII version of the Plane of Knowledge?
Then there are crossbows because… well… I bet they look cool. Still, that seems like something that wasn’t really missed for the last 13 years, so why bring them in now?
And then there are the new Soulbound weapons, which on the surface sound a lot like Artifact weapons from WoW Legion or Legendary weapons from LOTRO.
Which is to say it could be a good idea, but it could also be a bad one.
I actually ended up liking the Artifact weapons in WoW Legion even though, for example, every retribution pally gets a copy of Ashbringer. That you can unlock special looks for each artifact weapon helped on that score.
The downside is that artifact weapons will cease to be a thing come the Battle for Azeroth expansion, which will leave an awkward 10 levels towards the end of the level curve where you have to get and upgrade a special weapon that you’ll likely throw away before you’ve had a change to fully upgrade it.
As for LOTRO and legendary weapons… ugh… that seemed like a good idea back in Mines of Moria, but it quickly got old for me there and Turbine’s, and then Standing Stone’s, continued use of the awkward mechanic is on the long list of things that keep me from going back to play the game.
I haven’t followed the updates for the expansion, so I am not sure what path Daybreak plans to follow here, but I am wary none the less. And what do these new Soulbound weapons mean for Mythic weapons, yet another category I am told exists. I am clearly out of my depth here.
Anyway, you get all of that when you buy the standard edition of the expansion along with a level 100 character boost.
But, of course, the expansion comes in three flavors, the same as before, so I don’t even have to crop up a new graphic for the pricing and can just roll with what I did in 2015.
For the Collectors Edition you also get a trade skill level 100 boost and a 5 ascension level boost along with an array of other items, and with the $140 Premium Edition you can add on a 10 ascension level boost as well as even more… um… stuff.
You can get all the details from the expansion order page.
Sadly, if you’re reading this and have not ordered yet it is likely you missed out on the Clockwork Calamity illusion pre-order bonus item, some aspects of which Bhagpuss has demonstrated in a video.
Bhagpuss also has some words about the expansion in his post today which are probably better than my own as he pays more attention to EQII than I can manage.
That is it, another year and another EverQuest II expansion.
Addendum: Even Daybreak says the expansion is live now. Hit level 101 before December 12th and get special painting for you house.