In its way it is a bit more interesting to be talking about a new expansion when I am actually playing EverQuest II pretty regularly at the moment.
Of course how I get from where I am now, which is somewhere in the Destiny of Velious expansion from 2011, to the new stuff isn’t at all clear to me. Given how far behind I am, and that I just picked up last year’s Planes of Prophecy expansion for half price in last month’s sale, it is pretty unlikely I am going to be in a rush to pre-order. But I will go on about it all the same.
After announcing the upcoming expansion in the middle of last month, along with the half price sale, Daybreak was finally ready to reveal more information about what to expect. This came in the form of a live stream using Facebook, a choice that, along with its mid-morning timing, made it extremely unlikely that I would watch it. Fortunately they had the foresight to record the whole thing and upload it to YouTube so we could review it at our leisure.
Given the advent of video editing software like 30 years ago, once wonders why we much endure more than four minutes of “Broadcast Will Begin Shortly,” but I guess that gives you the full streaming experience.
When the stream does start nobody begins talking about actual game content until the 13th minute, spending the opening time with the underwater prestige home and other items that you get when you order the premium edition. Have to pimp the upsell I guess.
Eventually they start in on the hub area and the new zones, though the whole thing moves along at such a leisurely pace that I wandered off at some point after the 25 minute mark. Everything doesn’t have to be a snappy, well-rehearsed BlizzCon style announcement, but this was very low energy and life is too short for videos that can’t even meet me halfway when it comes to engagement.
I was probably better served by the blurb on the pre-orders page.
The Elemental Planes of Order have been thrown into chaos! Thrust in the middle of a mystery of Celestial proportions, you must return to the Planes of Power to help restore balance to the Planes of Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. Accomplishing this will be no small feat, and you will need to make new allies such as Maelin Starpyre, the Grand Librarian of Myrist, who resides within the Plane of Knowledge, as well as learn the fate of infamous characters from Norrath’s past by traveling to the Plane of Justice.
I could see how they were getting to some of that on the stream now. There were some bullet points to go along with that.
- Face the trials of the Elemental Planes with all new adventure, tradeskill, and public quests!
- Get ahead with new achievements, collections, and more.
- Conquer all new Solo, Heroic and Raid challenges, including a new contested Raid Dungeon!
- Mount Gear – Mounts can now be equipped with gear to bolster their rider’s power!
- Mount Levels – For the first time your mounts can now level! They can level to 10.
- Ascension Levels – Ascend 5 levels to 20.
- Mercenary Levels – Gain another 10 levels, for a maximum of 20!
Some of that is the same thing you could say about every expansion. And Ascension levels going to level 20 doesn’t mean anything to me. I don’t have any Ascension levels yet so far as I can tell.
Mounts get gear and levels though, that is new. I wonder what that really means though. Is this just a new way to inflate player stats as a way to gate content in the usual overkill method? I guess mounts have had stats for a while now. But gear and levels… I don’t know.
And I guess I know what mercenary levels are, having just blown a good chunk of my Daybreak Cash reserves boosting one of mine to level 10. I will likely use the “set and wait” method for those additional ten.
So there are your progression options, in addition to the usual gear inflation.
In addition, when you buy the expansion you will get access to all previous expansions.
Last year Daybreak was saying something about maybe not including past content along the way with new expansions, but I guess that madness has passed. Their web site only allows you to buy the most recent expansion.
As noted, pre-orders are available now at the usual price points.
I get to use that same graphic every year since they don’t change the pricing, though the higher priced packages now say “Buy or Upgrade Now” in a nod to the fact that some people might change their minds later and want that under water house, maybe as a memento to remember the 2008 financial crises or something.
As usual, All Access subscribers get 10% off the price, which always makes me wonder how many non-subscribers actually buy the expansions. Whatever. Probably best not to think too hard on that.
The standard edition gets you the new content and a character boost to get you to level 110. Given the way of the world, that is not a bad deal for the content you’ll get plus the inevitable mid-point game update mini-expansion that will likely show up next year.
The pricier collector’s and premium editions get you additional boosts for things like trade skills and ascension levels, plus an array of other items including the under water prestige home that featured so prominently at the start of the video above. I am less inclined to favor those choices for the price.
In addition, if you pre-order you get a special cosmetic illusion as well as access to the beta, which is happening right now and which offers all sorts of rewards if only you’ll come test the expansion.
As somebody who just got the last expansion at half price, and who is nowhere near that content, much less the coming content, I don’t have much incentive to pre-order. Had I not, I might have considered it to get the content I do not have yet, but now I’ll likely wait until this time next year when the pre-order for the next expansion is available… if there is one… and skip this one entirely.
Unless I keep on with my Norrath adventures and actually finish the content I have. But since I’m still back in 2011, I am not sure how likely that is.
Anyway, there it is, EverQuest II expansion number 15 going live in about a month.