EverQuest II Announces the Reign of Shadows Expansion

Where EverQuest goes, EverQuest II must surely follow.  We got a Producer’ Letter announcing the next EverQuest expansion two weeks back, now we get one announcing the next EverQuest II expansion, the Reign of Shadows.

Reign of Shadows

The 17th expansion for EverQuest II is going to take players to the dark side of Luclin, carrying on from last year’s Blood of Luclin expansion.

The lead in reads:

Emperor Ssraeshza and his unyielding throngs of insidious zealots and enslaved minions have laid claim to the ancient citadel of Vex Thal. The march of the nefarious snake-like shissar must end there, deep within the heart of the dark side of Luclin.

Face terrible challenges and forge great alliances in regions unseen by Norrathian eyes in centuries: Echo Caverns, Shadeweaver’s Thicket, Grimling Forest, Shar Vhal, and Vex Thal. Heroes will be made in the shadows!

The features list includes:

  • Play as a Vah Shir! THAT’S RIGHT OUR FIRST NEW PLAYER RACE IN 5 YEARS!
  • 20 Reign of Shadows Prestige Advancement Points and 10 new Reign of Shadows Prestige Abilities.
  • Maximum Guild Level increased to 350 with an all new content-driven guild leveling mechanism.
  • Discover new Adventure, Tradeskill, and Signature quests as you investigate what secrets lay concealed in the endless gloom.
  • Master all new Solo, Heroic, Challenge Heroic, and Raid content in the perpetual shade of Luclin’s dark side!

The new race is a big deal, as it brings the Vah Shir, the EverQuest feline race from Luclin, to the game.  The rest sounds a bit like the usual “new zones, new quests, new raids, new collections” sort of stuff that make up the bulk of any expansion.

However, they do mention an attempt to revamp the whole Alternate Advancement system.

Launching with Reign of Shadows, archetype and class Alternate Advancement abilities are getting a full revamp so that every point has an impact on how your character plays. These changes should not affect Kaladim in a significant way and we do not plan on having them affect future TLEs either. To see these changes before the launch of the expansion, please login to beta when it opens and check them out.

Alternate Advancement, which was an early way to channel experience into something besides levels with new expansions, have grown unwieldy over the years.  I think AAs came in with Kingdom of Sky and the company has piled more into them with every update since.  We shall see if they can come up with a better system.

In anticipation of the new expansion a “Gear up, Level up” event will kick off this Thursday, October 29th, to get people ready for the new content, while pre-orders and beta for Reign of Shadows are planned for November 10th.

Addendum:

5 thoughts on “EverQuest II Announces the Reign of Shadows Expansion

  1. bhagpuss

    Aha! I’ve been waiting for this announcement. Just caught your post as I was about to shut down for the nght.

    Vah Shir is a big deal, I agree. A very popular race, I recall there was much controversy over the choice of Kerran as the feline race back at launch. Probably no-one left who really cares about that, but I played a Vah Shir beastlord for a long time in EQ and until the introduction of Heroic characters she was my highest at 84, so I’m very happy to see the race added to EQII.

    The thing about AAs is that actually they haven’t been added to on, I think, at least the last two expansions. The system has been in stasis for a while and there have been a lot of grumbles about it. When the AA revamp was leaked in the podcasts over the summer there was a lot of excitement (and anxiety, in case they screw it up). Anyway, it needed looking at so let’s hope they do a good job.

    I really liked the last expansion – best for a while, ithought, although generally I always enjoy them. I probably played more hours in it than any expansion since Sentinels Fate a decade ago. The dark side of Luclin has a lot of zones I was never all that fond of so I can’t say I have a lot of nostalgia stored up but I’m betting they’ll be a lot prettier and less annoying than in their originals. Certainly it would be hard to come up wioth one more annoying than Grimling Forest, a horrible zone to navigate, especially filled as it was with even more horrible grimlings. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually set foot in Vex Thal…

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – I’ve been watching for the announcement as well. We knew it was due. I never knew why SOE chose the Kerrans, though maybe it was part of the differentiate plan they were so hot on back in the day.

    AA’s seem like a mess to me, mostly because there are so many and I have so many AA points to invest and I feel like there isn’t a lot of indication as to what is a meaningful pick… though I know that you can have the game just allocate them for you, so there is clearly some path they thing you should take.

    Blood of Luclin was pretty good. It was the first expansion I played on launch for a long, long time.

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  3. Mailvaltar

    I always liked the AA system, I really hope they don’t screw it up.

    I agree that it’s a lot of stuff, but if you know your class well it’s not too hard to see which choices benefit your personal playstyle the most I feel.

    Ever since they introduced the Mirror of Reflected Achievements (aka Dual Spec) my Warlock had one setup for group/raid and one for solo play, and it made soloing oh so enjoyable compared to before.

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  4. Telwyn

    I imagine I’ll be playing it at launch. Luclin was enjoyable and rather sumptuous in its zone design, so I hope the dark side of the moon isn’t too dark…

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  5. Pingback: The urge to explore #EQ2 | GamingSF

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