Level 100 Heroic Upgrades are Coming to EverQuest, but Level 85 Upgrades will Remain

Another item from the roadmap posted back in January, EverQuest is getting level 100 heroic character upgrades in the cash shop next Wednesday.  At last!

Something to evoke heroism I think

If you’ve been around here for a while reading my commentary about EverQuest, you may have noticed my impatience at times with the state of heroic characters up until now.

Introduced back in 2014 as part of the game’s 15th anniversary celebration, it was of immediate interest to me because “insta-levels” as I called them were starting to become a thing.  At about the same time Blizzard was giving us details about the level 90 character boost that was going to come with the then upcoming Warlords of Draenor expansion, so it was kind of a topic of the time.

Anyway, at the time I was a little bemused about level 85 being the target.  The booster came out during the reign of the Call of the Forsaken expansion (#20), and the level cap at the time was 100.  85 hadn’t been the level cap since the Seeds of Destruction expansion (#15) and seemed a more appropriate level boost for something during the House of Thule expansion (#17) when the level cap was raised to 90.

But, whatever.  What was fifteen levels?  I couldn’t even find my way to the recommended zone after boosting with one of the free heroic upgrades they were handing out.

However, unlike other titles in the genre, including its sibling EverQuest II, the heroic character boost stayed at level 85 even as the level cap rose to the level 120 mark where it stands today.

Fifteen levels, maybe, but 35 in a game where the level cap rises by 5 every other expansion or so?  I suppose it depends on what the goal of the booster is, but that goal can’t be “get me up to the current expansion.”

And that question doesn’t get much better with the level 100 heroic character boost.  I mean, you do get some nice things for you 4,000 Daybreak Cash ($40 real world value):

  • 25,000 Platinum
  • Selyrah Mount
  • One Extra Mercenary Slot
  • Two 40-Slot Bags
  • Spells
  • Thousands of Auto-Granted Alternative Advancement Abilities (AA’s)
  • Full Set of Equipment, including weapons, armor, Power Source and Charm
  • Food, Drink, and Ammo
  • 200 Bayle Marks

But you’re still level 100, which as I pointed out, gets you to the level cap of the 20th expansion, but the 28th expansion is the current content, and the 29th expansion will be coming out by the end of the year.  That doesn’t leave you as far back as the first level boost attempt by Lord of the Rings Online, that stopped at level 50 when the level cap was 95, but it isn’t exactly putting you in the thick of things either.

And LOTRO at least fixed that later.  EverQuest is putting you behind the curve for $40 again.

And then there is the really odd part, which is that the level 85 heroic boost won’t be going away.  You will still be able to buy that for 3,500 ($35 real world value) and receive:

  • 15,000 Platinum
  • Jungle Raptor Mount
  • Two 24-Slot Bags
  • Spells
  • Thousands of Auto-Granted Alternative Advancement Abilities (AA’s)
  • Full Set of Equipment, including weapons, armor, Power Source and Charm
  • Food, Drink, and Ammo
  • 100 Bayle Marks

I don’t get who this is really for, but there it is.

I guess I shouldn’t worry about it.  I have always been a bit dubious of character boosts, which tend to plop you down in high level content with little or no clue how to play your class.  And that is especially true of EverQuest, where a caster can have hundreds of spells that the game is bad at telling you about and which you must pick through the awkward spell interface.

Seriously, I played a cleric up to level 50 for the 20th anniversary of the game, then got a free level 85 heroic boost and applied it to him, and pretty much made the character unplayable.

So I shouldn’t care about the boost only going to 85 or 100.  Even if it went straight to the level cap I’d be lost all the same.  But I am sure it will be of some benefit to somebody out there.  I wish them well and hope it works out for the game.

2 thoughts on “Level 100 Heroic Upgrades are Coming to EverQuest, but Level 85 Upgrades will Remain

  1. bhagpuss

    I can kind of explain the original Level 85 number and possibly why they’ve changed it and why they’re also keeping it.

    I suspect they’ve finally changed it because the difference between a boosted character and a capped character now exceeds the maximum range where the lower level can get xp with the higher. According to Allakhazam the formula is “a minimum of 5 levels difference, and a maximum of 30 levels difference. In between those ranges, the formula of highest = 1.5 * lowest + 1 (drop fractions or round down).” I think part of the idea was always that the boost would allow current players starting alts or returning players with friends in the game to group and play together immediately. I imagine the 100 version is supposed to do the same, for a while at least.

    The plan at the time for people starting without a network of friends to join was definitely to create a new “Starting Zone” where they could both solo and meet up, group and make friends like the old days. House of Thule was the designated expansion for that, almost the equivalent of The Serpent’s Spine in that a whole slew of tutorial/starter content was added that would supposedly feed a new character through to the endgame. There was out of game promotional material that explained it at the time and there was, and is, in-game information that points you to where you’re meant to start.

    Judging by things I heard in answer to questions from lost players quite a few times in chat, that was fairly well understood by regular players. If you asked where to go with your new, boosted character, House of Thule was the most likely response. I think some of the items you get with the boost may even be breadcrumb quest-starters to point you there, too.

    There were a couple of problems with that: for a start, as you found, just working out how to get to the first zone in House of Thule is anything but obvious. I did eventually get used to it but the first few times I spent ages running around looking for it and ending up in the wrong place. More importantly, though, even the lowest difficulty content in the zone, when you find it, is punishingly hard for a boosted 85 in the gear you get given. I did try it but I gave up pretty quickly and went somewhere a lot easier. Eventually I came back and did quite a lot of that expansion, but only when I was well into the 90s.

    I don’t know if there’s now a similar plan for people to start in a specific zone at 100. I might try and find out. I’d be interested to know where a level 100 is now supposed to go. I think the underlying reason for having the boost start you so far short of the cap is exactly what you suggest – starting at cap would just be far too confusing for anyone not already playing regularly, and even then they’d probably need to have played that class or a very similar one. Giving you 25-30 levels grace is supposed to be a gentle introduction to allow you to get used to your class but it also strongly encourages people to join a guild and/or make some friends – those levels can be done in a handful of sessions with a good group. Even though the game is much more solo-friendly now, the focus is still on getting people to group up.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – I see the logic in it, and maybe that is just where they have to go with this, but in the context of the rest of the genre it is a bit odd. But, then again, EQ has had some much stuff piled onto it in the last 23 years that it is very much its own beast.

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