You would think that the EverQuest II team might retain some institutional memory about launching straight into the teeth of World of Warcraft. But here we are, 18 years down the road and EverQuest II is launching an expansion not just in the same month as WoW, but pretty much the day after WoW is launching its latest expansion, Dragonflight.
On the other hand, the days when anybody realistically viewed these two games as being competitors in any but the most vague, genre based sense, are long gone. We had five years or so of “what if” discussions around bizarro world scenarios where EQII came out ahead in that match up. The odds were never going to favor anybody but Blizzard in that fight. SOE made a lot of mistakes, but even if they hadn’t, WoW was going to win big. I mean, they converted a lot of EQ stalwarts.
So the reality is, it doesn’t matter if EQII launches an expansion tomorrow, today, or yesterday. The overlap in customers is probably minimal. A lot of people pick their game and stick to it. So tomorrow Renewal of Ro will launch and there will be a whole new range of content available in EverQuest II.
This will be the 19th expansion for EQII, putting it well ahead of WoW on at least one front.
EQII expansions are a lot more focused than WoW expansions tend to be. They tend to be much more about a change in the scenery, story, and villains and much less about borrowed power, class revamps, and throwing the game up in the air to change things up in an attempt to keep things fresh, a strategy that has not always served Blizzard well.
So tomorrow EQII will go back to the Desert of Flames, the first expansion, to unearth some new tales and explore some additional terrain.
While on a valiant quest to help aerakyn return to their original thread of reality, adventurers find themselves going back to the brutal island of Ro, but this time on the southern half of the flaming desert. Here, with the help of a local tribe of Hizite nomads, they will make their way across the unforgiving Raj’Dur Plateaus, to explore what is left of the Elddar Empire’s cursed city, the long Buried Takish’Hiz, before finding themselves within the renewed Takish Badlands, as they are led into the treacherous Sandstone Delta by the machinations of a notorious foe. They will come face-to-face with Raj’Dur bandits, power-hungry djinn, desert madmen, cursed Elddar, Dunetooth goblins, the Mhyt-moo school of Yha-lei, the Stormfury and Swordfury cyclops clans, and the Ortallian zealots of Ro, not to mention the glorious heroes they will team up with along the way.
There is more information available on the expansion page.
The content falls into most of the usual categories. There is no adventure level increase, but the game has several parallel progression paths, so they can skip bumping the level cap.
- Rise above the rest with 5 new Ascension levels and spells.
- Epic Spell Quests – Embark on an adventure to discover and upgrade an all new powerful epic spell for your class.
- Discover new Adventure, Tradeskill, and Signature quests in the unexplored regions of the deserts of Ro.
- Conquer all new Solo, Heroic, and Raid content. Return to the flaming desert! Rediscover Takish’Hiz!
That means more of all the things for the regulars. For me, not so much this time.
I do like to go back to the game now and then, and each expansion comes with its own catch up mechanic, so it is possible for me to skip an expansion or two and still get up to speed when the mood strikes me. This time around it really doesn’t.
But Dragonflight doesn’t strike my fancy either, so I won’t be playing either in the near future.