Tag Archives: Torment of Velious

Comparing Four MMO Expansions

I originally sat down to write about pre-orders being available for the next EverQuest II expansion, Blood of Luclin.  However, aside from the addition of the Friends & Family option, it isn’t all that different from the last few times I’ve written about EQII pre-orders.  And even the new F&F bit is similar enough to the EverQuest version that I was feeling little dull.  Also, I am sick right now and going through that chart in detail was making my headache worse.  You can check out the details here, but I won’t be going through them with a fine tooth comb.  I’ll probably regret that in a year, but I’ll live.

You can buy it today

Instead I started listing out different aspects of some expansions.

We have a few expansions that have been at least announced.  Minas Morgul just went live for LOTRO, EverQuest and EverQuest II both have expansions in the offing, and at BlizzCon we heard about Shadowlands, the next WoW expansion.  In laying out some details for comparison I don’t have any real key points to highlight, but sometimes just the comparison is enough to make you think about what is going on.

How far in advance did they announce an expansion?

  • WoW – Maybe as much as a year in advance
  • LOTRO – About two months
  • EQ – About three month
  • EQII – About three month

WoW has a tradition of getting a lot of details announced at BlizzCon about nine months ahead of when an expansion will ship.  Way more details than we got for the other three just months before their planned launch.  However, EQ and EQII do yearly expansion, so a year in advance they’d still be patching the current expansion rather than the next.

LOTRO though… I guess SSG just doesn’t like to spill the beans too far ahead.

When were pre-orders available?

  • WoW – Maybe as much as a year in advance… like now for Shadowlands
  • LOTRO – About two months ahead of launch
  • EQ – About a month ahead launch
  • EQII – About a month ahead launch

With SSG and Daybreak, pre-orders seem to be offered pretty close to the official expansion announcement.  With Blizz there used to be a fair gap between the expansion being announced and pre-orders being available, but at this past BlizzCon we saw pre-orders go live coincident with the expansion announcement.

Expansion tiers and pricing

  • WoW – Base $40, Heroic $60, Epic $80
  • LOTRO – Standard $40, Collectors $80, Ultimate $130
  • EQ – Standard $35, Collectors $90, Premium $140, F&F $250
  • EQII – Standard $35, Collectors $90, Premium $140, F&F $250

The new “Friends &  Family” packages are outliers.  But even if we leave those out it does strike me as a bit odd that WoW is not the most expensive in any category save for the base expansion, and there it is tied with LOTRO.

Should the base expansion include a level booster?

  • WoW – No
  • LOTRO – No
  • EQ – No
  • EQII – Yes

I am a bit surprised that EQII is the outlier here with its level 110 boost.  LOTRO offers a level 120 booster with the two higher tier packages, as does WoWEQ though… as I noted previously, it is in a strange place.  It offers a booster with its more expansive packages, but it is still the now more than five years old level 85 boost.  This, for an expansion where the level cap is going from 110 to 115.  My “WTF Daybreak?” opinion of that remains.

Key items from upgraded packages

  • WoW – Mount, pet, cosmetics
  • LOTRO – Mount, pet, cosmetics, titles, various booster potions
  • EQ – Mount, pet, mercenary, cosmetics, house item, bag, various booster potions
  • EQII – Mount, pet, mercenary, cosmetics, cosmetic house item, teleporter to new expansion house item, various booster potions, and an trade skill insta-level boost to 110

I left out the level boost obviously, as it was covered above, and ignore the F&F packs, as they are strange new beasts.

EQII is really the standout in piling things on here, including even a level booster for trade skills, though EQII trade skills have the same level cap as adventure levels, and are earned more like adventure levels than the skill point upgrades in the other crafting systems.

WoW effectively gives you a boost into trade skills since they split trade skills up per expansion with BFA.  But you get that no matter what.

As I have said before, if I were a dedicated EQII player, I could see being very tempted by one of the more expensive packages… relative to EQ especially, which has the same price points… despite the high prices.

Anyway, I thought that comparison was mildly informative.  You can find all the order pages below.  I’d be curious as to how these four games compare to other MMORPG expansion, though I don’t keep a close enough eye on anything else to even know who still sells expansions like this anymore.

EverQuest Torment of Velious Pre-Orders Available

The upcoming Torment of Velious, the 26th EverQuest expansion, is now available for pre-order.

Coming in December

The description of the expansion, since at this point I cannot tell what is going on from the names anymore:

The lands and denizens of the continent of Velious are suffering. The icy landscape has seemingly come to life and is flowing oddly upward toward the sky. This restless ice is infecting and animating the inhabitants it touches, turning them into zombie-like beings with a strange icy infection that appears alive in its own way – moving and shifting over their bodies. What has caused this strange turn? And what could it mean? All adventurers are called upon to unravel the chilling mysteries that are the Torment of Velious.

I probably could have guessed that there was suffering in Velious.  Still, I have a little bit better idea.  As for what the expansion contains, the base description is:

  • Level Increase to 115 [from 110] – Take your character to all new heights with our new level cap!
  • 6 Expansion Zones – Uncover the mysteries in new zones on the continent of Velious. A new threat faces all and many creatures that have been familiar to Norrathians have been strangely transformed by living ice.
  • New Raids, Quests, and Missions
  • New Spells, Combat Abilities, and AAs
  • New Collections

Standard stuff for an EverQuest expansion at this point.  Some new zones to conquer, more things to play with, more things to do, plus a level cap increase, which you get with every third expansion.  Oh, and you get all previous expansions as well, another standard part of the deal.  It is formulaic, but if it works you cannot really fault the team.

What is new is that there are now FOUR ways to buy the expansion, up from the three pricing levels to which we have grown accustomed, meaning I couldn’t just re-use the same pricing graphic I stick in these posts every year.  So I give you the four pricing levels.

The four prices of Velious

Comparing the levels from cheapest to most expensive:

  • Standard – $34.99

You get the stuff listed out above… zones, raids, quests, missions… basically, the expansion.  Probably worth the price for another year of game play, especially since you’ll likely get the usual mid-year big game update with even more content.

  • Collector’s – $89.99

For an extra extra $55 you get the following items:

  • Froststone Crystal Resonator – Personal teleporter that sends you to Froststone Keep – per character
  • Contract of the Restless Ry’Gorr – A new mercenary companion – per character
  • Goblet of Adventure III – 4 hour 50% xp boost x2 – per account
  • Perfected Augmentation Distillers – Allows the movement augmentations x10 – per account
  • Velium Threaded Satchel – 40 slot 100% weight reduction bag usable on ANY server – per account
  • Torment of Velious Painting – House item – per account
  • Level 85 Heroic Character Boost – Level boost – per account
  • Velious Snow Kitten Metamorph Wand – Pet – per account
  • Restless Wolf Saddle – Mount – per account

I imaging the teleported will be useful and the new mercenary will probably be over powered… so also useful.  Pets, mounts, and house items, people love those.  The xp boost and augmentation thing, probably less so.  The bag is huge, though it will probably make the database team cringe if it lets people hoard even more stuff.

And then there is the heroic character boost.  Level 85?  Really?  I was writing about those back in mid 2014.  The level cap is jumping up to 110.  You would think that they could work out a booster that at least got you to level 100.  The EverQuest II team… which is the same team actually… has been able to increase their insta-level option over the years.  What is going on with the EQ version?

Insta-level lag aside, if I were into the game and kept current, I would probably be considering this package.  It isn’t as lavish as one might hope for $90, but it is probably enough.

  • Premium – $139.99

What to buy if you have an extra $50 bill burning a hole in your pocket.

This gets you all of the above with the following additions:

  • Froststone Crystal Echo – House or guild hall teleporter to Froststone Keep – per character
  • Perfected Augmentation Distillers – Allows the movement augmentations x20 – per account
  • Velium Threaded Satchel – 40 slot 100% weight reduction bag usable on ANY server x2 – per account
  • Shared Goblet of Adventure III – 4 hour group 50% xp boost x2 – per account
  • Tizmak Metamorph Wand – Pet – per account
  • Saddle of the Restless Griffon – Mount – per account
  • Guise of the Restless Coldain – Disguise – per account

More stuff, but is it $50 worth of more stuff?

  • Family & Friends – $249

Here we get into new territory.  The price alone might make you recoil… a lifetime subscription was available for less last winter… but there are some twists here that might blur the lines for some people.

In addition to everything in the premium package you get the following:

  • Velium Threaded Satchel – 40 slot 100% weight reduction bag usable on ANY server x3 – per account
  • Shared Goblet of Adventure III – 4 hour group 50% xp boost x4 – per account
  • TRADABLE Torment of Velious Standard Expansion Ticket – Basically a copy of the expansion you can give away (or sell I guess)
  • TRADABLE Level 85 Heroic Character Boost
  • TRADABLE Restless Wolf Saddle
  • TRADABLE Restless Griffon Saddle
  • Gnomish Legendary Bundle which includes:
    • Clockwork rhino mount
    • Gnomework illusion
    • Your choice of all three of the following [you get them all, or just one?]:
      • A full suit of gnomish appearance gear
      • A gnomish heritage teleporter
      • A gnomish heritage familiar
    • 40-slot bag
    • 2 shared 50% experience potions.

That is a lot of stuff, including a standard copy of the expansion is $35 right there.  And four 40 slot bags is enough to make the DBA start to cry I bet.

The recent producer’s letter indicates that people have been asking for something like this for a while now, with the idea that they have people they play with or multiple accounts and want to be able to hand off some of these items.

Still, $250 is a lot of cash.  You could buy the standard edition of Torment of Velious and standard editions of the next six expansions… assuming they stay the same price… for that kind of money.

But I have to give Daybreak and the Norrath team some credit for being willing to try out something new to see if people are really willing to go that far for an expansion, while at the same time keeping the base expansion price pretty reasonable, so far as it goes.

I am sure somebody is already penning a “greed” focused complaint on the forums, but nobody is making you but the big package.  I certainly wouldn’t buy it.  But if it serves the needs of enough people to be worthwhile, then let them have their thing.

We will see if the Family & Friends package is back for next year’s expansion.  That will be the test.

Anyway, if you are ready to pre-order you can find all the information here.  The expansion is expected to go live in December.

Friday Bullet Points Return to Norrath

There has been some news coming out of Daybreak since the layoffs announced last Friday.  I do not have a huge amount to say about any of them at this time, which makes them all perfect for another Friday Bullet Points post.

  • Holly Longdale on the The EverQuest Show

The EverQuest Show finally posted their previously teased interview with EverQuest and EverQuest II Executive Producer Holly Longdale.

For those not interesting in watching the 23 minute long interview, the EverQuest Show has also kindly posted a transcript on their site.

While Bhagpuss has a deeper look at the interview, things that popped out for me were:

    • EverQuest population is currently half on live servers, half on retro servers
    • Expects EverQuest to be around at least for another decade
    • The size of character database entries is a limiting factor
    • There will be another Norrath title some day

There is more in there, especially about the passion of the team, but that is what stuck in my brain and made nice bullet points.

  • Torment of Velious

The EverQuest team announced the next expansion for the game, Torment of Velious.

Coming later this year

The producer’s letter that contained the new describes some of what we can expect from the expansion including:

    • Level cap raised from 110 to 115
    • 6 new zones
    • All the usual more quests, more raids stuff

Pre-orders will go live this coming Wednesday and there will be the usual array of collector’s edition goodies.  Beta for it is coming up soon and a December launch is expected.

  • Miragul Server

Also in the above linked producer’s letter it was announced that there would be a new progression server launched on November 5th to help celebrate the rapidly approaching EverQuest II 15th anniversary.  Named Miragul after the lich of Everfrost, it will start players at level 85 in the House of Thule expansion.

  • Blood of Luclin

There was also an EverQuest II producer’s letter which also announced the next expansion for that game, Blood of Luclin.

No expansion splash screen yet.

As with the EverQuest expansion it features some of the same expected items:

    • Level cap raised from 110 to 120
    • All the usual more zone, quests, more raids stuff

Not a lot of details there.

Pre-orders for Blood of Luclin will go live on November 5 with, as expected, plenty of collector’s edition goodies for those willing to spend the extra cash.  The expansion is slated for a December launch, with a beta period coming up.

  • Rivervale Server

As with EverQuest, the EverQuest II team is also launching a special server.  The Rivervale server will have no locked content and will allow players to start a level 90 heroic equipped character if they so desire.  It basically sounds like a fresh live server that requires a subscription.  Not that it is a bad idea.  Some people like fresh servers and not everybody likes the timed content unlocks.  No word on exp rate or other details.

  • Anniversary Events

As noted, next month sees the 15th anniversary of the launch of EverQuest II.  The producer’s letter also mentioned that special anniversary events will kick off on November 7th.

As with the interview on The EverQuest Show, Bhagpuss has also has a post about what we know about the expansions, servers, and events so far.

  • EverQuest II Custom UI Outage

No all is peaches and cream in Norrath.  They grim reaper of the layoff may have passed them over, but problems still lurk.  In an effort to track down a server lag problem that has been plaguing the game, all custom UI addons, including the ubiquitous EQ2maps, will be turned off this coming Tuesday, October 22.

The outage is not permanent, but how long it lasts depends on how quickly any problem is found.  It is hoped the outage can be turned off as early as Friday, but it will remain in place as long as it is needed to debug the problem.

Details and compensation are in a forum post.

And so it goes in Norrath.  More information on most of the above will likely be arriving soon.