Sony Online Entertainment lifted the veil on upcoming expansions for both EverQuest and EverQuest 2 at the Sony Fan Faire, as well as teasing people with some new details about their upcoming third title in that series, EverQuest Next. Dave Georgeson executive VP in charge of all things Everquest teased the audience by saying "So, we're hard at work on EverQuest Next... but we're not going to talk much about EverQuest Next." That got a lot of groans and boos.
But, what got raucous cheers from the audience were some of the features coming in the two EQ expansion packs: EverQuest: Veil of Alaris and EverQuest 2: Age of Discovery. Read on to find out what's coming to both titles.
EverQuest: Veil of Alaris is a brand-new EQ expansion that features a completely brand-new continent. You know, because it's easy to misplace something that size, so you can see where everyone may have been overlooking it for years and years. Zing! But of course with a new continent comes new monsters, new raids, and new loot. You'll also find out who orchestrated the demice of Cazic-Thule from the last expansion. Additionally, the game will feature completely new guild halls with revamped decor (that we swear has not been influenced by Hogwart's), and a new level cap bringing the top ranks up to 95.
They're also revamping the hotbar, which fans have been asking for. The expansion will hit PCs this November.
EverQuest 2: Age of Discovery is bringing a lot of changes to the world of EQ2, including porting over a fan-favorite from the original EverQuest. Yes, the Beastlord is coming to EQ2, which seemed to make tons of people in the audience very happy. They will be doing a lot of new gameplay things with the Beastlord in the expansion, so if you're an animal lover you'll want to check it out. They're also bringing mercenaries over, providing party members that you can hire to fill out a raid, rather than having to wait for others to go dungeon delving. Also new are tradeskill apprentices, and they're adding reforging to the game (which is not a tradeskill, everyone can do it) that will allow you to find magical items and mess around with their settings and abilities.
You'll also be able to design your own dungeon, which will include a fairly robust (although not development team level) set of tools to allow users to create their own content for the game and share it with others. If you think there isn't enough EQ2 content as is, you can just make your own. Like Veil of Alaris, Age of Discovery will be available in late November 2011.
They did tease EverQuest Next with one image from the game showing the highly detailed face of one of the characters. They actually spent a lot more time talking about their new MMO game engine, Forgelight, which is being used for both PlanetSide 2 and EverQuest Next. Some of the high-level Forgelight features include:
- Massive seamless worlds (on a level you've never seen before)
- Real-time radiosity
- Advanced atmospheric scattering
- Volumetric fog
- Advanced ambient occlusion
- Complex shaders
- Advanced environmental lighting
- Real-time physics system with NVIDIA PhysX
Go ahead and admit it. Volumetric fog was the one feature you've really been wishing for in the EverQuest world. Well, I hope you're happy. With extremely scant details on EQN available, look for more news on that sometime in the coming months, if not next year. In the meantime, you can enjoy both EverQuest expansions in November.