Next week, EverQuest II is opening up Fallen Gate, a new “time-locked expansion server” that’s going to function a little bit differently than other progression servers have in the game’s history. Essentially, it’s going to unlock new expansions every 12 weeks and allow players to complete heritage quests to earn rewards for all of their characters across all of the game’s servers.
If you’re curious about the finer details of this new server and are weighing your decision whether to roll a character or not, you’re probably going to want to read the FAQ that the team put out yesterday that clears things up.
The team did mention that combat encounters are going to be a bit tougher on this server. “While items drops are not the same as they were in the early days of EverQuest II, both items and encounter power have been adjusted to approximate the play experience of launch. So while items have more stats, such as DPS, potency, or critical bonus, the encounters have been tuned to expect those stats, so the fight balance should be relatively the same.”
EverQuest II’s Proving Grounds proved to be pretty difficult (as well as littered with bugs!). Even finding a full group was pretty challenging! With the newest Proving Ground, however, Massively OP’s MJ won’t have to worry about that last bit; the Underdepths is a solo experience that also negates class and gear disparities by transforming the player into a powerful avatar. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. as MJ takes on this challenge for the first time.
What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017
EverQuest II is no stranger to Daybreak’s penchant for creating and operating progression servers. But after all of these years, is there a way that such a server can be made in a way that feels fresh and interesting? The team thinks so.
Coming on Tuesday, June 27th, the Fallen Gate progression server is slated to open up to the public and offer players additional incentive to roll up a character. “This will be a time-locked expansion server where expansions unlock automatically. In addition, Fallen Gate will have a new twist on heritage quests. Completing a heritage quest on this server will not only provide the quest reward — but an additional reward on EVERY server you play on,” Daybreak explained.
All races and classes will be available on Fallen Gate, and the server’s expansions will unlock at a steady rate of every 12 weeks. It does require a membership to join in the fun, so free players are not welcome to participate.
As Ashes of Creation takes aim at the $3M line for its Kickstarter campaign, Intrepid Studios announced that it has made several significant hires to its development team, some of which come from the Daybreak fold.
The hires include Lead Economic Designer Rocco Scandizzo (Psyop Games), Lead Programmer Kevin McPherson (EverQuest, PlanetSide, Vanguard, and Shadowbane), Lead Technical Designer Akil Hooper (EverQuest II, Fallout: New Vegas), Senior Character Artist Mat Broome (H1Z1, DCUO, PlanetSide 2, EverQuest), and Alex Khudoliy (Amazon).
Another interesting announcement is that Intrepid is partnering with Panopticon Labs to develop fraud detection and prevention tools for the game to make it as secure as possible.
Ashes of Creation devs will be on hand this evening at 6:00 p.m. EDT for a final Kickstarter livestream. The team also posted a brief video showing some of the winter effects in the different game environments, which you can watch below.
I’ve been playing a lot of Ultima Online the past few weeks, but so many times I’ll be doing something that is objectively tedious (like taming or shuttling boxes of junk loot to the community trash box to turn in for points) and realize it and think to myself there is no freakin’ way that anyone who started playing MMOs in the last decade would put up with some of the quirks and conventions of the game. That’s no judgment on gamers, just the realization that it’s probably way too late to get into now if you’ve grown up under altogether different game design systems.
It’s not the only MMO I feel that way about; I’ve often felt that EverQuest II was too opaque and convoluted to return to, and oddly enough World of Warcraft has felt that way to me since Draenor.
Are there any MMOs you think are just too late to start playing?
Last week, a guildie of mine mentioned that he’d been interested in Crowfall until he realized he couldn’t be a gerbil (Guineacean) of the class of his choosing. It was a total coincidence that the Crowfall devs had literally that same week announced they were nuking their race/class-locked archetype system and disentangling races and classes, so I got to tell him his wish had been granted.
I think this pushes the game more solidly into MMORPG territory, so I’m happy to see it: More customization and choice and variety is what I’m all about. But I was going to play it before, too. For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I’m presenting the idea of locked vs. unlocked archetypes to our staff to mull over. How important is it to you to be able to play any race/class combo in a game? Is it something you see as critical to MMORPGs? Is archetype-locking more the domain of MOBAs and ARPGs? When do you let it slide to play a fun game?
EverQuest II recently introduced a new feature with the release of GU103 back on May 10th called the Proving Grounds. That place is no joke. I can assure you that it is pretty aptly named; this little instance is all about showing you and your group what you are made of.
When this feature was first announced, I was pretty excited. Who doesn’t like new content, especially something with replayability? It sounded fun. Initially I had thought (hoped?) that the new Proving Grounds content would be a feature enjoyable by the majority of the population. What I learned — quite quickly — was that my hopes and reality were two very different things. And I learned that the hard way. Hard as in double-digit-death-counter hard. Instead of sinking my teeth into this content, it sunk its teeth into me! Now that’s not necessarily a problem. I enjoy a challenge, and I do so look forward to conquering this one and exacting some revenge. However, I just wish my first experiences with the Proving Grounds didn’t come with more disappointment and frustration than fun because I do think it’s a good idea filled with promise. Read more
Last week Daybreak pulled a switcheroo (or more accurately, didn’t switch!), keeping the Felwith map in EQII’s new Proving Grounds instead of changing. But Massively OP’s MJ wanted pirates, and she still wants pirates. Today, she gets pirates! She’s heading back in to the sure-to-be punishing instance to show off the second map in this new feature. How far will her group get this time? Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. for a look at the Battle on the High Seas.
What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017
If you haven’t hopped back into EverQuest II since the launch of The Menagerie update earlier this month, you might want to do it today: Today is the very last day to redeem a free level 100 character boost for an existing or brand-new toon. All accounts that existed before April 20th can log in and grab the boost (and its concomitant 320 AAs and properly leveled gear) for nothing; accounts newer than that will need to sub first. The promo runs out at 3 a.m. EDT tomorrow morning (midnight tonight PDT).
MOP’s Stream Team recently hopped back into the game to check out the newly introduced Proving Grounds; you can see that below!
We’re sorry to report this evening the passing of an MMORPG genre veteran, John Tessin, who worked for SOE for 13 years, most extensively on EverQuest II.
John’s daughter told friends and family that he’d been suffering from cancer but that his death was nevertheless sudden. She asked for a small donation through GoFundMe to handle burial expenses not being covered by veteran’s benefits; as I write this, that fundraiser has already exceeded its ask thanks to the generosity of developers and gamers.
Big hugs go out to John’s family and colleagues from all of us at MOP.
EverQuest II just opened up a new type of content to players: the Proving Grounds. Each week for two weeks there’s a new competition where two teams race to complete a challenge first. Massively OP’s MJ went in to the first challenge last night with friends, and it was quite the eye-opening experience. Today the group is going to try the new pirate-themed version that just opened. There will likely be much feeding of the Death Counter! Join us live at 9:00 p.m. for a peek into this new feature.
What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
Kind of a weird and fascinating week for MMOs, as an expansion has a legal showdown with a charity, a western MMO is announced, and Vvardenfell decided to come to us two weeks early. Is the industry shaping up for the most explosive June on record? It might just be!
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If you’ve wanted to get back into EverQuest II but felt overwhelmed by how far behind the curve you’d be, it’s your lucky fortnight! Now you can be totally overwhelmed by all the max-level skills instead! With yesterday’s launch of GU103 The Menagerie, Daybreak is offering all players free boosts to level 100. And this gift isn’t just for All-access members: From now until May 23rd at 2:59 a.m. EDT, anyone with an account created before April 20th, 2017, can log in and claim a free bauble that will grant 100 levels, 320 AAs, and a set of ready-to-wear gear. Brand-new accounts can also get the bauble if they subscribe. That boost will definitely come in handy if you want to participate in the new update as well as the latest expansion!
EQII’s GU103 update offers new quests (the Kunark Ascending epilogue quest and a new heritage quest), introduces familiars (unique pets that bestow powerful buffs), and opens up the first cooperative competition zones (accessed via the multi-server battlegrounds server). Called Proving Grounds, these first limited-time experiences are Race to Completion challenges, pitting two groups against each other to see who finishes first. First up is Battle for Felwithe, running until May 16th. The second, Battle Upon the High Seas, will then go from May 16th through the 23rd.