Daybreak has just announced that EverQuest II‘s Planes of Prophecy expansion first teased back in September is launching on Tuesday, November 28th, with preorders live now. The basic edition is $34.99, but the collector’s edition and premium edition are $89.99 and $139.99 respectively, which seems like an awful lot for an MMORPG that launched in 2004, but then again, you get a ton of stuff with those bundles, including level boosters and access to previous expansions. And content too:
“You’ll explore the perils and mysteries of the Plane of Magic, the Plane of Innovation, Solusek Ro’s Tower, and the Plane of Disease, just to name a few. […] As you cross to the planes, you’ll encounter many obstacles, not the least of which is the mechanical sentinel in the Plane of Innovation, the Manaetic Behemoth!”
In the meanwhile, MOP’s own EverQuesting columnist MJ Guthrie just pubbed a brand-new guide to the currently live Halloween festivities in the game – that ought to tide you over.
I may be disappointed with the lack of caring I feel is being shown to EverQuest II players by Daybreak/Columbus Nova, but that doesn’t mean I have stopped caring. I still do, even if I’m saddened. Thankfully, there are still EQII happy thoughts. And those happy thoughts are strong now! What better way to lift my spirits than with the festival celebrating my favorite holiday ever? Nights of the Dead has returned to Norrath, and I am going to revel in the glorious spookiness and collect all the goodies to adorn myself and my homes. I am celebrating Halloween in true Norrathian style, and you can too.
After years of growing, there’s so much to do and so much to get in this festival that it’s a good thing we have until Friday, November 3rd, at 2:59 a.m EDT to mummy-wrap everything up! With so much, where do you start? An awesome part about the Nights of the Dead event is that you don’t have to start at any one particular place; you can participate from pretty much anywhere (collecting candies), and even better, at any level (most quests scale). A reminder mail sent to everyone in-game points out where major event activities are transpiring, but it’s still easy to miss something. To help ensure you don’t miss out on any old or new content, here’s a guide to 2017’s Nights of the Dead.
When it comes to unusual ways for Massively OP readers to get around in MMORPGs, there seems to be no shortage of bizarre methods for getting from Point A to Point B. So why not an ocean creature that is known more for hanging about than keeping a dedicated commuter schedule?
“I really loved the free seahorse mount World of Warcraft gave my character when I started adventuring through the Vashj’ir undersea zone,” Mysecretid said. “You can’t use the seahorse mount anywhere but Vashj’ir, but it sure looks nice. Even the ornate bit and bridle design impressed me.”
I have to wonder if, when mounted, your character is thinking, “You know, this is just too ridiculous, even for this game. I really should say something to management.”
Her favorite holiday season is here, so Massively OP’s MJ is celebrate in one of her favorite games! EverQuest II celebrates with the Nights of the Dead festival, and it is filled with tricks and treats galore. Besides all the previous years’ worth of activities, there are new goodies for 2017! Join us live at 6:00 p.m. as MJ gives a visual tour of the newest content.
What: EverQuest II
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, October 12th, 2017
You’d think that for really old holiday events, most MMOs would just schedule and forget them. It’s kind of impressive, then, that the EverQuest II team continues to add new touches to its Halloween event even in its 12th year of operation.
Nights of the Dead is back in Norrath, running from now until November 2nd. While the event is active, players can participate in all of the classic content as well as a few fresh touches. And by “fresh” we mean “unearthed one shovelful at a time from a moldering grave of the damned.”
The new activities include digging for treats, the “Broken Mirrors” quest, a spooky book of recipes, more achievements, a frosted cupcake collection, and some store additions. Players on the Fallen Gate progression server can buy items from a special holiday vendor, while the Stormhold server should have pretty much the same Nights of the Dead as the regular shards.
Do you ever give MMOs a questioning stare and find yourself asking to no one in particular, “What is up with Daybreak these days, anyway?” The former titan of MMOs seems to have fallen both in popularity and selection.
Blogger Ancient Gaming Noob, no stranger to Daybreak himself, took a look at the state of the studio now that it’s just over 30 months from its SOE changeover. He looks at what’s been cut and what’s been kept, pondering whether the studio is moving forward or standing still.
“What differentiates a going concern from a company just riding out its end days and milking its current titles is ongoing development of new games,” he writes. “And I haven’t seen any of that from Daybreak. Moving one five-year-old title to XBox was nice, but hardly a substitute for new work.”
With time running out to finish a series of seasonal quests, some EverQuest II players were fretting that they wouldn’t be able to finish everything before the merchant Yun Zi poofed back into the aether for another year. The good news is that this is no longer a concern, as Daybreak decided to make the merchant and his nine-part quest series permanent content.
“There are many reasons for this decision, mostly due to the tithe catch up and balance issues that we wanted to fix before the Planes of Prophecy release,” the team posted. “We decided that leaving the questing content available would help alts, new, and returning players down the line, and that there is no real downside to leaving it active. We also saw a lot of players panicking because they were missing quests due to being out on summer vacations, facing natural disasters, etc, and wanted to ensure no one felt stressed that they were missing out.”
Considering that this NPC’s quests eventually pay out with a new house, a decoration pack, and gear, you can see why this might be a concern for players. The panda merchant can be found on Spire Island, where he’s now residing year-round.
On this week’s show, Tina joins the crew to talk about the momentous launch of Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire! There’s plenty more for the crew to discuss, too, with a pair of EverQuest expansion announcements, a launch of an underdog MMOARPG, and more!
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
Daybreak has quietly shifted one of the aspects of its free-to-play business model for EverQuest II. In response to a query as to when the studio would be making any previous expansions free as it has done in the past, Daybreak said that it “will not be adding anything further to the F2P lineup.” This means that free players can no longer hold out hoping that they will one day get to enjoy the newer expansions (unless, of course, they pony up for them individually).
While there is a new expansion to anticipate, this particular move doesn’t seem to be in the community’s favor. Massively OP’s MJ recently pontificated on the question of whether or not EverQuest II was in a downward spiral.
Over at EverQuest, things look a little brighter, especially if you’re a subscriber. Daybreak announced that it is handing out free Sarnak skeleton illusions to all members who log into the game between now and October 15th.
Are we witnessing the death throes of EverQuest II? Of the whole EverQuest franchise? These questions have been at the forefront of my mind lately. Today’s EverQuesting started as a guide to EQII’s expansion prelude event, but I kept coming back to these questions. (The guide will come next week!)
Yes, I know that there are folks who have cried that EQ and EQII have been dying or all-but dead for years — and Next and Online Adventures are already deceased and buried. Yet during those years we’ve still seen some life in the first two games. They have persevered!
But now, I feel like I am witnessing the franchise’s final breaths. Me, the eternal optimist; me, who subsists on hope. And I started losing that hope because Daybreak’s actions lately appear to indicate that there’s no love left for one of my all-time favorite games, EQII. Between less dev interaction, less content, less communication, and just less enthusiasm for these two titles — yet a preponderance of attention on others — it’s hard to hold onto hope. At no other time has it felt as if Daybreak was turning its back on and all but abandoning the IP that gave it life more than it does right now. The IP that still has many fervent fans. My final two straws? The lack of any exposure at PAX West and the lack of enthusiasm for this year’s expansions.
After a summer of dwelling in beginner region bliss, EverQuest II’s newest progression server is taking a step forward into expansions for the first time.
Fallen Gate, a time-locked progression shard that requires a membership to play, opens up Desert of Flames today for everyone to explore. In addition to raising the level cap to 60, the expansion opens up the Island of Ro and the city of Maj’Dul. Desert of Flames originally launched for the MMORPG back in September 2005, so it is fortuitous that this unlock happens on the expansion’s 12th anniversary.
Next up for the Fallen Gate server is the Kingdom of Sky expansion. Players on this server can run heritage quests to earn special items to share with their characters on regular servers. Back in July of this year, Massively OP’s MJ said that she was “falling for” this server and its structure.
Probably my greatest and most constant gripe about fantasy MMORPGs is that for all of the freedom and imagination that this genre supposedly boasts, game designers keep going to the same boring well of tropes and limit themselves instead of exploring possibilities.
Nowhere do you see this more than in races. Dwarves and Elves? We’ve got bushels and barrels of them, all on sale at discount prices. There are regular humans, of course, and Slightly Bigger Humans, and Half-Sized Humans, and Blue Humans. But what about getting outside of this been-there-played-that cookie cutter design to offer some interesting playable choices?
Like fairies, perhaps?
I could never understand why we don’t see fairies more in MMOs. They are widely recognized in the fantasy genre, they seem to have popularity, and they even share some cross-over with Elves. But the poor fae have been unrepresented, so much so that it took a lot of digging to come up with a mere 10 MMOs that allow you to play as one, whether it be as a race or class. Let’s take a look!
EverQuest II Producer Lauren “Mooncast” McLemore has penned the September producer’s letter for fans of the franchise. The chief announcement? The game is getting a new expansion called Planes of Prophecy:
“This year we’ll embark on exciting adventures to the planes… and more! You’ll explore the perils and mysteries of the Plane of Magic, the Plane of Innovation, Solusek Ro’s Tower, and the Plane of Disease, just to name a few. Are you ready? The planes await! As you cross to the planes, you’ll encounter many obstacles, not the least of which is the mechanical sentinel in the Plane of Innovation, the Manaetic Behemoth!”
She’s promising more news on the expansion next month, including preorder and beta details, while heralding a Kunark Ascending 50% off sale, a prelude storyline (which is live now), and in-game bonus hoopla.