When I first spoke about preparing for EverQuest II’s latest expansion, Kunark Ascending, I pretty much focused only on leveling. That’s because you can’t really participate in the expansion content unless you are level 100. You can still travel to and tour the zone — and die in it — if you are lower level, as I totally demonstrated on launch day, but you can’t really dig into the content. And who wants to hang out in an expansion if you can’t do anything? Well, unless you are like me. Unfortunately, if all you focus on is your level, you might still be pretty disappointed when you enter; you may not even be able to converse with any of the inhabitants to participate in the story or do quests! I found that out just trying to chat with a nice Sokakar trainer.
Beyond reaching the level cap, there’s plenty more you need to do before you can take advantage of Kunark Ascending. You may have completed many of these prerequisites already, or perhaps next to none (a very possible scenario if your current character just speed leveled like my Arasi Fury did). This guide that will help you cross everything off that checklist so you can experience all that the expansion has to offer.
As we start to come to grips with the fact that we will be turning over the calendar into 2017 in one short month, it might just be for the best. In the real world, 2016 was a rocky, unpredictable year, and even among our collective favorite hobby, it featured some highs and lows that very few saw coming.
This will go down as the year that Daybreak broke our hearts, a mobile game erupted into a global phenomenon, drama over an illegal emulator sparked multiple stories, and some of the biggest MMORPG launches came from eastern imports.
So while there might be a few more huge stories left in 2016, let’s spend some time revisiting the major headlines to get a better feel for the shape of the year that we are about to leave behind.
The EverQuest onslaught begins today with the release of EverQuest II’s 13th expansion, Kunark Ascending. Players can now return to Kunark and visit previously unexplored areas of this country while they try to keep a powerful artifact out of the hands of the Iksar army.
You can read the full patch notes for all of the jots and tittles, but the big features include brand-new dungeons, upgrades for epic weapons, mercenary equipment, the wardrobe tab, and a new region to explore.
While Kunark Ascending won’t feature a level cap increase, there is an alternate path to character growth through the ascension class system. Max level players can learn any (or all) of the four ascended classes to enjoy new skills and buffs as they temporarily assume the form of an avatar.
The expansion starts at $35 for a standard edition and goes all the way up to $140 for the premium edition. Stay tuned for MJ’s tour through the new expansion later today on OPTV!
Are you ready for the shock of the year? Here it is: There will be raids in EverQuest II: Kunark Ascending. We’ll let you have a moment to collect your thoughts. Yes, players are going to have to take part in the struggle between the gods, and you’re not going to accomplish that by just killing a few dozen rats and then hoping things work out. So get ready for raids as you take on demigods, werewolves, hobgoblins, and all the other inhabitants of the new realm known as Vaedenmoor.
Six raids await players, starting with Arcanna’se Spire and moving on to the heart of Vaedenmoor at the apex of difficulty. There are also a few hidden surprises lurking to put the new Ascension abilities to the test. Of course, you don’t just need to read about it; you can begin experiencing all of these struggles for yourself when the expansion releases on November 15th.
If there is one consistent inconsistency among MMORPG studios, it is that teams keep swinging back and forth on pursuing the expansion model. How many times have we seen an MMO go from releasing regular expansions to attempting a monthly or quarterly content update schedule… and then abandon that after a while for more expansions? It is almost as if teams keep discovering how exciting and wonderful (and even profitable) expansions can be for the first time.
Believe it or not, right now we are in the middle of a major expansion boom in the MMO genre. Already this year we have enjoyed several expansion drops, including Destiny: Rise of Iron, EVE Online: Citadel, Trove: Mantle of Power, Star Trek Online: Agents of Yesterday, and of course, World of Warcraft: Legion.
We have even more on the horizon: More than a dozen MMOs and online ARPGs have expansions in the works, with five coming out this November alone. To help you keep all of these expansion projects straight, we’ve compiled a list of them, what each contains, and a rough timeline of when players might get to enjoy them.
Believe it or not, EverQuest II: Kunark Ascending is less than a month away. The expansion might not include a level cap increase, but it will add to the game in several other ways. One of these, of course, is the inclusion of new zones, such as the Obulus Frontier.
Players will begin their journey through the Obulus Frontier on a pirate ship. The team was vague about what happens to get players off said ship, but following that will be a trek through a volcano, goblin ruins, forboding woods, and — steel yourself, mere mortal — an idyllic garden.
Read up on the zone’s highlights and check out some of its vistas below!
Last year when EverQuest II had a prelude event before the launch of its expansion, it was a two-parter. And thanks to logistics at the time, I ended up missing participating in the first half, a fact that bugged me all year. And still does honestly! I hate missing EQII events, especially one-off live events that will never return. So I was prepared and ready to go for this year’s pre-expansion event. I was excited to dive into these public quests that popped up over a variety of zones; I was going to fully participate this time around and not miss out on any of the things. Besides doing something that is new, you know it’s about collecting all the things! And I wanted All. The. Things.
It was fun… at the start. Sadly, after a short time the excitement ebbed away. Worse, it was replaced with disappointment. On the plus side it hasn’t morphed into apathy for me, and I haven’t written the entire event off yet. But many have. So what happened? This was meant to be a build up for Kunark Ascending. Was it a bad event, or was it just executed poorly? Did it perhaps just lack a special something to keep players invested and engaged? Or is it that players simply expect too much? What went wrong, and how can future events do better?
I love fall. Fall is the best season. It has the best holiday, changing leaves, and awesome weather. Fall also means that EverQuest II’s next expansion is right around the corner! Throughout the summer I was contemplating where on earth a new expansion could take us in this Norrath. We’ve discovered new landmasses and rediscovered old islands. We’ve gone to the sky, and we’ve gone underground. So what is next? I’d considered another plane of existence, like where the gods reside. It turns out we are revisiting a current zone: Kunark.
The 13th expansion is called Kunark Ascending, and it will release — as you’d expect — in November. We don’t yet have too many details; the majority of what we know is from Holly Longdale’s September Producer’s Letter and the subsequent discussion thread. However, more information is expected in October. But who wants to wait so long! We have a few tidbits to share, as well as news on a current Terrors of Thalumbra sale and prelude event as well as an impending Gear Up, Level Up event that will start prior to Kunark Ascending’s launch.