It’s happening in less than two months: EverQuest II’s 12th expansion is releasing on Tuesday, November 17th. The dev team announced the date and title during a special reveal livestream, treating viewers to tours of the area and sneak peeks of items, and systems, races, and signature story line characters. Called Terrors of Thalumbra, this addition to Norrath adds a whole new area to Norrath for players to explore filled with new dungeons, new collections, and new gear and items. What there isn’t any of is new levels; the expansion does not increase the level cap. However, a lack of levels does not mean there aren’t new recipe books with items for crafters to ply their trade with. Thalumbra-themed building elements (they are fancier than the standard building blocks) and furniture are part of the new offerings available to make.
For players excited to move into a whole new land to explore, the news that the expansion’s standard edition is priced cheaper than usual compared to previous one will be a pleasant surprise. On the other hand, those who want to collect all the special goodies involved in collectors editions might experience a bit of sticker shock. The standard edition is $34.99 and the collectors is $89.99. This time around, Daybreak is also including a third tier, dubbed the premium edition. This one, retailing for $139.99 adds even more trinkets and doodads to the pot for those who really must have it all. Here’s a quick look at what is included if you nab yourself a copy of ToT.
I’ll be honest, when I had concerns about what pricing would be like, I didn’t envision this. I am still not quite sure what I think about it. On the one hand, getting just the plain expansion without any extras for less is definitely a plus! For people who want to get in and experience the content, this is awesome. But for those who like getting all the special, limited items might be grimacing as they crack their wallets open much wider. If you think about it, it’s pretty much like just buying some exclusive items from the cash shop (and there really are a number of them in both tiers!), so if you like getting extra items you are essentially just paying for them in one fell swoop. I am not yet convinced about the value cash-to-item- wise, but that’s an individual decision for players to make. As one who enjoys many of the little extras, I am looking a bit longingly at those higher tiers, all while knowing there’s no way I have it budgeted.
How many goodies will your extra dollars get? If you preorder you will even get a gift with the standard edition. This Altar of the Ancients is a per-character housing item that becomes available to the player in game as soon as the purchase is made. It immediately offers a daily stacking buff to adventure, crafting, and alternate advancement XP, and once the expansion releases it will also include tithe, the new deity system XP.
The collector’s edition adds six more per-character items including a painting, special themed block recipes, a Thalumbra teleporter for your house, a flying serpent mount, a prestigue house, and a new elite mercenary. A special 88-slot backpack with a goblin peeking out of it and a Burbur baby dragon plushie are claimable only once per account. The rock house that rises out of the sea pays homage to the Thalumbra Dwarves that player will be interacting with. However, perhaps the shape wasn’t quite the best choice? The chat room certainly had a few things to say about it!
The premium edition bumps the item count up by three more: a fancier cavedrifter serpent mount that can be upgraded by completing content (for every character), and two special bundles (can only be claimed once per account), one for upgrading Thalumbra equipment and the other for altering weapon speed or damage type.
If you want a visual of these items, the official expansion page actually has video clips showing everything off — just hover over the item and click. All three tiers include access to ToT’s beta. As with previous expansion, purchase of ToT will give players access to all previous expansion content (except the new races and classes), this time bundling Altar of Malice and the Rum Cellar campaign. And those who opt out of the higher tiers will be glad to know that players can obtain one version of the cavedrifter mount through the signature quest line.
Enough about the extras — what about the content? There’s definitely a chunk of that coming too. The story is brand new, as is the area players will adventure in. Remember those elementals popping into Norrath during the prelude event? Players will travel to the place that they come from thanks to a portal developed by the mages and tinkerers. As it turns out, instead of a new continent or island, players will be delving deep down into the depths of the world. The signature line will be exploring the threats facing the Gnomish and Dwarven races (Neblin and Dulgar, respectively) that player encounter down in Thalumbra and in its main city of Maldura — threats which come form both within and without!
As for the rest of the area, players are free to explore as they wish. Devs noted that with no level increase, there is no need to be directed to the next spot, so this underland zone (instead of “overland” as the new open areas are usually called) is not on rails.
What else? There are new character models, seen in both mobs and NPCs. Even the new elite merc is a Glaufae, a very ancient race that looks a bit like a mix of a Fae/Arasai and a Bixie. One dev noted that this expansion has more new character models than any before it. And apparently at least one dev had a great time animating tentacles! The environment also has new looks; the city of Maldura is a beautiful combination of Dwarven architecture and the Gnomish tinkering. Devs also expressed that the new zone feels like a number of different zones in one because of the different styles. From what we’ve seen so far, I think my favorite look ss the bright glowing fungus farm!
This being and EverQuest game, you know there have to be more quests involved! Between signature, tradeskill, and local missions, there are over 80 additional quests. Crafters can celebrate the return of a tradeskill signature line! Prepare to go undercover for Captain Ethan to find out the mystery of the big hammer that hangs in the Cathedral of the Underfoot in Kelethin. Helping the Thalumbra natives will net a crafter new recipes and even unlock new crafting tables with more of a tinkerer look. Those who complete the tradeskill signature line will get a relic that will grant adventurer level 100 players some special abilities.
Of course, dungeons are also in the mix. There will be six advanced solo dungeons and 13 heroic ones (of which six are event heroics) as well as one large contested dungeon for level 100s to enjoy. Raiders will see three four-group zones and one two-group zone, each filled with many bosses. If you haven’t made it to max level yet, you can still enjoy some of the new dungeons! Five dungeons are level agnostic, meaning players level 20-95 can use the Dungeon Finder tool to hop in and enjoy the experience.
Is an expansion really an expansion without a new system? Well, ToT isn’t at least! And one new system coming in November is called the infusion system. It is a way of upgrading your gear by adding buffs to your current item without removing or reforging anything. In its current iteration, infusing can be done with coin or with a special infuser (which can be crafted or looted). Each method exists independently, so players can use both methods to increase their item’s base stats. Additionally, the long-awaited revamp to the Deity system is also finally on its way. It is now more like the AA system in that players will be continuing and advancing along its path gaining new abilities as they go. This new system also does not replace the old deity system; the two work in harmony with each other. Unlike the old, the new system does not require players to do the deity quest line. Instead, they will earn tithe XP that can be spent on active and passive abilities. Add to this the relic system (think a single super item you can equip and swap out), and you’ve got a few new ways to beef up your character!
And last but certainly not least, there are new collections! Of course shinies are an integral part of EQII, and Terrors of Thalumbra adds more than 50 new collection quests. There’s even a new kind of shiny in the advanced solo zones that you will only see if you are both level 100 adventurer and a level 100 crafter! Completing this collection will net players a best-in-slot item for adventuring.