It’s been quite a while since we’ve had an EverQuesting. That’s because it’s been quite a while since we’ve had much to write about EverQuest II. But it’s always good to check in on your old friends to see how they are doing, and the summer 2019 producer’s letter gives us the perfect opportunity. Producer Holly “Windstalker” Longdale shared her most recent letter on June 17th.
There has been some activity this summer on the EQII front. There are some events, some gifts, and some expansion teases. You may not want to miss some of these! Unfortunately there was also the official announcement that the anticipated fan event that was announced at the beginning of this year is being delayed.
Procure your Pride bunnies
Daybreak wants to support and celebrate every gamer, and in honor of Pride month EQII released free Pride-themed bunny familiars for all players. No, this isn’t a “just for all-access members only” giveaway; it is for every single player! That’s pretty nice. There are three bunnies in total, and you can get all three on each and every character you have (and each account you have). You just have to log in and claim them from the marketplace store before the end of the month. The bunnies are only available until July 31st, 2019. The bunnies are under the NEW category when you open the store.
One thing Longdale emphasized a few times was player leveling. This is alluding to the next expansion, which will increase the level cap by 10. Players can work on their leveling by hopping into the newly expert-level dungeons in Chaos Descending, as well as jumping into the new Chaos Descending Public Quests that started in mid-June. She also said there would be many level- up events coming (see below for the first!).
Loot-wise, Longdale also showed off a fabled item from the new level of dungeon, as well as Ethereal armor item drops. Then she teased that items from the Public Quests will be best in slot.
The year EQII does not put out an expansion is the year it will be declared dead. 2019 does not appear to be that year. Mention of the expansion goes clear back to the other producer’s letter for 2019 posted in January. We learned then that it “will take you to a whole new unexplored location of lore and legend.” The hints offered this time are that it’s a familiar place if you know big brother EverQuest. (I don’t know EQ as well, so I’d love to hear all your guesses!) We also learned that the expansion will involve another 10-level cap increase. Longdale also teased new features, which will be nice to learn about. Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later.
No event for you (this year)
One of the most disappointing parts of this letter to me was the note about the fan event being pushed off until likely next year. This was one thing I was so excited about; honestly, SOE Live was once the convention that other MMO cons tried to live up to. The event is still in the planning, and the delay is to give “fans and guilds time to prepare and plan.”
Burn it all with fire event
The final big blurb in the letter involves the Scorched Sky Celebration that is continuing until July 8th, 2019. The holiday returned with new items and a new quest. If you want to get in on this celebration, you better jump in now. You (and I) already missed the Othmir’s Oceansfull last month.
Sometimes, what is communicated happens with what is not said. What is left out and how it is all presented can speak volumes. Two instances pop out from the producer’s letter.
One letter to communicate it all
At the beginning of the year, I took a hard look at how much communication devs were putting out, especially in the form of official news. It didn’t look great in 2018, with marketplace ads outweighing substance. There were only three producer’s letters — the vehicle for the company to share plans, direction, and big news — for all of 2018. This year isn’t looking better: This summer letter is only the second for 2019. Only one other bit of news was about new content in the main game. Everything else was a holiday event, an ad, or news about the progression servers.
While it isn’t said, I feel that changing the title to cover a season is admitting that monthly or even bi-monthly producer’s letters are gone. Not put something out if there is nothing to say makes sense, but that also means that there is nothing to say. What a disappointing place for an MMORPG to be in. Fewer producer’s letters — and new posts overall — say without actually saying it that there is less content coming.
On a positive note, once we hit September, the next couple months will likely be filled with bits about the upcoming expansion, so we do have more to look forward to. That’s been the way of news for many years.
Pushing back the event at this point, with six months still left in the year, tells me that not much was ever really planned. The idea was there (and it is a great idea from a fan’s perspective!), but execution was lacking. We were supposed to hear more about it near EQ’s anniversary, remember? No news for this long was obviously bad news. Now with the confirmed delay of the fan event, there are sure to be plenty of speculation as to why. And not much of it would really be favorable.
Was the fan event pushed back because they were pouring all their efforts into creating content for EQII? This would be the best scenario, but it doesn’t feel like that. Except for GU 109’s announcement, everything else post-worthy was a returned holiday event (with a little something new), a marketplace announcement, or about a progression server. (Hopefully progression servers aren’t the only places that matter.)
Folks could be wondering if the event announcement was mainly just a play on nostalgia to have players hang on a little longer. I sincerely hope not because attending SOE Live was always a highlight, and I want so much to go to this one. I have wanted to go to a Daybreak version ever since the company formed; I’ve been asking for one since February 2015! I can also see some folks questioning if the event was pushed off because the company doesn’t expect EQII to be around long enough so the expenditure wouldn’t be worth its while. Maybe the funds to create even a tiny event is too much for it to bear. And maybe by pushing it off long enough, there won’t be a need at all because there will be no game.
Will the big fan event happen? I really hope so. Long-time and dedicated fans are what is keeping the game going. And something that brings fans and devs together strengthens that fandom.
Before you think that all there will be to summer was in the summer producer’s letter, let me direct you to the two newest announcements that weren’t included: The Summer Spectacular and TLE server news. (Hopefully getting more news is a trend that continues, but that doesn’t replace producer’s letters, which give us more a direction and sense of attention on the game and future.)
The big summer spectacular is all about bonus rewards to help folks level up, which is apparently a good thing to do before November’s expansion. Currency, XP and status are all increased, and of course subscribers get double that currency bonus. There’s also a free flaming flying carpet mount, but unlike the bunnies this is a members only deals. And of course, there are also marketplace sales.
As for for those time-locked expansion servers, Kaladim is moving on to the next expansion (Deserts of Flame) and Nagafen is prepping for its second PvP season with a number of adjustments.