On February 22nd, 2011, the creators of
EverQuest II, released the game's
seventh expansion, Destiny of Velious. In a genre that sees more flops
than wins these days, and during a time that marks a disturbing trend of major titles going free-to-play before the
dust even settles the pretty release packages, EQ2 is still going strong. Being able to claim such a feat
is more than just an accomplishment in this market, it is a full fledged badge of established
game honor that very few get to claim.
The Scars of Velious was one of the most popular expansions for the original
EverQuest so the EQ2 team had a lot to live up to when it came to delivering
these beloved zones and characters to the world of Norrath once again.
With stiff competition this gaming season and plenty of player of nostalgia to
live up to, did SOE manage to hit the mark in this veteran game? Patched,
locked, and loaded I hopped into game to see what DoV has to offer.
I think it's fairly clear right off the bat that Destiny of Velious caters to
the higher level players, and really it should. As an older game, most
that are privy to the MMOG market already know about EQ2 and perhaps have tried
it. Scraping together new players probably shouldn't be a high priority, but
keeping those loyal fans happy should be. This expansion applies to
players that are level 85+ with most of the impressive content being right at
the level 90 cap.
If you never made it to level 90, DoV is a great way to get caught up and
even better for those who are level 90 and would like to have a reason to get
back to earning those alternate advancements.
While not a particularly large expansion, DoV comes in smaller than
Sentinel's Fate, EQ2's previous expansion, in regards to overall content and
item additions, but do keep in mind that SF was also accommodating a level cap
raise which is not an issue with this latest expansion.
DoV offers two nice sized overland zones that are suitable for all players in
this level range. The Great Divide and Eastern Wastes provide plenty of
quests to do and new lands to discover. A new feature in EQ2 that you
might be familiar with from other MMOGs, are public quests. These events
give a new dimension to overland gameplay allowing single players, groups, or
raid forces to work together to accomplish various tasks within the public quest
area. In recent years, overland zones have become less utilized by the
more dedicated players as they have contained mostly just solo content.
Public quests, wondering heroic mobs, and more contested content is making a
comeback which is a welcomed change.
Of course, more variation in overland content does not mean that the
instances in DoV are lacking. This expansion boasts ten new group
instances and six raid instances. This content is vitally important to the
veteran EQ2 playerbase. Not only does end game in a good spread of new content,
but it also needs to be challenging...now and later. SOE pulls this off by
allowing for instance difficulties. Guilds can tackle new instance with a normal
challenge level, then go back later and increase its difficulty. This gives
battle-hardened raid forces a reason to get in there and get competitive and to
have a little challenging fun while they do it.
A lot of new items have been added, including armor sets and weapons. I
assure you that you will need them. However you were decked out for
Sentinel's Fate, it won't be good enough to hold up against the mobs in DoV!
There might be some complaints regarding the scary amount of damage our new
enemies can dish out, but the expansion supplies all of the tools that players
need in order to progress. EQ2 may not have added additional levels, but
you will find that you're going to need all of your AAs and a full set of
upgraded gear to feel like you are master of your domain once again.
So does Destiny of Velious provide what the players want? My early
experience in the expansion says "Yes!" The step up in challenge not only
surprised but also delighted me. New elements such as the public quests
and flying mount give players something to get excited about again, but they
also didn't skimp on old favorites, such as a new signature quest line and new
heritage quests. The level of art and sound quality that has been with EQ2
throughout most of its life, continues in this expansion and it is something
that never fails to impress me.
Where does DoV lack? While more challenge is great, just tossing in higher
damage and higher health on new mobs doesn't necessarily give EQ2 any real
staying power. As players upgrade their armor and weapons, the game will
pretty much play as it did before and the high-level playerbase will be back to
square one with many months to go before the next expansion finds its way into
game. The game needs some work done on itemization to bring in better
balance between quested, looted, crafted, and battleground armor and I would
love to see future updates add a bit more in diversity that isn't in the
All in all, Destiny of Velious is a better quality expansion than what we
have seen in recent years. I give some credit to the developers for
attempting to bring EQ2 back up to its glory days with more attention to
collaborative gameplay rather than just tossing in a silly amount of solo
content. Every type of gamestyle has been addressed while still keeping
the "multi" in "multi-player" reminding us all that EverQuest II is still a top
notch MMOG in a sea of wannabes.
Have you had a chance to check out EQ2's latest expansion? Share your
opinions on Destiny of Velious, its hits and misses, on our forums.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our EverQuest II Game Page.