Posted Tue, Jun 15, 2010 by Savanja
The next EverQuest II expansion has all but been officially announced. With heavy hints, interesting information, and in-game tid-bits that all point to one thing, could the next expansion be anything but Velious? Rumors of a Velious expansion have been making their rounds for years but this time, it’s a little bit more than just rumors. Read up on what we know, what Velious is, and join us in a little pre-announcement speculation!
Before The Shadow Odyssey and Sentinel’s Fate, rumors had made the internet rounds that Velious was a possibility. Given that SOE has been cashing in on nostalgia and it would make perfect sense that Velious would be on the planning roster somewhere but really any favorite EQ expansion idea could be tossed out as a plausible option. At the time, no real evidence had come to light making most believe that it was all just speculation and wishful thinking.
What We Know
Meet the Coldain! One of the many races who graced the continent of Velious.
There are no secrets to be had when it comes to gaming fans and once clues are found in game, you can be certain that other clues outside of the game will be tracked down.
New Halas was a pretty big clue. This big chunk of ice floating in the Frostfang Sea seems to have an awful lot of action happening, the most telling of which is the renewal of the Coldain dwarves and their enemy the Ry’Gorrs, both creatures who were native to the Velious lands in the original EQ. Could this collection of small islands be just a sprinkling of what might be left of Velious?
Another solid clue is a player found addition to the game patch info. Here we can see the mention of “exp07” and othmirs which are a species from EQ’s Velious that we haven’t yet seen in EQ2 yet.
Probably the biggest clue, which isn’t a clue but really a sound smack over the head, is SOE’s trademarking of the name “EverQuest II Destiny of Velious”. It has traditionally been the trademark name that has given players in the past the first real tip off to SOE’s expansion plans.
What is Velious?
The original EverQuest continues to be a strong inspiration for new EQ2 content.
The Scars of Velious is the second expansion of EverQuest released in 2000. The icy realm was a favorite for many EQ enthusiasts and the expansion got excellent reviews across the internet and it continues to be heralded as “one of the best” in EQ’s history which is why EQ2 fans are all frothy that just maybe these beloved lands will resurface in Norrath.
Velious included a couple of major cities. Thurgadin is the home of the Coldain Dwarves where they have managed to mine and live off of the frigid continent. Kael Drakkal is noted for its temple of Rallos Zek and the frost giants that roam the land.
Dungeons in the original Velious were fairly impressive. Kerafyrm’s Liar (Sleeper’s Tomb) challenged players to awaken the sleeper, a crystal dragon that spawned a war between the dragon factions. The Temple of Veeshan is home to dragons, dragons, and more dragons all associated with the Claws of Veeshan.
There are 19 zones in the Scars of Velious expansion including the Plane of Growth (Tunare’s home) and the Plane of Mischief (Bristlebane) that were in addition to the continent content. With that many zones, it gives EQ2 devs plenty to launch off of for their own ideas on what they might resurrect for our Velious expansion.
My Wish List
Sentinel’s Fate is a relatively small expansion which gives me the feeling that the next expansion will be a bit more expansive. My hope is to see all the tiers covered from levels twenty and up including several overland zones done in a style similar to what we see in Frostfang Sea with zone size being more in line with the Kunark zones.
End game is important with the next expansion because I don’t see having another cap increase just yet. A wide variety of group dungeons with slightly less emphasis in instancing everything and a healthy dose of challenging raid zones should be introduced. Of course, without a cap increase there needs to be excellent itemization and good motivation to keep playing so more alternate advancements should be added and a lot of great gear, both combat and appearance, so I have a reason to hit these zones.
A big wish of mine for a while has been the updating of lower and mid level original zones. Yes, this is an expansion but why can’t we see those old favorites brought up to the same quality as the newer zones? Thundering Steppes, Nektulos Forest, Everfrost, Lavastorm, Feerrott, and Rivervale could all use a relevant to level update (none of this insertion of higher level content into lower level zone crap) to make these zones interesting again.
Loving battlegrounds? Yeah, me too and I hope to see a few more maps and games added, if not soon, then with the next expansion.
Bigger and better, bringing together the old with the new. I want it all! What do you hope to see in the next EverQuest II expansion? Chime in on the discussion on our forums and get in your predictions early.