The Kingdom Awaits!
Queen Savanja Addresses Her Loyal Subjects.
It's expansion time again! Last week, Blackguard posted the official SOE announcement for the Kingdom of Sky expansion, due out Feb. 21.
KoS brings us lots of new goodies; quests, zones, armor, rewards, etc. For those that are already in the upper levels, having new places to explore, and fun new things to do, is very exciting. One of the worst things about MMO's is getting burned out on content too quickly, and keeping expansions coming regularly is always a welcomed move, however, is it a little too soon?
Oh Noes! Don't Nerf My 1337!!
I'm personally just seeing the light of level 60. I'm having so much fun exploring the first EQ2 expansion, Desert of Flames, and easing my way through all that the newest zones have to offer. I'm slowly upgrading my gear and combat arts, and just feeling like I can slow down and enjoy high end content. I'm dragging my feet a bit on the idea that, in less than 7 weeks, I'll have another 10 levels ahead of me to go through, and new gear to spring for. Why are they wanting to take away my uberness???
A concern with the previous expansion, was that upon release of DoF, hard earned, high-end gear became nearly obsolete with the newest crafted and looted items being so much better than current level 50 items. This posed a serious issue with players who work very hard at keeping gear updated, and the crafters who make that gear. This is something that Moorgard, one of the resident game designers, addressed in a recent post, saying; "It's a balancing act that we didn't handle as well as we should have the first time around, but we've done a lot of planning and behind-the-scenes implementation to do better this time. I think you'll see that pay off going forward."
Okay. So lesson learned there on the DoF expansion. See? Developers can admit some things could be done better. They aren't *all* ego. <grin>
Grind, err, I mean.. Advance to Level 70!
Did we really need another 10 levels this early on in the game? Personally, I don't think so. I like the idea of AA's (alternative advancements) over more levels. Customizing my Monk to suit my needs and the needs of those that I group with, and working towards becoming a more unique character, is very appealing. Grinding out another 10 levels so quickly after finally (yeah, I'm a slacker, so?) reaching the level cap with DoF, not so much. It's so important that if we are adding that many more levels, that the content be compelling enough to hold interest. Going from 60 to 70 is going to be a long haul, and boredom will happen quickly if there isn't TONS to do in KoS. I have some doubts as to whether or not the dev team can pull this off neatly.
Woot! PvP is Finally on the Horizon!
Not technically part of the expansion, but arriving at the same time, is the much anticipated (and highly debated) full scale PvP! Back in the early days, pre-release, we had a myriad of forum posts on the utter disgust of lack of PvP in EQ2. This was in fact, a make or break deal for a lot of gamers. A good portion of current popular MMO's utilize this feature and SOE held the stance of "No PvP in the foreseeable future" for quite a long time, much to the dismay of the playerbase. But as most of us seasoned MMO gamers thought, they came around and are adding full scale PvP servers. I'm happy that they did! I think this much desired added feature will bring back a lot of players that were bored with PvE, and wanted that little extra bit of spice in their gaming experience. And since I have no interest whatsoever in participating in PvP, the idea of dedicated servers for this purpose, suits me just fine.
Character Progression at it's Finest.
We are getting a new achievement system, which just tickles me. As I mentioned above, being able to further advance my character in ways that go beyond adding another level, is just plain cool.
Moorgard states; "Achievements are designed to be a meaningful addition to your character and provide a lot of useful abilities. You'll want them, and they aren't fluff. What we've tried to stay away from is making some abilities so clearly class-defining that they become the things you have to obtain, although it's inevitable that perception will value some choices over others. But hopefully you'll find compelling reasons to make a variety of choices.
Emphasis on the word "choices.""
And we like choices!!! One of my biggest complaints from release has been the lack of variety in the classes. All Monks are the same. And quite honestly, I don't wanna be like everyone else.
I am Savanja! I am unique! <cough> Okay, well, in the least, I'd like for my characters to be a little more unique. And I see the achievement system as being a
big step in the right direction.
Look! Up in the Sky! It's a.... Huge Freakin' Bird!!!!
Having played Eq1, I am a huge fan of (and by fan, I mean slaughtered hundreds for my own amusement) the Aviaks, who are making their return to Norrath in KoS. The graphic changes to their appearance is amazing! They look to be bigger, badder, and more flight capable than they were before, and Game Designer Jindrack shared, "There is also a lore reason why the Aviaks have full wings now and can fly as opposed to their glider wings from EQLive. The Ogres weren't the only ones to benefit directly from the gods prolonged absence from Norrath."
Oooh. This means smarter and tougher birdies to slaughter. /drool
Information on this new and exciting expansion have been trickling in slowly. The devs are being quiet on it, seemingly wanting to keep us all in suspense. I'd personally love to hear more about signature quests, and see some more screenshots of the new zones, mobs, and items. Rest assured that we will be hounding the dev team mercilessly for those!
Keep checking back here at the TenTonHammer for updates and news on Kingdom of Sky, and other Everquest II related info!
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