Updated Fri, Jan 02, 2009 by Savanja
There has been much discussion around the EverQuest II community regarding the Epic Weapon Quests that were originally boasted as being a feature of the Rise of Kunark expansion. As RoK launches, many have asked why we haven't seen much of these, and of course, there have been rumors that they were either being kept under wraps or wouldn't be included in RoK at all. Ten Ton Hammer managed to snag a moment with the painfully busy EQ2 Producer, Scott Hartsman to discuss the quests and to find out once and for all what is REALLY happening with the Epic Weapon Quests in Kunark.
The addition of Epic Weapons has been heralded throughout the community since their mention with the early Rise of Kunark announcements, but we really haven’t heard that much about them. For those that are unfamiliar with the epic weapon quests, can you tell us what is an Epic Weapon and why do we want it?
“Epic weapon quests were historically one of the most popular features of the original EverQuest: Ruins of Kunark. It was a series of quests that took you on an epic journey through raid content, group content, and sometimes solo content. You would end up with, at the end of the day, the end-all, be-all weapon for your class. So in EQ2 since we were doing our Kunark, there were a number of us on the team who wanted to have a similar per class ability to achieve something. “
Casual players, myself included, really weren't’t able to do all that was needed to obtain a prismatic weapon during the earlier EQ2 days and we’ve heard that casual players won’t get shut out of this one. Can you explain how this is?
“The way the epics work is you have this quest series and story that is dedicated to your one class. You can do some solo and group content and be granted an awesome legendary weapon. Then later on, if you’re a raider, you can progress through raid content and get your epic fabled version of your epic weapon. It takes the concept of epics and extends it out to a whole lot more people than were originally able to enjoy that stuff in the original EQ.”
Can we expect to see some parts of these quests that will be soloable?
“Some of the quests are definitely soloable. The entire lines themselves are not supposed to be. The idea is to get people to group up and to want to advance on them together. The nice thing about having quests available for all the classes, then having some overlapping goals, is that you’re going to see a lot of people who are willing to go do part of a quest together”
One of the most exciting features of the Epic Weapons is that each class with have one specific to them. Will the weapons have stats tailored to the ability needs of each class?
“Yes. Another advantage we have of doing 24 times the work of a normal weapon quest is that we absolutely do get to make the epic rewards very suitable for a given class and a given role. “
It’s been rumored that the epic weapon quests are no longer going to be a part of the Rise of Kunark expansion, is this true?
“With the fires we had here in San Diego we had our office shut down and we had a lot of folks displaced for a little while. When we came back we evaluated where we were with all the epics and where everything was sitting with the rest of the expansion. The decision we had to make was, what happens if we get this all out at the same time and do we have any alternatives? “
“What we were faced with was a bug count in which nothing had been touched in a week. When we are in our bug fix mode, the team is capable of fixing anywhere between 13 to 17 hundred bugs in a week, so losing a week is a big thing. At the end of the day it came down to well, we obviously need to focus on the overall launch of our expansion first. Epic weapons are something that yes, we’ve got a number of them in the bag, but the choice we had to make was, do we launch a game with 1500 bugs and epics that are 75% awesome and 25% less than awesome, or do we launch a game that’s going to be as clean as we can make it and then push the epics out on an update? “
“So what it looks like right now is our updates are going to be launching just after the holiday season. We are very intentionally not wanting to rush them out the door at the expense of the quality of the both the epics and the expansion launch. “________________________________________________________________________
While it's a disappointment that we won't be seeing the Epic Weapon Quests for a couple of more months, I think a lot of us can agree that completely done is better than almost done!
Thanks so much to Scott Hartsman for taking the time to talk with Ten Ton Hammer. We wish the EQ2 team the best with the Rise of Kunark launch!