Posted Wed, Jun 17, 2009 by Savanja
EverQuest II’s Game Update 52 “Monument and Might” hit live servers this week and with it comes a huge amount of content and additions that have fans drooling onto their keyboards. With a longer development schedule for updates, Sony Online Entertainment has gone the extra mile this time to give players more than they could ever hope for and this update really shows what the EQ2 dev team can accomplish.
Ten Ton Hammer recently was invited to tour of the new content and we were able to snag a bit of info and some screenshots on the new zones that have now been released to live servers. Along with getting tours of the zone and being able to check out some of the new quests that will be available, we also got some great tips regarding the introduction of the next expansion!
Something is clearly going on in Kurn's Tower!
Our first stop of the tour was Kurn's Tower: Breaching the Void. This is a group instance that finally takes you inside the tower that we have all been dying see the inside of. It was well worth the wait!
EQ2 CM Christie "Kiara" Renzetti explained that the Burynai had dug the tunnel leading to the tower and had made their way in. This was made evident by the rash of Burynai corpses that littered the floor throughout the room and it was immediately clear who had done the damage!
The first area, called the The Expanse of Bone is wide open and nicely packed with mobs including a couple of named fellows. Watch your step carefully though because in addition to the nasty creatures that roam around there are also traps that will cause you a decent amount of damage if you stumble into them! Kiara notes that you’ll want to avoid the named, Jennre Warsinger, until you’ve cleared the area otherwise he’ll bring the room with him and from the looks of things, that is sound advice. We managed to end up with a silly amount of mobs on top of us once Jennre was attacked. These mobs do quite a bit of damage so even well equipped players will want to take their time! Jennre himself is a challenging encounter and from what we could see, he does a wide variety of damage, uses a power tap, and heals himself. He has a couple other tricks up his sleeve, but we won’t spoil that for you!
Ooh! Pretty colors! Yeah, don't touch it, it hurts.
After killing a rather hairy looking named wumpus (another guy you want to hold off to kill until the room is less full) we took an elevator up above through a purplish black cloud cover that could only signify that the void was here.
The mid level consisted of several chambers, each holding vile looking beasts. You’ll also notice pretty colored groups floating skulls that are decidedly less pretty when they are beating your rear (which they do quite well). Kiara tells us that the colors aren’t just for decoration and they have some sort of meaning. This tid-bit is definitely something to keep in mind when you travel into this zone.
We then moved on up to the upper level which is where you will go if you plan on tackling the X2 instance, and to complete your time in this group instance. The floor is a lovely transparent purple that makes you wonder if it is safe to step on. It is, thank goodness but you do suffer a little vertigo looking down. This level continues the trend of challenge and adds a nice finishing touch to the zone.
The “Breaching the Void” instance is clearly designed for high end players who have had the time to work on gear and combat art/spell upgrades. Players just making it towards level 80 may want to try their hand at some of the other excellent level 80+ instance before taking this one on!
Next in our tour we visited Emperor's Athenaeum. This is another group zone that continues the storyline from Kurn’s Tower. This zone is the Great Library of Charasis found in Jarsath Wastes and contains secrets that the Order of Rime wants to get their hands on.
Yes, he is just as mean as he looks.
In here you will find that the new instances don’t get any easier! Our first encounter was with the Curator who dealt damage that would easily one shot kill my level 80 monk. Working on resists will clearly be a large part of the needed strategy to get through the Athenaeum. After a long battle with the Curator, we moved on down the hall to check out the other rooms.
The NPCs here have some pretty nice gear and Kiara mentions that some of it will eventually be available to players! One can never have too many armor options, right?
The next room we visit holds the Master of the Embalmers. He looks innocent enough all by his self but when you attack him a barrage of creatures come in and swarm the group making for a very chaotic fight. I was all of the sudden wishing that I had upgraded my combat arts so I had some trusty AoEs!
The other rooms of the zone each contain other interesting mobs, named and otherwise, including a skorpikis named Sslatch and an arena full of NPCs just lookin’ for a fight (AoEs are VERY helpful in here).
Looking for challenge? You found it!
Unfortunately, we did not get a look at the Epic X2 instance as Kiara had clearly broken the zone (I kid! It was unavailable at the time), but we did get some other good info!
First, the Rise of Kunark overland zones are going to have a whole lot of new quests, many adding to the lore of the new zones, as well as the addition of new factions to consider.
Next we learned that the new zones will have new collection quests with the gathering of the shinies within the zones. These collection quests will lead to further collections and will be the typical tradable collection items.
We also learned that special books will be added in game that will reveal the lore to the next expansion. Players who find these books in game will get to see the lore before it is published on EQ2 Players! Clues will be given to players so that they may hunt down the books and the first books will be added around the week of Fan Faire so be sure to keep an eye out for when the books are added!
Along with all this new content, Research Assistants will be added in game with GU52. While on test I stopped by and talked with a Research Assistant in Graystone Yard and he was quit helpful. You can clearly see which spells or combat arts you can upgrade and how long it will take as well as view which spell you are currently upgrading. The only cost for this service is time! There are some limits to what you can upgrade, impacted by the quality of the spell that you already have. For example, you cannot directly upgrade from an Apprentice 1 to a Master quality.
All in all this update goes far beyond what SOE has done with past updates. If this GU is received well, we can expect similar quality updates again in the future which is very good news for the players that continue to support EverQuest II! Get in game, check it out and have fun!
Ten Ton Hammer wants to thank SOE and EQ2 Community Manager Kiara for having us along on the tour!