Remember Odus from EverQuest? It was a small continent, but it packed a
punch. If you had reason to go there (apart from starting an Erudite
character), you knew you were going to be in for something challenging,
fun, and rewarding. Now, Odus comes to EverQuest 2 with the upcoming
expansion, Sentinel's Fate. We spoke with EQ2 Producer, Alan Crosby to
get the skinny on this exciting new expansion. We were able to get info
about new armor sets, raids, and how the Hole comes into play.
Ten Ton Hammer: Sentinel’s Fate takes us back to
Odus. Are we going to see old favorite zones like The Hole, and Paineel?
: Actually, both of
those that you just listed are there. We really worked hard to capture
that nostalgia; to have those things that players love. There’s also
Toxx Forest. We all loved getting lost there in the original EverQuest.
Paineel, The Hole; they’re all there.
Ten Ton Hammer: Previous EQ2
expansions have also taken us back to old zones, so we’re well familiar
with the concept. However, some zones like Karnor’s Castle were more
reminiscent of the old zones than others, having similar geography and
textures. Will players immediately recognize these zones as appearing
much the way they did in Classic EQ?
: Well, they are revamped.
For example Paineel is a city that thrived for a while after original
EverQuest and then it fell into disarray and decay, and you’ll
understand why as you get into the story line. So there are things that
are reminiscent, but it’s not the same city. The Hole, as well. You’re
going to see a lot of the same monster types, but it also has changed a
We want to have that touch of nostalgia. We want to have it so that you
recognize it as the place you once knew, but we’re not going to have it
like, as you pointed out, Karnor’s Castle, where you still get the
great trains that people enjoyed in the original EverQuest.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there actually a
hole to The Hole as there was in the original game, where you could
fall to your death from Paineel?
). No, there’s not.
Especially not if you’re a Fae or an Arasai.
But as far as is there a hole there? Well, you know, the original Hole
eventually led to the Underfoot and you may see some influence there
Ten Ton Hammer: So Underfoot does come into play then?
: I think you’ll start to
see a touch of the Underfoot and perhaps some of its influence on areas
throughout all of Odus.
Ten Ton Hammer: EQ1 is also launching
an expansion soon, which also deals with the Underfoot. Are these
expansions related, and was it planned?
: I would like to say that
it was brilliant coordination but it was mostly just fortunate
happenstance. Our expansion got moved up just to get some more live
work and things just kind of synched up.
There may have been some cross pollination of ideas because both teams
were fleshing out what they wanted to do for the next expansion. But
no, there wasn’t a coordinated effort to have them link together.
Ten Ton Hammer: The seal at the bottom
of The Hole had always been a thing of mystery in the original
EverQuest, and its lore is now being revealed through their expansion.
It doesn’t have any significance in Sentinel’s Fate?
: You may see it. EverQuest
has wanted to do Underfoot for a while. Even back when I was on that
team it was something we were talking about doing. So, I’m glad they
finally got to.
Ten Ton Hammer: Can you give us any
hints about the new Heritage Quests?
: No. (laughs
They’re being fleshed out. The design docs are being generated. We’re
just starting to nail them down, so there really isn’t much to talk
about just yet.
Ten Ton Hammer: The level cap is going
up to level 90. This means the crafting cap is going up as well?
: The crafting cap is going
up. You’ll also see that guilds will now be able to reach level 90.
We’re working on new amenities for guild halls to add to that. And new
AAs. So everything that you can possibly advance is going to advance a
bit thanks to the level cap.
Ten Ton Hammer: So, just new
amenities; no new guild halls or housing?
: Well, we are working on
new housing for Halas, and we’re talking about ideas for additional
housing and guild halls later on; but as far as this expansion goes, no
there won’t be any new guild halls.
Ten Ton Hammer: Are we going to see
new group tradeskill instances?
: Yes, you will have new
Ten Ton Hammer: Will we have new armor
: Yes. In fact our art team
is working very hard on whole kinds of assorted new armor sets.
With the new snap-on system we have, which allows us to just add
individual pieces to give armor different looks, our goal is to have
more new looks for armor than we currently have. Hopefully, if we get
everything in that we want to, you’ll see more new types and
appearances for armor than there currently are.
Some of it is all new armor, all new textures. You’re going to see the
variations, but then we’re going to be able to add, say, different
shoulder pieces, or different belts, or different snap-ons to the front
of the breastplate to give it a distinct appearance; so it doesn’t look
like just the same armor with a different color.
Ten Ton Hammer: Can you tell us anything about the
: We have a few planned –
both contested, and non-contested. Some of the early raids are going
through their testing right now. Roger Uzun, who is our raid master and
guru, is plotting those out. We’ll be pushing some of those out when we
open a beta here in the next few weeks.
There’s going to be quite an array of new raids. We’re looking at all
kinds of different mechanics to make raids interesting. We heard the
players. They didn’t necessarily like some of the console-style things
in the past, like ‘click on x object’ or ‘figure out x puzzle.’ So
we’re trying some other options.
If you tried the variable difficulty raid we introduced with GU53,
Miragul’s Planar Shard, you’re going to see a lot of that mechanic used
going forward. Most of the raids introduced in the next expansion will
have that mechanic.
If you’re not in the best uber guild with all the best gear and all of
your mythicals, you’ll probably still be able to go in and encounter
all of these raids. If you are in the uber guilds, then you can go in
and fight the tougher version and get better loot.
Ten Ton Hammer: Are the harder
versions the same bosses, just harder, or different bosses all together?
: Different bosses.
For example, you make your way into a dungeon, and this dungeon is run
by a dragon. If you are on the lesser raids, you pick that path in the
conversation, you may end up fighting that dragon’s harbinger rather
than the dragon itself. So you would get to fight their minion, take
part in the raid, get some great rewards, and the only difference
between you and one of the uber guilds is that they’re going to
actually fight the dragon. They’re going to have a much harder time,
and get greater rewards for it.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there anything else
you’d like to tell readers about Sentinel’s Fate?
: We’re really excited. We
think it’s going to be a great expansion. The team has been working
hard on it. We’ve done a lot of live updates over the last year and
have added a lot of content and now as we gear up for Sentinel’s Fate
you’re going to see that trickle off a bit as we focus fully on getting
the expansion out there. But we’re really excited about the prospects.
We have a lot of things tied into it that we haven’t announced yet. So
along with the expansion, there’s going to be a lot of live features
that we think all of our players are going to enjoy. Some very new
things for EverQuest 2; some new mechanics, some new play styles, and
it’s an exciting time.
Ten Ton Hammer: When is it going to
: We’re opening up beta
here in the next few weeks, before the Christmas holidays.