EQ2 Battleground Preview

It has been a busy week with everything going on in EverQuest II, both on the beta server and on the test server.

It has been a busy week with everything going on in
EverQuest II, both on the beta server and on the test server. I haven’t been
able to see all the new things that I want to see prior to the launch of
Sentinel’s Fate, but there was no way I was going to miss out on the
introduction of the Battlegrounds on the test copy server.

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Finding your way into a battleground is as easy as
hitting Alt+Z

Because Battlegrounds are not part of the Sentinel’s Fate
expansion, they were not confined to the beta server, which I really was okay
with because it seems like a feature available to everyone should be testable by
everyone.  After copying my own toon over to the test copy server, I was very
excited to get a peek at the new PvP feature!

Getting there is pretty easy. Click your EQ2 menu icon and
choose “Battlegrounds” (second menu option from the top) or press Alt + Z on
your keyboard. You can either choose to queue for the first available
battleground or you can pick which one you wish to play in. You can also choose
to queue as a single player, a group, or as a raid.

Once you are in queue, your Battleground window will
indicate this with green text at the bottom. When a game opens up, a dialog
window will pop up giving you a limited amount of time to choose to enter the
game. You zone onto a different server in order to get into the battleground
game so you will need to choose your UI profile your first time in with any new

My first run through was in the Gears of Klak’Anon game
pitting 6 players against 6 players while a struggle ensues to hold the relic.
The map is very multi-dimensional which made it tough for melee players and
quite a treat for casters.

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Gears of Klak'Anon after the bloody battle

Teams are colored in red versus blue indicated by name text
color, or gray if you’re dead, which I was…a lot. You are auto grouped with your
team and communicate through the typical /g or /gsay chat command. This is not
faction based warfare at all so if you aren’t queuing as a group, who you are
grouped with in the battle will vary wildly but there is some balance as to what
classes are grouped together. A force field will hold everyone back until the
battle begins and then it’s a rush to find the first enemy.

If you die, you’ll have to wait out a minor timer before
you respawn back at your original location. Other than the timer, there is no
down time and you can jump back into the fray immediately after popping back to

When the battle ends, a window will pop up announcing the
winning team and giving the summary of performance including kill count,
deathblows, damage and healing done and damage received. At this point you’ll be
returned to your home server exactly where you were before. If you drop out of
the battleground before it ends and before you have been returned back to your
home server, you’ll be smacked with a “truancy” which will keep you from
engaging in any battleground game play for a period of time.  This is an
unfortunate fact I learned when a game I was playing in became bugged and didn’t
release players after it ended. I closed the game out to restart and hopefully
get out of the broken battle and when my character finally dropped out, I had
sad little red text on my battlegrounds page telling me I had a penalty for
truancy. Looking at the official forums, this is a known problem that is being
actively worked on at the time of writing this.

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See how awesome you rocked, or in my case, how bad I sucked

So far I quite like the battlegrounds and there seemed to
be a lot of enthusiasm for them on the test server. They are very reminiscent of
WAR scenarios only with smaller maps which forces closer combat. No wasted time
chasing enemies down means fast paced combat and constant interaction that keeps
you on your toes the entire time you’re in the battleground.

The only real downside I can see is that bigger
battleground games are going to be difficult to rally enough players to get into
on a consistent basis outside of guilds. Most players are going to queue for the
quickest game available which inevitably will be the 6 versus 6 battles. My best
advice to SOE (once the end battle glitch is fixed) is to work on pumping out a
handful of new maps to keep things interesting for the bulk of players who will
want the quick and easy battles over the larger scale map.

These PvP battlegrounds are definitely NOT anything like
the previous arena flop. They are easy to get into and most importantly they are

Battlegrounds go live on or around February 16th
with the release of the expansion. I hope to see you all in battle then!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our EverQuest II Game Page.

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