Oct 12, 2007
We recently had the chance to see the newest expansion for EverQuest II in action, so we headed over to meet up with Sony Online Entertainment to see what we could see. You might already know that EQ II: Rise of Kunark brings many of the areas from EQ I into EQ II for the first time. It also introduces a new playable race, the Sarnak, who can breath fire and walk on the ocean floor. A couple other big changes are the regional zones and brand new epic quests chucked full of class-specific and quest-worthy loot.
Rather than having totally familiar ports of tired, old EQ I zones, the new areas have been ravaged by 500 years of change and one enormous, world-altering cataclysm. There are now huge ravines, rivers and swamps that weren't there before.
To fit all of these changes into the game, the average new zone is twice the size of the current largest zones. At first we were wary that marching through such a large area could become monotonous, but we were happy to see that Sony is implementing a new regional system into the zones. That means that there can be several types of landscape, scenery and even the weather will change as you travel through an area. All this transitioning happens with no load times after you enter the new super-sized areas.
We saw a whirlwind tour of a few of the dungeons - most of which will be familiar to players of the first game, except for Chelsith. This unique dungeon has existed in the lore of both games, but has never been a playable area before now. From what we saw, a lot of work has gone into creating it.