Kingdom of the Sky: First Look (Page 2 of 2)
Our next stop was the Palace of the Awakened. On the way we passed some giant chains that are recognizable from the Plane of Sky in Everquest. The zone is for level 66-71, and here you run into aviaks as the primary protectors of the palace, assisted by spirits, droag elites and mystical clockworks. The fountain in the cascade hall houses a nasty creature we were told, it was not there when we went through. There is a raid version of the zone for raids of two to four groups that features two dragons that apparently have issues with each other.
We were then led to The Bonemire, which is intended for levels 66-70, and it looks like it right from the start. Nightmarish creatures such as the Ravasect, Abonimations, Basilisks and Droags conspire to keep you from the many secrets and discoveries that are hidden here. The Drednever Crash Site is here, which ties into some of the changes to Solusek’s Eye that occurred with Live Update #19. The Droags, a race of dragon-men created and bred within the great laboratory of the Halls of Fate patrol these most secret and secluded of all the Dragon Isles.
Before we went any further, Blackguard thought we should take a little break and go over the much anticipated Achievement system. Each character class will have five trees of possible new abilities to choose to advance in. You gain Achievement Points by doing most of the things you usually do anyway. Exploring the world, looting rare treasure, defeating boss monsters, completing quests, even leveling will give you Achievement Points. Everything is level specific, meaning you can’t go beat up on grey con monsters or do low level quests and get AP. If it’s something you can normally gain experience for, it adds to the AP. One nice feature of AP is, it does not cap at the level cap. Once you get to maximum level, which with this expansion pack is now 70, you can gain no more Adventure experience. But you will continue to attain Achievement Points well after your level cap, so you will still be able to fine tune your character.
A character will not be able to master all five skill trees, you can specialize in one or two, or spread them out for a more versatile, but less focused, effect. A fighter may choose to specialize in certain weapons, or stats, rogues can gain cool abilities like Pick Pocket and more. I was playing a Conjurer class for the tour, among the choices I had were instantly teleporting my pet to the target when told to attack, buffing the pet to make it more powerful, or transferring my power/health to the pet. It looks like it will help to alleviate the cookie cutter character templates and give players a chance to specialize and customize their abilities to they’re play styles.
We then were transported to the Halls of Fate, a zone for levels 68-70. This is the home of the minions of Lord Vyemm, the Doomwing Legion. There is a laboratory where the weapons of dragon war are created, with possibly some secrets behind the new dragonkind to be found. The dungeons are very cool looking, and have a different feel to them from the base game and the DoF expansion. I think few will be disappointed.
Blackguard finished off the tour showing us a few NPCs that were supposed to have new armor and hats on, but didn’t show for us during the tour. That and a few zone crashes were the worst of the usual glitches to be expected in a still in progress beta. There was the mildly irritating/semi-amusing issue of one my fellow tour members who the turn agro off function didn’t work, so every new zone, he was the first and usually the only to die. The one zone we got into and he didn’t die once just didn’t seem right, and he made mention of that fact. Blackguard then made it 100% death per zone by one shotting him dead. The only other deaths registered were from me spying the huge chains holding some of the Isles together, and pondering if they were solid enough to jump onto. Numerous deaths, many laughs, and quite a few resurrects and summons ensued, and by our highly scientific method of trial and error, we determined that they were solid only when you could land on them.
It was a fun tour, taking two hours instead of the one that was scheduled. Mostly, this was due to the couple zone crashes mentioned before, and a few side trips made by some of the more fun loving individuals in our party. The expansion looks great, and there are plenty of new things that are being added to the game. EverQuest II fans, we have a lot to look forward to.
You can comment on this article here.