If there is one thing that can be said of Sony Online Entertainment, it’s this: They are the Energizer Bunny of the MMO development world. They just keep going and going on a pair of our favorite titles. Two of the genre’s oldest and most venerated games, EverQuest and EverQuest 2, are still being updated and those updates aren’t just token efforts either.
Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to check out the latest EverQuest 2 content expansion, Update 66: Scars of the Awakened. Scars is an ambitious update that will come to all EverQuest 2 players for free. We were given a grand tour by Producer Holly Longdale and Creative Director Akil Hooper.
Scars of the Awakened will allow EQ2 players to discover well-known races and creatures from EverQuest, reimagined for the newer game. In Scars, the Velious storyline continues as the New Combine Army makes its way into the Cobalt Scar. The beginning area, Scar Stone, is the staging ground for the army and is packed with quests and lore that will move players smoothly through the new zone and the content. One fabulous touch is the inclusion of formidable ballistae that allow players to shoot dragons out of the air. How cool is that?
As mentioned earlier, EverQuest players will feel quite comfortable in Scars thanks to the familiar presence of such notables as Osh the Speaker and will find familiar, if altered, versions of known races. A prime example we saw featured a beach full of undead Othmir. These ragged creatures are gorging on the desiccated remains of dragon bones
From the Scar Stone area, we moved onto the Siren’s Grotto dungeon area. The first half of the dungeon is lush and is inhabited by Dark Water Sisters. At first, it’s a pleasant experience that devolves quickly in the second half of the Grotto which is packed with new monsters.
As players venture further into the dungeon, they will come upon Tavalon Abyss and the final boss. One really cool thing that devs have added is some wicked sounding voice over cutscenes to key points in the lore to further immerse players in the story.
In fact, Scars of the Awakened is a passionate effort on behalf of the art team to support a great storyline with great art. From what we saw, they have done admirably well in this regard.
Also, there will be some incoming class changes, but not of the balancing sort. The team asked players for feedback about things that were “not fun” and made improvements in quality of life for EQ2’s classes.
Finally, Tradeskill Quests, Tradeskill Apprentice recipes and daily tasks have been added as well as new PvP rewards.
All in all, EverQuest 2: Scars of the Awakened is a robust and free update to the game that will bring a lot of new content to the table for players in the level 93-95 range. Scars is now live on EverQuest 2 servers to be sure to head into the game to check out all the new goodies!
Have you played Update 66? If so, what do you think? Let us know in the comments!
Suzie Ford is the Associate Editor and News Manager at MMORPG.com. You can follow her on Twitter @MMORPGMom.