While EverQuest may be an aging game at this point, SOE hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down with delivering major content updates and expansions to players. House of Thule, the seventeenth expansion to EverQuest, released in 2010 and kicked off a storyline that continued through the game’s nineteenth expansion, Rain of Fear. It concluded with yesterday’s major game update, Heart of Fear.
The meat of the Heart of Fear content is spread across three new zones and continues where the story left off in the previously released update, Shadow of Fear. While the deity Cazic-Thule may be dead, his power still lingers and this power is being sought out by monsters old and new in an attempt to replace Thule as the next god of fear.
These three labyrinthine zones visually resemble Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, with jutting crystals and sharp edges everywhere, only they’re populated with terrible creatures that are being literally birthed into the world via gestation crystals. You can actually see the creatures pulsating within the crystals as you move through the zone, which is either disgusting or amazing, depending on your point of view. Dozens of possible fear creatures may hatch from these crystals, so players will need to remain vigilant and prepare for anything.
The zones themselves are massive and players will find increasing levels of intensity and difficulty as they progress through the layers and towards the center of Cazic-Thule’s power. Heart of Fear’s content was originally designed for a single zone, but ended up split across three due to the massive amount of mobs (roughly 2,000) that had populated the area. For reference, the largest EverQuest zones feature around 700-800 mobs.
Players will also encounter familiar aspects of fear from the Plane of Fear in the update, such as Dread or Anxiety, but the team has also added a couple of new fear aspect encounters as part of a number of mini-raids included in the update. If you’re afraid of spiders or the dark – you’ll want to beware!
Class-specific weapons are also included in Heart of Fear. Each weapon comes in a number of varieties, including group and raid versions (the latter features additional particles to set them apart) and we’re told that players who have been taking part in the Rain of Fear content all the way through up to this point will have an easier time of acquiring them.
EverQuest: Heart of Fear is now available on live servers. Players who purchased the original Rain of Fear expansion last year will have the content included at no extra cost. If you manage to devour all the new content before SOE Live kicks off in a couple of weeks, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for news of EverQuest’s 20th expansion, which is set to be announced at the event.
Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB