In Sword of the New World (SotNW) the investigation of new and unusual lands is of paramount importance to the progression of new and veteran pioneers alike. From the gentle slopes of Ferruchio Junction to the sun-baked plains of Abertal in the north exploration brings the challenges of the New World to the feet of the player, forcing them to contend with terrible monsters, diverse quests, and a plethora of non-player characters that have lost their possessions.
However, the task of the explorer is never complete and having conquered the pristine sands of Gigante Beach, trudged through the opulent flora of Bahamar Bayou, and quenched the flames of Fire Isle, pioneers have begun to yearn for new lands to explore. With the release of Nocturnal Sonata – SotNW’s second major patch – players will soon be able to enter the twilight-soaked lands of Caebolan (pronounced SAY-boh-lan).
Caebolan was once a verdant oasis rumoured to contain the lost city of El Dorado, a holy place unmarred by the expansion of humanity into the New World. Wayward explorers were forced out of the region by enormous titans charged by the Gods to defend the sanctity of the land and its people. Today it stands as a warning against the meddling ways of humanity, a withered shadow of its former self.
The arch-wizard Montoro, SotNW’s primary antagonist, was one of the earliest settlers in the New World. His quest for knowledge and power was tantamount to avarice and soon consumed him. He sought out Caebolan and, after being driven away from its secrets by the titans, vowed to return and destroy them all. But Montoro was still young and naïve, and in his haste to defeat the titans he brought Caebolan to its knees. Statues were toppled, trees were stripped and burned, and the benevolent titans became viscous beasts. Queen Esperanza determined that no man would ever set foot in Caebolan ever again.
Caebolan introduces many new monsters to the SotNW bestiary including the forsaken titans and the myrmidons of the night that have grown up around them. Montoro’s influence on Caebolan was deleterious but nevertheless, a number of creatures have grown up around the ruins and the peculiar crystals that populate the landscape. These monsters are the undead bodies of titans and explorers that have melded with the landscape. Some appear to have been born from the very ground that supports them while the corpses of treasure hunters became one with their ill-gotten gains. They are now doomed to wander the fractured plains, eternally protective of their bounty.
The most devastating creature of them all however, makes an appearance even before the gates of Caebolan are fully open. For the first time ever, all of the major clans in Granado Espada will be forced to unite under a single banner to accomplish a common goal, for Caebolan is guarded by a ferocious Hill Giant impossible to defeat by conventional means. Initial reports state that the battle against the Hill Giant will take most of the players on the server a great deal of time to win. The clan deemed the victor of such a large-scale confrontation will surely grace the annals of history forever. It is not known why Queen Esperanza has decided to open the gates of Caebolan again but rumour and speculation is rife throughout the cities of Reboldoeux and Auch, and the Port of Coimbra. Some even believe that Her Majesty has discovered the secret of El Dorado and intends to claim it for the Vespanolan crown before Montoro returns.
Caebolan adds a total of three new maps, two unique dungeons that spiral around the interior of fallen statues and a continuation of the SotNW storyline that takes the player to fantastic locales in pursuit of Montoro. He is no push-over however, and the quests and dangers intrinsic to such a mythical place will test the player’s skills to the limit. Caebolan will attract pioneers from all areas of the New World but the secrets of El Dorado will only be revealed to those few who have reached the very highest levels. The Caebolan region forms the third part of the Nocturnal Sonata patch and is set to be released in August 2008 alongside a host of new Bazaar (premium) items. The patch has already seen the addition of two new Unique Player Characters (UPCs) – Vincent Rio, a famous musician, and Baek Ho, a skilled martial artist – and a number of new costumes giving the player more options for character development, customisation and enrichment than ever before.
The fourth part of the Nocturnal Sonata patch will be released in September and will include a new online bazaar where players can purchase premium items without the need to log into the game proper, a revamp of the popular Faction War event, and a third UPC called Calypso, SotNW’s premier crossbow user.
While the celebrations for SotNW’s one year anniversary are currently winding down, the events on offer are still plentiful. The month of August has already been decreed Veteran Appreciation month: any character that achieves Veteran status (level 100) before the end of August will receive a bonus back-costume that increases the defensive ability of one character for seven days.