2008 Reader's Choice Awards: Best Expansion in 2008
Today, we present our nominees for the Best Expansion in 2008 category of our 2008 Reader's Choice Awards. In order to qualify for nomination, the product must have been an expansion (and not simply billed as an update. This year, we are including both paid for and free expansions in our list of nominees.
Empyrean Age (EVE Online)
On June 10th, CCP rolled out their first of two expansions for 2008, The Empyrean Age for their sandbox-style sci-fi MMO, EVE Online. While Quantum Rise was nothing to sneeze at, we felt that Empyrean Age added the most to the overall scope of the game and was therefore worthy of our Best Expansion nominee nod.
The Empyrean Age brought factional warfare to the EVE universe, pitting NPC factions against one another and bringing players along for the ride. One of the main goals for the expansion seemed to have been to introduce players who may not have strayed into the freeform world of EVE PvP to the systems and strategies through the games story.
The new story for this expansion was so expansive that CCP also releaseda novel by writer Tony Gonzalez, detailing the expansion’s story.
Mines of Moria (Lord of the Rings Online)
On November 18th, Turbine released the very first expansion for their Lord of the Rings Online title. Aptly named The Mines of Moria, this expansion delves into the deeps of the abandoned dwarven stronghold so familiar to fans of the books or movies.
The new zone isn’t all the expansion has to offer as it brings in a number of new features including: two new classes: the Rune-Keeper and the Warden, improvements to their Player vs. Monster Player system, new monsters, the continuation of the game`s epic story, a level cap increase, and more!
The crown jewel for Turbine in this new expansion is the Legendary Weapon system that allows players to take control of an item and craft it into the ultimate weapon as it advances along with the character.
Seeds of Destruction (EverQuest)
SoE released yet another expansion for their flagship title, EverQuest on October 21st of this year. Titled, Seeds of Destruction, the paid expansion further adds to the rich history of the classic game.
The expansion introduced a number of new features into the game, a level cap increase to 85, re-imagined classic content , 20 new zones and more, but the selling point on this one for the company would seem to be the new Mercenary system where players can control certain NPCs that will scale to their level and help out in PvE fights.
Seeds of Destruction is the 15th expansion for the nine year old game and integrates a number of new and exciting features into the world of Norrath.
The Shadow Odyssey (EverQuest II)
It has been a busy year indeed for the folks at Sony Online Entertainment as they have released not one, but two award nominated expansions this year, the first for EverQuest and this one from its successor, EverQuest II.
As with any good expansion, The Shadow Odyssey introduces a number of new and interesting features to the game world, including: 20 new zones, five new Heritage Quests, a new Dungeon Delving system, 18 new dungeons and for the nostalgic in the crowd, they even threw in a couple of classic EverQuest dungeons.
The Shadow Odyssey is the fifth expansion for EverQuest II and launched on November 18th, 2008.
Wrath of the Lich King (World of Warcraft)
Blizzard once again broke records and opened electronics stores on the stroke of midnight with the November 13th launch of the second World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King.
This new release expands the WoW universe in a number of different ways, including: the addition of a new Hero class, the Death Knight, a new area to explore in the form of the frozen wastes of Northrend, new monsters, new dungeons, a new profession, new achievements, a graphical update, massive world PvP, a barber shop and more!
This second Blizzard expansion speaks volumes about the long term health of the game as it continues to grow and evolve to meet its massive market`s demands.