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Fallen Dynasty First Look

EverQuest II Progress Reports - By Carolyn Koh on June 16, 2006

Fallen Dynasty First Look
Carolyn Koh took a hard look at this Adventure Pack just before launch

The Fallen Dynasty is the 3rd Adventure Pack offered by EverQuest2 and as the others before it, advances an aspect of the Lore of Norrath. An Adventure Pack provides players with additional content a low price. This particular Adventure Pack provides more than just additional content as it raises the level cap of players who did not purchase either of the first two expansions, Desert of Flame or Kingdom of Sky, to level 55.

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A large group of media representatives from various fan sites were given a tour on Friday, June 9th. I went along and had a refresher of the areas shown at E3 in May. It was still a fun experience given a different tour guide. Ryan “Blackguard” Shwayder, Community Manager, and Joel “Raijinn” Sasaki, Community Relations Rep. did a stellar job considering the lack of immunity flags, trains and multiple deaths – both theirs as well as tour participants.

Without further ado, here’s the Fallen Dynasty: A long lost land has been discovered in Norrath, the last bastion of the Whistling Fist Clan in the Village of Shin. Holding out against invasions by the Pirates of Gunthak and mysterious undead forces corrupting the wildlife, these people live an otherwise peaceful life and are artisans, relying on merchant trade for their livelihood. You, young adventurer can negotiate better relations with the various families and learn their secrets. Perhaps you will also unravel the mysteries of that tower in the middle of the Village. The one that you are not allowed to enter when you first arrive.

Drawing on their familiar theme of factions and quests, EverQuest2 has crafted a new “mini-world” in the Fallen Dynasty, providing a new “first” – that of a large outdoor zone in an Adventure Pack, and a lovely world it is. In collaboration with their Taiwanese studio, players are immersed in land rich with Chinese architecture and will see pagodas and traditional Chinese houses around courtyards rising above tiered rice-fields.

To add to the immersion, children run around chasing butterflies and players may bet on a pig race by buying tickets from the barker. Perhaps as your faction improves with the village, the tickets will become cheaper and the purse larger, but a 3 to 1 return if your bet on the right pig isn’t bad, all said and done.

There are seven zones in all: Two outdoor zones, the end zone, Nizara, City of the Nayad where the Snakewomen are… some instances and other quest areas. Adventurers will land in the Village of Shin, and move first to the Mystic Lake, where the taint of corruption is first seen. A rickety bridge pathway that leads to progressively nastier areas is a hazard in of itself as unwary players can fall through the holes made by missing planks.

Note that if you revive in the Mystic Lake, you revive under water. Here’s a tip for you guys: Zone into the Forsaken City. Figure out how to fight your way out after you re-buff. There’s been some feedback to the Devs about this, so perhaps it will be changed. Then again… perhaps not... as this Adventure Pack is tuned for players 55 through 70 and boasts some of the toughest and most challenging encounters in the game.

Since I did not see anything new, Blackguard was good enough to find out the answers to a few questions for me. I asked about the lore and progression in the Fallen Dynasty.

    Sylvene: The Fallen Dynasty leads the lore to the Echoes of Faydwer. Will the event be a one time event or part of a progression path that is repeatable - if indeed it is a progression path?

    Blackguard: The quest lines in The Fallen Dynasty give a lot of lore that leads directly into Echoes of Faydwer (the expansion scheduled to release at the end of the year), the quests can be completed more than once by all players so that they may uncover the secrets for themselves. Making one shot event content is not in our best interest. Once you 'unlock' the event you may do it as many times as desired.

    Sylvene: Is this a "progression" where adventurers have to defeat one encounter to get to the next?

    Blackguard: For the most part, yes. There are exceptions, and unlocking one area will open up several different pieces of content, so it's not exactly linear.

    Sylvene: Is there a way for players to align themselves with one house then decide to align with another?

    Blackguard: Alignment with the Wantia houses doesn't really work like that, you are working for the entire village rather than one specific group of villagers.

    Sylvene: What is the raid-size of the "hardest stuff in the game?"

    Blackguard: There are two 12 person raids, two 24 person raids (one contested) and a single group dungeon which is expected to prove especially challenging.

From what we saw during the tour, Nizara is a dungeon with a 3 day reuse timer, and had tour participants lowering their video performance when Blackguard triggered the event. I had to delete over eight thousand lines of battle spam from my log from that encounter.

The Fallen Dynasty is quite the “tradeskill” Adventure Pack. If your character’s adventure level is yet 55 to 70, but artisan level is 50. There are three families in the Village Shin and each one specializes in a certain trade. After providing them the assistance they seek, your standing will have risen in their eyes and you may be allowed to quest for unique tradeskill items that will directly enhance your crafting skill. There are many new tradeskill recipes that can be obtained, and we were shown some of them.

From what I’ve seen, The Fallen Dynasty has a depth and breadth that hasn’t been seen in either of the first two Adventure Packs, and is more like a mini-expansion than add-on content. It provides a higher level cap without having to purchase an expansion, solo and small group quest lines and encounters, raid encounters as well as new collection and tome quests, new tradeskill quests, items and recipes.

For $7.99 (or included free with the Station Pass Subscription), The Fallen Dynasty provides excellent value. For players interested especially in the lore of this Norrath and looking forward to the Echoes of Faydwer, this Adventure Pack is the bridge.


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Carolyn Koh / Carolyn has been writing for MMORPG.com since 2004 and about the MMO genre since 1999. These days she plays mobile RTS games more, but MMOs will always remain near and dear to her heart.