EverQuest II: Elements of Corruption Tour
MMORPG.com's Stephanie Morrow recently took part in a tour of the revamp of the Lavastorm zone in Sony Online Entertainment's EverQuest II titled Elements of Corruption.
So it was that I found myself invited along on one of the infamous EQ2 tours that I had only read about and had yet to experience first hand. I have to admit, I was quite excited. I was so excited I patched a few hours early and was ready to go (on time, at that). This latest game update (also known as GU51 for those keeping track) is so much more then just an update. EQ2 boasts an evolving and ever-changing world through their live events and this is one that pushes the envelope.
Not only are there physical changes to the zone Lavastorm itself (which you can find off of the Nektulos docks) but there are new quests, instances, gear, recipe books, raids, and a plethora of other goodies coming to the game.
The tour began with a walk around Lavastorm, Kiara leading the way (or rather, leaving us poor travelers in the dust as she zoomed off eager to lead us to our doom—er, eager to show us the new goodies). Players level 45-55 will find the zone teaming with new quests, and there are also things for crafters and even level 80 adventurers to do. A horse has been set up for travel near the entrance of the zone just through the caves, allowing lower level adventurers to access the quest hubs they may need. These horses work exactly like the ones in Loping Plains, so you don’t have to worry about picking up multiple destinations first; it will simply take you where you want to go. Find Blisterzonk and you’ll find yourself with the first of the quests, doing work for (or is that against?) the Sootfoot Talent Society. There are over 20 quests added for within the 45-55 level range, and while you may be used to working toward faction – in this case you’ll want to decrease your faction. No one ever said goblins were a smart bunch.
Aside from the solo quests, you’ll find seven new shiny collections within the zone – collecting the end item from each of these quests will open up an 8th shiny quest with an upgraded reward.
A lot of the graphics have been changed within Lavastorm, we were shown the new armor the fire elementals are sporting, and they’re not the only ones. The NPCs who crowd through the old Temple of Solusek Ro have also undergone a change and are wearing updated gear that reflects their dedication to the void and to Najena.
When you’re done exploring through the lower level content and completing the quests you’ll want to head back to Lavastorm to experience the level 80 additions. Glowing green lights sparkling from staves mark the path to the left of the docks, warning lower level adventurers that the way is not safe. As gigantic void creatures run through the waters and up onto shore it becomes even more apparent as to why you’d best be careful exploring this section of the beach. The invading void creatures corrupt the magma worms that line the beach, and it seems that nothing is out of their touch.
In the waters off shore is the void, and within it rests the new x4 raid zone that’s being added. Progressing through the level 80 quests will first have you entering an epic x2 zone (raid created for 12 players) called Ward of Elements. Players will get to watch lore unfold before their eyes as an introduction video briefly plays, another amazing clip of artwork created for this game update.
Players should be aware that while you do not need a particular expansion in order to do the lower level quests or even the higher level ones (free content is always great) – you DO need to own The Shadow Odyssey in order to gain access to the x2 raid zone. The tour was running a little short on time, while we were all eager to get a peek at the raid zone the two developers who played a large roll in the revamp were waiting for us in the lounge for some Q&A, so we headed back for that.
Kaitheel and Timetravel (also known as Nathan McCall and Brett Scheinert) were kind enough to answer some questions the tour had about the newest game update – Kaitheel was the one who worked on the solo quest lines through Lavastorm, while Timetravel concentrated on doing the Ward of Elements. When I asked how long this revamp has been in the making I was surprised by the answer. Timetravel has been working on Ward of Elements since The Shadow Odyssey shipped out in November, while Kaitheel has been working on the revamp since mid-January. While we didn’t get a great deal of time to talk, I did learn that the 12 person raid zone is on the lower end as far as difficulty goes, allowing players to gather upgrades that are mid range between TSO raid gear and the current legendary void shard armor. The appearance of the templar / inquisitor set was very unique and it was easy to tell a lot of work went into the pieces. Some of the rewards (specifically the plushies) from quests were taken as suggestions from the player base, it’s always great to see the developers listening to the gamers through forums or other lines of communication.
These are not the end of the updates, either. Brew day is just around the corner and there are more great updates and live events planned for that celebration. These are the things that keep players excited and coming back for more, and keep the game feeling fresh and alive. A thank you to Kiara, Kaitheel and Timetravel for giving me the chance to partake in the tour for MMORPG.com, I had a great time and I’m looking forward to future events!