Everquest II's latest update is 'Will of a Tyrant'. This was primarily a bug stomping update, with over 600 bugs exterminated. Good news for fans who have been demanding this for years. Personally I can live with broken quests as long as they don't break the game. What many of us are relishing is the new quest series, 'Attack on the Crowns', which is the lead up to the new expansion, 'Sentinel's Fate'.
'Sentinel's Fate', launches in February. This is EQ2's sixth expansion. With it comes a level cap increase of 10, bringing us to 90; two new overland zones, which may not sound like much, but EQ2 zones tend to be massive; a new major city; a starting zone which we are promised will be the best new player experience to date; and 12 dungeons. There will also be the many new quests, mobs, items and so on for us to undertake, slay and gather up.
The Prelude event leading up to this expansion centers the royal houses of Freeport and Qeynos. In Freeport Deathknell Citadel has been destroyed. This floating citadel was the home of the tyrannical Overlord, Lucan D'Lere, but now D'lere has vanished and Deathknell floats no more, it has crashed to the ground. I really like this smashing up of the old content. I love when things change drastically in an MMO, and I'm looking forward to seeing what Blizzard does with Cataclysm, I can't wait to see a whole word smashed up. But that is later, this is now. Sony Online Entertainment has had a long history of revamping zones, they have never shied away from doing away with old content and radically changing areas.
The destruction of the citadel leads to a quest to find the Overlord. Freeport is in chaos, some believe that he is dead and are rioting and looting, vile Dark Elven Thexians have taken control of parts of the city. Sir Tallen Yevix believes the disappearance is a test and tasks us with finding some missing pieces of a mechanical device used by the Overlord to communicate with his knights. With this repaired she can set the signal to find D'Lere and save the day.
Nothing is ever that easy however. Once the parts are found, the contraption still doesn't work so off we go, sneaking into Qeynos, the city of our enemies, to capture the gnome, Algan Tinmizer, to fix the blasted thing. One kidnapping and a bit of tinkering later and success! The image of the D'Lere appears and the plot thickens. It turns out that one of his most trusted agents, Tayil N'Velex, has betrayed him. A portal was opened in the Overlord's quarters and a force of void soldiers poured through it.
The Overlord has been captured, N'Velex now runs the city, but all is not lost. D'Lere's sword, Soulfire, is what the enemy is after, but it is hidden in Deathknell Citadel. Once more the gnomish device is used, and the sword is found. Sir Tallen undertakes the task of its retrieval, but we must stay behind.
Well that won't do, so after a quick jaunt to another zone and a teleportation from a helpful NPC we get into the Overlord's office where we end up helping Tallen find the sword. The knight then takes the blade for himself and vanishes. Yeesh! Is anyone in Freeport not treacherous?
On the light side, in Qeynos, there is a new prelude quest series too. This begins with a missing library book entitled, 'The House of the Claymore', a book detailing the history of the Bayle dynasty, including a family tree. Some of the information is sensitive and used to be a secret, but no longer as Queen Antonia is the sole surviving Bayle. Hmm, I wonder where this is going. Well, the event is called 'Attack on the Crowns' so we shouldn't be too surprised.
After a bit of sleuthing, the book turns out not to have been stolen at all, but borrowed from the library by a high ranking Qeynosian and translated from its ancient script. The translator alludes to some interesting findings in the text, but alas won't divulge any info to the player. Once again, what does it all mean?
Once the librarian hears about the translation, he enters a state of panic and demands that we inform the Queen. Unfortunately she is away, but Murrar Shar is there, he's a pretty big deal in Qeynos, and he offers to throw the full weight of the Qeynos Guard to assist in finding out who withdrew the book. He tasks us with taking a package and a letter to Princess Saphronia of Kelethin. So a trip to the continent of Faydwer is in order (*sigh* don't they have wizards for this sort of thing). Anyway, it turns out that the letter is more a list of demands by Antonia Bayle, so there's not much to do but to leave in a hurry to escape the wrath of royalty scorned, and with our book undelivered.
Upon our return to the librarian, we see that he is now face down in an alley and not breathing. The culprit is covering their tracks. After searching his body for clues and our cash reward for the recently completed quest (it does feel a bit like shamefully looting the dead), it is decided that Murrar Shar is to be informed of this new turn of events. Fortunately Shar is still on the vertical plane, and, joy of joys, he hands us a couple of toughs from the Qeynos Guard to apprehend the translator and get to the bottom of the mystery.
Upon leading the guards to the thieves den where the shifty scribe hangs out, they suddenly turn on the player and attack speaking some kind of weird language. Is nobody trustworthy? This is like living in Freeport.
The book, it turns out, tells of a curse on the royal bloodline, on which a secret society is sworn to protect. The first born of each generation must never rule or Qeynos will fall. So the babies are sent away and the society works to keep them in the dark. Sinister stuff, and Murrar Shar is neck deep in it.
Upon returning to the librarian's body, for reasons that aren't really important, the player gets arrested by the guard who, of course, attempt to land the whole conspiracy at our feet. The truth gets out and once again, as in Freeport, no-good void people are behind the plot.
The Good news is that Murrar Shar hasn't become suddenly evil. He has been possessed by the spirit of a previous Bayle, denied the throne due to the curse and fallen to the void. After an epic battle the Queen is saved, but it turns out that the nasty void folk are looking for the Qeynos Claymore. Again with the swords.
What does it all mean? Well Sentinel's fate is the final chapter in the void storyline, so hopefully we won't have to wait too long to find out.
OK, so this feature sounds suspiciously like a blog entry, a school piece on "What I did in Norrath this Summer." So what else was new in this update? Well, not a lot. Two new quest lines and hundreds of bugs eliminated leaves no time for new dungeons and such. But this is ok as the quests were really meaty in content, the story was interesting and leaves me quite excited to see where it's all going.
So let's take a look at my favourite bugs from the list (yes I did read them all):
- Captain Ista will now properly insult you when hailed. (finally)
- There is no longer a stack of books floating off of the bookshelves in the Office of the Overlord. (erm...nothing is floating in the Office of the Overlord any more)
- The Far Pelican Wheelman will no longer turn to face players...taking the ship's wheel with him. (FAR PELICAN WHEELMAN SMASH!)
- A spelling error in the house item book "Rise of the Orcs - The Deadtime" on page 9 was fixed. (I think it used to say Rise of the Dorcs)
- Anemone Arms are no longer No Value. (now that the recession is over)
- You should no longer witness flying sharks in Jarsath Wastes (there goes the tourist trade, do you know what else there is to see there? Nothin')
- Ok, so I didn't read them all, so sue me, there were over 600, you know.
Until next time.