EverQuest II Zone Overview: Unrest
Adele Caelia recently attended a preview of the new Unrest zone in EverQuest II. Today, a day after the zone's launch, she presents this overview of this exciting addition to EQII.
A crazed dwarf known as Garanel Rucksif enters the mansion of a priest of Quellious. In his madness he kills the priest, his family, and all who reside within. In her anger Quellious punishes Garanel by cursing him with eternal suffering and pain. Many years later, the estate of unrest has appeared in the world of Norrath again. Uncovered where it had been hidden behind a wall in the Butcherblock Mountains it is now accessible for those brave enough to enter. Beware for Garanel is angry and any who die in his mansion will share his fate of eternal life in death.
The new Unrest is indeed a formidable zone. Is it harder than Nizara? I guess that depends on the group, but to say the least it took the first group on the test server 20 hours to complete the zone. Now that you have fallen out of your seat, pick yourself up and stop worrying because on their second try it only took them eight hours, and by the 3rd time around they had it down to five hours. Needless to say, you had better make sure that your group mates have some time on their hands before venturing into this zone. The zone is not a raid zone, nor is there one planned at the moment, but the raiders will still have an enjoyable time here as the mobs are tough and although it is a single group zone the players will need to be decked out in raid gear to make it through to the end. As far as the loot, there were some nice legendary items that I saw while there, one in paticular was a chest piece for a defiler/mystic. You can see this item in the screenshot. It looks like you will finally be able to complete that armor set.
Put on your thinking caps, because the zone itself is full of mystery, surprises, and riddles. When you zone in, you will be greeted by Garanel, "I sense an insect has crawled into my yard. This trespasser is not welcome in the home of Garanel." He will speak with you and continue taunting you throughout the zone. You will also find that he has put a spell on you (living nightmare) slowing your movement speed by 20%. What I noticed first upon zoning in (besides the warm welcome from Garanel) was the 72 gargoyles, which brought life to the zone from the beginning by flying back and forth landing on the stonewall ledges (a very nice touch indeed). Be wary though these were not friendly and you will have to fight your way through them before getting to the house.
After fighting through the gargoyles, you will find yourself in the courtyard near a fountain (there could be something important here, so take a look around). Take a moment to rest, but only a moment. There will be mobs here attacking you, as with me I was attacked by a couple of zombies using an attack that blinded me, well at least made my entire screen very blurry. At the moment this turned out to be a blessing because it blinded me from the fact that I was being thrown up on. This effect lasts awhile too, and can be compared to drinking too much ale. The sounds are just as great as the spells, and will chill you down to the bone. The sound of dragging chains can be heard, along with random screaming, and you might get a bit spooked by the woman whispering in your ear "murderer... murderer..." This completely freaked me out and the entire haunted house effect was in place before I even made it into the house.
Heading straight through the courtyard to the house will lead you nowhere since the doors are locked and you will have to head back into the courtyard to look for some clues (once you have the keys be sure to hold onto these. It will save you some time the next time you come back). While you are in the courtyard you will notice a hedge maze. It may look familiar to some of you since it is the exact same one that was in the original EQ down to every last turn. You will also notice a gazebo with a ghost woman standing in it. It might be a good idea to go chat with her before going any farther. In this zone the mobs aren't always what they appear to be, and you may find ways to interact with mobs that normally wouldn't be an option, so before you start killing everything that isn't an NPC check the situation out and see if there isn't something else you can do.
Along the way the mobs dropped some pretty odd items, and while these items may seem like trash it is a good idea to hold onto them because you never know what you might need. You may also find yourself wishing you had a class in your group that you wouldn't normally think of adding in. For example, if you have a provisioner in your group he may want to check out the bar, and there may be something he can do in the kitchen. In other words think outside the box during this adventure.
Speaking of the bar let me add that the customers there are not very happy. They instantly want to fight... maybe it was the wings, or perhaps they didn't like me messing around with their fireplace. There is something interesting in the fireplace, but fire burns and you can't get near it. Maybe you can take your anger out on any customers still hanging out. Although the bartender might not be very happy once you take out his customers and will be ready to make you pay. This guy is tough, so tough in fact that when Grimwell with all his GM superpowers took him on the bartender landed a hefty deathblow (perhaps the devs made the bartender too tough...).
I continued to be amazed and a bit creeped out. We headed to a room with a piano. I could actually play although I guess not too well because ghosts kept attacking me. Maybe if I had some sheet music they would have liked it a bit better, or perhaps if I had been a bard it would have been a bit easier? I never was musically inclined. Something else that was confirmed for me is that cats are indeed evil, and never fully open a door without first peeking, or at least sending someone else in ahead of you.
I also was lucky enough to see the nursery, the basement, and the torture chamber. Each of these rooms had their own appeal, and was by far the coolest rooms that I toured. They had the best surprises, one of them being the return of an old friend or two, and in the torture chamber I was a bit embarrassed to find myself letting out a small scream (yes out loud) after getting a good surprise, but I don't want to tell you too much more and ruin it for you. After all the surprises are what make this zone so much fun! For the raiders out there let me add in that I did see a raid mob level 80 x2. Only one and he was not very nice, but I am sure some of you will find a way to take him out!
I can honestly say that I will most likely have nightmares about this zone, and I have never seen a zone like this in EQ2 or any game. It is simply amazing and so much fun! It will take skill, brains, and of course brawn. Touring this zone made me realize what a great team Sony has on this game, and why Everquest II is so much better than anything else out there. The dev team is full of talented people that continually come up with new and innovative ideas. This zone is the best yet. It is not going to be easy, but the challenge is part of what makes it so great. I can't wait to see how they are going to top this one!
I would also like to send out a special thanks to Grimwell for taking me on the tour. It was a ton of fun!
Article by Adele Caelia