While you consider playing through all of the new content, perhaps you might consider doing so via a new class. The Channeler, the first class in two years, is a mobile healer class who uses a bow. With the agile Channeler comes a pet, called a Construct, by which the Channeler heals and buffs teammates. It all works via an interception mechanic, where the Construct will intercept some of the damage from an attacking target. This reduces some of the incoming damage but also weakens the Construct. Players can then heal their Constructs but must also mind their teammates. Channelers utilize a new resource known as Dissonance, which adds its own layer of challenge. The more Dissonance you manage to absorb, the more slowly it dissipates, but the less you have, the faster it decays. Strategic management is going to be absolutely vital, according to Hooper, who highlighted the juggling act that is this new class. You'll have to keep an eye on your pet, your teammates, and your own stats (including that Dissonance) in order to master it.
Players will be able to obtain customization options for their Constructs. These are separated into two types – cosmetic appearance enhancements and buffs. The team learned from creating the Beastlord last time around, that certain pets merely became favored for certain tasks, lending a predictability to play. With some pets underused, the latest approach lets players customize look and abilities separately. Other players won't know just what your Construct can do by looking at it and it won't have to look like everyone else's pet.
Lessons learned and player feedback both play a role in some of the changes coming in today's expansion, aside from Construct customization. A new itemization system will place more emphasis on thinking about how to equip your character instead of reaching for items that just have one stat that matters and boom, done. This will make things more flexible as there will also be sets for say, DPS or ability effectiveness, while making items more useful all around. Changes to the Reforging system and items should also spice things up and aim to expand options.
Other features will be going live for all players, even those without the expansion. For anyone that has ever hired a mercenary in the game, there is a new feature that will allow all players to use each mercenary they have ever met. Instead of having to run back into town, cancel a contract, and then find the mercenary you want to hire (risking never finding a rare one again), now once they're unlocked, they're considered known to you and can be switched out in the world. A new interface will organize once you've met. This feature, along with Tier 4 guild halls (which adds a floor below for expansion), will be freely available to all.
With EverQuest II, this new content looks to shake things up a little bit while still engrossing players in parts of Norrathian history, present, and future. Meet some of the legendary dragons as you head out on new story quests, try out the new class, or even maybe rethink your equipment or play style with the new features. Tears of Veeshan goes live today at noon Pacific time.