Legends of Norrath Expansion Update
Adele Caelia, MMORPG.com's resident EQII writer, had a chance to sit down with the guys from Legends of Norrath, the popular online card game that acts as a companion to the MMORPGs. The game, we are told, just launched their first expansion, Foresworn.
Legends of Norrath, and online card game similar to Magic the Gathering is the newest edition to the SOE family. Its huge success and popularity over the past four months has left the community asking for more. SOE has been more than happy to oblige to this request by creating Foresworn, the first expansion for this thriving card game, which went live on December 19, 2007. Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Legends of Norrath’s Sr. Game Designer, Paul Dennen, and Game Designer Chuck Kallenbach about the upcoming expansion Foresworn.
Launch and Reception
When LON first launched I think many had their doubts about its success, but over the past four months the growing amount of tournaments, the overfilled chat rooms, and the amazing amount of loot cards seen within the game make it hard to deny that this addition to the EQ and EQ2 is a winner.
“It’s been great. It’s been a real experience in terms of linking it inside Everquest and making it playable in Everquest and Everquest II,” said Paul Dennen. “It’s not the coolest thing in the world but I didn’t know how it would go over. I was very concerned about keeping both camps happy. Everybody seems to be very happy with it.”
I think the recent tournament contest with a 5k prize to each qualifier, plus airfare and hotel to GenCon backs up that statement. The grand prize for the final tournament at GenCon is set to 100k, and with that kind of cash being thrown around, in my opinion is a sure sign that this game is doing quite well.
Those who have completed the scenarios in Oathbound, and have grown bored with the player vs. player game play will be happy to know that not only will Foresworn bring new scenarios, but it will also take the player vs. player game to a new level with two new raids. Players now pair up with three other players to form a raid.
“We are going to have raids in which there is a computer controlled AI opponent, and two or four players fighting against it,” said Paul. “We found that it is a lot of fun playing with your friends against the AI, and building your decks that are complimentary.”
Another new feature comes in the form of new cards that will make the current archetypes more transformable. Instead of just being a fighter or a scout, players will now be happy to know that they can build their deck to create a Paladin or even a Dirge. The new player raids may also tighten up the current guilds in Legends of Norrath, or start the creation of LON raid guilds.
“I’m hoping that the multi-player raids will energize the whole guild set-up that we have here,” Paul said.
There are some very large guilds in LON, but they all seem pretty laid back, but with the new features we may see a bit more guild vs. guild competition, with certain guilds trying to complete the new raids before the others.
Players of Legends of Norrath can now celebrate the holiday in style with the addition of the “Saving Santug Claugg” scenario. In this scenario players will try to save Santug from the evil Grinnuch and his army who are trying to ruin Christmas for all of Norrath. The completion of this scenario rewards the player with a promotional Santug card.
When asked if there was anything more we could expect from the holiday events Chuck Kallenbach replied, “There will be some tournaments run over the holidays that will provide a Santug stockings, which will have promotional cards in them too.”
There is also a possibility that over the next year players will also find more holiday events brought into the game.
There is a myth that floats around Everquest II that states that the EQ2 developers spend too much time working on Legends of Norrath, and not enough time working on Everquest II.
I asked Paul and Chuck if this was true and Paul said, “We are always in touch with the San Diego team, but we are a separate studio.”
Players now have it straight from the source, and can rest assured that the EQ2 development team is not also creating Legends of Norrath.
I also asked about future expansions, and LON players will be happy to know that for this first year expansions are on schedule to be released every three months. There should not be much downtime for those who enjoy this game. There will also be promotional cards released in between expansions as well. The developers are very excited about the game, and even stated while this may or may not happen there has been talk about creating a Legends of Norrath art book. Overall it looks like Legends of Norrath has not only been a huge success, but has a lot more in store for its players.