I realize that EverQuest II’s next expansion was just pushed back a little but I still feel like it is right around the corner. That is a fact that has me extremely excited! Velious was my favorite EverQuest expansion and if I could reclaim just a part of that glory I’ll be happy. With me being in Germany a good half of Sentinel’s Fate was a loss. I haven’t been able to raid with my friends and that has frustrated me. I’ll be coming home just in time to start up fresh with a new expansion and that is something I’m looking forwards to.
When I heard about Velious at Fan Faire I wrote a piece about what I hoped it would be. As we get closer to the release date I’ve heard some more details that excite me! Since I’m trying to get back into the swing of writing (I am still out in Germany) I thought it might be fun to rehash my hopes against what we’re actually looking at now.
Levels that matter – My first wish was that Velious only include levels that matter to EQ2. To quote myself: In Sentinel’s Fate we were given ten new levels for no reason. These levels could be completed by hardcore players in less than 12 hours. Casual players might need a week. No new spells or abilities were introduced. Someone literally copied the 71 to 80 spell list and pasted it onto the 81 to 90 list. Much to my excitement Velious is a “no levels” expansion. It is AA points only. I applaud SOE for this. Everyone says, “You have to add levels” but the honest answer is that no, you don’t. You can always provide character progression through other means.
It can’t be small – I didn’t want Velious to be geographically tiny like the last two expansions. I felt it needed to be big like Kunark! I haven’t heard anything about this yet. If someone wants to let me know I’d appreciate it!
Forget the low end – I still feel strongly about this one. EQ2 has plenty of content to get you up in levels. SOE needs to ensure that there is plenty to do when you reach max since it is so ridiculously easy to do so now.
Time for a new AA Tab – I’m pleased to say it sounds like we’re getting one. Velious is an AA expansion! I can’t imagine SOE just tacking on new (and somewhat disappointing) AAs to the existing lines like they did in Sentinel’s Fate. With any luck we’re going to see some pretty interesting choices that let you take your class in a way that suits your play style.
Real, open dungeons – I know we’re getting one and evidently only one. I hope that it is truly supported and doesn’t turn out like the Hole in SF.
Itemization corrections – I saw a post that quoted the changes coming out of beta. It sounds like everyone is crying nerf but I honestly agreed with almost every change. SOE recognized some of the problems with healing I (and many others) have been harping on. This quote said it best: The requirement for procs was most prevalent with healers in the form of ward procs. After looking at these procs and how frequently they were being used, we realized how much we’ve been balancing combat and encounters around the power of wards. That meant if you did not have ward proc you were in dire straits. Spamming all of your heals as fast as possible so that your wards proc’d doesn’t equal skill. It cheapened our experience and made us easily replaceable. If healers have to start thinking again I’m all for it (Thank you to MMO Symposium for the quote).
It is obviously too soon to make any kind of judgments on Velious (although people are already doing so thanks to the beta). I for one am feeling pretty confident. A lot of things I’ve put my two cents in about seem to be included. Now we have to see how they were executed! See you on EQ2 in February!