Large changes coming to Norrath with EverQuest 2: Chains of Eternity
Chains of Eternity's biggest highlight, in my opinion, is not Firiona Vie's lifeless body -- though a few folks cheered at the confirmation of the adventurer's passing --but instead, the wealth of crafting changes being done for the upcoming expansion. The positive response from attendees at SOE Live was not surprising, given how much EQII players have thirsted for them.
Tradeskill Alternate Advancements (AAs) have been removed from the Adventuring AA trees, which means crafting experience goes into Crafting AAs, as it should. Furthermore, prestige lines for crafting are being added; with options of Salvaging/Refining, Mass Production, and Experimentation. Salvaging allows disassembling for materials and a boost to harvesting skills. Refiners will convert rare to pure elements, which boosts the stats of the items made. Mass Production adds volume in favor of power, allowing less consumption of resources while making items. Experimentation involves a improving an item by changing stats or adding procs; each follow-up experiment gets riskier, increasing the chance of the item exploding.
The adornment called Spirit Stones (green slot) will be added, which grow and gain experience with the wearer. They unlock new abilities and can only be equipped in the ring and neck slots. At launch there will be dozens to choose from in a variety of methods, such both forged by Tinkering and dropped by rare monsters. Adornment removal will be available, utilizing removers created by Tinkerers, for a cost -- though they are destroyed thereafter.
Guild Halls are being tweaked, providing more ways to spruce up your guild hall and make them look prettier (known as amenities, but god that word is hard to spell). The number of unavailable ones will be reduced, and guilds will be able to add Chronomages and deity altars. One will even reduce the cost of guilds.
Lastly, the usual level cap increase, this time to 95, will be adorned with new content. Two new zones and nine new instances, including Temple of the Faceless, The Ancient Vault, additions to the current Sleeper's Tomb (that one perked my ears up), the Dreadcutter (a ship), and Harrow's End. New PVP and prestige abilities are being added. The ability to get into the new content requires level 92 and completion of Unexpected Consequences, so SOE has given out bonuses to all players who get the expansion - new baubles grant a player 280 AA points to their level 90 adventurer, which are limited to two per account. That's a good reason to pick it up in itself.
Julian "Mirai" Williams