We sat down with the full board of Sony Online Entertainment's producers to discuss what players can expect over the next few months.
This year marks a huge milestone for Sony Online Entertainment. Its flagship title, EverQuest, will turn 15 years old in March, and in early November, EverQuest II will celebrate its 10th birthday. To add to the celebrations, EverQuest Next Landmark will soon launch into its Alpha testing phase.
SOE will host a public celebration event on January 31, 2014 at its headquarters in San Diego. Developers will be on site to chat with players, a 15-minute demo of Landmark will be available (be prepared to sign an NDA for it, though), there’s been talk of SOE building tours to see where the devs work, and the community team will be livestreaming the event for those who cannot attend in person.
We got the chance to chat with EverQuest Senior Producer Thom Terrazas, EverQuest II Senior Producer Holly Longdale, EverQuest Next Landmark Senior Producer Terry Michaels and the EverQuest Franchise Director of Development Dave Georgeson about what players can expect to see in the coming months.
Thom kicked off the conversation to chat about the Hate Rising update for EverQuest: Call of the Forsaken, which launched today. The update features new Heroic Adventures, raids, missions and new gear. He mentioned that there will be a “great reveal in the final raid with an iconic character that is deep in EverQuest lore.” The Heroic Adventures will be expanded so that level 85+ characters may accept the adventures, and level 70+ characters can also experience the content with level 100s (but cannot accept the quests themselves). “It would be kind of difficult for them to tackle it on their own, but with level 100s they’ll do just fine.”
We were curious if Heroic Adventures would continue to be the future of EverQuest and Thom responded that “It won’t be the future… we have a new toy that we wanted to make really extensive and really try to get the best and most out of it, and we’re going to plan on doing Heroic Adventures but not to the same degree. It’s going to be part of our future content, but not the largest part.”
EverQuest's Erollisi celebration will be held in February, which will have new quests, collections and content from previous years. Also in February, players can expect Leadership AAs. “It’s been a request from players for years,” Thom told us. “We’re going to put that in the players’ hands mid-February.”
In March EQ will celebrate its 15th anniversary. Two new race/class combinations—one that the players voted on recently and the other a dev pick—the Wood Elf Beastlord and the Froglok Monk. Heroic Characters, an “insta-85 character” Station Cash feature that was added to EverQuest II as recently as last October, will be added the week before the anniversary celebrations. New anniversary content, such as the Plane of War zone, will be released throughout the month: “We have a nostalgic zone that was created during the time of Planes of Power that wasn’t ready to release, but we just wanted to get it done… we thought the 15th anniversary was the perfect time to do that.” The regular anniversary content will make a return as well!