Massively has the exclusive first look of the new features, new cards and a new video after the jump.
Legends of Norrath launched last year as a trading card game with a twist. It's only available online. No physical cards to endlessly categorize or misplace. Players could either play it as a minigame within EverQuest or EverQuest II or simply play for free with a stand alone client.
It started with the 375 card Oathbound set. that allowed players to choose one of four Archetype classes (Fighter, Mage, Priest, Scout) and build a deck slanted towards Light, Shadow or Neutral abilities. From their they could play against the computer or one on one with others.
In December, LoN came out with the 2nd set, Forsworn. This added 235 cards and many new features to the game, including 2v2 combat, new strategy elements and the concept of mulitplayer raids where groups of players combat a single, powerful AI controlled opponent.
Now, in March, the 3rd set will be introducing even more new features. So many, in fact, we had to break it down into small, readable sections with eye-catching art to soothe the information overload that awaits. Remember this next time you curse us for beating you in a weekend tournament.
The story line that began with Oathbound and continued in Forsworn reveals a new chapter in Inquisitor. Your Oathbound hero is now charged with hunting down the Forsworn who have betrayed the Tribunal. The new story unfolds in ten new single-player scenarios that will pit you against two new Chaos Masters.
It's a nice extension of the extensive lore that has been built up in the EverQuest franchise for the past decade. And, better yet, it's free to all registered users.
New Gameplay Features
To add new strategy elements to the game, SOE has implemented four new gameplay abilities to the Inquisitor cards:
- Restore: Playing a card with this ability will ready a unit on the table. Also has secondary function once in play.
- Vigilant: The cards with this keyword gathers power every time your opponent attempts a quest. You can then use that power to trigger different abilities.
- Faction: Prevent other players from gaining faction.
- New Links: Linking to units and avatars was introduced in Forsworn. Now you'll find cards that link to items, quests and other units (see Heresy card above).
Pulling from Norrathian lore, Trolls, Sarnak and Halflings are all making an appearance as units. Also, more High Elves and Iksars are coming into the game. On top of that, new legendary figures from the Norrath will be getting their own cards including the famed monk Master Wu (we old timers know your handwear well) and the wizard Al'Kabor.
New Archetype Focus
Fighter decks are getting more Monk/Bruiser cards with a focus on Beatdown. We're not sure what that means for LoN, but in EQ2 it's a Bruiser AE attack.
Mage decks are receiving Enchanter/Illusionist flavored cards that allow them to control your opponents.
Priest builds can expect Shadow Priest/Inquisitor abilities that manipulate the faction of other players.
Scouts will see an emphasis on Bard/Troubadour-like moves such as musical magic and Ranger-based Archery cards.
These new cards should thrill players who want to specialize their decks to be more like the classes they play in the EverQuest online games.
New Multiplayer Features
Raiding was introduced in Forsworn where up to 4 players can face one AI controlled opponent. More raids are introduced in Inquisitor, this time using the Royal Family of Sarnaks from Kunark as the loot pinatas. This is another element of the set that will be free to all registered players.
There is also promise of new guild features, but no details, yet.
New Races for Players
Players will also get two new Avatars to base their gameplay on. The Light favored Halflings and the Shadow drawn Troll will be introduced along with their three new play options that come with every Avatar. We hope the Halfling racial option includes pie. (Because there is no cake.)
One of the aspects of the game that appeals to even non-card game players is the idea of special loot cards. These are special cards that can be found in digital booster packs or dropped from mobs in EverQuest or EverQuest II and are redeemed within the two EQ MMOs for special in-game items.
Oathbound loot and Forsworn loot have been very popular and have resulted in new cloaks, mounts, potions, pets and other rare items. No details have been revealed yet about the Inquisitor loot other than there are 20 new cards for both EQ and EQ2.
Overall, it looks like SoE has packed this card set with lots of goodies. Hopefully, as the release date gets closer, we'll learn more about what loot cards will be available.
In the meantime, there is a Loot Tournament this weekend. Everyone who participates gets the Antonia Bayle promotional card. And once a month you can enter into the Championship Qualifier Tournament with a $1,500 first prize that leads to the grand Championship in August at GenCon Indianapolis with over $100,000 in prizes. Not too shabby for those who can build the killer deck that can't be beat.