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EverQuest II

The Stream Team: What really happened to EQII's Isle of Refuge?

Fantasy, Video, EverQuest II, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Livestream, The Stream Team

Did you get enough of EverQuest II's new Altar of Malice expansion last week? Neither did Massively's MJ! She was too distracted by nostalgia to do much last time, so this week's she's diving deeper into the story to find out exactly what happened to the island. What dastardly deeds caused such a calamity? Inquiring minds want to know! Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to watch this EverQuest Two-sday adventure unfold.

Game: EverQuest II
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
Time: 9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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The Stream Team: Stepping into EQII's Altar of Malice

Fantasy, Video, EverQuest II, Expansions, Free-to-Play, First Impressions, Livestream, The Stream Team

It's here! EverQuest II's Altar of Malice expansion is live for All Access members, and Massively's MJ can't wait to get inside and return to her roots on the Isle of Refuge. However, this homecoming won't be all rainbows and unicorns (or even goblins and sharks, for that matter); it will be bittersweet as the beloved starting zone has been blasted by some magical calamity. There is plenty of new stuff to see and do, so join us live at 8:00 p.m. for this first romp through AoM.

Game: EverQuest II: Altar of Malice
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Leaderboard: What's your favorite EverQuest II expansion?

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvE, Opinion, Leaderboard

EverQuest II has been playable for over a decade, and in that decade SOE has pumped out a whopping 11 expansions. And that's not even counting adventure packs like The Bloodline Chronicles and The Splitpaw Saga from the fantasy themepark's early days.

For this week's Leaderboard, vote on your favorite EQII expansion, and don't forget to explain your choice in the comments!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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EverQuest II: Altar of Malice goes live

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Expansions, Patches, Free-to-Play

eq2
Everyone must be drawn to the magical allure of "11/11" as a release date, for here's another one for you: EverQuest II's expansion, Altar of Malice, is now available to play.

Altar of Malice adds the new playable Aerakyn race as well as bumps the level cap for adventurers, tradeskillers, and guilds up to 100. There's a gob of more stuff in this expansion, including an additional 29 zones of various types, an increase of prestige abilities to level 100, gem sets for armor, over a hundred new quests, and spiffy PvP gear. And since Altar of Malice is the new expansion on the block, free players can now access Chains of Eternity without paying.

To help you jump into the expansion, we have not only the patch notes but also a preview and an interview about Altar of Malice's controversies for you to read while you update!

EverQuest II documentary on the way

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, EverQuest II, Culture, MMO Industry, News Items, Anniversaries

EverQuest II turned 10 over the weekend, and SOE is apparently putting together some sort of documentary retrospective to celebrate. EQII Wire has published a teaser featuring various developers reminiscing about the long-running fantasy title. Click past the cut to have a look!

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Norrathian Notebook: Talking EverQuest II's 10th anniversary with Holly Longdale

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Interviews, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Anniversaries, Norrathian Notebook

The big 1-0. EverQuest II has just joined the ranks of games in their double digits; today marks the 10th anniversary for the fantasy game. And while that's a pretty impressive feat in itself, just growing older isn't all that has happened to EQII in the past year. There have been plenty of content updates (and a change in how those update occur), holiday celebrations, and major news happenings during the course of the past 12 months.

However, instead of just highlighting the major events and changes of the year in a standard retrospective piece, I'm going to do something a little different this year. On top of wandering down memory lane, I've pulled in Senior Producer Holly Longdale to answer a few questions and address some current concerns on the minds of players. Longdale talks about the high price of both the Altar of Malice Collector's Edition and the new Aerakyn race as well as shares some fun facts about who's been working on the game since the beginning.

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EverQuest II's Aerakyn race is spreading its wings November 11th

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Classes, Interviews, Free-to-Play, Races

A few weeks ago we peeked into EverQuest II's impending Altar of Malice expansion with Senior​ Producer Holly Longdale and Creative Director Akil Hooper. In addition to touring the zones and basking in the beauty of the artwork while weaving through dinosaurs, I also got a glimpse of the newest race coming the game and gleaned a few interesting tidbits about these scaly, winged creatures. Although not technically a part of the expansion, Aerakyn will become available to players for purchase on the same day that AoM goes live for All Access members: November 11th.

Be a dragon!

With a new race incoming, some players are already trying to determine whether they will bump an alt or just buy a new character slot. It's not just the opportunity to be what is arguably the first real dragonkind in the game (sorry Sarnak!) but the chance to experience the game as one of the very few flight-enabled races. The Aerakyn, like the Fae and Arasai introduced in a previous expansion, utilize their wings from day one. Of course, the actual flight mechanic cannot be obtained until the appropriate level (85), but the wings still work and the race can glide around. Unlike the Fae and Arasai, however, the Aerakyn will get to use their personal wings as all three advanced mount types.

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Global Chat: Wrongs and rights

EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Trove

trove
So often, bloggers are struggling to succinctly answer the same question in a variety of formats: What is right with this game and what is wrong with it? It gets complicated fast when biases, comparisons, and general drama enters into it, although I wouldn't have it any other way. MMOs should be filtered through our various viewpoints to gain broader understanding and (hopefully) provide better feedback.

This week in our journey around the blogosphere, we'll take a second look at Trove, see where ArcheAge messed up, and attempt to understand why PvP sandboxes will wither and die if they're not welcoming to carebears. What's wrong? What's right? That's up to them -- and you -- to decide!

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SOE provides Halloween makeup tips

Video, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (Real-World), Humor, DC Universe Online, Miscellaneous, PlanetSide 2, H1Z1

soe
File this under "No, we are not making this up." The team at Sony Online Entertainment has put together a series of five instructional videos to show you how to use makeup to look like your favorite in-game characters this Halloween, including EverQuest's Firiona Vie and an H1Z1 zombie.

We've got all five videos after the break, although by the looks of some of them, you'll probably best be served by having a professional makeup consultant from a special effects company on hand -- and a lot of cold cream for afterward.

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EQII's Altar of Malice pricing, bonuses announced

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Expansions, Free-to-Play

During my recent dev tour of EverQuest II's upcoming Altar of Malice expansion, Senior​ Producer Holly Longdale revealed the new part Shaman/part Warrior elite merc that comes with the purchase of the collectors edition and said "We're really excited about what we're offering there -- some really special stuff this year." And now we've got all those details!

The standard edition will cost $39.99 and comes with a special housing item. This large painting depicts an AoM scene of an angry Lanys T'Vyl and plenty of skulls. The collectors addition for $89.99 adds the elite battle-mystic mercenary Kluuron V'Lon as well a Striped Savage Pterodon flying mount, a tyrannodon house pet, two 40-day spell research potions, three Gems of Armor Advancement, and a multi-appearance mage tower housing item to teleport to the new content. Check out what each bonus looks like in the gallery below.

Altar of Malice is available to November 11th for All Access members (who also get 10% off the purchase prices) and on November 28th for everyone else.

Halloween makes the rounds in SOE's line-up

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2, Dragon's Prophet, Landmark

eq2
'Tis the season for spookies and crawlies, and SOE is not above appropriating Halloween for its own ghoulish ends. Pretty much every one of its MMOs is hosting Halloween festivities this month with events, prizes, and macabre decorations.

DC Universe Online is bringing back the Witching Hour and Midnight Masquerade with a few new rewards, Landmark is hosting a spooky building contest, Dragon's Prophet is reprising its Styx Festival, and both EverQuest and EverQuest II are reprising their infamous Nights of the Dead.

Out of the bunch, PlanetSide 2 is the only one with a truly new holiday: Nanite of the Living Dead. With this event, players will be scouring the planet for "space pumpkins" to destroy for fun and profit.

Sneaking a peek at EQII's Altar of Malice with SOE

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, EverQuest II, Expansions, Interviews, Free-to-Play

When EverQuest II's next expansion, Altar of Malice, was announced at SOE Live in August, we heard about upcoming features, perused concept drawings, and even saw some screenshots. As exciting as all that can be, nothing compares to actually getting in the game and seeing the living breathing world of Norrath. And that's exactly what I got to do last week on a tour with Senior​ Producer Holly Longdale and Creative Director Akil Hooper.

While we have to wait a bit longer to hear more about the Aerakyn (the new winged dragonkind race) and what special goodies will be included in the collector's edition, the tour of the zones allowed me to bask in the beauty of the artwork while weaving through dinosaurs, pygmies, and my favorite-yet-long-lost starting zone. And it definitely made me even more excited for the upcoming release of Altar of Malice!

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EverQuest II begins a month of bonuses to prep players for level 100

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, EverQuest II, Expansions, Free-to-Play

Are you ready for EverQuest II's level bump to 100 when the 11th expansion, Altar of Malice, launches next month? If not, then you've got a month of bonuses ahead to help you prepare. Starting today at 3:00 p.m. EDT and lasting until Tuesday, November 11th at 2:59 a.m. EDT, All-Access members will receive a 25% bonus to experience. This includes adventuring, tradeskilling, and Alternate Advancement points. Additionally, all players will receive double Etyma, the coin used to purchase gear and items from the Tears of Veeshan merchants. (And yes, this double offer stacks, so paid members will actually be receiving four times the Etyma!)

Want more? The 2014 Summer Ethereals and Artifacts are also making a comeback for this limited time. Check out these flaming weapon drops in the clips below.

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Working As Intended: Lessons from the history of MMO housing

World of Warcraft, EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, Vanguard, RIFT, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Housing, Player-Generated Content, Working As Intended, Landmark

Hustis House - Daniel Case
Once upon a time, a subscription MMORPG sandbox had open-world housing, only there wasn't quite enough for everyone. Well, there was, but there wasn't enough of it in safe lands, so a lot of the people who wanted a place to live had to live in dangerous places they didn't like, places where they could be killed on their doorstep by other players. Even most of the plots in the safe lands were so remote or allowed for such small homes that they were undesirable. In fact, there were only a few housing plots on every server that afforded a strategic advantage in PvP or trade or storage, and if you didn't own one of those, you were at a distinct disadvantage. And when new lands opened up, scripters and gold farmers were first in line to grab the best plots and sell them on Ebay for hundreds (sometimes thousands!) of dollars. And legit players were pissed.

I speak, of course, not of ArcheAge but of Ultima Online.

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EQII producer's letter talks Altar of Malice date, features

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play

SOE's Holly "Windstalker" Longdale has penned a new EverQuest II producer's letter and published it on the game's forums. It contains a general update schedule from now through the end of November as well as an overview of the content in the Altar of Malice expansion.

Said expansion launches on November 25, with an open beta on October 14 and an All Access member beta on October 7.

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