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EverQuest II

The holidays have arrived in SOE's MMORPGs

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Super-hero, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Business Models, Culture, Events (In-Game), Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Dragon's Prophet, Landmark

EQ2
If you're a fan of SOE's MMOs and also a fan of Christmas, good news! SOE's MMOs also have Christmas! The studio posted a roundup of its holiday festivities earlier today:
  • EverQuest II: The Frostfell Wonderland Village returns this year along with a brand-new quest called The Great Candy (Cane) Chase.
  • DC Universe Online: Players will confront Larfleeze's Orange Lantern Corp. Old feats and rewards are back, as are "new base items, styles, a feat, and collection."
  • PlanetSide 2: It's Auraximas, which means it's time to murder snowmen. Special camo will also be on sale in the in-game store because of course it will be
  • EverQuest: Frostfell in this classic MMO brings Santug Cluagg and a host of new quests rolled out in phases.
  • Dragon's Prophet: Celebrate the The Silver Dragon Festival through January 15th.
A moment of silence, of course, for the SOE games no longer with us after this year's purge. Ahem.

If you're more the type to moon after Landmark and its futurespawn, EverQuest Next, check out MJ's hands-on with Landmark's PvE content update, which launches today. And peek back early next week for Massively's traditional MMO holiday event roundup for all the big games across the genre.

Global Chat: Die, DPS meters, die!

EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, HEX, Skyforge

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Hey you! Yes, you! Are you sick of damage meters ruining your life? Do you rebel against the virtual man by questioning such long-established gaming tropes as levels? Then have we got the column for you!

In our last community blog round-up of the year, we've collected some fine pieces of discussion, debate, and introspection -- not to mention a first impression or two to tide you over until 2015. We've also got an essay about the joy of healing, what it's like to play an MMO as a bear, going back to the Isle of Refuge, and more!

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EverQuest II plans bug bash and preps Frostfell celebrations

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Bugs, Events (In-Game), Free-to-Play

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The EverQuest II team isn't going silent during the last month of the year; on the contrary, a new producer letter outlines several events that are scheduled throughout December and into January.

The holiday event of Frostfell will go from December 11th through January 8th and promises "new content, rewards, gifts, crafted, and merchant items." The team's also coding in Ethereal armor adornment drops into Altar of Malice instances starting on December 6th and will be making past expansion house items available on loyalty merchants beginning January 6th.

While it's not the sexiest item on the list, a December 9th Bug Bash is planned to stamp out pesky issues and implement player feedback, such as creating shared bank space for exile characters.

The Stream Team: A walk through EverQuest II's Kithicor forest

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

There's quite a bit more to the story to what happened on EverQuest II's newly reopened Isle of Refuge, and Massively's MJ aims to find out all the secrets! She dives back into Altar of Malice this EverQuest Two-sday, this time poking around a land filled with prehistoric creatures and funky little pygmies. And who can resist visiting Kithicor forest? Join us live at 9:00 p.m. as the story continues to unfold.

Game: EverQuest II
Host: MJ Guthrie
Date: Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
Time:9:00 p.m. EST

Enjoy our Stream Team video below.

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Perfect Ten: Mobile apps to enhance your MMO lifestyle

World of Warcraft, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Fallen Earth, Opinion, RuneScape, Mobile, Wizard101, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, DUST 514, Guides, EverQuest Next, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, Landmark

We're living in the age of smart phones, when there are more cell phones than there are people on this planet. I can't go anywhere without seeing people constantly whipping out their little rectangular companions for the constant stream of information, social connection, and Candy Crush interludes.

While MMOs aren't making great headway on these devices, in part due to the limited input scheme, several wise studios have made good use of the mobile market to give players a way to keep in touch with their games even while AFK. Today we're going to count down, count up, and count sideways 10 official mobile apps that will enhance your MMO lifestyle.

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Norrathian Notebook: First impressions of EQII's Altar of Malice

Fantasy, Galleries, EverQuest II, Expansions, Opinion, Free-to-Play, First Impressions, Crafting, Norrathian Notebook

Norrathian Notebook:  First impressions of EQII's Altar of Malice
Although Altar of Malice has been available to All Access subscribers for two weeks, EverQuest II's 11th expansion just opened up to everyone on Tuesday. That makes this a great time to share my initial impressions of the new lands and new content. Mind you, these are literally only first impressions: I am not one to blow through the content at a break-neck speed just so I can consume it all in as little time as possible. That's relegated to pecan pie. MMOs aren't a race to me. I prefer to gradually savor the content, stretching it out so the experience lasts. I've actually also been holding myself back from doing too much so I can run through things with those who can finally join me now that the expansion is fully released. I will continue to poke though it at my pace while I continue my other endeavors (do you realize just how long it takes to decorate a house?!). As such, a full review of everything will have to come at a later date.

So what my thoughts as I amble amble my way through the land of the lost... er, jurassic park... I mean, Altar of Malice? EQII's dino-riffic expansion definitely has its highlights, like offering a heaping helping of nostalgia, but it has its disappointments as well. Here's my take.

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Global Chat: Gamers Secret Santa

EverQuest II, Culture, Events (Real-World), Dragon Nest, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Neverwinter

rift
One of the yearly traditions in the blogosphere that I always look forward to is Stargrace's Annual Gamers Secret Santa. Currently in its sixth year, Gamers Secret Santa accepts any and all who want to sign up to be a part of a gift exchange. You'll end up sending a gift ($20 maximum) to someone and will receive a gift from another person during the month of December. There's even a digital exchange for more remote locations.

It's always a blast to see what gifts I end up getting (and they are always geeky), and I wanted to encourage others to be a part of this. You'll need to sign up by December 1st if you do, however! It's grown every year, but this year I'm giving a bit of Massively publicity, so let's see if we can make this the biggest year ever!

Another blogger-driven Christmas initiative is Syl's Blogosphere Xmas Countdown, during which she's assigning various blogs a day to write about the theme of positive gaming and community. Keep an eye on MMO Gypsy to see this advent countdown progress!

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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

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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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