| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

EverQuest

EverQuest begins Darkened Sea beta

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

eq
While The Darkened Sea, EverQuest's 21st expansion, debuts in a little over a month, you can check out the beta as soon as... well, right now.

Producer Thom Terrazas posted a letter on the forums yesterday informing players that the beta would begin today and continue through October 24th. Terrazas also put out a call for raiding guilds to sign up to test the expansion's raid content on September 22nd. Following that, the early access launch for The Darkened Sea will start on October 28th and the full release will follow on November 11th.

There will not be a pre-order for the expansion. "We are also working on an easy way for players to purchase the expansion plus a monthly subscription to get in quickly and avoid getting left behind. Stay tuned for those details very soon," Terrazas promised.

Coming next week to EverQuest is an update that will include a robe category for the player studio and a way to transfer large amounts of currency at a time.

One Shots: The big plunge

Screenshots, EverQuest, Culture, Vanguard, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, Miscellaneous, WildStar

gw2
For someone like myself who is mortally terrified of heights, MMOs are not a good form of immersion therapy. I still feel my stomach clench when I fall from a ledge or, in the case of our first screenshot of the day, witness someone else doing it.

"This was my first jumping puzzle in Guild Wars 2," Reader Chiara said. "You don't forget those things. I was all excited when I found a secret passage -- I wasn't even aware of the existence of jumping puzzles back then -- and as luck would have it, I found one of the toughest ones. Of course. My character is always camera-ready, as you can see -- even when she's plunging to her death. I think she was trying to wave, actually."

What happened next? In my mind, she'll always be falling, falling. Well, we all might as well take the big plunge into the rest of these screencaps!

Continue Reading

The Game Archaeologist: Ironman modes and elective permadeath

Asheron's Call, Dofus, Dungeons and Dragons Online, EverQuest, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, RuneScape, The Game Archaeologist, Miscellaneous, Wizardry Online, Star Citizen, H1Z1

wizardry online
One facet of video games that's been around almost since the very beginning is the difficulty level. This has allowed the player to choose how hard or easy a game would be from the onset, influencing factors such as the number of enemies, hardiness of bad guys, fragility of the player character, and available loot (or lack of it). I used to love how some of those '90s shareware titles would mock me for picking easy, sometimes portraying my character wearing a baby bonnet and sucking its thumb. Real gamers, the devs implied, go tough or go home.

With a few exceptions, MMOs operate on a fixed level of difficulty for all of their players. Instead of assigning blanket difficulty client-side, the game world portions difficulty into areas, usually according to level or activity. Some games have instances with adjustable difficulty levels, but past that what you get is also what I get.

This might be changing. A very fringe but dedicated group of players have championed such ideas as elective ironman and permadeath modes for their MMOs, and at least one studio is responding positively to that desire. Would you choose to make your MMO experience harder than everyone else in exchange for nothing more than a bigger challenge and a more "realistic" experience?

Continue Reading

SOE Live 2014: EverQuest will release The Darkened Sea expansion October 28th

Fantasy, EverQuest, Expansions, Free-to-Play, Events (Massively's Coverage)

As is custom, the next EverQuest expansion was announced at SOE Live 2014. And while Thursday's keynote shared the title, The Darkened Sea, it divulged little else. Players were going to have to wait until EQ's individual keynote address later today to get any actual details. However, for those who just can't wait that long, I sat down with Senior Producer Thom Terrazas and Creative Director Akil Hooper to get an early scoop on the game's upcoming 21st expansion and more.

What do players have to look forward to? How about the return of the classic characters Firiona Vie and Lanys T'Val, a personalized looting feature, a higher level cap of 105, a new mount storage system, and eight new zones! Oh, we can't forget the dinosaurs! And did I mention that The Darkened Sea launches on October 28th for All Access members?

Continue Reading

SOE Live 2014: Thursday keynote liveblog announces EQ and EQII expansions, more

EverQuest, EverQuest II, Expansions, MMO Industry, Events (Massively's Coverage), EverQuest Next, Dragon's Prophet, H1Z1

Are you looking forward to getting a hint of what's to come for your favorite SOE games this next year? SOE Live's Thursday keynote has just kicked off, and SOE notables like John Smedley are taking the stage to give fans a hint of the announcements coming over the course of the weekend. We're here live to give you the scoop directly from the devs, and we'll be keeping this post updated as it progresses. You can also can watch the presentation streamed live below.
  • Keynote announcements on Friday have all the juicy details, so don't miss them!
  • Four awards for Player Studio: Highest creator - BeastBuster with over $25,000 to date; Most Prolific creator - Rollen; Most Improved Creator - Jerry "Rawl" Dechant; and Most inspirational - Neko Zero.
  • Player Direct awards -- you can see all full-length film on the official site.
  • H1Z1 is coming out on the PS4.
  • The Play it Forward initiative is gamers helping others, in game or in life.
  • Tournaments: Prize money on the line for participants.
  • Dragon's Prophet is introducing a new system where you find and raise dragon hatchlings.
  • EverQuest is introducing a new category to Player Studio.
  • EQ working on a new advanced looting feature.
  • EQ's next expansion is The Darkened Sea.
  • EverQuest II's 10th anniversary in November, the 11th expansion Alter of Malice is launching on 11/11.
  • New classes for EverQuest Next will be announced tomorrow.
  • A touching video tribute to EQII's Ribbitribbit was presented.
  • SOE encouraged support for AbleGamers, Gamers4Life, and Military Gamers.

Continue Reading

The Daily Grind: Should old MMOs retire gracefully while they still can?

EverQuest, Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

eq
You can't deny that certain MMOs from the dawn of the genre are getting a bit long in the tooth. Heck, some of them lost their teeth a while ago and replaced them with wooden dentures of power. Take EverQuest, for example. Even with a free-to-play transition, numerous updates, and a dev team that's pushed that game engine as far as it can go, it's still an old title with a high-water mark that peaked before most current players started on their first MMO.

So here's a contentious question for the day: Should games like EverQuest retire? Should they go out with some dignity right now rather than face future humiliation by becoming increasingly obsolete? Wouldn't studios be better off focusing resources on new additions to their franchises? What do you think?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

SOE Live player panels include support for military gamers

Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (Real-World), Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Landmark, H1Z1

soe live
SOE Live posted its list of player panels today for its convention, with topics ranging from supporting military gamers to fansite management. The full list is as follows:

Friday, August 15
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm -– EQ2U & Dragon's Armory
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm –- Live Together, Die Alone: Surviving H1Z1 as a Group
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm –- Inter-Outfit Operations in PS2
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm –- Become Your Character: Tricks and Tips for Cosplay
  • 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm –- Military Gamers: Taking Care of Each Other
Saturday, August 16
  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am -– Social Media/Steaming & Fansites
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm -– Effective Guild and League Management
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm –- Improving Your EverQuest
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm –- DCUO – Advanced Raid Tactics
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm –- The New Conglomerate
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm -– Hardcore Decorating in EQII
  • 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm –- EQII Game Macros, ACT Triggers, and You!

The Daily Grind: Have you ever volunteered for an MMO?

Fantasy, EverQuest, Business Models, Culture, Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, Opinion, Ultima Online, The Daily Grind, Roleplaying, Miscellaneous, Player-Generated Content

EQ
A few weeks ago in my Working As Intended column, I brought up the role gamemasters and officially appointed player helpers had in fostering communities, directing roleplaying, and aiding newbies and event organizers in early MMOs. We're not talking about just floating a HELPER tag over your head (though most modern MMOs lack even that); old-school games literally ran programs that traded game time (or just a hearty thanks!) to players who would log into special accounts or robed characters and lend a hand, officiate a wedding, or help a clueless nooblet find the bank.

While I was focusing primarily on Ultima Online in that article, just a few days later, SOE tweeted a post about the EverQuest franchise's alive-and-kicking volunteer Guide program. Participating player Guides are now expected to run dynamic events and quests rather than interact in chat, but the concept is the same, even in 2014, however strange it must seem to newcomers to the genre.

Today I'm wondering how many of our readers have ever volunteered in a semi-official or official capacity within their MMO of choice. How did it treat you, and do you want to see programs like these become more widespread?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

One Shots: Child's play

Screenshots, EverQuest, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, One Shots, The Secret World, RIFT, Miscellaneous

TSW
Today, my friends, you are going to be disturbed by this column -- disturbed and delighted, puzzled and tantalized. But I'm afraid that we're going to have to begin with a sight that is quite unsettling, so if there are any small children in the room, get them to hold your hand because there's no way you are brave enough to witness this.

"I recently returned to The Secret World and have been having a blast, but I think this is the scariest scene I have come across whilst playing," reader Balsbigbrother. "OK, so it's a little gory with the meat cleaver in the head but those dolls and the shadows they make on the walls, eeek! The game atmosphere kind of builds up to a point where your own imagination takes over. So while I was in that room, I kept thinking if all those dolls suddenly turned around to face me, I would seriously lose it and maybe need psychiatric counseling for several months afterwards."

You're not alone, man. The Nursery was one of the most terrifying places I've ever visited in a video game. Let's see who dares to see the whole tableau after the break!

Continue Reading

Perfect Ten: MMOs from the '90s

Fantasy, Asheron's Call, EverQuest, Lineage, Meridian 59, Opinion, Ultima Online, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

saved by the bell
The course of MMO history and the developer pioneers who forged a path to online gaming have long fascinated me (so much so that I write an occasional column about it). While we often think of MMOs as modern entertainment barely out of its infancy, the truth is that you can trace the industry back decades to see a fringe group of devs and players striving to make these games a reality.

While the number of MMOs in existence exploded in the early- and mid-2000s (and hasn't stopped growing since), the 1990s are often an overlooked decade that featured more than the one or two games that are usually mentioned in brief history overviews. There were actually far more titles than most assume, even if you dismiss text-based MUDs and the like. Today we're going to run down 10 MMOs that were born during the era of the dot-com revolution, dial-up modems, and the peak of the Simpsons (third through seventh seasons).

Continue Reading

EverQuest video gives you the skinny on franchise news

Betas, Fantasy, Video, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Landmark

Landmark
SOE released a new video today updating its playerbase with what's going on with each of its EverQuest titles.

EverQuest just released its level 95+ Tower of Rot and the living legacy raids and has more content on deck for those who own the Call of the Forsaken expansion. EverQuest 2 is giving a helping hand to players so that they can level up for the new expansion later this year. As for Landmark, the team is pretty excited about its water tech, caves, Player Studio, and Landmarks of Landmark contest. Unfortunately, EverQuest Next did not make the cut and was voted off the island.

You can watch the video after the jump.

Continue Reading

One Shots: Chubby chocobos on parade

Screenshots, EverQuest, Fallen Earth, Culture, One Shots, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

FF14
Whenever your game gets a goofy mount or pet, it's an inevitability that populated areas will be swarmed by them. So it came to pass in Final Fantasy XIV, as the fat chocobo mounts became the hot new thing that all the hip young kids wanted to ride.

Reader Connor brings us this parade of chubby chocobos from his recent adventures: "This was when the new mount got released a few weeks ago. Everyone stood around AFKing in the high level hub, but eventually we formed a miltia and sallied forth."

Chubby chocobo, you look beautiful and amazing just the way you are. Also, delicious. Like a giant Peep. OK, we need to hit the jump to see the rest of this week's screenshot submissions before I start trying to eat my monitor.

Continue Reading

SOE announces game-specific player events for SOE Live

Fantasy, Super-hero, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Culture, Events (Real-World), News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Events (Massively's Coverage), DC Universe Online, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Landmark

Are you headed to SOE Live this summer? We are, even if the game list is a tad shorter than in previous years. And that's why we're excited to see SOE's latest official post about the convention, set to run in Las Vegas, Nevada, this coming August 14th to 17th. The studio has announced special events for several of the games it plans to feature at the event:
  • Plane raids await EverQuest fans.
  • Deck-building games and PvP tournaments lie in store for DC Universe Online players.
  • EverQuest II players will participate in speed instances and a murder mystery quest.
  • Landmark devotees will be treated to a mega-build event and a harvesting-themed dice event.
  • Finally, the studio has planned a squad showdown event for PlanetSide 2 players.
Early bird registration for SOE Live ends on Monday.

SOE compensates players for All Access issues

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

EQ2
Acknowledging that the recent switchover to the new All Access program has been "frustrating," SOE announced today that it will be compensating its playerbase for these issues.

The studio will be handing out 50 replay badges to DCUO players, adding an additional week to seven-day Landmark closed beta keys, and triggering double XP weekends for Dragon's Prophet, EverQuest, EverQuest II, and PlanetSide 2.

"The implementation of this new membership plan across SOE's game portfolio has been one of the most complicated updates to our billing system to date," SOE apologized in a post. "As fellow gamers, we know that this has been frustrating and we sincerely regret any inconvenience this has caused."

SOE updates Landmark, pushes back international Player Studio rollout

Betas, Fantasy, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Contests, Economy, Patches, Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Landmark

Landmark
It was the best of times for SOE and it was the worst of times. It was the season of glorious patches and of disappointing delays. It was also May 1st, in case you haven't checked your calendar.

SOE delivered an update to Landmark's beta today, including claim feedback, chat improvements, new props, and the ability to teleport to other claims from the gallery view. The studio also launched its first competition, this one to create visually stunning landmarks for the game's environment. The competition will conclude on May 7th.

Unfortunately, international players of SOE's library looking to partake in Player Studio goodness will have to wait a while longer: "Initially, we hoped to expand Player Studio to Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom on or before May 1st, but given the intricacy of the program and our recent launch of the new All Access Membership plan, we have decided to roll out international support for Player Studio at the end of May."

Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW