Sneak Peek: EverQuest: Rain of Fear
It’s been thirteen years and eighteen expansions since the original EverQuest launched and pushed the early boundaries of the MMORPG. Now, Sony Online Entertainment is preparing to head into the holiday season with its 19th expansion, Rain of Fear. This new expansion not only adds new high level content, but also introduces several new systems that have been in demand from players. This week, MMOHuts had a chance to sit down with the EverQuest team to get an early taste of fear.
The story of EverQuest’s Rain of Fear picks up from the House of Thule expansion and the death of Cazic-Thule. The old god’s energy, which had been released upon his death into the sky, now rains down from the sky as large crystal shards, tainting the world with fear and empowering those that collect its essence. As the Harbingers of Thule seek to gather the crystals to restore Cazic-Thule’s power, players must contend with enemies old and new and build their own power to face fear itself.
On tour, we were taken first to Shard’s Landing, the starting zone (and the largest zone) of the new expansion. Here the largest crystal of the Heart of Fear has fallen, and the Harbingers of Thule are hard at work. We were then escorted to the Church of the Unspoken, and were able to venture into the extensive cavern systems that ran through this new area of the world.
One of the most striking locations of the expansion, however, is Evantil, The Vile Oak. Here, an oak has a shard of fear at its heart, and has grown as a giant empowered oak. This tree’s fruit has become infected by fear, and now it has passed on this corruption to the creatures of the zone who have come in contact with it. Evantil’s scale is bewildering, and players will be able to explore within the tree and its canopies while battling corruption. This tree has also been scaled down as a collector’s edition reward house, and while Evantil’s Abode is smaller, it is certainly no less impressive. Things also heat up in the Breeding Grounds, a revisit to the home of dragons and their spawn. Here shards have fallen into the necropolis, tainting the lava and some of the dragon eggs with corruption.
Long time players, prepare for nostalgia: there are some old friends waiting in Rain of Fear. With a wild power source, the development team has decided to give a few of the most remembered NPCs a little fear-factor facelift. In Kael Drakkal, players will reunite with King Tormax, who has been influenced by the shards of fear until he has gone insane, believing that everyone and everything is out to take over. And to really venture back in time, players will also encounter the crazy, controlling King Xorbb, who dwells in the Valley of King Xorbb (the end zone of this expansion).
EverQuest: Rain of Fear is also rolling out some system changes. For the first time in its history, EverQuest will have an aggro meter, letting players see in the heat of battle how much attention they’re drawing from an enemy, as well as their groupmates. A new collection system, similar to that found in EverQuest 2, will allow players to collect new trinkets in the expansion zones for new achievements. Players can also gain titles for achievements in battle, or use improvements to the Broker System to sell items while offline.
Rain of Fear launches on Wednesday, November 28. Pre-orders for both the regular and collector’s editions are still available. Check EverQuest’s expansion page to find out more details on prices, bonuses, and features!
More Rain of Fear Screenshots: