SOE Live 2014: EverQuest II's Altar of Malice expansion and a new playable race

SOE Live 2014: EverQuest II's Altar of Malice expansion includes new playable race
On the 11th day of the 11th month, EverQuest II will get its 11th expansion, Altar of Malice. With only the title and launch date announced during SOE Live's welcome keynote address on Thursday, fans are understandably eager for more juicy details. We talked with Senior Producer Holly Longdale and Creative Director Akil Hooper to glean some valuable intel before EQII's official keynote later this afternoon. They even shared some future plans and revealed the 10-year veteran reward. As a special treat, Longdale shared a very serious video on how the vaunted leaper bunny mounts came into being (which we've included here for you).

As is pretty standard for expansions, Altar of Malice will include new zones (two regular overland and one specialized PvP deathmatch), new dungeons, new quests, a level cap increase, and some revamped systems. And if that wasn't enough, there are also dinosaurs. In addition to the expansion, sometime this fall players will have the opportunity to purchase access to a new playable race!

Life as dragonkind

One deliverable that is separate from the expansion is the new race. It's not very often that EQII adds another playable race into the mix. Like the Arasai and Fae from the Echoes of Faydwer expansion, the Aerakyn are winged creatures. That means when a player reaches level 85 and qualifies for a flying mount, her own wings will allow her to fly.

Returning to where it all began

There's one place in Norrath that many long-standing veterans are nostalgic for, and thanks to the expansion (and the veteran reward!), they will be able to revisit it... in a fashion. Yes, players will be able to frolic on the Isle of Refuge once again! Not only is the isle the basis for one of the new zones, it's a new prestige house that is rewarded to all 10-year veterans. Longdale also explained that players will be given a population pack to actually populate the house with familiar characters. She noted that other population packs could possibly become available in the future.

The lands and lore of AoM

EQII's next expansion this year features Lanys T'Val. Hooper explained that it takes place in the Shattered Sea, the body of water between Antonica and the Commonlands. The Far Seas Trading company comes across a major disaster, and players embark on a journey to figure out what happened. The new areas to explore are Tranquil Sea and Phantom Sea
  • Tranquil Sea: composed of the devastated Isle of Refuge, Deathweave Isle, and the Pygmie-and-dinosaur-inhabited Island of Dichen
  • Phantom Sea: composed of the haunted forest of Kithicor, the trading company's home base Highhold, and Grimshales, an island made from a shard of Luclin
Altar of Malice sounds like a pretty meaty expansion. It boasts 14 heroic zones, six raid zones, six advanced solo zones, two full contested zones, two overland zones, and four new avatars of the gods.

Additional goodies

Between the expansion and the regular updates, players will have plenty of goodies to enjoy this fall. Grandmaster spells will become available for everything, as will a new tier of rare ancient spell scrolls. A new tradeskill apprentice is incoming. Along with the level increase, prestige abilities are advancing to 100, Guilds will also be able to advance to level 100. Need a boost to help to get your guild level up? Players will be able to sell collections for status!

Another addition is the PvP deathmatch zone, which will be filed wth traps and power-ups. Do you prefer regular dungeons? Players will have access to level-agnostic dungeons that will allow for a wide variation in group-members' levels while still giving each individual level-appropriate loot. Or you can just buy some heroic loot from merchants.

Membership also has its privileges. This Fall, All Access members will get the ability to retrieve mail attachments and access the broker from anywhere in the world. SOE also mentioned special items and spells for members.



Coming next year

There are other changes coming to EQII next year. Longdale shared that cross-server dungeon groups will make finding companions to dungeon dive with that much easier. The deity system will also be revamped as will public quests. Echoes of Faydwer will be the next expansion to receive the fabled treatment, this time geared toward level 100 players.

What happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas, at least where SOE Live is concerned! Massively sent intrepid reporter MJ Guthrie to this year's SOE Live, from which she'll be transmitting all the best fan news on EverQuest Next, Landmark, H1Z1, and the other MMOs on SOE's roster.

This article was originally published on Massively.