Sony Online Entertainment Fan Faire 2009 is happening in Las Vegas, and of course they've had a number of things to unveil so far. SOE president John Smedley gave his community address last evening, and other speakers made an appearance as well. We've got a few highlights from SOE Fan Faire 2009 for you:
Smedley jumped right in by talking about the state of the SOE game lineup and some of the new directions they've explored with them in this past year. One of those new directions has been the introduction of Station Cash, and he talked about the growing adoption of Station Cash among SOE game subscribers in EverQuest and EverQuest II, as well as how it will soon be tied into new services and customization options. He announced a partnership with Hewlett-Packard which will allow players to purchase matte print images of art from the games using Station Cash. You'll be able to have your own character rendered in a high-quality art print, or even have your entire guild depicted and sent to you as a hardcopy art book.
On the topic of EverQuest, remember that mention we had of SOE trademarking new EQ properties? It turns out these are the new expansions: EverQuest: Underfoot and EverQuest II: Sentinel's Fate. Smedley kicked off the EQ announcements by reflecting back on 10 years of EverQuest and looking to where the IP is headed in the future. EverQuest II producer Alan "Brenlo" Crosby discussed the game's sixth expansion, Sentinel's Fate, where players will travel to the land of Odus and see what's happened there since The Shattering.
He dropped a few details about this next expansion, slated for a February 2010 launch, and the updates they plan to release between now and Sentinel's Fate. These updates will include the ability to downtier characters, allowing you to go back and replay older content, plus achievements are coming to EverQuest II. In addition, the EQ II level cap will increase by ten levels.
SOE hasn't forgotten about their long-term fans either, those who have stuck with the original EverQuest through the years. EverQuest producer Thomas Terrazas announced the sixteenth EQ expansion, Underfoot, which will launch in November 2009. Underfoot will feature 12-15 zones at launch, with bonus zones and additional content to release in April of 2010. Underfoot will have twice as many weapons as any of the previous 15 expansions, a new focus targeting window (allowing you to add specific targets to your list, monitor health of friends and foes), and achievement tracking that will help players remain aware of the objectives to be completed in their progression path. "In other words," Terrazas said, "you won't have to go looking online on somebody else's website so see what you need. It'll be in-game."
Fan Faire 2009 attendees will get both expansions for free.