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Halas Reborn launch day roundup

Jef Reahard

Fans of Norrath rejoice, as launch day for Everquest II's epic Halas Reborn patch is upon us. Despite the recent brouhaha regarding pricey virtual items, Sony Online Entertainment's fantasy standard-bearer is soldiering on (and dropping a ton of new content on its player base in the process). Check out all the links below to catch up with Massively's Halas-related coverage, and be sure to review the patch notes over at the official website.

EQ2's newest raid zone
Icy Keep: Retribution is a mammoth four-group raid instance with several new challenges, including a deadly game of chess. Players will be helping the Frostfoot clan to gain entry to the keep, but that may be the beginning of the true danger -- Vrewwx, an ice dragon, has hatched and is waiting
Halas update brings storyteller system
The system adds a tab to the quest journal user interface that consolidates the story of each major quest. Additionally, the Storylines tab will chronicle your position in EverQuest II's lengthy quest chains, provide clues to completion, and add a bit of narrative flavor to the long-running fantasy MMORPG
Click past the cut for more coverage.

Silius talks about the travel revamp
In general we really want our customers to spend less time traveling and more time playing the game and having fun. That's not to say that travel and exploration is not fun for some people, but not everyone enjoys having no choice in the matter.
Halas adds new raids
The Underfoot Depths raid is designed with four groups of level 90 characters in mind, and features a large zone and wide variety of mob difficulties. The zone is so large, and the mobs so brutal, that designers extended the lockout time to four days and twenty hours (up from the standard two days/twenty hours) to allow players the option of running the zone's gauntlets over multiple days.
New Halas screens and details
You'll be able to access New Halas from two different areas depending on your experience. New characters will need to go to Pilgrim's Landing just off the main island, while more experienced characters can take a griffin from the Butcherblock Docks. Once you've arrived, there are over 80 quests in the area -- more than enough to keep every visitor busy exploring for quite a while.
A look at New Halas housing
EverQuest II is one of the few MMORPGs to offer robust player housing options, so imagine our collective excitement when a short Q&A session with housing designer Andres Rodriguez popped up on the official site. Rodriguez, responsible for designing the new houses for the forthcoming city of New Halas, talks about his visual influences as well as a few of the features players can expect to see when their dwellings become available in the city.
Sneak peek at New Halas
Now we're getting a sneak peek at New Halas, thanks to Game Designer Nathan McCall and Zone Artist Stacey Norman. McCall provides an interesting look at the lore behind Halas, the Age of War and the Age of Cataclysms. What's changed since then, where has Halas been, and what is behind its return?

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