The Tattered Notebook: More on flying mounts, public quests, and prestige homes

SOE has been slowly getting new information out about Destiny of Velious. As part of an ongoing promotion to showcase the upcoming expansion, Senior Producer Dave "SmokeJumper" Georgeson and Greg "Rothgar" Spence took part in the second installment of the Destiny of Velious webcast. They took the opportunity to elaborate on topics from the first show and also revealed some exciting new features. In this week's Tattered Notebook, we'll look at the highlights of last Friday's webcast. Read on to hear more about flying mounts, prestige housing, and public quests.

Georgeson and Spence started off by talking more about flying mounts. While players in the past have been able to fly through certain overland zones on pre-set routes, this will be the first time that players can steer their own flying mount, which was a big challenge for the team. As Spence pointed out, EverQuest II's zones were designed from a ground up standpoint, meaning that some artwork and terrain was left exposed. The team had to go through the zones, and in some areas, had to lower the ceiling to accommodate the top-down view from flying. Based on the testing and feedback so far, though, Georgeson said that players have enjoyed the experience and it has rejuvenated travel and exploration in game.

In order to get a flying mount, players have to work through the Velious content until they reach a series of quests. At the end of the questline, there is an event that occurs that gives you access to the mount. There will also be several different colors of griffin mounts, and Georgeson made it sound as if you can also get flying mounts as a raid drop or by tradeskilling, in addition to the questline he described. The Freeblood ability "cloud of bats" is another option for those that want to fly. It's a purchased ability from the Marketplace, and players can turn it into a flying ability by completing a series of quests that essentially teach you how to fly by associating with other bats. These mounts are the same for both the live and Extended servers and are available when Destiny of Velious launches.

The next announcement was the new in-game events calendar. Because EQII has so many in-game events, it's sometimes hard to keep track of it all. With the new calendar, players will be able to see all worldwide events, such as holidays, guide events, and regularly occurring events such as the city festival and Moonlight Enchantments. In addition, guilds have the ability to pencil in their own events for members to see. EQII has always been one of the best when it comes to guild-friendly tools, and this new calendar, along with the EQII mobile app that was recently launched, gives guildmembers even more ways to communicate with each other.

As with the first webcast, Georgeson and Spence fielded several questions sent in by players. The first asked for a clarification regarding the portals that can be placed for traveling between your houses. Georgeson explained that there will be two types of houses: regular homes and special prestige homes. The prestige homes are a new feature with the expansion, and you can use a portal to travel from a regular home to a prestige home. You can't, however, travel from a regular home to a regular home, although the team is looking into adding that option at some point in the future. Georgeson went on to say that the devs plan to expand on the concept of prestige homes, and players will be able to get them as loot drops, quest rewards, or marketplace purchases.

Next, there were a few questions asking for more detail about the new public quests that are being added with Velious. Spence explained that these are open events that allow players to work together on a particular goal. They scale based on the number of people taking part, and the quest goals change depending on how players are doing. The rewards are based on participation, so the longer you are there, the better the reward you'll receive. Right now, they are only available in Velious zones, but the team is considering adding them to lower-level zones if they become popular.

The team shifted gears a bit to talk about solo progression vs. group and raid progression. In the past, players who preferred to solo weren't able to take part in the epic storylines, which required groups and raids. With Velious, solo players will be able to complete the epic storyline. Raids and group dungeons are still pivotal parts of the expansion's story, however, and players will be able to see many climactic moments by completing raid and dungeon content. Many quests have been streamlined to make them more intuitive for solo players, and of course, there are the public quests, which don't require players to group up in order to complete the objectives.

There was a little talk about the new EQII mobile app that just launched. It's available on iPhone, Android, and soon to be added to Blackberry. Despite a rough first day, it has been popular with players and is working well overall.

Finally, the team talked a bit more about Velious part two. There was a question about whether there would be low-level content with the second part of the expansion or mainly high-level content as with the first part. Georgeson replied that the team hasn't firmly decided one way or the other, but most likely it would be high-level. But if the devs get a lot of new people in over the next few months, they would consider adding lower-level content.

They plan to have two more webcasts before launch and are taking player questions that are posted on the official forums, so be sure to post if there's something you'd like to team to discuss.

Before I close the notebook for this week, I should add that Erollisi Day is approaching! According to Kaitheel, the holiday events will start on February 9th and last until February 20th. Servers that are still undergoing mergers will get an extra day for their troubles. There aren't any details on new quests or items yet, but I think it's safe to assume we'll see a return of content from previous holidays. So make some room in your bags for those stacks of fresh cut roses and humorous heart candies! I'm gunning for the title of Heartbreaker this year.

From the snow-capped mountains of New Halas to the mysterious waters of the Vasty Deep, Karen Bryan explores the lands of Norrath to share her tales of adventure. Armed with just a scimitar, a quill, and a dented iron stein, she reports on all the latest news from EverQuest II in her weekly column, The Tattered Notebook. You can send feedback or elven spirits to