EverQuest will launch it's much anticipated Call of the Forsaken expansion today and with it comes more than just an impressive '20th Expansion' moniker. As with all EverQuest expansions, the team at SOE takes their lore and content very seriously. They held a press only live-stream to give us a low-down on what players can expect from the new expansion, while giddily talking about some of their favorite things about Call of the Forsaken and previous EverQuest expansions.
The Call of the Forsaken storyline will interact with both the EverQuest and EverQuest 2 universes. The story kicks of in Ethernere, which was introduced in EQ2, and is sort of the purgatory to EverQuest. You will encounter Lady Lendiniara across the once peaceful plains of West Karana as catacylsmic events have exposed Ethernere and the countless realities behind it.
Heroic Adventures - The developers were more than happy to divulge one of their favorite updates in Call of the Forsaken. Heroic Adventures is an update to the instanced dungeons that were first released with the Lost Dungeons of Norrath way back in 2003, only this time they are for higher level characters, levels 95-100, and scale based on the level of the players inside. Heroic Adventures are powered by random layouts with completely different objectives each time you enter. Rewards include a chance at new loot, rares, and currency that you can collect and spend at special merchants. The developers let us know that this feature has a lot of potential, and will probably end up being used in lower level areas to as the content can be scaled accordingly.
Mercenary Gear - Player controlled mercenaries that players can use to quest with have been in the game since 2008, but now they finally get the opportunity to feel a little bit more like your own with the Call of the Forsaken expansion. Mercenaries are being completely re-worked with the new abilities to use AAs and their own custom armors. With the AAs you can upgrade your mercenary and choose which way you want to build them out. It's very similar to AAs on your characters, whereas you get a ton of options of which way you want to go in upgrading. The AAs will work across all your mercenaries, so no need to level them up individually. Mercenaries also now have the opportunity to use currency to buy items from merchants. You can choose what you want to upgrade, just like on your character and try out different combinations to make them your own.
New Zones - With the expansion comes 4 new zones, plus the new version of the Void to the world of EverQuest. Players can check out the new Bixie Warfront, which is an underground complex with sprawling neighborhoods and factories. Think of an underground beehive, that's the best way I can put it. This zone is also used in the Heroic Adventures, where waves of enemies will come in from all sides as you help a friendly tribe of bixies try to figure out why their neighbors are evil. Along with Bixie Warfront is the Neriak 4th Gate, West Karana, and the Dead Hills. The Dead Hills are interesting because they can actually be seen on the original EverQuest map from 14 years ago. Players have always wondered what was in the Dead Hills, and now we finally get our chance. The zone is actually one of the most alive zones in the game, despite the name. It is made up of the bones of giant creatures that had come there to die. The hills are alive and moving. There is also a tribe of smart ogres in the zone, which is quite uncommon for most Ogres. But you can find out why they are there and how they became smart through one of the Heroic Adventures.
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