EverQuest II: Rise of Kunark

Key events

EverQuest is getting another expansion - guess how many we're up to now?

A milestone 25th expansion pack has been announced for 19-year-old online game EverQuest. It's called The Burning Lands and will be released 11th December 2018.

What's left for a 25th expansion to add? A luck statistic, luckily, as well as six new expansion zones themed around the planes of air, smoke and fire. You can see these in an archived Burning Lands livestream below.

EverQuest today is obviously a different place to when it launched in 1999, when it was queen bee - the MMO all other MMOs aspired to be. Today the herd has moved on, to WOW and beyond, but the committed veterans remain. And they remain to raid, it seems. EQ still goes in for big-numbers raids, you see - raids with 40 people or more. WOW scaled back to 25 players years ago in an effort to make raiding less hardcore (it takes a lot of organisation getting 40 people in one place at one time).

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Don't Google it: What number EverQuest expansion do you think we're now on?

EverQuest holds a special place in my memory. I was 16 when it came out. I didn't have computer but my mate Rupert did, and I'd outstay my welcome at his house playing it - hardly a sustainable arrangement and it didn't last. But it sparked in me a longing to become a proper part of a 3D online fantasy world (and on my own computer) - a plan I would carry out with Dark Age of Camelot - and it wasn't long after that Rupert (Loman) and his brother created Eurogamer.

All that seems like a lifetime ago, which is why it's weird writing about EverQuest now, 16 years later and on Eurogamer, and about how the game has launched a new expansion - its 22nd, called The Broken Mirror.

Broken Mirror is a proper $34.99 expansion with new and revamped zones, and all the new quests and loot and things that go with them. There are new spells, new alternate advancements, and there's a strange new toy called an Illusion Key Ring.

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Expansions announced for EverQuests

Expansions announced for EverQuests

EQ2 adds achievements, level cap of 90.

Sony Online Entertainment has announced expansions for its EverQuest MMOs at its annual Fan Faire convention in Las Vegas.

The sixth expansion for EverQuest II will have the title Sentinel's Fate. It will increase the level cap to 90, and is planned for release in February 2010.

Sentinel's Fate will allow you to play older, low-level content with a high-level character and still gain experience. SOE is also integrating various achievements into the game, such as killing 10,000 orcs or reaching level 80 with multiple characters.

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EQ2 gets Monument and Might update

EQ2 gets Monument and Might update

Includes ability to write books. Really.

Sony Online Entertainment's MMO EverQuest II has been updated with the Monument and Might patch, including a new storyline, new questing, easier spell upgrades and player-written books.

In content terms, the update provides a batch of over 80 new quests for players to enjoy in the Kunark zone, centred on the appearance of Kurn's Tower. The headline new game feature is the appearance of Research Assistants who will upgrade your spells over time, one at a time, so you don't have to rely on expensive purchases or rare drops.

Monument and Might also introduces player-written books. You can use a text editor to create and distribute books that work exactly like those already found in the game and can be traded and sold as normal, except they can say whatever you like.

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Researchers study EQ2 server logs

SOE hands over 60TB of data.

An article on Ars Technica reveals that Sony Online Entertainment has bequeathed the complete server logs of its EverQuest II MMO to academic research.

EverQuest series moves into item sales

EverQuest series moves into item sales

SOE launches real-money marketplace.

Sony Online Entertainment has made the bold move of introducing micro-transaction item sales to its subscription-based fantasy MMOs, EverQuest and EverQuest II.

The game operator has launched StationCash, a virtual currency similar to Xbox Live's Microsoft Points or Nintendo's Wii Points. One hundred SC costs USD 1, EUR 1 or GBP 0.80. It can be used at an in-game marketplace to buy armour, potions and other benefits.

"The EQ and EQII development teams have chosen items carefully in an effort to avoid a disruption in gameplay balance," reads the StationCash FAQ.

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LOTRO and EQ2 expansions out today

LOTRO and EQ2 expansions out today

Mines of Moria and Shadow Odyssey.

It's a festival of MMO expansions today: fantasy role-playing stalwarts Lord of the Rings Online and EverQuest II have both released their latest instalments.

LOTRO's Mines of Moria opens a huge new underground world for players, raises the level cap from 50 to 60, adds two new character classes, and highly customisable Legendary weapons that level alongside your character.

Not bad for the first expansion to a game that's not much more than 18 months old. Check out the Mines of Moria gamepage for exhaustive hands-on, interviews, video, news and more, and expect to read our full review soon.

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FeatureFear and Levelling in Las Vegas

Eurogamer goes gonzo at Sony Online Entertainment's Fan Faire.

I have an admission to make: even though I've played MMOs for years, I guess I believed the stereotypes, and I expected Sony Online Entertainment's annual Fan Faire in Las Vegas to be filled with shuffling, socially-awkward freaks with poor dress sense, using obscure science-fiction references to mask their conversational inadequacy. The reasons for this are quite simple: having played MMOs for years, I'm a shuffling, socially-awkward freak with poor dress sense, and I use obscure science-fiction references to mask my conversational inadequacy.

EverQuest and EQII expansions announced

EverQuest and EQII expansions announced

Norrath revisits its past.

Sony Online Entertainment chose its annual Fan Faire convention in Las Vegas this week to announce expansions for long-running MMOs EverQuest and EverQuest II.

Speaking at his yearly address, SOE chief John Smedley said that the original EverQuest "is still going as strong as ever. We're very dedicated to the game, and we're coming up to a milestone I never expected to see – the tenth anniversary."

In honour of this occasion, he unveiled Seeds of Destruction, that difficult fifteenth expansion, which is due out on 21st October. Fittingly, the new content has something of a victory lap feel to it, sending players on a journey through numerous portals which will take them back to various iconic moments from the history of the game. The major gameplay change to Seeds is the addition of Mercenaries, player-controlled NPCs who can be paid to fight alongside you in battle.

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Dates announced for SOE Fan Faire

Dates announced for SOE Fan Faire

Sixth Sony event heads to Vegas in August.

Sony Online Entertainment has announced the date and location for the sixth of its annual Fan Faire conventions.

Fan Faire 2008 will take place at the Las Vegas Hilton over four days, from August 14th to 17th.

Tickets go on sale later this spring, but the hotel can be booked now at a discount rate. Check the official announcement for details.

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Rise of Kunark beta giveaway

Rise of Kunark beta giveaway

Test the EQ2 expansion.

EverQuest II is growing again with the Rise of Kunark expansion, and you have the chance to leave your mark on it by joining the beta test.

Here you can explore the wild and lush continent of Kunark, embarking on countless quests and encountering new and probably-will-eat-you-without-asking monsters. You will also get the chance to play as the new Sarnak race, as you gradually uncover the truth behind this war-torn land that hides ancient and powerful relics.

And like all good expansion packs, it comes with bundles of other fantasy treats to get excited about. There are epic weapon quests for all 24 classes, new armour sets to collect and items to find, as well as new deities to worship and Kunarkian Rhinoceroses to tame and ride as your beastly mounts. Stamp, snort.

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