a new Producer's Letter out for EQ2 and it's chock full of good stuff. Key takeaways for me were the introduction of Familiars and the news that this year's expansion will include a ten level increase, raising the level cap to 110.
Familiars are exactly what they sound like: a new set of companion pets that also give stat buffs. The senior game, of course, has had familiars for a long time. Indeed, there are so many of them that one of the features of last year's Empires of Kunark expansion was a keyring to store them all. It holds up to 125 of the critters!
In EQ2 until now only Sorcerors (Wizards and Warlocks) got familiars, a choice of three: an animated book, a drake or a gargoyle. With the upcoming "Menagerie" update on May 2nd we'll all be able to have a flappy, as they used to be called.
Kander's detailed description and see how much sense you can make of it.
I'll wait to see just what this "Co-opetition" consists of before I commit to anything but I'm up for pet collecting and I'm always down for a PQ so let's hope they're one of the more common rewards there. Whatever, it's a really exciting addition to EQ2's already bulging cupboard of in-game hobbies. Gotta collect 'em all, as you know some people are already muttering.
As for the level cap raise, I'm very firmly in the camp that believes it's not a real expansion if you don't get a few more levels. The usual eeyores are out in force in the comment thread at EQ2Wire, bemoaning the impending collapse in value of the gear they will, by the time the as yet unnamed expansion rolls around, have spent the last two years working on.
I can see how it might be irksome, although you'd have to say that complaining about gear becoming obsolete in a theme-park MMO is a bit like complaining the sea's a bit wet when you go for a swim. It's both inevitable and really kind of the point.
As a casual player, though, new levels are awesome! Power creep means the opening up of new content. In the last few years Daybreak have done a magnificent job of enfranchising all playstyles, with solo versions of almost all Heroic and Raid content, but there are still some things I haven't been able to do. I'm hopeful that another ten levels might see me to the finale of Ages End at least.
Also of note is another free Level 100 giveaway, this time in the form of a "Boost Bauble". For two weeks from May 2nd to 15th any account made before the 20th of April is entitled to claim one bauble that will jump a single character to 100 and give them all the necessary gear to head to Obulos Frontier or The Proving Grounds.
Or in my case to sit around in a Freeport inn room for a few years, I imagine. I now have three level 100s and a level 96 on my main account and at least one level 100 on all the others. I have time to play, at most, two of them.
Not that that's going to stop me logging every account in and grabbing my birthright. I love the fact that it's a consumable this time rather than a straight boost from character select. Assuming these things don't have an expiry date that means I can sit on them until I find a use for them. Which, let's be frank, is going to be never, but, hey, free stuff!
There's also yet another Time Limited Expansion server, Fallen Gate. Like Agnarr, the upcoming EQ Progression server that's not going past LDoN ever, the new EQ2 version is eschewing democracy for a set schedule of quarterly unlocks. I'll probably pass. There are only so many servers you can meaningfully play on after all.
All in all, though, and especially after Easter's Beast'r home run, lookin' good, DBG!
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