EQ2 TSO Launch Event in San Diego!

One of my favorite perks of living in San Diego (other than the fact that it’s easier to harass SOE employees), is that it’s so incredibly easy to make it to events much like the one held yesterday for The Shadow Odysseys launch. As announced on Monday, over at Station Players, the Sony Online Entertainment community team gathered at San Diego’s finest Internet Café, The Office Games, to show the fifth expansion to EverQuest II. Of course I made my way over to check it out; though I admit, the promise of pizza certainly helped motivate me.

I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. ‘Certainly there are better venues to show off The Shadow Odyssey’ I thought to myself; however, I was wrong. To my surprise the event was extremely well organized and there was an epic dev to player ratio. The store was packed with people trying out EverQuest II. In fact, there wasn’t a single person in the store without the game on their screen. Of course the café was essentially shut down to anything besides EQII, so that may have had something to do with it. During my walk around the store I asked players what they thought. For the most part, everyone was extremely receptive and seemingly surprised about the amount of fun they were having. To stress the point, I spoke with two avid World of Warcraft players in the crowd. The fact that they weren’t somewhere else playing Wrath of the Lich King speaks rather loudly in my opinion.

I mentioned the dev to player ratio before and I wasn’t kidding. In attendance from Sony was Craig “Grimwell” Dalrymple, Barbara “Babs” Saito, Alan “Brenlo Crosby and Emily “Domino” Taylor to name a few. Everyone who walked through the door received a personal greeting and an invitation to join in the festivities from someone on the team. “Was there any loot?” you ask? But of course! There were several free copies of the game given out, everyone got a posters and of course, free eats!

Answer Me These Questions Three!

Want a copy of The Shadow Odyssey but don't want to leave your house? No problem! All you have to do is be one of the first five people to answer my three questions in our forums. Think you can handled that? On your mark, get set, GOOOO!

1 . Before EverQuest II was released there was a "tome" of ancient lore that explained in detail, the events that lead to the cataclysms. What was it's name?

2 . Who is the FIRST to be referred to as "The Prime Healer"?

3 . Name the officer of the League of Freethinkers that you met in the former Peacock Club.

Be one of the first five to answer correctly in our forums and win a digital copy of The Shadow Odyssey.

A Final Glimpse @ The Shadow Odyssey

With the launch of the fifth EverQuest II expansion in less than 24 hours, we're giving you a final glimpse at what you can expect to see. The Shadow Odyssey gives you the opportunity to return to Innothule as well as revisit dungeons such as Najena, Mistmoore, Ruins of Guk and Befallen. In total, there are over twenty zones to explore! Fortunately, you won't have to go alone! Allakhazam has you covered every step of the way with the most up to date information. Stay tuned, there are some big announcements and changes on the horizon!

Right! The final glimpse that I promised you. We've just uploaded five exclusive screenshots from areas you'll be able to explore within TSO. We'd also love for you to check out Calthine's write-up about her tour through The Shadow Odyssey, as well as our exclusive look at the new Ykeshan Warbear Mount.

Because we're so excited about The Shadow Odyssey, we're feeling extra frisky this evening. What does that mean for you? That means keep a close eye on Allakhazam over the next couple of hours. Why? I can't tell you why. It's a secret! How about a hint?

Whoops, I think I told them too much!

The Shadow Odyssey Beta Tour with Exclusive Pics!

Fansite Folks About a dozen fansite folks milled around excitedly in the Moors of Ykesha as Christine “Kiara” Renzetti summoned us in from all over Norrath for the Beta tour of The Shadow Odyssey.  Moors of Ykesha is the (very) large overland solo-content zone for the expansion.  Current estimates give the number of quests available around 400.  We were greeted by Lindsay Morgan  “Miss Doomcookie” Lockhart, the zone designer and the developer responsible for all the pre-TSO lore at EQII Players.  She told us that the Ykeshan landmass is about the same size as Fens of Nathsar, but there's action in the waters, making it actually larger.  The continent was once attached to the south east of the Desert of Ro, and is where Grobb and Gutka used to be.  It's home to Clan Ykesha and the Rellosian Ogres, who turned from Rallos Zek to Cazic Thule to survive the Greenmist.  It's also home to the Gunthak pirates.  

Moors of Ykesha Morgan also worked on the Signature quest, and tells us it involves some of the toughest zones in the expansion.  At launch there will also be six new Heritage Quests which tie in EverQuest lore, and of course two new Diety quest lines. 

We were joined by Brett “Breb” Schienert as Kiara began taking us through the exciting new group content.  These zones all scale to the level of the first person zoning in (most start at level 50), so remember to mentor down before you zone.  There are a ton of new collection quests, and it was fun watching Niami Denmother scamper from shiny to shiny. 

Evolution of EverQuest II

Last week I had the opportunity to talk with EverQuest II's Producer, Bruce Ferguson, about all the different ways that EverQuest II has evolved over the years. With "The Shadow Odyssey " right around the corner, I found this to be a great topic to share with the community. In the Interview, Bruce shares his thoughts on class balance, tradeskills and how the team continues to keep the game fresh for players. Enjoy the interview and stay tuned for our exclusive expansion coverage, later in the week.

Allakhazam : Hey Bruce, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to sit down with us to talk about the Evolution of EverQuest II. I know everyone on the team is frantically putting the finishing touches on The Shadow Odyssey, so we appreciate it all the more.

Bruce : It's honestly a pleasure. We certainly enjoy the support we get from you guys, and it seems like many of our players do as well!

Allakhazam : It’s been nearly four years since EverQuest II launched. The game has changed a lot. What are some of the most important changes or evolutions to EverQuest II in your mind?

SOE Previews Zones in EQII Expansion

SOE has posted a preview of the zones Lower Guk and Guk Stronghold in the upcoming The Shadow Odyssey expansion, which is expected to be released on Nov. 18.

The preview is full of EverQuest lore and descriptions, including the awakening of Warlord Ykesha by adventuring trolls in Guk Stronghold and the clan of undead trolls and frogloks that fight under his command in Lower Guk.

For the full post, check EQ2 Players or keep reading below.

The Shadow Odyssey Zone Preview Video

This just in from SOE!  Take a look at some of the zones coming with EverQuest II's highly anticipated fifth expansion!


The Shadow Odyssey Beta Registration is Open!

After teasing the community mercilessly, Kiara brings us the Official Beta Invite !

Since today is Talk Like a Pirate Day (yeah, we totally planned it this way) the rest of our message will be brought to you in pirate speak!

Aye, please remember that registration int' the beta program does not guarantee admittance, but only puts ye int' the pool from which players will be randomly selected t' take part in the program. Also please remember that takin' part in our beta program means that ye accept the terms o' our Non-disclosure Agreement; e'erythin' included within the software and on the beta forums is co'ard by that agreement until otherwise stated. No aspect o' the beta program may be discussed on any public message shanty men; only on the pri'ate beta section o' the official E'erquest II forums. Ye'll ne'er get me buried booty!

If you don't speak pirate, try this link!

The Shadow Odyssey Beta Registration opens Sept 19

Kiara posteth :

The day we've all been waiting for is finally here!

Open beta registration will start on Friday, September 19th, 2008.

Stay tuned for the link and more information. Same ogre time, same ogre channel.

Watch here for more news as it becomes available!

Guk - A Great Place to Die

Kiara brings us a tantelizing teaser about Guk, one of the dungeons in the next EverQuest II expansion, The Shadow Odyssey :

"The thing I'm most excited about is how much of the atmosphere of the original Guk is captured in the new zones. From the zone art, to the effects, to the population and quests, Guk offers both a sense of nostalgia for longtime EQ players, and a new, haunting experience for those who have yet to enter its cursed halls."

Paul "Cronyn" Molina, EQII Game Designer

Read More at EQII Players!