Monument & Might - Game Update 52 Preview Tour!

Monument & Might - Game Update 52 Preview Tour!

Wednesday evening, I was invited to attend a tour of the new content we can expect with GU52. I told you i'd be back with more information about GU52! So, what exactly did I find in this massive game update? Read on to learn more!

Yesterday, I was invited to attend a tour of the new content we can expect with GU52. Now, I have to admit that I was nervous as, normally I attend with Calthine there. This time, I was entirely on my own. So, you know, if you don't like this write-up, feel free to blame her! Anyway, according to Christie "Kiara" Renzetti (EQII Community Manager), we can expect GU52 to hit the live servers somewhere around June 16th, assuming all goes well. The screenshot gallery can be found here, for those of you who just want to admire the prettiness.

For anyone else who wants more information about the content going into this update, and whom I haven't bored to death already, read on!

Heroic Dungeons

Our first stop on the tour was the Heroic version of Kurn's Tower. We appeared inside a tunnel and Kiara informed us that the Burynai had dug into the tower. Apparently, the door is still locked. After climbing up the wall, we were treated to the first level of Kurn's Tower. You will be given a quest upon zone-in, and another quest can be obtained from the dead Burynai at the top of the hole. Things obviously aren't good here. The undead Iksar all over the place, coupled with some dead Burynai gave that away. Things aren't too good if you dare to look up either, as the void's influence can easily be seen. A large, undead Iksar roams around the level. Kiara told us not to poke it, otherwise the entire floor would attack... someone poked it, and the entire floor attacked.

Once we'd finally managed to deal with being mobbed by undead Iksar, we then had a large monkey to deal with. Apparently he is the lift guardian, and needs to be killed in order to unlock the lift. So, off we went to kill him and he promptly threw all of us across the room! It was at this point we realised the jets of fire coming out of the walls and floor really were jets of fire that burnt, and not just pretty scenery!

With those hazards dealt with, we proceeded up the lift. I found a big, purple thing and decided to poke it, at which point I found out it was another lift. This took us into the void-touched area of Kurn's Tower, which Kiara informed us was level 2. Here you are in the centre of the room, and there are 4 rooms around you. We had to proceed into each one and kill the named mobs in there in order to activate the lift. This was also a great place to get some screenshots looking down into Kurn's Tower. From this point, you can really see how the old tower has meshed with the void-touched part. The art is very, very well done.

Finally, we moved up to level 3. There was only 1 bad guy to deal with up here. Kiara informed us that there are quests to come in here, and the lore behind the tower will start to unfold. Once the heroic version is completed, we were told that the lore continues inside the X2 raid version of Kurn's.  At that point, I was too busy staring at the ceiling of the room because it was just completely and utterly amazing! I'm a bit sad like that. One thing we did notice, is that most of the nameds in here seem to have some form of nasty trick up their sleeves, so make sure you're prepared.

Our next stop was going to be the raid version of Kurn's Tower, except Kiara hadn't appropriately bribed the server hamsters, so they refused to let her in. Instead, we headed to Charasis: Emperor's Athenaeum. This zone is also part of the story you started in Kurn's Tower. Upon entering the zone, it feels very much like Charasis: Maiden's Chamber. I don't consider this to be a bad thing, as it keeps with the "feel" of the zones. Once you get past the two guards, things start to feel a little different.

Like the previous two Charasis zones, you have to kill nameds in order to flick switches and progress to the next area. However, the main difference I found in this place, is that it feels a lot more... well... linear. For example, in Vault of Eternal Sleep, you can tackle either of the Keepers first, it doesn't matter which. In Maiden's Chamber, you kill the devourer thing, and then you can deal with the Gear of the Ancients or Sandstorm. I think you can even go deal with the three sisters first if you really want to.

Here, you have a named to kill, which leads to another named, which leads to another named, etc. You have to kill the named, to activate the switch next to the door, to progress through the zone. That's the major difference I spotted with this Charasis compared to the previous two. As with Kurn's, all the nameds have little tricks up their sleeves, which I won't spoil. However, fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld should look for a vendor called "Cut-Me-Own-Tail Ssstibbler". Actually, anyone should look for him. He sells food, drink, at least 1 house item and I remember seeing a Provisioner recipe. I'm sure he also had something amusing to say, but I couldn't speak Satharian.

New Quests For Rise of Kunark!

We've heard that new quests are going in, and, as part of the tour, we found out where they start! Firstly, you can find quests out in Kylong Plains, on the docks. It is important to know that the quests are of an appropriate level for the zone they are in. Therefore, Kylong Plains quests are all from level 68 to 70-ish. Fens of Nathsar is higher, from 71 up to about 73, Kunzar Jungle goes from 74 to about 76 and Jarsath Wastes goes from roughly 78 to beyond 80. The Fens of Nathsar has 3 places to pickup quests: Sathir's Span, Rillis and then you can go talk to the mysterious army who are beyond Kurn's Tower.

These invaders are called The Order of Rime, and the area they live on at the north edge of the Fens of Nathsar reminded me of Everfrost. It wasn't mentioned how much of a part they play in the new zones, but Kiara did say they want information from the Emperor's Athenaeum. That's the only titbit we were given. I did ask if they had anything to do with the new expansion, and was told that question couldn't be answered. From Fens, we moved to Kunzar Jungle. Supposedly there are 2 areas here to get quests. One is over near the City of Mist and one is in the City of Jinisk. Finally, as we were running short on time, we were whisked off to Jarsath Wastes.

I have to say, I couldn't recognise where the hell I was in the zone! But, The Order of Rime has setup camp here too, and they have more quests to offer. As far as we know, these are all the places in Kunark that will have new quests. Kiara mentioned there will be 80+ new quests going live with this GU. From the two quests I picked up inside Kurn's Tower, they appear to like giving us money! One had a reward of 2 platinum, another had a reward of 4. We were not told what we could expect for other quest rewards.

So, What Else Can We Expect?

That concluded the actual tour, but Kiara did give us some other bits of information. Sadly, we couldn't examine the research assistants in detail, nor investigate the new tradeskill content. There simply wasn't enough time. We were told that both heroic dungeons, and the X2 raid, will feature shinies to pick up. Not only that, but the rewards from the shiny collections are part of another collection so you can get a better reward. Basically, the way the new Lavastorm collections work.

It also seems that the player-written books will be introduced before this GU goes live! Why do I say that? Well, Kiara said... and I quote... "We're going to be doing something fun with the lore leading up to the next expansion. With the introduction of the player written books, we'll be putting lore instalments in those books and putting them on random vendors." Apparently these books will only be available for around a week, and the first instalment will be released around the time of Fan Faire. Well, at least that's what we've been told! So make sure to keep your eyes on the vendors for clues on what our next expansion pack will be!

I'm afraid that's all I managed to learn on the press tour. What I can say is there is a lot of content going in, and it's just a shame we didn't have the time to cover all of it! I'm personally very impressed with the work that the SOE team has put into this GU, and I certainly hope other people will be too.

- Neil "Kain" Wallis, EQII CM


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