The upcoming live update will be bringing many riches to us Everquest II players, and I can’t wait. I won’t go through all the upcoming features here, as it’s been done elsewhere (check out Ogrebear’s Thoughts for a good rundown with pictures), so I’ll just post some screen shots I took of the new content.
The biggest elements of the update are undoubtedly the new race along with their new starting city and zone. The new race is a dark version of the Fae called the Arasai. Check out the May Producer’s Letter for a bit of insight into the new race. There’s a fair bit of customization you can do, and I really like the look of the Arasai. When Echoes of Faydwer came out I never got the urge to create a Fae, but without doubt, I’ll be rolling an Arasai as soon as the content goes live. It took me a while to decide on which wing type I wanted as there were a few different ones I really liked, but I ultimately went with a “batty” look.
This screen was new to me and I’m not sure if it’s unique to the update, or if it was implemented in EoF. Regardless, here it is, a map of the current world of Norrath. It’s a nice touch, and I really like it. I also really like the fact there’s still lots of open water there for new lands to magically appear one day.
Darklight Wood is where you start off, inside a little village. There’s a quest giver standing right in front of you, ready to send you on your way to fame and fortune. I was too eager to head out into the rest of the zone, so I didn’t explore the village too much.
There’s a path that leads out of the village into Darklight Wood itself. I followed the path out and decided to turn around and have a look at the outside of the village. Fittingly, the zone is dark, and very atmospheric. There are a lot of lower level mobs to kill just outside the village gates, as well as a small cave to explore.
I soon came upon the Wellspring of Nightmares, a mysterious pool of water surrounding by flying ghostly skulls. I don’t know of any lore behind the wellspring, but I’ll keep my eye out for some. I think I spent about five minutes just standing there watching the skulls swirl about. After a quick swim in the pool, I moved on.
Not far from the Wellspring of Nightmares I came upon a huge chasm called Innoruuk’s Scar. This area definitely looked nice, and the mist rising out of the chasm really adds to the atmosphere. The bridge looks really good too, and suits the zone. On a side note, there’s something about bridges in MMOs that I really like. I can’t explain it, but when I see a bridge I just have to cross it, or jump off it. I chose the latter, and using my wings, I floated harmlessly to the bottom of the chasm, only to see…
…our good friend Nagafen. My understanding is that Naggy is here only to give curious players a way out of the chasm. Apparently GMs were getting a lot of requests to rescue players from the bottom and eventually decided to drop a version of Nagafen in there so that players could just attack him, get killed, and revive back up at the village. Surprisingly, my level 2 Bruiser was not able to defeat Nagafen, and I soon found myself back at the village.
Just beyond the bridge, the path eventually leads to K’Rais Tunnel, which will take you to Neriak. I wanted to finish exploring Darklight first, so I chose not to enter at this point. As soon as I get some time I’ll check it out. I really like the look of the tunnel entrance, in fact, I think they’ve done a great job with the whole zone.
I next headed back across the bridge and headed deeper into Darklight Wood, eventually coming upon a druid ring like structure in The Harrowglade. It didn’t appear to be a regular druid ring like the ones in the other parts of Norrath, although that’s not to say it won’t be in the future. I guess only time will tell.
I headed deeper into the zone, careful not to get too close to the enemy mobs wandering about, as I was only level 2. I saw a shining blue beacon off in the distance and decided to check it out. I couldn’t get too close, but managed to get a decent shot of Warpfont Spire. It’ll be interesting to see what purpose this spire will have in weeks to come.
Nearby is Sableflame Crater, which was crawling with many mobs eager to kill me. I had to tread very carefully in order to get this picture. If I get a chance in the coming days, I’ll get myself leveled up so I can explore the building and see if anything is there.
Further into the zone I came across a guard riding an armoured warg. Wow, how sweet does that warg look? That is one awesome looking mount, and I hope there are plans to bring some armour in for the warg mounts already in the game.
Finally, I found myself heading down a path deeper into Darklight Wood and came upon some drakes surrounding some dragon bones. In fact, there was a named in there called Searscale. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm that name at this time, nor do I remember what level it was, as a drake caught wind of my presence and felt all to happy to kill me before I could jot the information down. If I remember correctly, most of the mobs around here ranged in level from 8 to 9. I want to say Searscale was 14, but again, I may be completely off with that.
So that’s about all I’ve seen of Darklight Wood to this point. It looks and feels like a fair sized zone with quite a bit of content. In the next few days or so I hope to level up a bit and head into Neriak and check it out, and of course, take some screenies.