Sony sent us info on major changes to Everquest II as it gets ready for its shipment to stores. Here they are:
Today, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) announced a number of new changes that bring EverQuest II even closer to the final game.
Since character individualization in EverQuest II has been a hot topic following the lifting of the NDA, we thought it would be a good idea to share our plan for the all-new features that are going live in the next few weeks to give a greater sense of uniqueness to players. We’ll be releasing more details each day, beginning with the character traits list tomorrow afternoon.
First, let’s talk about what’s changing from its current state.
We’re releasing the final class spells and arts lists. These move away from the standard archetype spells and arts we’ve been using for balance testing and give players access to their class-specific spell selections. The spells and arts you’ll see in the next few updates include new effects, class-specific strengths and flavor, and final names.
These spell changes are taking place across the board and will greatly refine class differences from what they are today. We’ve completed the balancing necessary to give a solid role to each class and now we’re excited to release the new spell and art lists.
To illustrate how these changes work, we'll use the Mage -> Sorcerer -> Wizard progression as an example.
Unlike how it was in the previous spell lists, once you turn level 10 you stop being just a mage. As you choose your path and complete your quest, from that point forward you are a sorcerer. There are no new mage spells after level 10. Each class will be branch off into entirely class-specific spells.
Once you turn level 20 and choose the path of a wizard, you are no longer a sorcerer. As before, there are no new sorcerer spells after level 20. You will be gaining wizard subclass spells from there forward.
In other words, there is no longer any such thing as a "level 44 mage spell," because a high-level wizard should never think of himself or herself as a level 44 mage in EverQuest II.
You will still be able to do a number of the same things to keep being useful in your key roles, but with unique and interesting differences that are suitable to each of the classes and subclasses that branch out from the common base.
For example, all priests will continue to receive instant heals, but other heal types will be restricted based on class. Only shamans will get wards, only druids will get regens, and only clerics will get reactive heals.
Classes will also receive a greater assortment of unique spells and arts. These are additional abilities that will likely be purchased off vendors. For example, illusionists will be able to cast racial illusions.
Full spell and art lists for each class will be released in the next few days.
Next, we’d like to outline some brand new features going live in the coming days and weeks. These systems add a tremendous amount of customization to each character and should help you create the unique persona you'll want to play in EverQuest II.
New Feature - Training Specialized Abilities
· As you develop your character, you’ll be able to specialize in major aspects of your profession. About every ten levels, you can choose to focus on one of your core abilities and receive advanced training to improve it.
· For example, a priest could train and receive either a stronger heal, a more potent buff, or a higher-damage nuke. This ability would be of much greater potency than the typical granted spell and may be upgraded even more through adventuring.
· Each profession gets similar choices that play to their strengths – fighters may choose between offensive and defensive enhancements, or mages may focus on improving a damage spell, a pet, or a stun spell as appropriate to their profession.
New Feature - Character Traits
· Character traits allow you to choose an aspect of your character and improve upon it. Traits are independent of your character’s race or profession, and all characters have access to the full list.
· By the time they’ve reached level 50, every character will gain access to seven traits that help tailor their character to their preferred play style.
· For example, a given character might choose to become Clever, thereby increasing their intelligence. Another character might choose to become Nimble, thereby increasing their base agility.
· Traits can improve your character in a variety of areas, such as increasing your statistics, giving more health or power, improving your health or power regeneration speed, and making your more resistant to magic, disease, or different types of melee damage.
· Traits are generally permanent effects that continuously improve your character during play. Once you’ve selected a trait, you’ll enjoy its benefits permanently.
New Feature - Racial Traditions
· As players learn the background and lore of their chosen race, they begin to unlock certain bonuses. This starts with race-specific titles and leads to a choice of racial abilities.
· By the time they’ve reached level 50, every character will gain access to four racial traditions to help tailor their character to their preferred play style and distinguish themselves from other members of their race.
· For instance, an Iksar could choose from enhanced health regeneration, increased power regeneration, or increased armor class. A Ratonga may learn to forage for food or improve his ability to dodge blows. Erudites may learn to summon a magical wisp, guard themselves with a magic-resistant shield, or improve their alchemist crafting abilities.
· Racial traditions take many forms, but are generally activated abilities that can be used on demand to greatly improve your character for a short period of time.
· Some traditions give bonuses similar to traits, but with much more powerful effects.
· Full racial tradition lists will be released for every race in the next few days.
New Feature - Enemy Mastery
· During your adventuring career, you’ll be able to learn about the creatures and monsters you’re fighting and use that knowledge to your advantage.
· Every few levels, players may choose from a selection of enemies and undertake a quest to learn how to exploit their weaknesses. The successful completion of this quest results in an enhanced attack against that type of enemy.
· By the time they’ve reached level 50, every character will gain access to six enemy masteries to help tailor their character to their preferred play style.
These new kinds of choices allow for greater individualization without creating major imbalances between subclasses. One dwarf templar can have different stats and abilities than another dwarf templar while retaining the core abilities that they need to be successful in their key roles. Approximately every two levels players will receive an additional choice that allows another degree of individualization.