MMOsite's Quest! has been all over EverQuest's monumental 18th expansion, Veil of Alaris, and today the vague spoilers have come to an end. Players of this classic MMORPG might have already had a week and change to explore the brand new expansion, but for players who haven't had the opportunity to try this new content out, you're in for a treat. Last week, EQ's Community Manager Eric Cleaver and I went on a tour of some of the zones featured in Veil of Alaris, and Mr. Cleaver was generous enough to disclose much of the new content that has come with this addition -- and it's more than just weird aliens, flying islands, and mysterious gods. From top to bottom, Veil of Alaris is an exciting expansion and a must-have for EverQuest players new and old, for it launched with a brand new slew of features and in-game mechanics that will allow adventurers of every shape and size to conquer the world around them with even greater accessibility and ease. Just a few days ago, we opened up discussion with the backstory to Veil of Alaris, and how the death of Cazic Thule has opened up a new world full of foreign creatures and gods who want nothing more than Norrathian blood. Now we will look into some of the other zones players will encounter on Alaris, including some gorgeous realms featured in the game and the final dungeon of the expansion. We will also finish up with some of the biggest new features added with Veil of Alaris, many of which players have been looking forward to for a long, long time.
In order to get the full scoop on Veil of Alaris, including all of the new features (as well as the new zones), check out part 1 of this hands-on which can be found here. Only by reading both parts of this hands-on will you be able to see the full awesomeness that's already available now, so please click on the link and check it-check it out.
New Zones- Beast's Domain, The Resplendent Temple, and The Sepulcher
One of the earliest monster-driven zones players will encounter is the Beast's Domain, a zone that illustrates the differences between the Norrathian gods and the Alaran gods perfectly.
Remember how I mentioned that the gods of Alaris were born from the beliefs of the people themselves? The Beast's Domain is a physical example of this. The Beast's Domain is home of The Beast, one of the oldest Alaran deities, born out of the tribal hunters' fear of the predator. Eventually the fear of the predator accumulated over time, and it formed a deity who would become the king of the Alaran beasts -- a manifestation of the Alarans' very fear of monsters and their own weakness. When The Beast was born, he turned the forests and jungles into his domain, and he created in them some of the mightiest monsters that roam, looking for fresh meat.
The Beast's Domain mixes Norrathian flora and fauna with Alaran effects and color schemes. As you can see from the image above, a typical object in the Beast's Domain takes the structure and coloration of Norrathian objects and infuses them with Alaran colors and power, and added decoration for a splash of awesome. The bright, lucent colors representing the Alaran influence throughout the forests are absolutely gorgeous to behold, and they make travel through the Beast's Domain a joyride of the senses. What's more, the monsters of the Beast's Domain are all fusion products of some very familiar Norrathian beasts.
As you've seen above, the raptor, a mainstay of EverQuest, will be a regular mob wandering the Beast's Domain. But just like the world around it, the Norrathian raptor has become infused with the magics of Alaris. The final product is a gorgeous new being with vibrant colors and a whole new mystique...though it is no less dangerous as a regular Norrathian raptor. Compare the raptor above with the one just below.
The next stop on the tour is The Resplendent Temple, and what a beauty this place is. Anyone familiar with the Resplendent Temple preview video will recognize the sheer majesty and glory of the place. What nobody tells you, though, is how huge the structure is when you actually get up to it while playing.
Yeah. The temple is huge like whoa, and this isn't even from the view of your character.
Just on the upper levels of the temple, there is so much to do. The halls are filled with interesting Alaran NPCs, each of which are willing to share some lore about the place -- as well as their philosophy. The Resplendent Temple is dedicated to perfection, pristine order, and cleanliness of the highest caliber. The peoples of The Resplendent Temple cannot bear filth of any kind, and so a walk throughout the temple will reveal pearl beauty without exception. There are also terraces and tower tops that have large gardens, and these gardens are filled with creatures that players can interact with while they explore or just hang out.
But then, as players wander, they can find the chute which all of The Resplendent Temple's garbage is thrown down from. And it is down in this chute that players will see the awful, ugly underbelly of the temple. Below lives a race of pig creatures who revere the trash thrown to them as being holy and divine. Oh, and it should go without saying that these monsters are feral and vicious, and will attack without warning. Players can accept a string of quests that will lead them through the underground labyrinth beneath The Resplendent Temple, where they will eventually rout out the leaders of this civilization and crush the evil pig-men once and for all.
This finally brings us to the last stop on the tour: The Sepulcher. The Sepulcher is a giant temple dedicated to seven of the Alaran gods, and as such this giant monstrosity of a zone hosts seven temples. Everything in The Sepulcher is done is three, because there are three gods in particular that residents of this sinister lair hold dear. As a result, as players explore, they will find things like three sets of doors, three hallways, etc. Even the temple itself is separated into three pieces: because this zone is so huge, players will have to explore the East Sepulcher, the West Sepulcher, and the Sepulcher of Order.
The Sepulcher is the final zone that players will experience in Veil of Alaris, and it is the home of the final boss of the expansion. The identity of this boss is still a mystery, but Eric Cleaver has promised us that players who get deeper and deeper into The Sepulcher will see monsters and creatures unlike anything they've ever seen before in EverQuest -- and perhaps unlike anything they've ever seen before in any game. In addition, The Sepulcher will host several raids, as well as unique quests and repeatable quests that will keep players heavily engaged until the next expansion comes -- one that SOE is already working on.
New Features- Guild Neighborhoods, Guild Houses, and new coin/parcel delivery system
Guilds now have a brand new facet of glory to them that the entire world can share. SOE has added a brand new guild neighborhood construction system, and right out the gate there is a lot to do. A guild leader can now create a guild neighborhood, which is a separate zone that they can name themselves for even deeper customization. Each guild neighborhood is unique; a new guild neighborhood starts with 30 open lots, and members of a guild that possess a neighborhood can, with gold, build their own home and place it on one of the streets in the guild neighborhood. When a guild neighborhood fills up, the game will dynamically create a new neighborhood that will allow guildmates to build their own houses still, without having to worry about going without. Any EverQuest player can visit any guild neighborhood as long as the guilds allow it, so there's no worries of isolation between neighborhoods.
The houses themselves come in different sizes. There are small lots, medium lots, and large lots, and possibly one so large that it will blow your mind (really -- the medium-sized lot is already pretty flippin' awesome). The lots themselves are fully customizable by the owner, and lot owners can add all sorts of furniture pieces, structural designs, and decorations after purchasing them. Anyone owning a guild hall can also add service NPCs to their guild house, to really make things homey and convenient. Players can add up to 100 objects to the outside of their guild house, and up to 1,800 objects to the inside of their house, at least at the moment. Objects on the inside do not count against outside objects, and vice-versa -- so have a ball.
Finally, there is the new coin/parcel delivery service added with Veil of Alaris, and this little feature is something that the community has been waiting for for a long time. Players in EverQuest no longer have to be online simultaneously to exchange items between each other. Delivery NPCs have been added to the game now, and players can use these NPCs to ship coins and items to another player's mailbox, regardless of their status. These NPCs can be found in most major cities, making shipping more convenient than ever before. Rejoice, EverQuest players!
And this concludes part 2 of the Veil of Alaris hands-on. Stick around, because there are a lot more surprises coming, such as my interview with Thom Terrazas and Adam Bell. There might also be some unscheduled surprises coming in celebration of Veil of Alaris...but you'll just have to keep reading to see. So, until next time, quest well my friends.
Veil of Alaris Hands-On Part 1: my.mmosite.com/2aecbd118ed47523f4132bdc3a275d9c/blog/item/ce98c6a846de55b757c8c1aed54e890d.html
Veil of Alaris Hands-On Part 2: my.mmosite.com/2aecbd118ed47523f4132bdc3a275d9c/blog/item/3bd6b92ad4c6abbbec15effda2201dc4.html
Veil of Alaris Hands-On Bonus Content: my.mmosite.com/2aecbd118ed47523f4132bdc3a275d9c/blog/item/b40fff76e71b24688a5e16b6a41e6871.html