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EverQuest II
EverQuest II Downtime Tuesday, October 21, 2014

US EverQuest II live servers will be brought offline on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at approximately 7:00AM PDT, with an estimated downtime of one hour.  EU EverQuest II live servers will be brought offline at approximately 5:00AM London Time on October 22. Estimated downtime is 2 hours.

IMPORTANT NOTE: SOE has also announced a two hour downtime for all their systems starting at 5:00am PDT on the same day.

Here's the patch notes:

GENERAL

  • All Access members can now send and receive mail attachments from almost anywhere.
  • Added an option to default applying Adornments to manual selection. You can find this option under User Interface - Game Options - Manually Select Items to Adorn.
  • Rewards earned in the Altar of Malice Beta may now be obtained via /claim.

TRADESKILLS

  • Grandmaster recipe for Winds of Velious IV now requires the correct master component.
  • Corrected several issues with Conjuror Grandmaster recipes above level 80.

 

EverQuest
The Darkened Sea: Degmar, the Lost Castle

Degmar, the Lost Castle, is one of eight new zones coming with EverQuest's 21st expansion, The Darkened Sea, launching November 11, 2014 (with an early release for All-Access members on October 28, 2014). Here is a look:

Dwarves aren't normally sea-dwelling folk. The inhabitants of this castle are the exception, much to their dismay.


Entombed at the deepest, darkest point in the Darkened Sea is a mighty castle. One might argue that such a place is not fitting for a castle, least of all a dwarven one. Well of course no dwarf worth his weight in ore would willingly build a castle in such a locale. Unfortunately however, this was not by choice.

General News
SOE Maintenance Notice: October 21, 2014

Sony Online Entertainment has announced a two hour maintenance for all their games starting at 5:00 AM PDT on Tuesday, October 21, 2014. This is expected to last two hours and will impact these SOE services:

  • Players may lose connection across all games
  • Commerce functions, including purchases for all games
  • Game, web and forum logins for all games

Here's our handy time zone conversion tool to help you plan.

EverQuest II
Altar of Malice Expansion Goodies

SOE has announced the pricing and goodies included in the Altar of Malice expansion. An important point of interest: unlike previous expansions, this one cannot be pre-ordered. That means that the Collector's Edition will not have a discounted price at any point. As mentioned at SOE Live, Altar of Malice will include the Tears of Veeshan expansion, while Chains of Eternity will become free (Age of Discovery will remain as separate items in the Marketplace).

Full details below!

Final Fantasy XIV
Square Enix Reveals FFXIV's First Expansion

Square Enix announced Final Fantasy XIV's first-ever expansion, Heavensward, at the Fan Festival this past weekend. Releasing in Spring 2015, players can expect a level cap increase, new player race, dungeons and primals, and much more.

EverQuest II
Moonlight Enchantments Start Tonight!

The monthly live event Moonlight Enchantments starts tonight! The grottos will open on the 20th at 12:01am PDT and close on the 21st at 11:59pm PDT. The time applies directly with no conversion to all servers. Check out our Moonlight Enchantments guide and peek at the rewards!

EverQuest Next
Your Next: Playing Cards

Often this column is only very loosely formed around EverQuest Next and/or Landmark, and I sometimes feel a little guilty about that. I’m prone to getting wrapped up in ideas and discussions of broader trends, when I’m sure that many of you would rather have a chat about those cool games we’re all excited about.

So this week, I’m not going to get derailed by what’s going on in the industry at large, even if it’s thinly wrapped in the context of EQN and Landmark. I don’t think this is the place for it, and other people have already done a much better job of it than I ever could.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, look for the word ‘gamer’ in the mainstream press. In fact, it’s probably best not to, it’s just embarrassing.

Instead, we’re going to talk about some great things that are happening in the development of EQN and Landmark right now! I know you don’t come here for news either, so hang tight and brace for opinions.

There’s been an update to combat in Landmark, and with it some of the basic ideas that form the foundation of what will follow; not just in Landmark, but in EQN also. It’s great to see more of the systems being fleshed out, and I’m personally very happy with the way this one is going. Slowing the pace of combat and adding more opportunity for tactical decision making is a positive step, and the systems used to do it are encouraging.

Creating depth without becoming bogged down in complexity is always a great challenge in game design, especially with horizontal character advancement, and it looks like SOE has some great sources of inspiration in place to facilitate it. Specifically, we can already see the influence of Magic the Gathering on character building:

  • Collecting more options can be very helpful, but isn’t required to engage with the content

  • Enormous variety is possible, but you don’t have to understand or even be aware of everything to be strong

  • Conversely, by understanding how the different elements can be used together a player can become more powerful through understanding, not just by the numbers on their gear

  • While it’s possible to make a very strong build, the large possibility space means that nothing is the best solution to every problem