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EverQuest: Dragons of Norrath - Preview

EverQuest
Platform:
Developer: Sony Online Entertainment
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
ESRB: Teen
Release Date: 02.15.2005
An Asian structure

A snarling dragon approaches. Command?

*dances*

Experiment in forshortening, or misproportioned
monster?

Cue ominous music.

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Who let the Dragons out?

Nearing its sixth-year anniversary, Sony's massive multiplayer online game EverQuest still has another expansion ready to hit store shelves. The ninth of the game's numerous expansions, it comes at an interesting moment in time. The sequel to EverQuest has already hit store shelves, yet there is still a decently-sized community populating the original. With new content, worlds, and interface options, those players who purchase EverQuest: Dragons of Norrath will find the changes welcome.

As the title might imply, the plot attached to this expansion revolves heavily around dragons. The lands in and surrounding the realms of Lavastorm and Havas are thrown into the spotlight as players must follow the trail of new quests when a new age emerges–the Age of War. As the world of Norrath is thrown into a large-scale conflict between good and evil, players must follow familiar heroes and villains as they search the lands for the ancient Nest. The Nest, which is the ancient birthplace of the dragons, was sealed away eons ago, and must be discovered and unleashed once again. But players must beware–if the Nest is unsealed too early, calamity and death will ensue and the dragons will be cursed for all eternity.

"Most changes being implemented involve the interface of EverQuest itself."

With new areas to explore comes new quests, new monsters, and naturally, new treasures. Goblins and fierce drakes have been added to the monster list. Of course, mighty dragons are also part of the new additions. Other new bits of content include new Tradeskills recipes, and new spells for magic wielding characters, with which to whomp said dragons.

New content aside, most of the changes being implemented involve the interface of EverQuest itself. For players who get lost easily, an entirely new map system has been put into place, so players can switch between the traditional line maps, and various world and continent maps with an easy point and click interface. Players who are in a pinch can make use of a newly implemented potion belt, which allows potions and magical items to be used rapidly and with less fuss.. If players have multi-skilled characters or weapons suited for many situations, they will be able to make use of the Bandolier equipment system to switch smoothly from one set of weapons to another, for whatever the occasion demands. Finally, for the players who wish for a better way to trade with other players, a new automatic bartering system has been created to smooth out the process and make acquiring that dream item much easier.

Guild members can look forward to large bonuses in the new Guild Halls. These are convenient areas for members of a guild to chat, form parties with and prepare for playing. Guild Halls include several features for different occasions. A health and mana regeneration pool can be used to heal up for battle, and in the event that the battle was not a success, an altar is available for mass-summoning corpses of guild members. New guild banks can be used to store items with access given to all members, or items can be put on hold for specific users or guild officers. Other additions are guild portals that allow members to purchase quick and easy access to predetermined locations, and tradeskill objects available in the guild hall. If players are not in a guild, and are eager to seek out a piece of the action, semi-permanent ads can be placed on bulletin boards that advertise guilds, and send messages to players who fulfill the criteria, asking them to join. The "Guild Seeking Members" tool comes paired with a "Player Seeking Guild" tool, so players can also search for guilds who are recruiting members and the criteria required.

Overall, for the current players of EverQuest, Dragons of Norrath will bring many efficient interface changes, as well as fresh content to explore and interact with. Players who are willing to shell out for this expansion may find their stay in Norrath to be much more pleasant.

Overall, for the current players of EverQuest, Dragons of Norrath will bring many interface changes, as well as fresh content to explore and interact with. Players who are willing to shell out for this expansion can find it when it arrives on store shelves on February 15.



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