With Everquest 2's NDA being lifted, Sony Online Entertainment has decided to touch upon some changes they are making before the November 15th release date. The first set of changes will involve class spells and arts lists. The new set of spells will branch off from the standard archetype spells and arts that have been used for balancing purposes. Instead, the new set of spells will be class-specific to help define classes from one another, giving each class a specific role and highlighting their basic strengths and weaknesses.
An example of this change can be found with the Mage / Sorcerer / Wizard progression chart. Once you reach level 10 you cease being a mage and become a Sorcerer. What does that mean exactly? It means that once you become a Sorcerer you will no longer learn any mage spells. Things work the same way once you reach level 20 and become a Wizard. You are no longer able to learn Sorcerer spells. Each class will branch off and learn class-specific spells.
SOE also intends on implementing various other specialized features to help define each character. New character traits will allow you to choose an aspect of your character and improve upon it. Character traits will boost stats, health, mana, increase resists, or even increase melee damage. By level 50, every character will have access to seven traits.
Specialized abilities will allow players to become more proficient in different areas of their class. A priest could choose to train and receive a stronger heal, a more potent buff, or a higher-damage nuke. Each of the classes has similar choices to help increase efficiency. While players will have the chance to customize their character based on what class they choose, Racial Traditions will also play a part in character development. As players learn the background and lore of their chosen race, they will begin to unlock bonuses. An Iksar could choose from enhanced health regeneration, increased power regeneration, or increased armor class. Ratonga characters may learn to forage food or improve their ability to dodge attacks. By level 50, every character will gain access to four racial traditions.
Another feature recently added into Everquest II is Enemy Mastery. During your adventures you will be able to learn about the creatures and monsters you fight and will be able to put that knowledge to good use. Every few levels, players may choose from a selection of enemies and undertake a quest to learn how to exploit the weaknesses of the chosen monster type. By the time the player reaches level 50, every character will gain access to six enemy masteries to help mold their character to their preferred play style.
Along with the character development information, SOE has also given a bit of insight to the make up of Norrath in Everquest II. Players familiar with Everquest may remember the frogloks, the back-fliping, frog-like, children of Mithaniel Marr. In the world of Everquest II the frogloks are in danger and have went into hiding. SOE has announced that the froglok race will become playable after users on every server manage to unlock and complete one specific quest. Griffins will also play an important role in the restoration of Norrath. Some griffins have been tamed and are being used as means of transportation across Norrath. Three towers have been built on the continent of Antonica, allowing players to travel between Qeynos and the Thundering Steppes.
Sony Online Entertainment has also unveiled that Hollywood actor Christopher Lee and actress Heather Graham will be performing voice work in Everquest II. Christopher Lee will be performing the voice of Lucan DíLeer, the 1,000 year-old tyrant of Freeport, while Heather Graham will be taking on the role of Antonia Bayle, queen of Qeynos. SOE has currently hired approximately 1,700 voice actors to help bring the world of Norrath to life.