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Author Topic: Hartsman's Producer Letter - May 17th  (Read 7384 times)
Bandit
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on: May 04, 2007, 07:59:58 AM

Scott "Gallenite" Hartsman put out a little message today.  Next update will include a new race, the "Arasai" (although sounds like just an evil fae), the starting city of neriak and the darklight woods......all free update content.  Pretty nice update if I do say so.  If EQ2 has peaked yer interested at all, you might want to try it when the next update hits (sometime this month).

EQ2 has been moving towards  more free-content releases, and longer times between expansions...as opposed to the unpolished expansions every 6 months and the purchased "adventure packs" rotating in.   Instead it seems about a year expansion release with free content plugged in monthly live updates.  Thus far they have added the high-end single group instance "Unrest", which is a masterpeice, but really long for my tastes (3-5 hours). In addittion new mounts are starting to be released, beginning with the warg mount last month.  Minor chapter additions have also slowly been leaked for an ongoing signature quest.

Anyhoo here is Scott's post...

Quote
Producer's Letter - May 2007
Names have power.

It's strange how the sound of a single word or the sight of a particular arrangement of letters on a page can instantly give rise to a wide array of feelings.

Some names have more power than others.

Neriak.

It's an exceptionally strong name. For me, at least, it's in hearing it out loud. Three syllables that contain a sense of dark malevolence, raise tales of intrigues unending, and bring forth images of a race of people whose ambition is outmatched only by their ruthlessness and cunning.

There's another name that may not be familiar, but it too plays a significant part in what's coming.

Arasai.

It's a lighter sound, which is fitting for what it describes. It also sounds as if that lightness has been twisted. Meticulously developed, or crafted, if you will. Like a fine weapon on display.

As many of you have no doubt guessed, I'm talking about the next major live content release for EverQuest II. We've talked a lot over the past year about our commitment to making sure there's always something interesting going on in Norrath. What's coming takes that even further.

With Echoes of Faydwer, we had hoped that people would enjoy a return to a more traditional MMO starting experience, and were pleased with the results. We got a lot of positive reaction by introducing the starting city of Kelethin inside of Greater Faydark, as well as a new race, the Fae.

Later this month, we'll be releasing the largest free content addition that EQ2 has ever seen. The complement to that experience: The city of Neriak, the large outdoor zone of Darklight Wood, and a new playable race, the Arasai, one of the races who will be able to start there.

These zones are another collaboration with our SOGA studio in Taiwan, the same studio that developed the characters and environments for The Fallen Dynasty. Their artists working in conjunction with our designers and artists have really brought Neriak back to life.

We decided to go this direction for a couple reasons. As we were developing the storyline for Faydwer, we saw the potential both in gameplay and story development for a dark, twisted shadow of the Fae, and we've wanted to explain a few important things about this area of the world for quite some time.

We pick up the story of Neriak 300 years ago.

It was no secret even then that Queen Cristanos Thex of Neriak was the embodiment of malevolent ambition. So close to the crown and ultimate power over her own kind, but it was destined to pass her by. When King Tearis' time came, the empire would fall to the hands of her son, Prince Talvus Thex.

While the War of the Fay raged, with the Crown Prince and his father otherwise occupied in Faydwer, the Queen saw her opportunity and exploited it mercilessly. It wasn't long before both King Tearis and his son fell to mysterious circumstances in combat.

Cristanos seized the power she had long desired, ending the Thex Dynasty in one final, brutal stroke.

("Two, actually," she would later recount to her most trusted priestess.)

Neriak, however, would not remain unscathed for long under her rule.

It's not entirely certain what allowed the Leatherfoot Raiders of Rivervale to pose the threat that they did to Neriak. Some say it was assistance from foreigners from the outermost quarter of the city, others whispered that the Teir'Dal had been betrayed by those who remained loyal to the King, and yet others credit the assault on Nektulos by the Kithicor Rangers. In the end, it was no matter. The effect would be the same.

At Cristanos' order, the high priestess Tseralith made use of an artifact known as the Hand of Malice summoning forth a beast of great destruction to seal Neriak off from the invaders.

The surviving invaders gave the ruins that resulted the name "Fallen Gate," and soon abandoned them to the spirits that rose from the destruction.

Unbeknownst to the attackers, however, the grand expanse of Neriak Proper was entirely spared.

Sealed off from her enemies, her people and homeland assumed destroyed, Cristanos has had nothing but time. Freed from influences of the outside, Cristanos only grew more and more malicious, soon thinking of herself as the divine manifestation of Hate to her people a god in her own right.

To her, you see, the Dark Elves are the "correct" way that Elves should have developed, though most of the races of Norrath consider them a wicked perversion of High Elves.

One day while toying with one of the captured Fae spirit buds she frequently tormented to amuse herself, she realized how perfectly fitting it would be to fix what the old gods had gotten wrong, and set the evolution of the Fae along their "correct" course as well.

The screams, it is said, were legendary.

If you're interested in what happened next, you'll just have to see it in game for yourself.

We'll see you there.

- Scott
Murgos
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Reply #1 on: May 04, 2007, 08:57:16 AM

That's a pretty big 'free' release.  A new race, a new starting city and what sounds like a major adventuring zone.

I might have to move my scheduled return to EQ2 from late summer up a few months, DL the client and pony up what, 15 bucks for another month?

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
Kitsune
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Reply #2 on: May 04, 2007, 09:58:36 AM

Well, crap.  If they've finally brought Neriak back, I may have to shell out for a month just to see it.  It's good that they're fixing the horrible deficiencies in starting cities.  It just begs the question about whether my traitor-to-Freeport Teir'Dal (what can I say, I wanted elemental pets) can go home without being vastly murdered by the guards.
Sky
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Reply #3 on: May 04, 2007, 10:33:57 AM

Should be interesting how this plays out with the Thexians, if she's really gone over the edge and thinks she's subsumed Innoruuk's role. Thexians want to find Neriak...but will they like what they find?

Given that my main in EQ1 (on the Innoruuk server, no less) was a dark elf necro, and my main in EQ2 is a dark elf SK (just outlevelled my old BC wizard before shutting off combat exp for the last week+)...sounds good to me.

In theory, anyway. In practice, I doubt I'll ever be high enough level or group enough to check out the cool stuff. As always.

Bandit
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Reply #4 on: May 04, 2007, 10:39:47 AM

What server are you on Sky? I am always happy to find players to group with - I have a pretty decked out 70 troub (mostly fabled/mastered) and a 64 fury (in process of betraying and switching to warden), along with various other alts.  I am on crushbone, and in the process of moving all my alts over during the free transfer. 

Most likely will be starting an alt for the next LU as well....although I would have to delete an alt.  Damn EQ2 and their 6 character slots, seriously ridiculous.

EDIT - See your on Oasis in another thread
« Last Edit: May 04, 2007, 10:43:03 AM by Bandit »
Sky
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Reply #5 on: May 04, 2007, 11:12:47 AM

I'm also a slave to the Station Pass because I have 8 characters  undecided

Sauced
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Reply #6 on: May 04, 2007, 12:32:51 PM

I suppose it's too much to ask that the Arasai have Cthulu heads and bat wings?

Great news.  Wonder how high Darklight Woods will go, or if it will just feed into Nek Forest.

Supposed to go on Test tomorrow.
Murgos
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Reply #7 on: May 04, 2007, 12:52:07 PM

An Illithid race would be sweet.  I'm thinking there is not a chance in hell.  evil

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
Sauced
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Reply #8 on: May 04, 2007, 02:05:03 PM

First look: http://eq2.allakhazam.com/db/guides.html?guide=983.

Just dark-skinned Fae, as expected, but looks like their are some more leathery wing choices in there.
Kitsune
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Reply #9 on: May 04, 2007, 09:45:40 PM

Here is a forum post with Neriak screenshots.  Not the best resolution, sadly, but still pretty impressive.
Hartsman
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Reply #10 on: May 05, 2007, 01:08:24 AM

Should be interesting how this plays out with the Thexians, if she's really gone over the edge and thinks she's subsumed Innoruuk's role. Thexians want to find Neriak...but will they like what they find?

Given that my main in EQ1 (on the Innoruuk server, no less) was a dark elf necro, and my main in EQ2 is a dark elf SK (just outlevelled my old BC wizard before shutting off combat exp for the last week+)...sounds good to me.

In theory, anyway. In practice, I doubt I'll ever be high enough level or group enough to check out the cool stuff. As always.

Who were you on Inny?  (And was this pre-PoP era?)

Sky
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Reply #11 on: May 05, 2007, 11:10:26 AM

I'm embarassed to post my stupid EQ name. One thing with that game, it took so long to level up, you were pretty much saddled with a bad choice at character creation :P

My dark elf necro was...Singoth *cringe* Used to run with Crusaders of Ilk, a decent guild that got folded into the Elder Tribunal. Politics led me to leave that guild and never join another one except our scwewy BC endeavours. You probably didn't know me, as I wasn't into the "social" raid scene.

Very pre-PoP. I originally played on Tarew Marr but traded my wizard for my old UO account I had sold to a friend. That wizard was my beta character up through a couple months of release (rubicite fever was disgusting and I quit). I started up around Kunark with the necro on Inny because my rl friend (the eqholic) was playing, played for about two years past Kunark, into Velious and the Furry expansion.

Funny/saddest moment on the Innoruuk server. Verant was trying to run an RP event, I forget the actual story now. At one point Innoruuk's daughter was in Rathe Mts to pick a champion for her father. She chose a monk of Quellius. Seriously, what's up with that? God of Hate picks some Kane figure instead of the throngs of loyal dark elves gathered.

Hartsman
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Reply #12 on: May 06, 2007, 01:51:27 AM

I'm embarassed to post my stupid EQ name. One thing with that game, it took so long to level up, you were pretty much saddled with a bad choice at character creation :P

My dark elf necro was...Singoth *cringe* Used to run with Crusaders of Ilk, a decent guild that got folded into the Elder Tribunal. Politics led me to leave that guild and never join another one except our scwewy BC endeavours. You probably didn't know me, as I wasn't into the "social" raid scene.

Very pre-PoP. I originally played on Tarew Marr but traded my wizard for my old UO account I had sold to a friend. That wizard was my beta character up through a couple months of release (rubicite fever was disgusting and I quit). I started up around Kunark with the necro on Inny because my rl friend (the eqholic) was playing, played for about two years past Kunark, into Velious and the Furry expansion.

Funny/saddest moment on the Innoruuk server. Verant was trying to run an RP event, I forget the actual story now. At one point Innoruuk's daughter was in Rathe Mts to pick a champion for her father. She chose a monk of Quellius. Seriously, what's up with that? God of Hate picks some Kane figure instead of the throngs of loyal dark elves gathered.

Hahaha -- Nice. :)   Nope, looks like we don't know each other from back then.  Figured I'd ask on the off chance.

One of my favorites from a live "event"* back on that server was the big RP event in Mistmoore.  Not for the story, of course:

"Raloon begins to cast a spell"  (guildmate)
"Mayong Mistmoore says, 'Raloon is my master.'"

(Raloon was summoned to Everfrost shortly thereafter.)



* It always bugged me that "events" back then translated loosely to 'Two or three GMs standing around reading a script, and 100 players stood around to watch, and more often than not got penalized for trying to get involved.'

Murgos
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Reply #13 on: May 06, 2007, 08:34:22 AM

Those events were better than the ones where GM's just spawned Giants into the Commons and ran around killing noobies.

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
Bandit
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Reply #14 on: May 07, 2007, 06:11:27 PM

Hartsman is my hero....long overdue, but nevertheless...

Quote
The EverQuest II team is extremely happy to announce the following addition for update #35, expected to launch toward the end of May.

Coinciding with the release of the dark elven city of Neriak as well as the new race to be found therein, the Arasai, your EQ2 and/or Station Access account will be gaining at least one new character slot.

We will be adding one slot to the standard EverQuest II subscription, increasing the base number of character slots available to 7.

Station Access members also see their limit increase by an additional slot.

To summarize, with update #35 the EQ2 subscription plans will have slots available as follows:

    * Standard EQ2 Subscription: 7 character slots
    * Station Access Subscription: 12 character slots

Good hunting, be it in Darklight Wood or elsewhere.

- Scott
Trippy
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Reply #15 on: May 07, 2007, 09:11:01 PM

Still less than what EQ had/has.
Kitsune
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Reply #16 on: May 07, 2007, 09:35:06 PM

The thing concerning me is whether defecting to Neriak will try to turn my Conjuror into a Necro, which I really don't want.  I already went to all the trouble of defecting to Qeynos to make my dark elf into a Conjuror in the first place.  Played a mage back in EQ, never really liked necros.
Numtini
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Reply #17 on: May 08, 2007, 07:57:25 AM

Sorry, if you defect to evil, your conjuror becomes a necro.

(Never in my life did I ever think I would see this much activity in the EQ2 forum.)

If you can read this, you're on a board populated by misogynist assholes.
Bandit
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Reply #18 on: May 08, 2007, 08:16:33 AM

Still less than what EQ had/has.


Still less than what most games have, but I understand it a bit.  CoV or CoH has a shit-tonne of Character slots, but in turn most supergroups were flooded with barely active accounts, and every name known to man was taken on every server...usually to inactive characters.  The character limitations in EQ2 sometimes suck, but I can see a bit of positive out of it.
Sky
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Reply #19 on: May 08, 2007, 09:29:16 AM

Sweet. I don't need a ton of character slots, I'm pretty happy with what I've got in EQ2, it covers most territory.

I'll probably try and send my necro over to Neriak, he's only level 12. I plan on playing him as a full-on twink at a later date. I wish I had known about Neriak going in a few months ago and had just saved the stuff he's already used (Adept III pet and whatnot) to send to the new kid. Ah, well. I hope he hasn't outlevelled too much of the new content.

Sauced
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Reply #20 on: May 08, 2007, 11:20:44 AM

Apparently Darklight Woods is similar to GFay, 1-20.
Ixxit
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Reply #21 on: May 08, 2007, 01:50:35 PM

Time to dig up my EQII disks.

I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.
Modern Angel
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Reply #22 on: May 08, 2007, 06:14:05 PM

Time to dig up my EQII disks.

Dammit. Me too. Maybe.
Xerapis
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Reply #23 on: May 09, 2007, 03:19:48 AM

Must...resist...the....pull...of...Dark Fae.

Wow.  This is seriously making me think about reinstalling/resubbing.  But I'm already paying for WOW for me and my boyfriend...decisions, decisions...

..I want to see gamma rays. I want to hear x-rays. I want to...smell dark matter...and feel the solar wind of a supernova flowing over me...
Signe
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Reply #24 on: May 09, 2007, 09:59:41 AM

You could ditch the boyfriend and play TWO games!   cheesy

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
Cheddar
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Reply #25 on: May 11, 2007, 08:51:17 PM

Or play me.

No Nerf, but I put a link to this very thread and I said that you all can guarantee for my purity. I even mentioned your case, and see if they can take a look at your lawn from a Michigan perspective.
Murgos
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Reply #26 on: May 12, 2007, 07:39:57 AM

Or play me.

Does your affianced know you swing both ways?  Probably be a good idea to let her know now rather than tossing a box of latex gloves and a tube of lube at her on your wedding night...

edit: A pox on the letter e and those whose whose minds are too small to be able to encompass the awesomeness of my being.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2007, 04:32:19 PM by Murgos »

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
Signe
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Muse.


Reply #27 on: May 12, 2007, 10:19:42 AM

A tube of lub?  Is that like a tub of lube?  Yes?   What?

My Sig Image: hath rid itself of this mortal coil.
Surlyboi
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eat a bag of dicks


Reply #28 on: May 12, 2007, 11:16:07 AM

It's like a hunka hunka burnin' lub only in convenient tube size.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
Ixxit
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Reply #29 on: May 24, 2007, 10:16:52 AM

Created an Arasai Brawler to check out the new Neriak content last night.

One of the choosable hairstyles for the Arasai male was called the "Crown of Angst".  I chuckled.

Something that is worn daily at F13.   cheesy

I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.
Surlyboi
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eat a bag of dicks


Reply #30 on: May 24, 2007, 10:58:28 AM

No, that would be crown of vitriol.

Angst is down the hall, next to emo and directly across from manthefuckup.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
Nija
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Reply #31 on: May 24, 2007, 12:29:57 PM

I resubbed.

I picked up the Fae box at frys to save myself the download time and installed it. Well, tried to install it. Disk 1 went OK, disc 2 got to about halfway done and threw up an error. I clicked OK and it killed the installer and deleted all the installed items.

Attempt 2, same thing. Except this time I fired up cmd and went to the directory, ran EQ2.exe, and started patching. Then I clicked OK on the error and it still deleted the entire contents of the directory except a handful of things that EQ2.exe had in use at the time.

Attempt 3, I installed until the error box popped up then I unplugged the PC. Plugged it back in, fired up the patcher, and I was only missing about 3.5 gigs.

This morning, I fire it up (still haven't played yet this week, started this ordeal tuesday morning) and it patches some more. I click patch notes and see there's a new race out of the blue. It patches quickly, like 1 minute. I fire it up, select the new race. HEY YOU CAN'T PLAY THIS UNTIL YOU DOWNLOAD XYZ. CLICK HERE TO CLOSE EQ2 AND DOWNLOAD IT!

Okay. A shower later and it's done downloading. I kill it, run contig on the directory to defrag everything, and fire it back up.

I get my evil fairy necromancer to level 5 or 6 before the client locks up. I let it sit there for about 45 seconds and this c++ error box shows up, I hit "OK" on that and it hard locks the entire system. I can't even toggle the numlock key.


Some things never, ever change.

edit: a good thing - while i was farting around in the newbie zone on my new character, I'm a bit lost. I've not played in over a year. I'm trying to relearn. Some anon flagged guy runs up to me and hands me a necromancer adept book. That was pretty nice of him.

I couldn't see his class, but I had a bruiser adept or something, so I gave him that in trade.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2007, 12:31:38 PM by Nija »
Murgos
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Reply #32 on: May 24, 2007, 01:42:29 PM

Sorry to hear about the install probs.  Mine went pretty smoothy with the DVD from the fae box and then about 2 hours worth of patching.  I was annoyed when I went to go make a toon in Neriak and it said I still had to get the new content.  I guess some people don't want the zone?  I find that pretty unlikely though.

Got up to level 9 with the new SK last night and wandered through a good bit of Neriak before my client locked up too.  Wasn't a hard lock though, just a CTD with a DirectX Out of Memory.

Neriak is very cool though.  Lots of neon and sparklies.  MUCH brighter than EQ1 Neriak.

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
Ixxit
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Reply #33 on: May 24, 2007, 02:03:55 PM

I was annoyed when I went to go make a toon in Neriak and it said I still had to get the new content.  I guess some people don't want the zone?  I find that pretty unlikely though.

They did post this in EQII players a few days prior to the launch:

Quote
Getting Your Client Ready for Neriak
Neriak comes to the live servers on Wednesday the 23rd, with Game Update #35! Due to the fact that this update includes a large amount of new data for download, the data for Neriak and Darklight Wood has been reserved as optional content. All players are capable of downloading and exploring these new zones and to do so you will need to change your Preferences in the EQII Launcher.

To do so select 'Preferences' from the list of buttons on the left side of the game launcher, and then ensure that the box for 'Additional Live Game Content' is checked.

I guess this was to 'prepare for the launch', but yeah, on launch day they should have switched it back, especially with  people resubbing as well as new folks.

I didn't get any crashes, but the outpost outside Neriak was very laggy due the sheer amount of people, and a couple of times the game froze momentarily with the sound looping.  The game also appeared to hard lock on exit and it took a good 45 seconds to return to the desktop (kind of like Anarchy Online did when it first launched).

It's  nice having new starting areas for both good and evil characters.  Got reallly sick of the Isle --> Freeport newbie cycle when creating alts.


[EDIT] Wheeeeee.... just noticed I survived 100 posts on F13

I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.
Murgos
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Posts: 7474


Reply #34 on: May 24, 2007, 02:19:22 PM

They did post this in EQII players a few days prior to the launch:

Yeah, yeah, instructions.  I read instructions for work, I find reading quest updates tedious.

Quote
It's  nice having new starting areas for both good and evil characters.  Got reallly sick of the Isle --> Freeport newbie cycle when creating alts.

Just having two starting areas didn't bother me as much as them trying to pretend two starting areas were really 12.  God, how lame/stupid was that?  Nice use of resources there.  I can't believe that no one did a sanity check on creating six almost identical content zones for each city that's sole purpose was to get out of as soon as possible.

"You have all recieved youre last warning. I am in the process of currently tracking all of youre ips and pinging your home adressess. you should not have commencemed a war with me" - Aaron Rayburn
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