Aggro Me: Kingdom of Sky Press Release: Part I
Kingdom of Sky Press Release: Part I
Yes, it is Kingdom of Sky week here on Aggro Me as I take an in-depth look at the SOE Kingdom of Sky press release.
SAN DIEGO, Calif., Jan. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a global leader in the online games industry, today announced that the second expansion for EverQuest® II, entitled Kingdom of Sky(TM), is scheduled to be available at retail and for download on Feb. 21.
I would have waited a few more weeks. Now, I am not one of those people who get offended that SOE puts expansions out in a timely fashion. I like their fast paced schedule. It is an option. You do not have to purchase it. I would much rather be overwhelmed with new content than bored.
I was desperate for an expansion when DoF came out. However, this time around, I think I have enough content to last me through at least early March. That may be due to the fact that I played at a more casual pace for a month or two. But I don't get the sense that people are bored with DoF yet. And I would rather people be a little hungry for that next expansion. Still, just a minor quibble with the timing, and I'm only talking two or three weeks.
I'm not saying it is going to be rushed either; separate teams work on these expansions. I'm only throwing it out there as more of a player psychology issue. And honestly, part of me is kind of happy it is coming so soon.
"The retail SKU of Kingdom of Sky will sell at the recommended price of $29.99 and contains the full version of the base EverQuest II game, the new expansion and a special in-game item. The digital version will contain the new expansion for $26.99."
I think digital downloads are great. Any time I don't have to endure the agressively bad service at EBGames I am very happy. The three dollar discount is just gravy. But I realize that for marketing reasons they have to make the retail box desirable so I understand the need for a retail only in-game item. I will wait to see the specifics on that item before deciding whether it is worth braving EBGames for. Let me give you a hint, I'm not doing it for a house pet (well maybe if it's a flying monkey - hey it fits the theme).
I've used the Direct2Drive site for other digital downloads and I have had no problems. I assume that's the site they're going to use because you can buy EQII and Planetside and other SOE games there. If anyone had any problems with downloading the last expansion I'd like to hear about it.
Oh, and I think it is great that new players can get the expansion and the original game for one reasonable price by buying KoS at retail. I just hope they can convince the retailers to display it correctly. I never see copies of EQII or DoF out at my local game stores. But then again, all the PC games are usually relegated to a dark and dusty corner anyway.
For me the price tag for an MMO like EQII is the best value per dollar in my entertainment budget so the expansion price sounds fine to me. The content I have enjoyed playing DoF has been tremendous compared to the price, even counting the monthly subscription. Movie tickets for two and a few snacks in Manhattan cost the same price as an expansion and that's three hours of fun as compared to hundreds of hours of fun.
"An entirely new form of advancement introduces a structured Achievement system of skills and abilities to further specialize and individualize your character."
Everyone I talk to is saying, "Oh, AA's are back." That is what it sounds like. But even though I have no idea of what the specifics of the system will be, I guarantee you that it will not be the exact same AA system of EQ. There were several pitfalls with that system and SOE is not going to repeat their mistakes. This system will differ from the one you may be expecting in significant ways. Well, I hope so anyway.
Moorgard's post on the system speaks of choices. And unfortunately in MMO's a lot of the time choices come down to "Choice A: Correct choice" and "Choice B: Reroll Newb LOL." It is a true challenge to have options that are equally desirable for different people and different types of gameplay. It would be very cool to see it done right. If it comes down to three out of four choices making your character undesirable in groups or raids, then, well, it won't be cool. I know it is hard to create level-based content when some people have a ton of AA's and some people have none. Let's say Mage A and Mage B are both at the same level and both trying to solo a level 70 mob for a quest. Mage A has a bunch of AA's which make it too easy and Mage B has no AA's making it very hard. So I wonder if the new Achievement system will be a little underwhelming so as not to unbalance things. I hope it can be fun and meaningful nonetheless.
If the new system fulfils the goal of making your character feel unique while avoiding the traditional AA pitfalls, it will be a major accomplishment.
"Over 30 new Collections expand upon one of the most popular features exclusive to EverQuest II. Find them all and earn all new rewards."
I happen to like the collection stuff. It adds a little flavor to things. They are completely optional and just nice to have.
Okay, obviously there is a whole lot more to cover and I'll be back at it tomorrow. But today I wanted to bring up two brief side notes.
Side note 1: As a comment to my wishlist post, Scott Adams made the excellent suggestion:
"I would like to see the mentoring system automatically scale spells/abilities down to whatever you have scribed in your book. No more have to shift hot bars around etc. Those spells with no precursors (like scout escape at 25) would then simply become red."
And thankfully, it looks like this might happen in LU 19, according to this post from Moorgard. Excellent. Mentoring should not be a hassle for the person doing the mentoring.
Side note 2: Congratulations to the winners of the Aggro Me Frostfell Contest! Haazardous takes home a copy of DoF and Tancread scores Gripshift for the PSP! If you didn't win, don't despair, I'll be running a consolation drawing some time in March with an as yet undisclosed prize for everyone who entered the Frostfell Contest (read the thread for details). And there will be more great contests down the road.