EverQuest II’s eighth expansion — Age of Discovery — is arriving tomorrow, and there are other big changes coming to the game that aren’t part of the expansion.
Probably the biggest non-expansion news is that EQ2 is going free-to-play, and the EQ2X and subscription EQ2 services are merging. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the way you play the game will change: You can keep paying a monthly fee to continue accessing the game and its features as you always have, or you can go with a free account and keep playing the game whenever you like (albeit at reduced capabilities, such as item, class, and race limitations). You can find more answers about the F2P changes here.
Another big announcement is the arrival of the biggest yearly festival in all of Norrath: Frostfell! As of this posting, it will run from December 6 through January 6 (subject to change, of course), and this year’s celebration brings new quests, new rewards, and new craftable items. EQ2 Traders has its usual superb write-ups here, and ZAM has updated their Frostfell hub as well.
And now to the expansion! The biggest bullet points are:
- Tradeskill Apprentices
- Freeport Revamp
- Dungeon Maker
- EQ2 Share — post to Twitter & Facebook from in-game!
I’ll post the full patch notes here as soon as they’re available, but in the meantime, check out ZAM’s AoD info hub as well as EQ2 Traders’ preliminary AoD write-up.
This post from Cyliena over at ZAM sums everything up nicely:
All servers will come down at 12:01am PST on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 for the Age of Discovery and Game Update 62 patch. Estimated downtime is currently 12 hours; U.S. servers are anticipated to come back online around 12:00pm PST (noon). Due to the volume of data involved, international servers will experience extended downtime. When patch notes are available we will put them on our Game Update 62 page.
In addition, SOE account management and commerce services will be offline for all games during the transition period. Forums may also experience periodic outages. Remember that the EQ2X forums will be locked tomorrow morning at 10:00am PST. All EQ2X forum users should take this time to register anew on the EQII forums; you can start posting there now!
Beginning at 8:00am PST there will be a live webcast, Countdown to the Age of Discovery, on TwitchTV. Various members of the EQII team will be interviewed on the webcast. It is expected to run until 9:45am PST.
A producer’s letter from Dave “Smokejumper” Georgeson is also expected tomorrow morning. We’ll keep you updated once that is available. In addition, the EverQuest2.com website is being relaunched into its new incarnation and should be available after the downtime. Pre-orders for Age of Discovery will remain open until 11:59pm PST tonight, December 5.
During the downtime you are welcome to join us in the #EQ2 channel of ZAM’s IRC chat. Feldon of EQ2Wire also has set up a ZAM IRC java applet that you can use.