CES 2006: EverQuest: Prophecy of Ro Impressions

A visually overhauled Freeport and fully destructible environments are just some of the improvements you can expect in this 11th update.

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LAS VEGAS--Say what you will about the original EverQuest, but you must admit, the game's got legs. Just a few weeks prior to EverQuest's seventh anniversary, Sony Online is prepping the game's 11th expansion pack, Prophecy of Ro, and we dug up some new details on the forthcoming add-on at CES today. If you're still banging away at the denizens of Norrath, Prophecy of Ro should offer plenty of incentive for you to stay up to date with your fellow adventurers.

The most immediately noticeable aspect of Prophecy of Ro is its overhaul of Norrath's bustling metropolis, Freeport. The city will get a complete graphical makeover in the expansion, with newly redesigned and much more visually appealing buildings, streets, and back alleys. The game engine will also be upgraded with new particle effects and other subtle niceties that ought to help enhance the experience of anyone who's been playing this venerable game for quite a while. Of course, once you venture out into the wilds, you'll find plenty of new content to experience, what with the numerous new quests to undertake and regions to explore.

Perhaps the most interesting new feature in Prophecy of Ro--and one that seems unique to the MMORPG genre, to our minds--is that of destructible terrain. While few specific details are available on exactly how you'll be able to bust up your surroundings, the game's press materials did refer to the player's ability to chop down doors, knock down walls, and destroy whole encampments. Eager EverQuest fans will have to wait for harder details than these.

SOE wasn't ready to discuss whether the destructible terrain would be usable in your dealings with other player characters. But when we asked how this new feature would be implemented with respect to players who don't have the new expansion, it was pointed out that the original game and all 11 of the expansions would be available in one package for $19.99 around the same time Prophecy of Ro ships. So in other words, if you're a diehard EverQuest fan, you don't have much excuse for not getting up to date. The new expansion is due out February 21; stay tuned for more.

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