LOS ANGELES--Today at E3, Sony Online Entertainment was good enough to give us an in-depth preview of The Fallen Dynasties, their upcoming downloadable adventure pack for Everquest II. Since it's shipping in June, they had plenty of information to share on the title, and we're pleased to say it seems to be coming along well.
SOE's intent with this expansion is to offer some tangible, outdoor space to experience, since the previous adventure packs mostly focused on providing more dungeons to explore. The art assets and some of the content were developed by SOGA, a Taiwanese development company, giving the expansion a distinctly Asian feel. Some of the character models are particularly noteworthy, especially the enemies that inhabit the final small-party raid dungeon. The Nizani'Oshu are creatures with snakelike lower bodies and female human upper bodies, and they look simply fantastic. Most of the other enemies in the game are similarly impressive, from the underwater giant statues with calm and angry faces on alternate sides of their head to the translucent water golems that back up the Nizani'Oshu.
To give you a rundown on the numbers, there are going to be seven playable areas in the game, 30 new weapon models, and all of the content will be targeted towards high-end players, with enemies ranging in level from the low 50s all the way up to above 70 in the final dungeon. They also intend to throw in as many instances as they can fit. Since the game revolves around a hidden monk academy and the quests given there, they're looking into creating monk training quests that players will be able to use to advance their powers.
The plot of Fallen Dynasties revolves around a fallen half-god, half-man that last appeared in Everquest I. He's lost his memory, however, so you'll need to help him jog it by undertaking quests for him, which apparently culminates in the final raid dungeon, which will be one of the ultrachallenging experiences that SOE enjoys whipping out every once in a while. We weren't sure if we heard them correctly, but we could've sworn we heard them say that the maximum number of people allowed in the dungeon would be six, but that the content was being designed for a group of 12. So, yeah...it should be pretty hard. The entire dungeon isn't very large horizontally, but instead, you have to ascend to the top of a large tower, which is entirely open and connected with stone staircases. When you're done with one of the final raid bosses, the huge snakewoman Mistress Zhuani, you can actually jump off of her platform to fall to the entry room of the dungeon.
Fallen Dynasties is currently slated to be released in June for download at $7.99, so keep an eye out for it.