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ECTS: EverQuest Expansion Details

Verant reveals that The Scars of Velious will have a new user interface, and much more - plus, we've got over three dozen new screens.


After the success of Verant Interactive's first expansion to its addicting online role-playing game EverQuest, it didn't take the developer long to announce a second expansion: The Scars of Velious. Unlike its predecessor The Ruins of Kunark, Velious will not be suitable for new players, but is instead designed for EverQuest fans who've been playing the game for several hundreds of hours already - players whose characters are around level 30 and above. According to Verant's statistics, the vast majority of EverQuest players actually meet this criterion. At ECTS, Verant also stated that while it was spurred on to create a second expansion in light of the positive reviews and feedback it received for Kunark, its goal is to make Velious even better.

Specifically, a Verant spokesperson at ECTS reported that one of the new features in the expansion would be an all-new, fully customizable 3D user interface. Since it was released in early 1999, EverQuest players have had to use a somewhat cumbersome and plain-looking but nonetheless serviceable graphical interface while playing the game. The new interface in Velious will be much more customizable by comparison; for instance, you'll be able to create multiple chat windows, so that you could isolate messages sent by your group or guild from the rest of the messages that normally appear on screen. You'll also have more control over what elements appear on the screen, and where they go.

In the past few months, Verant has added a lot of additional functionality to EverQuest through weekly patches, and the totally overhauled interface in Velious will be the culmination of these efforts. Verant noted that while it would try to implement the new interface as a feature in the expansion, it would instead opt to patch the interface to all EverQuest players if it turned out to not be compatible with the existing interface.

As far as actual game content is concerned, The Scars of Velious will offer EverQuest players 16 huge, new zones to explore, which include two new ethereal planes for high-level characters: The Plane of Growth, and the Plane of Mischief. These are good-aligned planes that should help balance out the fact that the existing evil-aligned planes, Hate, Fear, and Sky, are more suitable for evil-aligned player characters. Other regions of Velious include a frost giant fortress, a storm giant city, and an ancient place that's home to a species of dragons. Velious will also introduce lots of new weapons, armor, and items into EverQuest, many of which will use all-new graphics.

The Scars of Velious will have the same system requirements as The Ruins of Kunark, and will be available for around US$20 on December 5 in the United States. The expansion will be available at retail, and Verant is also planning on selling Velious through its online store.

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