SOE talks EverQuest II updates

New "adventure pack" update model will attempt to deliver a personal story for players at a low price.


LAS VEGAS--Though a formal announcement won't be made until next week, we were able to spend some time with Sony Online Entertainment to discuss its forthcoming plans for updating the popular PC role-playing game EverQuest II. With 310,000 paying subscribers on the books after just a couple of months, it sounds like the game has taken hold quite well since its release. With a forthcoming update that comes in a new form known as an "adventure pack," SOE hopes to deliver a more engrossing story for its players, complete with a new zone, new items, new monsters, and, of course, new quests.

The first part of the adventure pack will come as a free download. All of the game's subscribers will be able to sink their swords into a new zone, fight new enemies, and so on. There will also be some new quests in this area for all players. Some of these quests will flesh out the lore behind the game's dark elf race and at least partially explain what has transpired in the 500 years that lie between the original EverQuest and EverQuest II. If players want to continue down this story path, they will have to pay what's been described as a "small fee" to download the rest of the adventure pack's content before continuing on. Players that choose not to participate will still be allowed to adventure in this new zone to experience at least some of the new content. If the idea's a hit, SOE will likely follow with more adventure packs in the same vein. Some may continue where an existing adventure pack leaves off, though it's also possible that future content offerings may tell an entirely different story. If the price is right, EQII's adventure packs could be a cool solution for providing small chunks of more-involving content on a more regular basis than you'd expect from the previous model of occasional expansion packs. That said, SOE certainly hasn't completely eliminated the concept of a retail expansion for EQII either.

The first adventure pack is still being developed, and as a result, things like a level range for this new content or the approximate time it will take the average player to experience all the upcoming content aren't available at this time. Availability and pricing information also hasn't been revealed, but it should be formally announced, in addition to the name of the first adventure pack, by SOE next week.

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