Via Cuppy, the Rise of Kunark Beta application is now up.
I’ve been waiting for this for years. Kunark turned EQ1 from a casual game to an obsession with me.
Maybe that wasn’t entirely a good thing. Pre-Kunark EQ1 was a very casual game; there wasn’t a whole lot to do in the end game (Vox, Naggy, Hate, Fear and Sky… and all those were contested), and so few people really were trying that hard to level. Back then, we hadn’t yet been trained that the goal of every MMO was to level as fast as possible and then cry for more content.
Kunark changed all that. A HUGE number of things to do (starting a trend that even today leaves EQ1 the absolute, undisputed MMO leader in content, if you can find anyone to do it with), a real way of marking your guild’s progression, and an easy path to uberness.
What will it do for EQ2?
It’s unlikely to have as much impact as Kunark did to EQ1. I doubt it will reinvent the game in the same way. A new race, a new newbie experience, and some content for 65-80. More a Luclin than a Kunark. Luclin, you may remember, was the first time a significant number of EQ1 players felt the game had begun its gradual slide to irrelevancy. Locked zones, significant time needed for raiding, and a growing separation of casual and hardcore players…
These things persist today in World of Warcraft, and I suspect a lot of those same people who grumbled at Luclin happily do the faction grinding and attuning for WoW… but I digress…
I liked Luclin. It brought me back from DAoC. I’d place the turning point for EQ1 at Gates of Discord, even though once the cap was raised to 70 in Omens of War (and they removed the ridiculous Ikkinz keying quest requirement for every person in the raid), the content suddenly became enjoyable.
Anyway, going severely off-topic here. Short summary: Kunark could change EQ2 — for the better! Get in the Beta and see what they’ve got planned!