I’m just still not convinced that naming EverQuest 2′s latest expansion after what must be an incredibly painful condition was the best strategy. If YOUR tears were indestructible stones that amplified all magic to dangerously explosive levels — if you were ALSO a creature of magic like the dragon goddess Veeshan — you can see how avoiding crying situations might be to your advantage.
Kerafrym, the prismatic dragon, is the big bad of this expansion, imprisoned for eternity as the sleeper in Sleeper’s Tomb. His parents were an ice dragon and a fire dragon, believed to be EverQuest 1 legends Lady Vox and Lord Nagafen, a mating that was forbidden by the Ring of Scale. Loot-hungry players wake him up and send him rampaging through Nagafen’s Lair, Permafrost (home to Lady Vox), Dragon Necropolis and the Temple of Veeshan.
Picture of my cleric, Dera, about to wake the Sleeper with my guild Lost Sock Patrol of Stromm. We were about to make a lot of scepter of destruction farmers really, really mad. These farmers were making huge piles of real cash by selling SoDs and other droppable mega-loots to associates in the Stormhammer server, who could freely swap servers, with rich players on servers where the Sleeper had been woken. My server, Stromm, was supplying all of EQ with illegal weapons. But we were also going to be the last guild that would ever wake the Sleeper in the original EverQuest. Plus, we weren’t getting any of that SoD cash, now, were we?
Anyway, fast forward, we wake the Sleeper, he goes on a rampage, eventually destroys the moon Luclin, sends his armies against Skyshrine, gets the Tear of Veeshan we found in Siren’s Grotto, becomes more powerful than we can possibly imagine, kills Lord Yelinak (whom we ALSO killed in EverQuest 1, a lot), and forms the basis for the Tears of Veeshan expansion.
I’m thinking SOE owes us something for all this work we did for them. If not for us, the Sleeper would still be peacefully slumbering away on Stromm, Luclin would be whole, and the latest expansion would be “EverQuest II: Smiles of Fluffy Bunnies”.
See how well THAT plays in ad copy.
The expansion takes place largely in the Ethernere, the place where the souls of the dead rest before moving into their permanent afterlife. In the previous expansion, Chains of Eternity, the place was constipated with the souls of the dead, after the death spirits of the gods Rallos Zek and Cazic Thule stopped up the place and drove its guardian, Drinal, mad. THAT’S all cleared up now. Which is good, as the Tear-empowered Kerafrym is about to send the souls of every living creature there pretty soon. Unless we players can stop it.
We, though, have no clue. Our only Tear was stolen by Kerafrym. Lord Yelinak might know of another, but he was eaten by Kerafrym because of some really bone-headed moves by the leaders of Norrath, who decided to stupidly use the Tear they had to force a super-powerful dragon, Lendinaria the Keeper, out of hiding to help. If Kerafrym ever found her, all existence would be toast. We summon her with the tear, and guess what, Kerafrym shows up, and Yelinak has to sacrifice himself while we rapidly undo the summoning, leaving us with no Tear, no Lendinaria, no Yelinak, no nothing.
The Duality, the two-bodied wizard who has been the avatar of the good guys since the Sundered Frontier expansion, has the idea that we could follow Yelinak into the dragon part of the Ethernere and get his advice before he passes on to (after) life with Mom Veeshan.
And that brings us to the expansion.
The Tears of Veeshan expansion are set in the Vespyyr Islands, the realm of dead dragons, a medium-sized overland zone consisting of several floating rocks. There is also, somewhere, Highhold Keep, or the Ethernere copy of same. I haven’t been there yet. The main focus of the content is in its ten new dungeons, which, as in CoE, come in solo, heroic, challenge heroic and raid versions. Again, as in CoE, a solo signature quest leads you through the expansion, upgrading your gear to tier 2 group zone levels before sending you on your way.
The solo dungeons require a base critical chance of 465, well beyond that provided by vanilla CoE gear. I tried a couple of the dungeons anyway (my CC being 405) and didn’t get all that far in them. However, the new mechanics are pretty nice — for example, the first Nexus Core boss sends out swarms of short range missiles you have to outrun or dodge.
ToV also brings a new, improved dungeon finder. Haven’t tried that, since the grand ToV gear re-tuning dropped my hate gain from 95% to 45%, and I can barely keep mobs off my healer mercenary. I’ll have to spend some time with the reforger figuring stuff out before I can tank again. There’s a whole new AA tree, the Dragon tree, and 20 more AAs to earn to spend on it, and I’m hoping that will help rebalance things once more.
The expansion has a lot of love for crafters. There’s a new, short, Gathering Obsession quest that unites you again with annoying monk child Qho Augren, who this time has run off into the Ethernere in search of rare things for you to ultimately harvest for him. The reward is an upgraded pack pony that can harvest rares and holiday items for you. Additionally, daily crafting quests in Caldin Ward reward recipes and experience.
ToV adds a new class, the Channeler. It’s a pet class, of a sort, that uses magic arrows to heal and damage. I say “of a sort” as the pet, called a construct, isn’t able to be commanded. It’s an unkillable damage sponge that can take a certain amount of damage before it just stops taking damage for you. You can customize its look to a certain extent by finding new pieces in the wild, similar to… Vanguard? Didn’t it have constructable necromancer pets?
I leveled a channeler up to level 5 last night. Probably not high enough level to really get a feel for the class. Several max level channelers were chatting up how amazing they were for being powerleveled so quickly last night. I’m not certain anyone in the live game actually knows how the class works yet, least of all the max level channelers. Oh yeah, if you can powerlevel, leveling up baby channelers is where it’s at right now. Cash opportunity.
I haven’t spent much time in the expansion as of yet; I have to finish the signature quest, see where my armor is at that point, and make adjustments before I can group and see the actual content of the expansion, its dungeons. I’m hoping that the revamped dungeon finder does its job.
First impressions? Well, I didn’t like the stat readjustment much. It took a lot of time and plat to get my stats where I wanted them to be. But, things change, I’ll adjust.
Will this expansion have ‘legs’ to keep my interest, long term? That depends entirely on how the dungeons go once I get to them. I have four max level characters but could only stomach taking two of them through CoE before I got sick and tired of doing the quests again and subsequently just leveled up characters in Skyshrine, like everyone else. As things stand now, I think I’ll really enjoy taking one character — my main, Scatterfall — through ToV, and then probably won’t bother with the rest.