In the conclusion to our interview with the EverQuest II team, we take a look at GU68 features, future updates and Player Studio.
Tears of Veeshan is not the only thing launching on Tuesday, November 12. Game Update 68 is happening at the same time, which will add two new features: Tier 4 Guild Halls and Mercenary Slots. In the final part of our interview with the EverQuest II team we spoke to them about these features, tried to discern some information on the future and briefly discussed Player Studio.
Tier 4 guild halls will be a mark of accomplishment: they require not only guild level 95, but also come with a hefty price tag of 1,000 platinum to purchase and 10 platinum, 400,000 status base upkeep per week. Like their Tier 3 counterparts, these halls “are available from the same bell at the docks in Commonlands and Antonica.” This means that there also won’t be much diversity in the layouts. “Tier 4 guild halls have extra space added,” the team told us. “There will be a Qeynos and a Freeport version.”
We recently explored one of the Tier 4 halls on Beta (thanks, Heroes of Test!). The layout is the same as the Tier 3, but there is an extra floor inserted inside the hall. The floor has a lot of space and side rooms available. A built-in teleporter can take you from the ground level to the Tier 4 level, or you can use the teleporter amenity to add a separate landing spot as well.
Extra space means a higher item count will be in demand. Inquiring what the maximum item count would be we were told “2,000 items! Not only that, tradeskill crafting station amenities have been added. They do not take up amenity slots but do have a status maintain[ence] cost. The purchase cost is in the same ballpark as what the individual stations cost players to buy from the city faction merchants (what players currently use in guild halls). They use the same appearance as the crafting station set that you can earn through the crafting achievement. These were added to ALL tiers of guild hall[s], not just the Tier 4s.”
The addition of crafting stations will be a boon, though it is surprising to hear that their appearance will match the rewards from the extremely difficult crafting achievement, Unblemished Oeuvre, which, according to EQ2U, only 84 characters world-wide have ever completed. The team had more news, which active members of the Homeshow community found out a few weeks ago: “Not only that, building blocks won’t count against item counts up to the maximum item count for each zone. That is, you can place up to 2,000 building blocks [in a Tier 4 guild hall] without adding to the item count.” This will open up more creativity in decorating some of the massive prestige homes as well as any guild hall.
One thing that had many people excited at SOE Live is the Mercenary Slot feature. The EQII team says to “Think of it like ‘collecting’ mercs instead of opening slots. It’s a pretty fun system.” After testing it out on Beta, we’ve discovered that the slot system is a one-time unlock fee to keep the merc always available to swap to in your mercenary window. Any mercenary you’ve hired will be visible there, and by paying the one-time fee (currently 100 Station Cash per unlock per character) you will always retain the ability to swap to that merc without going back to hire them. The unlock fee is optional; you can simply head to where a mercenary regularly is in Norrath and hire them as normal there. Personally, I feel that the “slot system” is useful for being able to keep elite mercenaries around, but won’t be worth the cost to most people for the normal mercs. See the end of page two for a video showing how this feature works.