Actually, what details? There aren't any. In total, what we know so far is that both expansions are set on the continent of Kunark, and...that's about it. Oh, there's a new Sarnak model for EQ (see above) and "new zones like Scorched Woods, Chardok: War March, Lceanium, Droga, Kor’Sha, new monsters, armor, weapons, items and more!"
I'm guessing "Lceanium" is a typo, something becoming increasingly and worryingly common in press releases from Daybreak Games, although even if, as I suspect, it's meant to read "Lyceanium", that's hardly any better. Maybe it's just rendered phonetically from the original Sarnak. Also, they're really missing a trick going with "Scorched " over "Burned" for the new "Woods" zone.
|Classic box art|
Apart from plug-ugly up there all the information we're getting so far is that "Danger awaits you in the Crypt of Dalnir, Kaesora, Warslik’s Wood and more!" We have to wait until October for anything concrete like how many zones we're getting, whether there's a level -cap increase, any new features added to the game...
Which is fine. As Wilhelm points out, neither SOE nor DBG have ever really made much of a meal out of the run-up to expansions, the way many other MMO companies do. They prefer to, y'know, actually produce expansions. Twice a year for many years.
What's more, in the maturity (I use the term with conscious irony) of the EQ Franchise, the contents of expansions have become increasingly codified. Some might say calcified.
Looking at EQ2, The last time SOE attempted to depart substantially from the pattern was with Age of Discovery back in 2011, an expansion that was all features and no content. I liked it but I was in something of a minority and even I would admit the features it contained would have been better suited to being split up and sold individually through the Station Store.
No, for a long time now EQ2 expansions have remained reasonably consistent. We get one - occasionally two - open zones, suitable for solo players, a half dozen or more instanced zones that do double service for both Group and Advanced Solo (read duo or player-plus-NPC-Mercenary), a few Raid instances and sometimes an open, "Contested" dungeon for good luck.
Approximately every other expansion there's a level cap increase, these days pared down to five levels rather than the traditional ten. Bundled in there will often be some significant quality of life change or a new type of content entirely - a new class, a deity system, Public Quests...
Then, of course, there's a new "Signature" storyline, a whole bunch of new quests, including the ever-popular Heritage series, and all the general item, gear and skill power creep everyone complains about but complains even more bitterly if it's not there.
In other words, by now EQ2 players know just what to expect. I don't believe I've bought an EQ expansion since Secrets of Faydwer back in 2007 but I'm fairly sure they, too, follow a similar, set pattern.
|Not so much...|
The opportunities for DBG to do a Blizzard each time the expansion rolls around are limited. The regularity, reliabilty and frequency of the expansions makes them less of an event, certainly for anyone not currently playing. The separation between endgame and potential returning players is immense, especially in EverQuest, and even offering a Heroic leg-up to somewhere close to the cap can backfire.
This is perhaps why we find ourselves returning to Kunark. As one of the most popular settings in both games and the home of two of the most successful expansions either game has ever had, the name Kunark carries a lot of weight with current and lapsed players alike. Just having "Kunark" in the title of both expansions is probably worth more in sales than a month of frenzied ANet-style promotion for some new location we've never heard of before.
If there's one thing DBG have proved they understand much, much better than SOE ever did it's how to bottle nostalgia. The former management recognized the potential but seemed to be almost ashamed of exploiting it. No such scruples for DBG, thankfully.
So, I'm looking forward to yet another trip back to Kunark. The last two didn't go as well as they might have done - I actually quit EQ2 for six months as a direct result of things I didn't like about 2007's "Rise of Kunark" expansion - but on balance my interest in and affection for the jungle continent remains strong.
I'm particularly looking forward to seeing what they do with Warslik's Wood, a zone where I spent many happy hours camping the Forest Giant fort and hunting goblins. Anyway, I'll be buying it. Honestly, they had me at "expansion".