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January 22, 2010

EverQuest II: Sentinel’s Fate – The Hole Zone Preview

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Written by Mike Washburn   
Friday, 08 January 2010 08:44

 

 

 

 

EverQuest II: Sentinel’s Fate – The Hole Zone Preview

 

In the final part to our three part preview of some of the new zones in Everquest II: Sentinel’s Fate, we take a peek at “The Hole”  This zone is a MASSIVE contested dungeon with a ton of content for players level 82-90.  After the break you can check out what SOE has to say about this new zone – and check out some screenshots!

 

What would an expansion about Odus be without The Hole? Those who played EverQuest will remember it either very fondly or with great horror about petitions to get their bodies back. The contested zone is vast and comprised of three wings. Adventurers can start exploring around level 82 and find content to occupy them all the way to level 90. There’s more to The Hole than just the contested wings, however. There are also three instanced group dungeons of increasing difficulty.

Background:

The Hole encompasses what was once Paineel. The ancient city of Paineel was founded at the bottom of The Hole and the heretics who made Paineel their home delved into all manner of dark sorcery. They also uncovered the Vault of Living Stone, which to their great misfortunate turned out to be the portal linking Norrath to the Plane of the Underfoot. In their zeal for research and discovery, the heretics of Paineel unwittingly breached the seal on the vault and allowed the Underfoot entry into Norrath. In an effort to correct this mistake, the residents of Paineel relocated their city to the top of The Hole and sealed everything below off to contain the Underfoot taint.

 

 

From Timetravelling:

Brett “Timetravelling” Scheinert handled the contested version of The Hole. He was a lot harder to pin down than Gninja, mostly due to the fact that it took forever to find him in the zone itself! Fortunately, after hiring a sherpa and losing a few llamas, I managed to track him down and ask a few questions.

What sort of feel were you trying to give players with this zone?

This is a big, big, BIG contested dungeon. A few of our goals in its creation were to:  avoid placeholders (there are none), include lots of interesting little events, give players a lot to do (nearly 30 bosses, over 80 quests…), and to not make it too difficult (should be 2-4 person groupable).

What’s your favourite part of the contested portion of The Hole?

The cannon in Old Paineel. Or the art for the Underfoot Seal deep within the Tower of Serilis.

What do you think is the most impressive part of the zone?

The amount of content we ended up needing in order to fill the zone out even a little. All three wings are so huge, and we ended up with just so many named encounters and quests and three different factions and so on. Hopefully players will enjoy the zone as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Shout out to the artists responsible for the awesomeness of the zone:

Michael Bacon created this entire massive zone, and really did a kickass job. Was totally patient and willing to work with all of my ridiculous requests, and the large changes we ended up making to the original design doc.

Gary Daugherty created most of the unique spell-visuals and effects in the zone, and those are also simply awesome.

From Gninja:

Carlos “Gninja” Mora headed up the construction of the instanced versions of The Hole dungeons. After we got done giggling about The Hole and making random Austin Powers references, he shared his thoughts!

What sort of feel were you trying to give players with this zone?

While preserving some of the ongoing story in the contested dungeon I tried to deviate a bit to give players the sense of an even deeper story going on within these areas. For example, the Roekillik in The Hole have their own plans, but for the instance I decided to make a rogue faction of the Reokillik that had their own plans which made the Roekillik in The Hole nervous. This allowed us to tie together quests that actually did not hurt your faction and you were still able to kill and adventure through the instance without hurting any progression you might have done in the contested version of the zone.

For Outer Vault I thought it would be interesting to make it a sort of rescue mission where a group of adventurers attempted to make their way to the Outer Vault but instead became captives. You and your party will get to meet each of these adventurers while battling through the elementals and they will join your party as a joint effort to eliminate the even bigger threat of the Corrupted Guardian of the Seal. Each of these new “party members” will give the party a unique bonus so players can pick and choose how best to utilize this unique bonus for defeating the zone!

Spirit’s Resonance is a play back to EverQuest where the Ruins of Old Paineel was inhabited by spirits of Paineel’s past. These spirits have now taken over Dartain’s Fortress and you and your party must go through and regain control of the zone. You will have to fight through possessed erudites as well as the erudite’s very own constructs turned against them to defeat the evil spirits within.

What level ranges are these zones geared towards?

Demitrik’s Bastion: 85-90 Difficulty level – Easy to Moderate
The Outer Vault: 88-90 Difficulty level – Moderate
Spirit’s Resonance: 88-90 Difficulty level – Moderate

How will the players’ experiences in The Hole further the story of Odus and what happened to its inhabitants for them?

You will just have to wait and see. However, I will suffice it to say that many travels, be it heritage or signature, will include these dungeons!

All these images and the rest of the collection of screenshots for The Hole are now on the Everquest II landing page.  Sentinel’s Fate is available for pre-order now and comes out on February 16th!
 

 

 
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4 Comments
  1. Very cool…kudos to your work it looks great!

  2. Honey, that looks amazing! You kicked ass!

  3. Awesome show, great job! I love huge gothic style rooms with high ceilings in video games! They always make me want to explore the environment more.

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