After six years attending gaming conventions, namely Fan Faire and then SOE Live, one learns to carry a healthy dose of skepticism into any keynote or panel. The Age of Discovery (2011) and Chains of Eternity (2012) panels dazzled us with glitzy new features, beautiful new zones, and tweaks to itemization and mechanics. But by and large, these nips and tucks to itemization have remained in the well-worn rut of “Stamina + Main Stat increasing on a straight line” introduced with the Destiny of Velious expansion.
In Kyle “Kander” Vallée‘s interview with EQ2Talk this spring, he candidly shared his frustrations with Stat Consolidation and his plans to bring back Player Choice and Variety in itemization. But while I had reason to be excited for the Tears of Veeshan Itemization and Mechanics panels at this year’s SOE Live, I wasn’t fully prepared for the daring long-term plan for Itemization with which we were presented. I observed a confident, unified development team laying out their vision for a future in which choice is put back into player hands, and where the complexity that has always set EQ2 apart from more “accessible” games such as WoW is embraced rather than smoothed over.
If you’ve developed tunnel vision when shopping for item upgrades, glancing only at Stamina and Main Stats (Int/Wis/Str/Agi), you’ll likely do a double take when first encountering Tears of Veeshan items.