In a perfect world, SOE would have the vast resources it would take to go back through EverQuest II’s 9 years of content and rework it so that it’s all fresh, challenging, and relevant again.
But we live in the real world, and for many new and returning players who want to play with their friends, level 1-85 is now a relic, a reminder of days when heroic bands of gnolls traveled the Antonican countryside flattening all who stood in their way. The meaningful, perilous, and team-building adventure in that challenging content has faded with the passage of time and increase in stats. Today, levels 1-85 still have a great story to tell for those who wish to take things slowly, but for many new and returning players, they stand as a contextless roadblock between them and playing with their friends.
3 years ago, Dave “SmokeJumper” Georgeson publicly floated the idea of Insta-85 characters. He was shouted down, and clearly the EQ2 community wasn’t ready. But in the intervening years, it seems players have come around and recognized that level 1-85 has become a solo tutorial at best which ill-prepares players for playing their characters in any kind of challenging setting, whether that’s advanced solo, grouping OR raiding.
So fast foward to today, and the exact details of Heroic Characters – aka Insta-85 Characters – have been posted on EverQuest2.com for all to read. My impression of the program is positive and, at first blush, SOE has clearly learned from past “Winback” programs.
Heroic Characters are open to all players!
- an established player who wants to try out your 10th alt
- considering returning to the game after a year or two off and don’t want to spend hours solo questing to catch up with your friends
- a newish player wanting to really try out the game without having to first grind thousands of mobs or solo quests.
That this is open to all players should go a long way towards eliminating the past ill feelings as some players were showered with rewards, while veterans were left out. This isn’t the first such turn, as we’ve seen an increasing appreciation of Subscribers with programs such as “Gold Rush“. Those players who pay $15 month-in and month-out may not splurge for big ticket Marketplace items, but they’re here year-after-year, supporting SOE.
After the jump, Holly’s producer’s letter and the Heroic Characters FAQ…