SOE Live 2013: Lore Panel Takeaways

  • The lore is an entire reboot for the franchise
  • Retelling and reimagining of EverQuest; should be familiar, but different
  • Many original creators of EQ are on the EQNext team
  • You’ll see familiar faces and new things
  • Caramor Thex re-emerging from old lore
Why the reset?
  • Intend to be able to open doors
  • Players can have multiple points of entry to the game (referring to other platforms like the books)
  • Want to be all-inclusive in relation to the philosophy and quality of the lore
  • Maybe eventually have several games in this world?
  • Wealth of stories and characters that can add depth

Show, don’t tell…

  • They want those who just “click through the game [quests]” to be a part of the story
  • World will evolve; visuals will allow players to know what’s happening without quest text
  • Allows devs to work on “the next level of story-telling”; personal stories
  • You will be able to still get some lore through text (libraries, etc), but it won’t be a crutch or the only way.

 Characters of the World
  • They want characters memorable because players feel attached to them
  • Memorable characters should be active participants in the world; make them tangible
  • Emotional bonds (examples of Gandalf and Drizzt Do’Urden as fictional characters people feel invested in.. not as EQNext characters!)
  • Your enemies should be memorable as well, and vilified not because they’re just a bad guy, but because they are wrong-doing YOU and the world are you
The World is Part of the Game
  • Backed up by the lore
  • Perform Archaeology… become an expert through exploring and tie-ins from lore and out-of-game books
  • Uncover history in interactive ways

 

“The Actual History of the Game”

 

  • Shown timeline (picture above) of 20,000 years of recorded history on Norrath
  • Broken up into four eras and various ages
  • Eras are named for the societies that had a lot of influence during that time
  • Ages are divided up by significant events that changed the culture in a fundamental way
The Eras and Ages
  • The Lost Era was a “really dark time”; not many societies and many evil creatures about; Elves were fighting to survive
  • Dal Era: terms we’re familiar with are Koada’Dal, Feir’Dal, Teir’Dal (Dal means Elf)
  • Dal Era covers 2,000 years of elven dominance and began with the Age of Ascension
  • Age of Ascension: the Elves began founding cities, forming kingdoms, and acquired technology
  • Age of Allies: the Elves began exploring (spires, may look like previous ones but may function differently than expected), alliances begin to form between races including dragons
  • Age of Allies: a golden age of Norrath where everyone got along for the most part
  • Age of Allies was brought to an end by the Shissar War
  • Shissar: appeared friendly at first but betrayed the Elves
  • Shissar nearly conquered Norrath by laying waste to many Elven cities.. Elves only came out due to prior alliances.
  • Takish Age: Elves became paranoid after the Shissar War; racial tensions divided alliances
  • Takish Age: The Koada’Dal Movement… highborn elves that felt so superior they began subjugating other races
  • “Just because you’re familiar with a term does not mean we’re treating it the same way!” While Koada’Dal was a race in EQ and EQ2, it is “a sect of Elves” in EQNext. There’s only one Elven race but several sects.
  • Takish Age: Elves have a unique form of magic, “High Magic”, even dragons were afraid of it. The Takish Empire oppressed other races.
  • Takish Age: Dragons were isolated… Elves couldn’t control dragons but drakes, wyverns, etc could be. They distanced themselves.
  • The Sundering: Takish’Hiz was destroyed. Elves didn’t know what caused it, but a teleportation spire imploded. High Magic became broken.
  • The Sundering: Civil wars cropped up as the empire as they vied for power; a strained peace settled into “a shadow of the old empire”
  • After The Sundering, an area called “The Ashfang” is what is on top of the ruins of Takish Hiz.
  • “At some point the term ‘The Sundering’ is probably going to change in the storyline.. it will likely be called something else.”
The Dragon War
  • Dragons have a grudge against the Elves and lash out
  • Sweep into Faydwer and devastate cities; conquered Faydwer
  • A new alliance formed… the Feir’Dal joined with ogres, dwarves, kerrans, etc and the Combine Accord is formed
  • Ushered in a long and costly war
  • The dragons were too powerful and they were forced to flee anyway
  • To buy time for the withdrawal they make a final stand at Bastion, “Fall of Bastion“, led by Caramor Thex. The “Last Stand of the Teir’Dal“.
  • Plan is those who are fleeing will go to Kunark.
  • Dal Era ends; Combine Era begins.
  • Age of Exile: Beginning of Combine Era. (spoilers!) Stand at Bastion is successful but cost is very high. Some of the Combine gets away and sails to Kunark.
  • Age of Exile: Combine spends 500 years on Kunark; Shissar have been waiting and plotting
  • Age of Exile: Shissar have dominated the Iksar; Combine become subjugated by the Shissar
  • Age of Exile: Iksar begin an uprising… Combine join in and Shissar are driven back
  • Age of Exile: Iksar were so broken that they can’t help but adopt some ways of the Shissar… Venril Sathir wants to dominate the Combine but some Iksar are sympathic; the Combine leave to return to their homeland
Age of Heroes: The Timeline Where EverQuest Next Begins

  • Combine races are “holding onto fragments of history”
  • They return to their ancestral homelands but don’t know what they will face
  • Must make a new foothold in a new frontier.. city of Qeynos is founded
  • Things have changed; new political forces; new enemies
  • Many things are unknown but the Combine needs to quickly integrate and find resources
  • (the new frontier town) “It’s the Mos Eisley of Norrath”
  • Players are the ones that need to help the town become established

 

Religion

 

  • Gods define the EverQuest franchise; different take in EQNext
  • Gods will be tangible influences in the lives of Norrathians
  • Not just raid targets!
  • At the beginning of the game no one alive has ever seen a God of Norrath.
  • Four belief systems: The Seraphs, The Four, Veeshan, and the Nor’I
  • The Seraphs: Gods which are familiar in name; worshiped mainly by the Combine, “newer and more sophisticated”
  • The Seraphs: Eight gods with roles in the world.. while familiar with names there’s also new things and influences from other gods combined.
  • The Seraphs: Combined god of Luclin/Drinal (goddess of prophecy and the past); new deity called Taylin (maybe Taylim?… no role stated but symbol is a mask and dagger over a gold coin, similar to what you’d expect from Bristlebane); Anasti (the Reaper); Solusek (god of fire and arcane studies); Erollisi (goddess of love, nature, growth); Mithaniel (god of war, honor, duty); Brell (the Builder); Karana (the Traveler… oversees those who have to make journies)
  • The Four: archaic and primitive; those who preceded the Dal originated this system
  • The Four: Prexus (god of Water); Amaril (spelling? goddess of Earth); Unestess (spelling? god of Fire); Onshaw (spelling? god of Air)
  • The Four: “The people of Halas kind of worship this group.”
  • Veeshan and Nor’I: Veeshan (worshiped by dragons and by fringe mortals) and Nor’I (the world spirit of Norrath; Kerrans see this as the influence that guides their life)
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