In a special bonus piece, we explore the lore-rich and fascinating zone of Rubak Oseka: Temple of the Sea, a conch shell dungeon filled with mosiacs that reveal more lore as players master the Alaran language and culture as well as repeatable raids and quests, the stunning Pillars of Alra where players have to explore four different temples devoted to Alaran magic before fighting the avatar of Alra in a series of repeatable raids, and Erillion: City of Bronze, which is the penultimate stop before The Sepulcher. This bonus also includes coverage on Guild Trophies, which guilds can earn when they team up to take on raids. Guild trophies can be displayed in guild halls and they provide benefits and buffs to the entire guild.
Additional Veil of Alaris screenshots, including shots you won't see anywhere else, can be found here: photobucket.com/LordYanLiang-EverQuest_Veil_of_Alaris
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Ohoho, we're not done yet. You see, I love my fans so much that I'm not about to JUST give them something that every other website gets. You guys get the premier package. The works. The cream of the crop. You guys are getting hands-on coverage that no one else has. And I'm doing it because I love you, and because EverQuest's 18th expansion, Veil of Alaris, is just that flippin' awesome. Unlike readers of every other video game website out there that's covering this monumentous milestone, you guys are going to get info on three other brand new zones, a new feature that I can't believe nobody's talked about yet, and several dozen screenshots -- some of which you won't find anywhere else, because I got them on request.
Quite frankly, the new zones that I requested are among the most gorgeous, intricate, and interactive zones within Veil of Alaris. These zones might be familiar to you, but now you'll get a chance to check them out in greater detail and with some inside scoop that nobody else is providing. So check out parts 1 and 2 of my Veil of Alaris coverage if you haven't already (links will be on the bottom), and then come back for an extra dose of love.
Please hold your applause. If you must thank me, checks or money orders would be lovely.
New Zones- Rubak Oseka: Temple of the Sea, Pillars of Alra, and Erillion: City of Bronze
You may have already seen the trailer for Rubak Oseka earlier this month, but that video does not do justice to the beauty that is the Temple of the Sea. This conch shell holy place located just off the shores of Sarith is the home of one of the most memorable raids that players will find in this expansion. The Alarans are out in full force along with these fishy Hadal characters (like the one pictured above), and as players descend towards the resting place of the Alaran god at the bottom, they'll meet Alarans and Hadal who are all very eager to put the screws to any eager Norrathian adventures passing through.
But there's more going on than just a race to the bottom. Rubak Oseka is one of the richest lore-content zones in the entire expansion, and players wanting to get the full experience will need to run this raid multiple times. Running down the halls, players will take note of several alcoves in the temple tucked away to the sides, and each one is a pulpit for the Alarans to worship the god of the temple. Moreover, throughout these alcoves and all along the halls, players will take notice of stained-glass mosiacs like the one featured two pictures up, but these mosiacs aren't just for decoration. Remember how I mentioned in part 1 that players can learn the Alaran language? Well, these mosiacs can be interacted with as players learn the language and the Alaran culture, and said mosiacs will tell a piece of the story of Alaris and its people. But incomplete knowledge will only give an incomplete story! If a player manages to master the Alaran language through the culture-oriented quests littered all throughout Veil, the mosiacs will suddenly tell even more of a story than they did originally, opening up all new chapters of Alaran lore and history for your eyes to see. Norrathian conquerers will need to run Rubak Oseka several times just for the chance to get everything out of this fantastic raid zone.
Fun fact: Eric Cleaver mentioned to me that Rubak Oseka was his favorite new zone. After experiencing it for myself, I was saying the same thing. I think, besides The Sepulcher, Rubak Oseka will be a fan favorite, and a raid that everybody should look forward to (in particular).
Not to be outdone, however, the Pillars of Alra come in looking every bit as awesome in-game as they do in the preview trailer.
This zone is connected to a magical light bridge that touches down on the mainland of Alaris, and the first bridge leads players to Alra's tomb (pictured prominently). It is a little ironic that the invading Norrathian god-slayers get to start their journey right where it ends (as the final boss within the Pillars of Alra is the avatar of the god himself, right at that very spot -- many quests and several raids later, of course).
As mentioned in the preview, the Pillars of Alra have been built in worship and reverence to Alra, the Alaran God of Magic. The Alaran peoples on Alra could not decide the purest, greatest form of magic, and so each sect built a separate temple devoted to the form of magic they revere most. What nobody tells you, however, is how perfect the interior of each temple is. The Alarans within each island are all different, morphed to fit the theme of magic they've chosen to worship. But besides that, these temples are just so bad ass. The temple dedicated to dark magic, for example, is utterly sinister with the way the development team used the architecture and -- especially -- the lighting within the place. When players wander down into the depths of the dark magic temple while beating back the Alarans within, they'll see some truly memorable things...like the pool of magical, primordial darkness spawning demonic foes thirsty for Norrathian blood.
Our final destination is Erillion: City of Bronze, and its preview trailer does not do this zone justice -- which is ironic, given the fact that Erillion is dedicated to the Alaran god of order and martial justice.
Erillion is the penultimate stop before players must face the horrors within The Sepulcher, as they must first put an end to the war that they started. Erillion is broken up into four sections, each dedicated to a portion of the law, order, and discipline that the Alarans in Erillion hold so dear. Players will get to explore each quadrant, with their color-coded banners, as they take some of their final quests in their journey through Alaris. As players explore Erillion, they will see a variety of things happen, many of which contain some awesome scenes and nuggets of lore for the story-lovers to enjoy.
Players will be able to witness crimes being punished and court cases being held to try the accused. Besides that, there are plenty of opportunities to mess up judicial faces while heroes try to shut down Erillion before it shuts them down. Once again, several raids are planned for Erillion, and much like with the other zones, players will have to run Erillion's repeatable raids and quests a few times in order to get the most out of the zone, or to meet the prerequisites to finally move on to The Sepulcher (where destiny awaits).
The only other major zones in Veil of Alaris that we did not get to explore are Sarith: City of the Tides and Windsong. So be careful while you explore Alaris...
New Feature- Guild trophies
EverQuest II players might find this concept familiar to them, but now Veil of Alaris is bringing it to the original. Guild trophies are an awesome little way to tell other guilds how much they suck for not being able to do what your guild can do. Guild trophies are won on raids and other big-ticket events that require a large party, and a guild trophy can be won if several people from a guild are partied together to run a raid. When a group wins a guild trophy, they can display it in their homes as an object of achievement, but doing so won't just create a shiny new trinket for one's house for everyone to gawk at. In fact, guild trophies each have special abilities, and when a guild trophy is placed in a guild hall, it will create a buff that every guild member can enjoy -- even the ones who didn't take part in the raid or are too weak to have taken part! So now guilds have even more reason to buddy up and taken down both the new and old content.
So, are you excited to play Veil of Alaris yet? Because if not, check out this collection of screenshots featuring all the zones we've covered and a few that weren't mentioned.
I want to thank Eric Cleaver for taking me on a tour of Veil of Alaris and showing me everything the game has to offer, as well as Sony Online Entertainment for the opportunity and consideration. Tomorrow we'll close out our coverage of Veil of Alaris with a special interview with EverQuest Lead Producer Thom Terrazas and Lead Designer Adam Bell, so keep an eye out for it. And until then, happy hunting -- and try this expansion!