A Visit with the Fae - Part 1

by Niami DenMother

Ah, Faydwer, lost to us since that long ago time of the Shattering, we have found you once again. Even here, however, on the side of the planet where the damage was slightly lessened, things have greatly changed since those fondly-recited tales of our long-dead ancestors.

Enter a fantastic land where things will seem teasingly familiar to those steeped in pre-Shattering lore, but where much has changed in the time since then. Meet the fae (the new playable race), who are reported to have been born from the footsteps of Tunare herself, and see what changes they have made to the tree-top city of Kelethin since the time when the elves abandoned it. Then wander far and wide, and see what changes have been wrought to other areas of this large and stunning continent.

Before I dive into talking more about it, I want to repeat something I have said many times in the past. I am graphically challenged. These images do not do proper justice to what I have seen. The layout of images in this article will also be kludgy as I'd rather spend more time telling you folks about what I saw, and getting back over there to continue with the testing, than waste that same time fighting with php and raw HTML to prove to you exactly how graphically challenged I am! You have been forewarned. {grin}

Meet the Fae

Most crafters adore eye-candy, and I am no exception (despite my inability to adequately display and manipulate such eye-candy on the web)! I spent quite a bit of time in the character creation process, simply playing with all the varying wing styles, colors and other character traits for my fae. My cats, of course, looked at me funny as I made cooing noises at the computer, but I had a lot of fun. In the end, instead of going for some of the more colorful and exotic looks, .I chose wings and hair to go with existing dress clothes ... and then did it a second time as well! Did you really expect anything else from me? ;) Once I finally finished playing around with my look, which was a fun adventure in and of itself, I was able to choose from any good or neutral-aligned class, and I was off and fluttering for the tour!

Greater Faydark and Kelethin

Our first stop was Greater Faydark, and the treetop city of Kelethin. This area is home to the new player-race, the fae, as well as a starting option for good-aligned elves, dwarves and gnomes. Unlike Qeynos or Freeport, where it requires several zones to get from one part of the city to another, Greater Faydark (and hence Kelethin as well) is one large zone, making it easier to access the full array of offerings found in a populated city. As someone who used to get lost, regularly and repeatedly, in EQ's Kelethin of old, I found the in-game map to be quite handy for finding my way around the platforms.

There are places to craft, shop, quest, train, and to just sit and socialize in a very lovely nature-oriented region. Player homes, as well as several of the city buildings, are found in large acorns, which enhances the nature-theme of this city.

Down on the ground you will find adventuring for not only new adventurers, but players up into the end of their teens (as well as harvesting areas for the first two tiers). This combination of tiers into a single zone took a bit of getting used to at first, but then it started to grow on me, especially considering how quickly folks tend to zoom through their first twenty levels or so! Not having to zone repeatedly while getting through the new player experience was a definite bonus!

Old Haunts - New Experiences

Those who played EQ are going to find that things will be teasingly familiar, but quite a bit different. After all a very long time has passed, during which there was no contact with the scattered refugees that ended up in Freeport and Qeynos. This is not just a rehash of old EQ content, by any stretch of the imagination, so be prepared for some things to have vastly changed, and others to have been totally lost since the Shattering.

Felwithe, for example, has changed quite a bit, as the high elves that stayed there during the Shattering sealed themselves off from the outside world, and in their long isolation changed quite a bit. They don't like Outsiders, even other high elves, and aren't afraid to tell you that pointedly ... with the sharp end of a sword. Now renamed New Tunaria, this adventuring dungeon is filled with absolutely stunning architecture, and guarded by some fascinating (and grumpy) denizens.

The Steamfont Mountains have a lot more clockwork thingamabobs wandering around than you might remember. This is due to the fact that the gnomes fled the area at the time of the Shattering, but left behind many of their creations. Those creations have now kind of sort of taken over, and the former gnomish city of Ak'Anon is now Klak'Anon, home for a myriad of clockwork critters. Steamfont also boasts several active geysers. Watch your step! I did say they're active!

As you wander through the rest of this very large continent, you will see many lovely sights, new mob models, signs of nature gone awry, and even a few familiar names, such as Mistmoore and Wuoshi that are still going strong, in one way or another, after all this time. (Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of a ginormous epic dragon that can kill an undergeared level 70 in a single blow? We found out the hard way, and we made pretty little fae corpses in a hurry .. um ... twice!)

While I cannot tell you a lot about the content until it is launch time, as they don't want us burbling too much about what is in store while everything is being tested, tweaked and tuned, I can tell you that I saw solo content, group content, and a chunk of high-end raiding content, so it looks like there should be something for everyone in this new expansion.

To Be Continued!!

As mentioned on the front page, I asked some extra questions after the tour of a tradeskill nature, and am awaiting not only word on which of them I can get clearance to talk about, but also seeing if there are any added dev comments regarding them. (Several community sites have approval to speak of some of our experiences in beta, but other things will still be considered to be under NDA for the time being.) Please stay tuned, and I will link it off the front page, and off this page, once I find out what I can talk about.

Eye Candy

(click on images for a larger view)
Some like it bright!
Others try to match hair and wings
Some fae prefer earth tones
Mum matched colors with clothes...
... not once, but twice!
Who is going to buy Mum a new horse?
New Tunaria at dusk
a New Tunaria denizen
New Tunaria at night
Nature gone awry?
Steamfont from above
No disasssemble!
Where there is smoke ...
... thar she blows!
(mmm, rainbow!)
Klakanon gate guard
Kobolds look much meaner now!
Crushbone Orcs do, too!
Clockworks of Klakanon
Click. Whirrrr
There goes a dragon!
(That little speck below his tail is a player corpse!)
He decided we were quick snacks

Created: 2006-10-10 01:49:56          
Last Modified By: Niami Denmother          
Last Modified on: 2006-10-10 04:32:02          

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