Greetings Fellow Norrathians! Just stopping by to give everyone some information on what we have coming this year and some insight on the direction we are going. Cooperative Competition: Co-opetition! Come test your mettle in the Proving Grounds. This May we’ll be releasing two new cooperative competition zones that allow groups of up to six to compete against each other in timed races to see who can complete the zones’ challenges first. The fastest times for each round, currently set for seven days, are recorded on a leader board for everyone to ohh and ahh at (and try to beat) until the round ends. The fastest group in each round could possibly win an extra set of rewards, and the acclaim of all their peers. Rewards can be claimed from the victory merchant located in the Proving Grounds lobby. You can bet there will be some Best in Slot items available here to earn for everyone who wants to participate. Proving Grounds utilize the battleground server technology to allow all players within a region to compete with or against each other. The first of these will be available starting on May 9 with GU103: The Menagerie. Fallen Gate – New TLE Server We’re going to be unlocking a new TLE server this year, Fallen Gate. This server will differ from Stormhold, as there won’t be voting and expansion content will open automatically every 12 weeks. There will be an exact schedule for this and you will know exactly what day each expansion will go live. As we get closer to release we will have more information, but we wanted to talk a bit about Heritage Quests on this server. As a benefit for those who play on the new server, so finishing Heritage Quests on Fallen Gate will unlock some cool rewards for your characters on the regular servers. In addition, there are lots of new achievements, titles, and rewards to be earned here for those who are interested. Kunark Ascending Epilogue Quest Anyone who has completed their epic 2.0s will have access to this quest and event, which will show them how the story for this expansion wraps itself up (and possibly even some clues as to where we are going). Oh, and everyone who completes the epilogue quest, gets this little gem. New Kunark Ascending Heritage Quest Speaking of Heritage Quests, we’ve added a new one in the upcoming game update. This quest series has a Heroic portion that grants a new Heritage item, and an Epic portion that will upgrade the item players received. Interested adventurers should search within Obulus Frontier for clues on how to begin this new quest. Good hunting! Summer Ethereal Events Summer Ethereals are coming. Without giving too much away, there will be a new Best in Slot cloak that will be able to be earned, and there should be some cool new mechanics involved in getting this awesome item. An orange adornment slot will be ready for some very powerful effects will also be available during this event. Familiars! Experts in the mysterious menagerie have discovered a subspecies of creatures that have been found to increase the master’s ability to channel greater power. System-wise that means these creatures will primarily focus on over-cap stats, such as Fervor, Crit Bonus, etc. They can be collected and added to a sticker book in your character pane that will display the first 20 familiars. Familiars are not a controllable pet, and may be hidden if the owner wishes to do so. You may only summon one familiar at a time, but you may use any familiar you own as an appearance familiar. Familiars will be found from many sources within Norrath. Passive Deity Abilities Two points on the passive deity abilities (Divine Potency, Divine Crit Bonus, and Divine Stamina). First, while the passive deity abilities have been very successful in giving players something that their experience can always be used on, the gap in power for those that have been investing in the abilities is growing beyond what we wanted to see. We’ll be updating Divine Potency and Divine Crit bonus to have a diminishing returns curve in the next few weeks. This will go simultaneously with a reduction in mitigation on many Kunark Ascending heroic and raid encounters, so the overall impact on actual damage dealt should be negligible for players with over 30 points in Divine Potency or Crit Bonus, and a net gain for players with less than 30 points in those abilities. Second, account wide passive deity abilities is still being worked on to be an upcoming feature, where your alts on live servers will benefit from the highest level of each of the passive deity abilities. We do not have an ETA locked down just yet, but it is pretty high on our priority list. Class Balance Updates In the upcoming expansion, we’ll be doing a major revamp of class balance focusing on bringing each class back into line with their intended roles. Specific areas of focus will be tier 1 DPS classes that are not performing as well as desired, and more support buffs and debuffs for several healer classes and expanded support for enchanters and bards. Level 100 Character Boost To help any of our returning players jump right into Kunark Ascending we will be granting all accounts a claimable level 100 boost bauble, from May 9th through May 22nd. This bauble will set a character to level 100, and grant a crate of gear so they can jump right into the start of Kunark Ascending and the Proving Grounds. Epic 2.0 Faction Bauble - Guise of Pursuit Once you have completed an Epic 2.0 quest on any character, you will now be able to purchase the Guise of Pursuit for your alternate characters on the same account. This bauble will raise all of the factions required for any of the Epic 2.0 quests to max level so that you may bypass any of the faction requirements on that character. If you did the work to get your new epic, here is a way to help along your alts. The Guise of Pursuit will be available on May 9th, with GU103: The Menagerie. AMA on Live Servers April, 26th, 28th and May 1st! We will be on live servers conducting an Ask Me Anything. These will be in General Chat on each server. The current schedule is: April 26th – Thurgadin – 10:30AM–11:30AM PDT (17:30 UTC - 18:30 UTC) April 26th – Antonia Bayle – 3:30PM–4:30PM PDT (22:30 UTC - 23:30 UTC) April 26th – Halls of Fate – 4:30PM–5:30PM PDT (23:30 UTC - 00:30 UTC) April 28th – Skyfire – 3:30PM–4:30PM PDT (22:30 UTC - 23:30 UTC) April 28th – Stormhold – 4:30PM–5:30PM PDT (23:30 UTC - 00:30 UTC) May 1st – Isle of Refuge – 3:30PM–4:30PM PDT (22:30 UTC - 23:30 UTC) May 1st – Maj’Dul – 4:30PM–5:30PM PDT (23:30 UTC - 00:30 UTC) We’re really looking forward to expansion 14 and we will release more info later this year. In the next expansion, we will be raising the level cap this year to level 110. We feel the destination finally warrants it! Expect to see lots of bonuses over the summer for preparing for the increase, including our Gear Up, Level Up promotions. See you in Norrath!