The first Velious adventure involved actually, you know, finding a copy of the game. Apparently Sony’s distributor seriously underestimated the initial demand. Then again, I suspect after the first week anyone who’d want the expansion will have somehow bought it, so flooding every store in the country with 20 copies would have been kind of silly. At any rate, some folks report consistent shortages and having to drive 50 miles or more to find a copy, while other folks wonder what crack everyone is smoking since their stores can’t give away the copies they’ve got. Since I’m lazy, I ordered mine online through Outpost.com, which means I should get it sometime in March or so. By which time I may actually be high enough level to play the damn thing.
The two components of Velious – interface enhancements and new zones – both seem to be well recieved. One quote by a Velious owner when examining their inventory for the first time using the new user interface was something on the order of “HOLY SHIT THIS ROCKS”. All mad pr0pz0rz to Rrowyl the Almighty for actually fixing some of Everquest’s nagging interface quirks (including throwing you out of “heads-up mode” whenever doing basic things like accessing your inventory and looting your kills). Some folks were unhappy that these changes weren’t available to folks who didn’t buy Velious, especially since they were patched to the client anyway and only actually, you know, worked if your client was marked Velious-enabled.
As for the new zones, they seem to continue the trend we saw in Kunark of huge mobs with large numbers of opponents carrying somewhat more randomly distributed loot. And, like Kunark, most of the high level zones such as Skyshrine and Siren’s Grotto apparently never had any phat lewt installed. However, most of the lewt farmers are waiting on the spoiler sites to post detailed maps and quest walkthroughs anyway, so most of the reports are from folks who enjoy exploring the unknown, of which Velious has plenty at the moment. The faction system still isn’t terribly understood, but apparently you can pick and choose who you’ll eventually be KoS to depending on your actions. Wow, what a concept.
Meanwhile, EQ Vault has a news template you can use for when your guild bravely slays the Ubermob and loots the Pointy Hat of Godliness. And when you decide to bitch on Whineplay about how the Pointy Hat of Godliness is unfair to necros, there’s a ready-made template waiting for you there as well. Or, you could just wait for FoH to kill everything. That in itself is sometimes a great adventure.