Greetings friends and family of Rosengard,
It's hard to believe the Phinigel server has already been up and running for two and a half years. A lot of us (myself included) couldn't subject ourselves to another Kunark run after 6 months of it on Ragefire, but things really picked up for Rosengard on Phinigel in Velious and beyond! Our raid team continues to excel with most of the same steady leadership you've all come to know, plus plenty of new additions to the guild keeping our numbers strong. We've cleared every obstacle the raids have thrown at us so far, even alien carpets and broken Performer triggers.
While a lot of EverQuest purists will tell you the golden age of EQ ends after Planes of Power, I couldn't disagree more. Classic content is definitely nostalgic, and taking down the gods is an iconic experience. But with the release of The Serpent's Spine expansion next week, we're truly entering a new and amazing era for the game.
I personally find the upcoming content to be the most complete and defining expansions for the game, and I haven't even seen all the raid content in TSS myself yet! The Serpent's Spine is not some half-assed 6 zone expansion where the content mostly takes place in instances. It's a beautiful expansion with 13 huge, well-designed open world zones for group content, plus of course tons of raids. Phinigel is still a thriving server, but it's easy for everyone to stick to their own raid instances and guild halls. We kind of overlook other guilds and players sometimes. I really believe TSS will really make the server feel noticeably more alive.
I'm posting this as a public notice, keeping in mind all those players we've left behind over the last two and a half years. Lots of wonderful friends have come and gone, but the core of Rosengard is still thriving with the help of a crew of great new recruits. Maybe you find yourself away from the game, but thinking about scratching that EQ itch. Or (/gasp!) maybe you've settled into the classic content again on Coirnav or Agnarr. If you've ever thought about making a return to Phinigel, I am telling you unequivocally now is THE time to do it!
"But Stein, why? Why would I return now? You must have some good reasons to be posting all this!"
Fear not, you're damn right I do! I probably forgot some things, but here's a list of just the stuff I can personally remember/confirm we'll be getting with TSS:
1) New global faster xp rate
Whether you're returning as your old level 60 main, or leveling up a brand new class, it's going to be faster and easier to catch up to the crowd than ever. Prathun has confirmed xp rates on Phinigel will match regular standard servers once we reach TSS.
2) Rotating hot zones up to level 65
Still not fast enough xp for you? Try a hot zone! As a method for funneling lower level players into the same areas to make grouping easier, one zone per level range will have an additional xp bonus, up to level 65 content.
3) Out of combat regen
STILL not fast enough xp for you? Or do you easily get bored during medding downtime? Not to worry! TSS introduces the new Out of Combat regen system for HP/mana/endurance. As long as you've been out of combat for 30 seconds (or 5 minutes if you fought a raid mob) then all your regen rates will skyrocket, and you'll be FM and ready to go in just a couple minutes.
4) AA's autogranted at least through PoP
In our current Prophecy of Ro era, all AA's up through Planes of Power are autogranted. This amounts to the first few hundred AA's. It's possible with TSS they will even auto-grant up to Gates of Discord AA's, but we haven't confirmed that just yet. Either way, it's a great boost for catching up if you fell behind.
5) Defiant armor
This new type of armor drops uncommonly (but not TOO uncommonly!) globally from ANY zone in the game. Level appropriate gear will simply drop from random mobs as you level up. This makes gearing up a new or returning character to survive a few raid AE's a lot less painful. But if your concern is "omg ez mode!" don't worry. The armor caps off far weaker than raid gear.
6) New race - Drakkin!
Now I'm the first to admit I think the Drakkin look pretty stupid. But that said, some people love them! This is the final new playable race for EQ, and as such it will encourage a new crop of alts. New alts means more leveling players for everyone to group with on their way up to level 75.
7) Crescent Reach starting city
Crescent Reach is the new hub city for Norrath. All new characters have the option to start here if they choose (you can also choose your old original starting city if you prefer #KaladimForever). This funnels a large % of new characters into the same part of the world, and encourages grouping.
8) Hero's Journey
Hero's Journey is a HUGE (and seriously I mean huge) set of new achievement based quests. It encompasses all types of content, from solo to raid. It's impossible to be bored in TSS. There is always something else on the list.
9) Full expansion of new content from level 1-75
Bored of the same old leveling paths? TSS is the first expansion since Luclin to cater to ALL level ranges in the game. If you are so inclined, you could roll a level 1 character and level up to 75 without even leaving the continent except maybe to buy a few spells etc.
10) New level cap and new AA's
I almost forgot to even mention it there's so much other stuff! It's been four expansions for us now stuck at level 70 max, and TSS finally raises the ceiling up to 75. And of course that comes with a full crop of new AA's, including new activated abilities for every class.
11) Tiered spell ranking system
The Serpent's Spine introduces the tiered spell system - Rank 1, Rank 2, and Rank 3. Each tier of the same spell is generally the same basic effect, but just a little bit better for higher ranks. Rank 1 spells are vendor purchased, Rank 2 come from group content, and Rank 3 come from raids. This means you can jump in Day 1 and buy all your Rank 1 spells from a vendor, and you're ready to perform all your main class functions. Of course you can perform them slightly better once you get your higher rank spells, but it's a solid base to start off.
12) Two end game raid zones
And finally, an awesome expansion is never complete without some awesome end game raiding. The Serpent's Spine boasts two completely different settings for top tier raids. Frostcrypt, Throne of the Shade King has two raid instances, and Ashengate, Reliquary of the Scale has three. This helps adds some variety in raid content instead of all the best items being from one zone.
We at Rosengard hope to see some old friends return to experience The Serpent's Spine with us!
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