EverQuest 2 producer talks Altar of Malice and 'spiderbears'

SOE Live saw some major reveals for many of Sony Online Entertainment's MMO titles. Among the announcements was a new expansion for EverQuest II, which is set to celebrate its 10th anniversary in November. Shacknews was on-hand at the event to learn a little bit more about Altar of Malice.

"It's honestly the design teams, the art teams, and even the engineers, we all get together and we talk about 'What do we want to work on?' because obviously the best content is going to come from your passion and your desire," senior producer Holly Longdale told Shacknews. "We were kinda done with the Kerafyrm/Age's End kind of storyline and this team really wanted to move on and tell their own stories, because we're quite often building on what was done before."

That led into discussion about the new expansion's content, which will center around villainess Lanys T'vyl and the Broken Skull pirates. In particular, Longdale talked about some of the new monsters that will debut in this expansion, including a hideous bear/spider hybrid. And though Longdale, herself, admits that the team will slip into calling them 'spiderbears,' there's more to the fearsome creatures than that.

"They call them 'Ursarachs,'" Longdale explained. "That one came from somebody that just had a random idea and thought it would be hilarious. And then when we started doing concepts... and the concepts actually started looking really cool. We didn't think it would be possible, but they look incredible."

Longdale also discussed some of the other new NPCs that will hit EQ2, including pygmies, 'EQ2-style' dinosaurs, and Lizardkyn. Altar of Malice will also introduce cultists of the Primordial Malice, masochistic warriors that serve at the feet of Lanys.

The EQ2 expansion will also introduce some new zones, including one that Longdale is particularly passionate about.

"Honestly, my favorite area is called Broken Skull Bay," Longdale said. "It's the pirate theme. This zone... is a vertically-built area where you see these little buildings stacked upon one another inside this cavern. It's a beautiful vertical playable space with incredibly tight themes and details. It's one of the best ones I've seen."

For more about Altar of Malice, check out our full interview with Longdale below. EverQuest II's Altar of Malice expansion, along with the game's formal 10th anniversary celebration, is set to arrive on November 11.