EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark
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|EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark|
|Developer(s)||Sony Online Entertainment (Verant Interactive)|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Online Entertainment (Verant Interactive)|
|Release date(s)||April 24, 2000|
EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark (RoK, Kunark, or simply the Kunark expansion) is the first expansion to EverQuest, a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). It introduced a new land area to the game, the continent of Kunark, which had been previously unexplored. Through a mix of in-game events and fiction published on the web by Verant Interactive, the storyline of the discovery of Kunark was established.
In terms of the game, The Ruins of Kunark had a very different visual feel compared to the original zones in EverQuest: the color palette was more vibrant and many of the models used for the monsters were more detailed. This detail was most evident in the Iksar, a new playable race of lizard people introduced with the expansion. The Iksar had a number of racial advantages, including the ability to stay underwater for longer periods of time, additional regenerative powers, and an armor bonus. This was balanced by the fact that they were hated by all of the other races in the game and that there were very few places they could go without being attacked. They also could not wear plate armor.
The Kunark expansion also increased the maximum level a character could attain from 50 to 60, and introduced a substantial number of new and powerful monsters for characters above level 50 to fight. The most notable of these was Veeshan's Peak, a zone populated by dragons that was, at its release, declared to be the hardest zone that would be put into EverQuest. In reality, the zone quickly was surpassed by other zones released in further expansions, and is in fact not used often by players.
Another notable and deep dungeon is Sebilis, the lair of the undead dragon Trakanon, which required players to level past the previous limit and obtain improved gear introduced in the expansion.
The Ruins of Kunark was also the focus of 'epic quests', or quests for powerful weapons for each character class, which were introduced between the Kunark and Velious expansions as a source of further high-end content.
The Kunark expansion was unique in its method of distribution. A player would order the expansion from Verant's online store, and it was then shipped directly to the player's home. Unforeseen shipping delays caused many players to miss the expansion's official opening date. Thereafter, most EverQuest expansions were either available in local stores, or downloaded directly from Verant, many weeks before the official opening date.