Everquest 2 Announces Battlegrounds.

Cross-server instanced PvP is coming to Norrath as part of Everquest 2’s Sentinel’s Fate Expansion release. As part of the GU, they’ll be available to all subscribers, whether or not we have the expansion pack yet.

Maltheas Beats Up A Goblin In Everquest 2

Maltheas gets a bit of practice in for EQ2's Battlegrounds!

EQ2 has had Arena ever since the Desert of Flames expansion. They were briefly popular, but fell into disuse and these days you can queue as long as you like, but you’re not going to get a fight. These were not cross-server, which didn’t help the matter. This then, is sort of Arenas Mark II. I wonder what’ll become of the old Arena. It had some perfectly decent maps, so perhaps they could eventually upgrade it with their new Battleground cross-server technology.

There are also open-world PvP servers, but, having tried one once, they are not for everyone. Certainly not for me, when I want to get a bit of questing done. Consensual PvP, on the other hand, appeals to almost everyone, provided it doesn’t interfere with their main playstyle.

PvP is one of those subjects that gets a lot of folks hot under the collar. Many are saying that Battlegrounds have no place in EQ2, or that it was a waste of Dev time. Me, I feel that it is better to create new sorts of things to do, as has been done here, rather than to just make more of the same. We have more than enough PvE to be getting on with, and more incoming. EQ2’s new feature is clearly targeted at folks who enjoy the instanced PvP part of games like WoW and Warhammer, but who might also appreciate EQ2’s greater depth. For those of us already dwelling in Norrath, we can use this new option, or not, according to our individual lights.

I’ll certainly give them a try, and if they turn out to be fun I might Battleground a fair bit. Having a wide range of activities to choose from is one thing that sets the older-school MMOs like EQ2 apart from the more recent ones. I like choices, and was often a bit irritated I couldn’t find anyone to join me for a game of capture the flag in the original Arena. The cross-server nature of Battlegrounds should make a match far easier to get into.

Provided this new feature has been done with care, I think it can only help EQ2 attract new players. As the new player experience launches with GU55, the more Norrath has to offer, the more of them’ll stick. I’m quite looking forward to it. While I am a bit of a carebear (though tell that to my foes in PotBS and WAR :) ), I do like a bit of a scrap from time to time. The appearance of Battlegrounds, which has taken me quite by surprise, makes me wonder what else SOE might have in store for us in the coming month.


Engage in the most exciting and intense PvP battles with your friends, regardless of server! Available for players with max-level characters, Battlegrounds provide thrilling group-based, competitive matches in three all-new zones. Quickly join the nonstop action including three different types of matches with up to 48 players total. There is a role for all, no matter the class, each player can support or lead the group to victory and reap the rewards of the all-new Chaos armor sets!

Battlefield of Ganak

Deep in the overgrown keeps of the Kunark jungle, a bloodthirsty group of Iksar is holding tournaments in the ruins of their great ancestors. Following their cultural practices of swarming fortresses, annihilating enemies and stealing their treasures, the tournament games are meant to mimic the violent event, not as tradition, but as sport! Rewards await those who are victorious including combat secrets, battle techniques and other valuable information that has been passed down through the ages.

* Game Type: Capture the Flag
* Players: 6 Person Group
* Environment: Outdoor arena with two large oppositional bases with intersecting interiors
* Objective: Capture the enemy’s flag located within their base and return it to your base with your flag still in place
* Win Condition: First team to successfully capture and return three flags wins

Smuggler’s Den

Join the battle of two groups eternally at odds! Seafarer factions are vying for supremacy and willing to handsomely reward any mercenary brave enough to fight for their side. With limitless resources, neither side is willing to allow the opposition to capture and control the islets. Key control over pivotal trading positions is imperative to delivering goods in a profitable manner. The battle continues with the struggle to control strategic lookouts and smuggler havens.

* Game Type: Hold Territory
* Players: 24 Person Group
* Environment: Five spires on top of two pinnacles jutting out of a raging ocean
* Objective: Gain control and hold towers longer than the opposition to earn Tower Tickets
* Win Condition: First team to reach the displayed Tower Ticket goal wins

Gears of Klak’Anon

Gnomes studying a magical and likely cursed technological artifact are particularly intrigued about the unusual properties of this mythical relic. Especially the effects that it grants to its possessor, which rapidly decay health, but with the dubious tradeoff of increased offensive potential. In an effort to further study the effects, and for their own twisted amusement, players are rewarded for engaging in a science experiment turned entertainment, Hold the Relic.

* Game Type: Hold the Relic
* Players: 6 Person Group
* Environment: Industrious clockwork foundry containing scientific equipment in motion
* Objective: Acquire and hold the relic to accrue points faster than the opposition
* Win Condition: First team to reach the set score wins

You can find more info, including pics and maps, at the official EQ2 Battlegrounds site.

Everquest 2 Battlegrounds Warrior Of Chaos StatueUpdate: To celebrate the opening of the battlegrounds, we’re getting a freebie!

Login between Feb. 16 2010 and Feb. 18 2010 and receive the Warrior of Chaos statue*!
∗One per character, no cash value. Item will be granted on or about Feb. 19, 2010.

I can always use more statues!

Update: Apparently Battlegrounds will only be for folks over level 80 to begin with. Maltheas says “Booos!!”. Other tiers will open up in later game updates.

I don’t really see the logic to this. It somewhat sticks the knife in my argument that it’ll help attract new players. Certainly folks ain’t going to be able to try them out in their trial period.

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