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EverQuest: The Shadows of Luclin (also called SoL, or Luclin) is the third expansion released for EverQuest, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). The expansion focuses on high-level content, providing a number of zones meant to be used by large groups of players and many extremely powerful monsters to fight.
The expansion takes place on a moon of Norrath called Luclin and introduced the Vah Shir, a catlike playable race, and the Beastlord character class. Notable NPC races that were added to the EverQuest universe are the Shissar, a snake-like race, and the Akhevans. The Shadows of Luclin also incorporates a new game engine, new character models, and gave players the ability to design graphical user interfaces. The player characters' appearance was completely redesigned giving them more layers and rounder shapes. Mounts were also introduced with this expansion, they allowed players to regenerate their Health and Mana as if they were sitting without generating as much aggro (hatred from monsters). Alternate Advancement started with the Luclin expansion, allowing players to further grow and customize their classes.
It includes many zones in which players of all levels can experience, several raid encounters such as the Lord Inquisitor Seru and a high-end raiding zone, Vex Thal. SoL also introduced some new events that made encounters more challenging than before, especially in the Ssraeshza Temple zone.
The Shissars, serpent like creatures, were extremely powerful beings and once roamed on the continent of Kunark where they had enslaved the Iksars. Rile, an Iksar hero, brought a revolution and called upon a mystical force referred to as the Greenmist, which killed the Shissars. Fleeing Norrath because the atmosphere became toxic, the surviving Shissars were helped by the Combine Empire and were sent to Luclin and the underwater sanctuary introduced years later with "The Buried Sea".
On Luclin, the Shissars built the temple of Ssraeshza home of the powerful Emperor Ssraeshza (powerful enough to slay gods according to the lore). To protect themselves from the Greenmist, they magically sealed the Grey, a place where no atmosphere exists, and built their temple. Ssraeshza Temple (also known as Ssra) is part of the access to the high end zone of Vex Thal. Defeating the Emperor was necessary and required equipping every player with a key done within the temple and gearing melee characters with special weapons, since the Emperor is immune to regular weapons. Such weapons were introduced with SoL and a referred to as Bane Weapons. Later on, a Shadow Knight only quested weapon was introduced in Cabilis and called the Greenmist (Sacred Khukri of Rile), the most powerful Shissar-bane weapon.
Under the seas they built Zhisza a new sanctuary.
The Vex Thal zone led to a great deal of controversy due to complaints that the zone did not work properly at release, that its design created too many conflicts between players (due to racing for content), that the quest to access the zone was a time sink (requiring weeks), and that the zone was designed with encounters requiring long periods of playing (more than 6 hours, for example).
The Shadows of Luclin also had problems on release that prevented many players from experiencing the new content immediately, due to the changing graphical engine. Additionally, the Bazaar, a zone that was listed in the expansion's features, was not ready on the expansion's release date and was made available a few months later.
In the end, the expansion was described by some as an unfinished product: time sinks, unfinished and broken content, unfinished and broken software, and very little in the way of role playing and folklore.
The new skins given to player characters were evenly rejected and accepted by the player community. Today, a large portion of players still use the old (original) character skins.
In addition, Shadows of Luclin began the trend of instant teleportation in Everquest with the addition of the Nexus, which allowed people to transport from various spires in the original Norrath up to Luclin. This trend was later expanded on with the Planes of Power expansion, which added the Plane of Knowledge and "PoK books" that allowed teleportation to nearly every newbie zone in Norrath, "boat gnomes"—teleporters that replaced the original boats, and the Magi that allowed transport between Wayfarer's camps in the Lost Dungeons of Norrath expansion. Such changes are widely believed to have trivialized travel in the once enormous world of Norrath, which in effect made the world seem significantly smaller.
The Bazaar, a trading zone which in essence allowed player characters to act as NPC merchants, is also credited with causing massive "mudflation" and damage to both the in-game economy and to the social networking and role-playing that often occurred in player-run bazaar areas such as the North Freeport Bank or the East Commonlands tunnel, where characters had previously congregated to buy and sell goods with all the efficiency of a third-world city market.
Many players credit this expansion with being the beginning of the end for EQ and the overall turning point in the quality of the expansion sets. [ No post-Luclin set has ever had the popularity and approval of Ruins of Kunark and Scars of Velious. ]
- Acrylia Caverns
- Akheva Ruins
- Dawnshroud Peaks
- Echo Caverns
- Fungus Grove
- Grieg's End
- Grimling Forest
- Hollowshade Moor
- Katta Castellum
- Marus Seru
- Mons Letalis
- Netherbian Lair
- Paludal Caverns
- Sanctus Seru
- Shadeweaver's Thicket
- Shadow Haven
- Shar Vahl
- Ssraeshza Temple
- The Bazaar
- The Deep
- The Grey
- The Maiden's Eye
- The Nexus
- The Scarlet Desert
- The Tenebrous Mountains
- The Twilight Sea
- The Umbral Plains
- Vex Thal