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Overview

Gates of Discord is about the Wayfarers Brotherhood's discovery of the continent known as Taelosia.  Observant adventurers may have noticed that globe in Skyfire Mountains clearly showed land on the other side of Norrath, but the Wayfarers, led by Morden Rasp, were the first from the known world to set foot on the land.  When they arrived, they were faced with hordes of grotesque, savage creatures that roamed the lands.  These creatures were known as the Muramites.  Wayfarers brave enough to scout the area found evidence of a more civilized people, called the Nihil, that once lived there.  It was quite clear that the Muramites had invaded the continent and all but exterminated those native to Taelosia.  Rasp immediately realized that if they were not stopped here, the Muramites would soon spread to Odus or Antonica.  The Wayfarers Brotherhood returned to Antonica and set up a camp near Jaggedpine Forest where they encouraged Norrath's best to travel with them to Taelosia in order to investigate and eliminate the Muramite threat. 
 
The seventh expansion to EverQuest brought about several new features and changes to the game.  Highlights include: 
  • New Class: Berserkers are a new pure melee DPS class.
  • New Alternate Advancement Skills: Over 100 new AA's.
  • New Zones: 20 new zones half of which are instanced.
  • Leadership Abilites: Group leaders could opt to have 20% of their experience go into a separate pool, earning points used to purchase increased stats or even adding targeting circles to their target to make assisting the leader easier. 
  • Tribute System: Adventurers can donate money to their home town in return for limited use stat increases or skills.
  • New Casino: A casino opened in Shadow Haven with prizes including items that were no longer obtainable in the world.
  • New Tradeskill Interface: Recipes now visible once a tradeskill container is opened.
 
 

Berserkers

Berserkers join wizards and rogues as top tier DPS classes in the world of Norrath.  Their health and damage mitigation is comparable to hybrids such as paladins and shadowknights, allowing them to tank if necessary but not ideally.  They do not have spells, but they do have abilities that mimic the effects of common spells such as stun and snare by inflicting damage to specific body parts of an enemy.  Their "War Cry" line of skills can buff their allies in various ways, but they are certainly not a utility class by any means.  Berserkers can wear chain mail and wield only two-handed weapons.  They have the ability to summon throwing axes giving them a bit of ranged combat, though it is not often used.  Barbarians, Ogres, Trolls, Vah Shir, and Dwarves can choose this profession. 
 
  

Geography

Taelosia
The continent of Taelosia lies far west of Odus across the Abysmal Sea.  Travel to Taelosia is made possible by the Wayfarers Brotherhood's ships that depart from Nedaria's Landing, which is located on the northwestern shores of Antonica.  Before setting foot on land, adventurers board the Wayfarers' flagship vessel, The Queen of Thorns.  The ship serves as a city or home base for adventurers on the continent.  Many quests originate from the ship, and all the amenities are available here including supplies, class trainers, and bank. 
 
Progression through the regions of Taelosia is tiered much like the Planes of Power.  Adventurers must complete certain tasks before being allowed entrance to certain areas.   

 

TIER 0

 
Abysmal Sea is a vast ocean that extends west from Odus to the newly discovered continent of Taelosia.  The Wayfarers Brotherhood's massive ship, built by Morden Rasp himself, rests here not far from the coast of Natimbi.  The Queen of Thorns, as the ship is named, serves as a city for all Norrathians coming to the new land.  Anything an adventurer or craftsman could possibly need is offered somewhere within the ship.  Those wishing to aid the Wayfarers may find numerous quests to sign up for before heading out into Taelosia.  Unlike the Ocean of Tears or Timorous Deep, there are no islands to speak of within the Abysmal Sea, or maybe they just haven't been discovered yet.  For now though, it's just a pit stop for anyone travelling from Nedaria's Landing to Taelosia.  
 
 

TIER 1

 
Barindu
Barindu, the Hanging Gardens
, is a fertile ground that serves as somewhat of a nexus for Taelosia.  Several different regions of the continent are accessible from this region.  Making things easier, Druids and Wizards have discovered the ability to teleport to Barindu from almost anywhere.  The Nihil once used these lands as farms and to build stone golems, but after the invasion of the Muramites, the area became the site for some of the most gruesome atrocities suffered by the Nihil. 
  
Ferubi, the Forgotten Temple of Taelosia, lies directly between the fallen Nihil cities.  It consists of many twisting halls lined with water that lead to various chambers, which are now inhabited by many powerful Muramites.  Adventurers typically come here to complete a specific task, as those who wander here aimlessly do not often return.  
 
Natimbi, the Broken Shores, is the where adventurers first set foot on the soil of Taelosia.  The Wayfarers Brotherhood have set up a small camp on the shoreline where a magus can translocate adventurers back to Antonica or Faydwer if they wish.  Some supplies are available within this camp as well.  Plus, there is one person in particular who will trade powerful spells for specific runes that may be found throughout Taelosia.  Not far from the shoreline, the terrain becomes quite rocky and mountainous.  Those that arrive in the darkness of night should be warned that a monstrous creature known simply as the Cragbeast Queen makes her rounds at the stroke of midnight.  As one ventures deeper into Natimbi, the first sites of destroyed beauty from the Nihilia culture can be seen. 
 
Qinimi
Qinimi, the Court of Nihilia
, gets a lot of traffic if only for the adventurers travelling from Natimbi to Barindu or Ferubi and back.  The structure that once served as the Nihil's hall of justice has since been converted into a headquarters for this wing of the Muramite army.  The once crystal clear water of the surrounding moat is now replaced with black sludge that reeks of death. 
 
Riwwi, the Coliseum of Games, is somewhat of a mystery.  Not much is known about the details of the coliseum's past.  Obviously it was once an arena of sorts, but whether it was used for training, entertainment, both, or something else is unknown.  Much like the rest of Taelosia though, it has now been converted into a Muramite playground of sorts.  The torture endured by the Nihil within these walls is difficult for even the most hardened adventurers to stomach.  
 
Sewers of Nihilia are exactly that; sewers running beneath the surface of of Taelosia.  More importantly though, the sludge-filled passages hold four distinct trials that must be completed before one can enter Kod'Taz. 
 
Tipt, the Treacherous Crags, is the site of the first mission delved out by Udranda in Barindu.  This task is necessary for any wishing to venture further into Taelosia, and specifically Kod'Taz.  The test is quite difficult even for those who have survived the Plane of Time.  A key item must be found by each adventurer and there is no clue as to who or what may be carrying one.  And of course there is the threat of Kyv Heartstriker Jhiru looming at the far end of the canyon. 
 
Vxed, the Crumbling Caverns, is the second task given by Udranda in Barindu.  The canyons here are lined with Nihil relics, now all but destroyed.  Udranda's mission here is much more direct than that of the one in Tipt.  Each adventurer must simply defeat a certain number of Muramites to please the Nihil spirit master residing in Vxed.  Once the tasks here, in Tipt, and the Sewers have been completed, one may enter Kod'Taz. 
 
 

TIER 2

 
Ikkinz
Ikkinz, the Chambers of Destruction
, is a dungeon consisting of various trials that have proven to be the most difficult tests of skill ever encountered by Norrath's adventurers.  Ikkinz appears to have once been a Nihil city, but obviously it has since been overtaken by the savage Muramites.  The trials that lie within these walls can be attempted by small groups or entire guilds. 
 
Kod'Taz, the Broken Trial Grounds, is yet another mountainous region.  It has many Nihil structures still in tact, but now they are utilized by the Muramite horde.  The dangers here increase significantly compared to those within regions such as Natimbi, Barindu, or Ferubi. 
 
Uqua, the Ocean God Chantry, must be traversed in order to enter Qvic.  The challenges in Uqua are unlike any of those that have been encountered before.  A vicious spell known as the Aura of Destruction rains down upon all those who trespass.  If one of your friends falls in battle, an enemy will immediately replace them, making an already dire situation exponentially worse.  The gas chamber puzzles that must be completed here, if attempted incorrectly, will almost certainly kill any casters in your party instantly.  And for any who actually make it through the gas, there is the final encounter with Vrex Barxt Qurat that can quickly end the expedition and make surviving the rest of Uqua a waste of time. 
 
Yxtta, the Pulpit of Exiles, is yet another mountainous region forcing adventurers to crawl their way through legions of Muramites in twisting canyons.  Here adventurers will find tests in the form of riddles and a triplet of Primals.  Beyond the canyons are entrances to Uqua and eventually Qvic.  

 

TIER 3

 
Qvic
Inktu'ta, the Unmasked Chapel
, is a prayer ground for the traitorous Trusik tribe of Nihil.  It had until recently remained hidden even from the Muramites, but its entrance was revealed after an explosion in Qvic.  Noqufiel and his followers offer several unique tests for those who enter the sanctuary.  It is said that Noqufiel is responsible for opening the portal to the realm of Discord in Qvic, allowing the Muramites to invade Taelosia, and subsuquently, all of Norrath.
 
Qvic, the Prayer Grounds of Calling, is quite a popular site.  The environment is not unlike much of the rest of the continent, but the treasures here are unique in the way of armor that can be obtained through quests involving the slaughter of M`Shas.  The trials encountered here are considered easier than other regions of the continent.  An entrance to Inktu'ta has recently been uncovered by a most powerful Muramite named Cynosure Kvanjji. 
 
 

TIER 4

 
Txevu, the Lair of the Elite, is a labyrinth of tunnels and caves in which the most powerful of the Muramite legions reside.  A gauntlet of Muramite leaders line the halls on the way to the sealed door to Tacvi.  Txevu is not for the feint of heart.  Only the most disciplined guilds will pass this test. 
 
 

TIER 5

 
Tunat'Muram Cuu Vauax
Tacvi, the Seat of the Slaver
, is the final encounter for the Wayfarers Brotherhood and the adventurers assisting them in Taelosia.  It is here where the Muramite general commands his army.  His name is Tunat'Muram Cuu Vauax and his dungeon is littered with the corpses of Nihil slaves.  One surviving Nihil, Sesnil Yisnon, will advise adventurers who have made it this far of the atrocities that the Tunat'Muram instigated.  The only means of ending this threat in Norrath is slaying Cuu Vauax in his throne room.  But is he the true leader of the Muramites?  Or is this threat larger than any have even imagined?
 
 

Reception

After a year (2003) of limited new content seen in the expansions of Ykesha and LDoN, players were highly anticipating the Gates of Discord expansion, which promised a whole new continent and more high level content.  Sadly, the seventh expansion was released to a chorus of complaints.  The game was largely unfinished with many encounters either not working properly or simply unbeatable completely.  On top of the gameplay issues, the new expansion also had many graphical issues.  Since GoD brought about an entire overhaul of EverQuest's graphics engine, issues with the world's geometry were affected throughout the world of Norrath, both new zones and old.  
 
SOE's President, John Smedley, was quoted as saying that Gates of Discord was the company's "worst mistake in five years."  It was later revealed that the development team built much of the expansion's content with the idea in mind that the level cap would increase to 70, but that did not happen.  This would at least partially explain the seemingly unbeatable content found in the expansion.  While the community waited for the issues to be resolved, SOE announced the eighth expansion, Omens of War, due in September (a few months later).  Players saw this as SOE ignoring their concerns with the issues surround GoD, and a sizable group of players vowed to boycott the eighth expansion until SOE properly addressed the concerns.  The controversy came at the worst possible time for EverQuest.  Many of the top tier guilds avoided the frustration simply by joining the ongoing beta for World of Warcraft, which would release in November of that year (2004).  
 
SOE held a summit in the Summer of 2004, inviting many of the games' top level guilds and players from across all servers.  SOE ended up delaying the release of Omens of War by a few months to dedicate time to fixing Gates of Discord.  But many would say that it was too little, too late, as many of the game's most devoted players had already moved on.

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