EverQuest: Omens of War Previews

A handful of previews for Sony's upcoming Omens of War expansion for EverQuest have hit the web. The first is over at GameSpot:
Omens of War will feature an all-new supernatural realm to explore as part of the expansion's new story-driven quests. In order to begin this quest, you'll need to speak with one of EverQuest's old favorite characters, the Priest of Discord (a character who appears in most major towns in the game and has the rather useless function enabling "player-versus-player" status). Once on the quest, you'll explore different (and extremely hostile) environments, including ice caves inhabited by frost spirits, and a huge and desolate fortress out in the middle of nowhere. Omens of War will feature an all-new graphical upgrade that makes for far better-looking environments, including huge outdoor areas, and huge indoor areas, like the gigantic Fallen Palace of Anguish. The upgrade also allows for improved texture and shader support--several of the game's new areas will actually support bump-mapping to help make dungeons look even more dank and grimy.

The second is at the EverQuest Vault:
Between the new zones which look really good (and only 1 requires a flag for you casual players), there are many other features which look great. For the low level crowd, the new task system will help you level up faster, with tasks taking anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. For the higher levels, everyone knows about Epic 2.0s and level 70 + new AAs. There is also a new title system that allows you to earn and choose your own title, something that you can earn through many ways, including crafting. Finally, and best of all, the Priest of Discord is getting a new and improved use! He will be teleporting players to Omens of War once it goes live.

And the third is at EQInterface:
We learned that all of OoW was scrapped and rewritten from the ground up after the guild summit. 100% of the stuff that is in OoW was created in some way from the feedback from the Summit. From the more "classic" looking monsters, to the limited use of keyed/flagged zones. All of it came from sifting through the hundreds of pages of feedback from the guild summit. While everyone will get to see the new shadows, water, breath effects I did ask where they were on new player models and the official answer of "a while still" was all Brenlo could say. While I like many of you are disappointed by this, It is something they are going to do, they just haven't told us when. I was however, thrilled to hear that the next expansion is on the drawing board, and that community feedback would again play a huge role in its development. So over all, I have to say that I went to SOE expecting the same old stuff, and was really surprised at how much they have "return to their roots" and released an expansion that involves "classics" bad guys.