Good day, adventurers!

We are excited to begin our Open Beta for Game Update 66: Scars of the Awakened!

There are a bunch of new topics opening today in our Beta forum. Each topic will be manned (or womanned) by Dev staff. We are very appreciative of all of the constructive feedback and bug reports we get, so please use our forums or use /feedback or /bug commands from inside the game.

We have plenty for you to test in this update we affectionately refer to as "Scars." Our team hit on a triple-entendre with this update name. Outside of an EQ geography reference, a look at some of the Othmir are a dead giveaway – so to speak. I digress…

To copy your character to Beta, you can log in to a character and type /beta or simply use the Beta Copy button in the Character Select screen. Incidentally, this will copy your character's houses – which is important – because we'd like you to help us test our new housing market options that allow selling and buying of houses! Each copied character will receive an in-game email with an invitation to Beta that will include a buffer and armor if needed.

To get to our new content in Cobalt Scar and Siren's Grotto, use the griffon at the ThurgadinHarbor docks in Great Divide to fly to Withered Lands and then take the Withered Lands griffon to Cobalt Scar. Upon arriving, Osh will give quests. Acting Supplymaster Grant will give the tradeskill quests. Siren's Grotto advanced solo and heroic content can be reached in the north of Cobalt Scar. You will find forum topics for each of the Beta zones if you have questions, feedback, and bugs (or use /feedback and /bug). This includes any issues you find with items, collections, new tradeskill apprentice recipes and daily tasks, and so on.

Also, our systems team has implemented changes to some class abilities based on player feedback – a lot of which came from the forums a short while ago. Some of the details are in the Beta patch notes in this forum topic posted by Bunji. There are class threads in the Beta section so please refer to those for constructive feedback, questions, or bugs.

As you are playing, our Art team asks you to please try and hop into every nook and cranny you can, particularly where rocks, trees and other objects meet so we can flush out any lingering stuck issues. Also keep an eye out for noticeable holes in the world, stretched texture work, or for areas in the collision you may be able to escape through (particularly while flying in Cobalt Scar). If you suffer any immediate and very noticeable drops in frame rate in Cobalt Scar, please note the location and take a guess as to how many fellow players are in the viewable area. If you notice anything else that simply seems out of place or strikes you as possibly broken or incorrect, please pass that info along as well through the Beta zone forums or /feedback.

Buying and selling houses is available on Beta too! Please see the House Market Testing topic in the forums for some details on how to sell and buy houses, as well as some of the current rules and functionality. It's still in development and will be refined, but we'd like to test the core functionality to sell, tour, and buy homes. Most marketplace items will be free (with most service items delisted) to help with decorating houses, and so on. For now, houses will be sold and bought without cost.

Last, but not least, our engineers have made some changes too. They would like you to report any problems with quests that can't be removed or problems with public quests, and collections. Also, testing AA mirrors and confirming they work as they should would be helpful.

There's a lot to test and we really appreciate you – our experts – helping to make this game clean and great!

Holly Longdale
Producer, EQII