Apart from the fact that Icesus is a great action packed game, it is also going to be even better because soon we can't say our playable content really ends. Each of our six celestial bodies surrounding Aegic (Aythzilla, Lhundaer, ...) are in for a stream of new areas generated by a new area generating and management, (semi-) Artificial Intelligence system called the "Codeslave". The Codeslave is able to generate areas to a level of detail which is high enough to feel as if they were man made (and especially in terms of logic they _are_ more solid than those created by many new flesh-and-blood codeslaves). Take this as a hint of things to come, the forthcoming glory and danger and new quests... ruthless and wicked, rewarding and intense - you will need all of your skill and savvy to be able to survive these off-world adventures in our alien, hostile, faraway worlds!
Codeslave supports absolute regeneration, which means all areas it controls are scheduled for periodical, complete regeneration. in short, it means quest A @ time X will not play out as it plays one week later.
Being a competent player in Icesus means having good knowledge of basics*. Even the endgame is still just about being good in basics. The top players are still doing the very same basics as they did as a newbie, but they now perform these basics on a higher level. For beginners, this increase in competence may be difficult to see, but if you looked at e.g. statistics of party members killed while doing EQ, you could see a clear correlation of what this means. Performing basics more efficiently comes from being less likely to be careless, less likely to make newbie mistakes when leading parties (and FYI - there are no other types of mistakes than newbie mistakes). This reduction in mistakes justifies calling their way of doing things to be of higher caliber.
Adventures outside of Aegic are intended to challenge players who are already good in the way described above, but also to provide learning opportunities for newbies who are encouraged to ask for trips to nearby celestial bodies from their friendly neighbourhood navigators. An adventure outside of Aegic is not much different than an adventure in Aegic - you can think of an adventure in Aegic as being the basic level. In terms of risk compared to the rewards, Aythzilla, Aqueous and Lhundaer are considered to be moderately difficult. Infernus and Sorcerus fall in "difficult" category because their challenges are more complex. Ultimately, Chto challenges players to the highest degree. All of the challenges outside of Aegic focus on the following primary game concept: Dying sends you back to Aegic, and it's expensive to get you back to your outworldly party row.
As the challenge level increases, players must demonstrate their ability to execute and follow plans more accurately and in a more timely manner (oxium). Failure to do this will result in mistakes leading to people being sent back to Aegic, and this often results in failure of the overall mission. It is good to understand that disasters are caused by accidents caused by sloppiness. If you are able to stay cool, calm, collected, and show true leadership, your missions are less likely to be doomed because of negligence and more likely to succeed.
You will find that most of the creatures living on these external worlds are blockers, which means they will very likely prevent you from fleeing. This is a conscious game design decision made for two reasons:
- driving yourself through missions using bots and triggers is much harder, and
- you have to think a little more about your next steps - e.g., decide if you want to take the risk associated with your party’s involvement in the fight or not.
Again, remember this key concept: Death caused by bad decisions is meant to send you back home.
* A page (by Ezenya) defining quite nicely what "basics" mean: How to get into eq parties.