Gamasutra attended Sony Online Entertainment's recent 'Fan Faire,' where president John Smedley unveiled a new online only collectible card game based on the EverQuest universe, named Legends of Norrath, playable from directly within both EverQuest I and II.
The first Legends of Norrath deck, called Oathbound, features over 350 virtual cards and is available in both a 55-card digital starter deck and 15-card digital booster packs. Starter packs will be available to play for free once the game has launched, with a private beta test already being advertising on the game's website.
Beginning August 8th all those who attended the Fan Faire convention will be able to download the beta client, which will include one of four random starter packs and two booster packs. Oathbound is the first of three card sets planned by SOE.
After announcing the project, Smedley reassured fans that they will not have to pay extra to play Legends of Norrath. "We are putting card packs in both games as drops off of mobs," said Smedley. "If a person doesn't want to purchase anything you don't have to. We are also giving away starter decks to everyone playing Everquest and Everquest II."
Described as "a game of skill to play while healing or at a tavern," the Legends of Norrath CCG will allow players to earn "extremely rare items from loot cards" in the MMORPGs, including items, mounts and clothing - with SoE clearly keen to co-promote both aspects of the franchise.
CCGs such as Yu-Gi-Oh! And Magic: The Gathering continue to prove popular around the world, with most of the more popular franchises being adapted for video game use. Many unrelated video games properties have also been adapted into CCGs, the most famous example of which being Pokemon.