Freoch has posted his first Producer’s Letter with a sneakpeek at Game Update 42. There isn’t a lot new but he does mention trying to keep the actual Epic quest lines quiet.
We’re trying to be quite secretive about how the actual quest line works so that people will feel a real sense of accomplishment when they complete them. Certainly, if you wait several weeks, one of our supporting web sites will end up with a walk through for those who want to wait, but we’re so excited that we’ve even kept the data as secret as possible. In fact, if you ask a GM for assistance, there’s a good chance they won’t have access to the data necessary to help, as we have kept it all very close to the vest.
Would that mean several weeks from now or several weeks from the update. Generally, walk-throughs and spoilers get discussed and written up as soon as the updates hit test. I’m not sure if that means they are not using putting the Epic quest-lines on the Test server or what.
I’ve long felt that game- and server-firsts are somewhat meaningless with the current set-up, where people do their exploration on the test server and then race to live servers to get credit for it. When they put up beta-buffers it gets even worse. If you look at quest write-ups for Kunark, you’ll quickly find a lot of iffy data where reward items were changed before the quest went live – the write-up is straight out of test. Lord of the Rings Online call Roheryn the “preview server” which doesn’t actually fix anything but does acknowledge how these servers are used.
Having said all that, I did read the Update Notes to see what they were putting in. I did notice no mention of Epics so maybe they really aren’t testing them. Which will be neat …. if they aren’t buggy.
Meanwhile, a post on the French forums apparently gave the dates for the update: 5th of Feb for the US servers, 6th of Feb for Euro-servers. As the post is no longer there, I don’t think this can be considered official, though.