First impressions of Everquest 2
Today I am starting a record of my adventures in Everquest 2. I know that this game has been out for just under 3 years, but as I said before, I am a complete noob to all of the Everquest games and I have to start somewhere.
I was lucky enough to receive from SOE a 2 month trial for EQ2 after I had canceled my subscription to Vanguard, so I have yet to purchase anything. If the game continues to play out exactly how these first 12 levels have been, I definitely think I will be buying it. It just makes sense. From what I have seen, this game is very polished, fun, immersing and offers plenty of content. Plus its a SOE product, so my station pass makes it financially feasible. (SOE is doing a good job at bringing me back into the fold.)
I’ll start this series off with a run through of my first impressions and create a post for my actual 1-12 leveling adventure for tomorrow.
Options, options, options!
I am overcome with the amount of options available to me in this game! I spent a good hour or two standing exactly where I started going through every page in the options panel trying to figure out how to do this and how to do that. There is support for just about everything I can think of and the customization for the interface is insane. I have options for things I have never even heard of before! Basically, the interface is everything I have had or wanted in all the other games I have played. Some of the things I really like are the letterbox effect for the wide-screen resolutions and the fact that all of the elements of the UI are customizable and movable.
A couple of gripes I have about the UI were the quest tracking system and crafting/recipe lists. The quest tracking system is similar to those found in WoW and LotRO. However, in Everquest 2, you are limited to only one quest being tracked on the screen. If you happen to come across an item that is listed in one of your other quests, it does pop up showing which quest and how many you have left but it then quickly disappears. I wish I could have more than one listed as I really like having that easy reference, especially for those gathering quests.
I haven’t devoted much time to crafting yet but for the 3 levels I did I found that you have to create your own lists to sort the tons of recipes that you have when you start. I can see this as being useful later when you have hundreds of recipes to choose from but at the beginning it is just confusing as I don’t understand the different classifications. This will come together in time.
Game Play – How I love thee
There are a lot of ways I see the game play in EQ2 being similar to every other MMORPG I have played but they do a good job putting their own little spin on things. The movement of my Gnome is like a 6 year old in a bouncing fair toy, and I still can’t get over the fact that I can climb certain objects. Seeing my character scale up the side of a tree was one of the funniest moments so far.
Starting as a Gnome Wizard in the Fae beginner area may not have been the wisest decision I have made so far, as I have fallen off the platforms in the main city 3 times. Needless to say that it doesn’t take much for falling damage to kill you at the lower levels. I have heard that some classes gain the skill safe fall and was just about to reroll when another player linked to me a cloak that actually was a Gnomish parachute. I decided to press on and keep the wizard. The death penalty isn’t that bad really.
The game handles the learning of new spells or abilities in a way I have never played before. With each new level you gain, you also automatically learn new spells. These new spells are of a lower level called “Apprentice”. You can buy or craft scrolls that can teach you more powerful versions of these spells and so far it seems to be totally worthwhile. At one level I received a bonus to my character that allowed me to train any one spell I had to a level called “Mastery II”. This increased the damage dramatically and I immediately set out to the broker to try to find more of these scrolls.
My love and opinion for this game jumped the first time I clicked on a NPC for a quest. I have no idea if this is worldwide but I think that the voice acting in the quests are great. They immediately dragged me into the game and I have yet to find one that sounded bad enough to make me want to stop the NPC from continuing.
At one point when I had logged in I noticed I had a in-game reward to claim. This was pretty cool as I thought only people who bought collectors editions or pre-ordered games were the ones who received in-game rewards. I typed in /claim and wouldn’t you know it I not only had one reward to choose from but 10! The list was great and it seemed like I could claim each item multiple times. Some were 1 per account and others were 1 per character. I immediately grabbed a larger pack and then a ring. Then ring turned out to be a level 30 quest but the bag was immediately usable and nice to have.
The AA system seems to have a lot of customization for my character and I have only had the courage to spend one of the five points I gained. I didn’t want to have to refer to an outside site for help with the game but I feel that any decisions I make with the AA will affect my character in the long term. It may be like WoW’s Talent point system with respec’s possible, but I am not taking the chance until I know for sure.
I’m really afraid that my decision to start in the new Fae area may lead to disappointment. Its really polished, has some great quests and rewards, and I have yet to find a bug. However, this is the newest content to be added and it should be high quality after 3 years of being on the market. I hope the game does continue to surprise me but I am not getting my hopes too high.
Overall, the world is beautiful and the story is everything I expected it to be, so I plan on continuing this character for as long as I can. Stay tuned for more of my peripatetic newbie insights about the world of Everquest 2.