Friday, June 29, 2012

One Night on Everquest 2

My Erudite Templar just starting out

 My biggest observation about playing Everquest 2 for one night is that there is a huge amount of things to do.  As soon as I created Kantro I noticed all the tree branches and rocks and plants and other things that I could pick up.  Being both a crafter and a hoarder by nature, even before I received my first quest, I already started picking up things.  

Then to tempt me even more, there were the 'little shiny things' on the ground.  These are collection items.  I pretty quickly discovered, particularly since my packs will rapidly filling up, that if I clicked them in my pack I could add them to my collection.  There were at least three collections that I started in about 2 hours time, each collection having between 10 and 20 items to complete them.  I'm compulsive enough that I don't need a reward other than to be able to pick up shiny objects and add them to a collection (there are rewards for the less compulsive).

I'll go back and talk about my experience more generally now.

Character Creation

From the very first screen Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) is tempting you to become a member. First you pick your class category, either a Fighter, Mage, Priest, or Scout.  This a great idea when you again have 19 choices, but of course out of the 19 choices all the interesting ones are limited to members and you have 8 pretty standard choices.  Then you pick your race.  There are 19 races, a huge variety, but only 6 that you can use as a free-to-play player and, of course, all the interesting animal based ones are off limits.  

I am typically a 'glass is half full' person and 8 classes and 6 races are a huge selection, but I found the process very irritating.  I can understand wanting to reward members when you switch to being a free-to-play game, but it felt more like SOE was taunting me, saying 'Our friends get these fun toys, but you are limited to the boring ones.'

Also, it was odd there was no guidance as to which were the 'evil' or 'good' characters or starting cities.  As a neutral race I was able to pick any starting city, but I had to go on the web to realize there was a significant choice I was making.  Possibly the choice has become less significant than it was portrayed on the website I was looking at, but it seemed like it would have been easy to categorize the choices.

Climbing was fun!
As mentioned above, I was very happy with how many things there are to do in Everquest 2 at the very beginning of the game.  Combat was pretty standard and, as you would expect, very early in the game it was quite easy until I accidentally pulled three mobs.  Even though I created a healing character, I still felt like my damage spells were effective.


I did have some lag, unlike any of the other games I was playing.  Even though my Blog is titled "One Night a Week", I often play early in the morning and that was the case with Everquest 2, and, because it was early, there weren't many people on when I was playing.  However, about every 5 minutes or so, my character would freeze for about 5 seconds and I couldn't do anything.  I never died because of it and it didn't ruin the game, but it did make me worry about if it would be an issue in groups, particularly as a healer.  I didn't try changing any settings to fix it and it certainly wasn't something that would keep me from playing a this point.

Overall perception

Depending on what you want, I could see Everquest 2 as a great game to play one night a week.  There are so many different thing to do, that you probably wouldn't feel to limited by playing as your only game and it would be easy to find goals that you want to do in short periods of time.

However, there were two things that made me less likely to come back.  The first was mentioned above.  While Fallen Earth and Lord of the Rings Online make it easy for you to spend money, as a free player, Everquest 2 made me feel like a second class citizen.  Possibly I would feel that later in the other games, but I didn't like feeling that way early on.  That said, as mentioned above, it felt like there were more gameplay options and if that were my primary criteria, it wasn't enough to keep me from playing.

The second point was more difficult to tie down.  I didn't feel like I was part of a 'story' in Everquest 2.  All three of the other MMOs I've played recently, World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, and Fallen Earth gave me a sense of the world I was becoming a part of right at the start.  I felt more like I had to figure this out on my own in Everquest 2.  For some people this might be a good thing, but I didn't like it.  I'll follow up on this in another post.

Next, I'll be playing Rusty Hearts, my fourth and last trial (for now).


  1. I blame Everquest 2 for my MMORPG hoarding problems. Until then I only kept practical things in my inventories that I would certainly use. Then on EQ2 I started to save shinies, rares and other things for alts... Some that indeed end up being used. Most of it gathered dust for a reason or another though. But I still kept it there "just in case".

    I agree with your critics to the free to play options. I always thought it wasn't so much an alternative as a crippled version of the game they were trying to sell as an alternative. It is so limited and the free options are so bland that I keep imagining how they thought it would tempt anyone to keep playing.

    As for the choice of good and evil, it is indeed not that a big deal in EQ2. At least in PvE. You can chat, group, trade, join the same guild, etc. with anyone of any faction. At level 10 you can even change your home city or betray to the other faction if you so desire and do so as many times as you wish.

    The only restrictions are some classes are evil or good only so if you betray you have to switch to their counterpart class. For example, if you are a paladin and you decide to betray to the evil side, you need to become a shadow knight. Neutral classes can remain the same though.

    You also can only buy houses on cities of the same faction and with a few exceptions, guards of the opposite faction will attack you on sight. It is still possible though to sneak into opposite factions cities and visit other people's houses there.

    The PvP server has its own ruleset so some of those things are different there.

    Good luck with Rusty Hearts and hope you have fun during your trial there! :)

    1. Thank you for providing some more information on EQ2. I'm very glad I tried it out and it's quite possible I'll drop in again.

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