A Noob's Look at EQII
Having never played either Everquest or Everquest 2, I decided to try this game and see how I liked it compared to other games on the market. I am not going to focus on the end game, but will instead focus my attention on the first 20 levels, more than enough for a new player to decide whether he or she likes the game over their first few weeks of play.
I logged into Everquest 2 and was presented with the character creation screen. You first have to select the race for your character. There are good, bad, and neutral races which consist of all your standard races from legends and lore. There are also a few in there that I had never seen before: a Frog race called the Frogloks, a rat race called Ratongas and others.
I did not see any obvious benefits to what faction you went with, so I chose Orge and started in Freeport which is the Evil faction city. I began to wonder what would change if I chose Neutral or Good, so I checked it out. Good starts off in the city of Qeynos and neutral races can choose either Freeport or Qeynos to start in. Also if you have certain expansion packs you have more choices for starting cities.
Excellent PvP In Game events Dynamic Soundscapes Lots of Content
ConsCan get repetitive Not Casual Friendly So much to learn Innovative Gameplay
After I had selected my race and starting city I was asked to choose a class. Overall there are thirteen classes to choose from. The classes are typical for any fantasy game and most classes have a good and bad side. Since in almost every game I play I am a warrior, I decided to mix it up a bit and be a caster. I chose the Summoner class which had two options: Conjurer and Necromancer. Since I was evil, Conjurer was blocked because of my alignment. Now that I had selected my class it was time to choose a server and a name. I decided to go with a PvP server because I would get a sample of PvP while playing the game. I selected a heavy load server and logged in.
You start off in the tutorial area called "The outpost of the overlord." It is a small outpost that allows a player to get comfortable with combat and character controls. It is very well put together and allows you to learn about movement, combat, trade skills, collections, and other basic systems in the game. During this time you also learn a bit about the lore of Norrath though questing. The quests are pretty straight forward for an MMO and you load up on quests, move out and kill things while exploring. The small size of the training area allows you to find everything quickly and overall is very entertaining and fun. All of the NPCs in this area have spoken quest dialogue and greet you when clicked with at least a spoken "Well met." The quest chains have a story specific to that NPC and it is normally resolved in that area. Then of course that NPC has a friend in another city looking for help and you should seek them out.
While in the training area you are introduced to trade skills. These trade skills are pretty typical for an MMO. There are all sorts of harvestable items like rocks, logs, and shrubs, in the game area. All characters have basic gathering skills and can harvest all the stuff out there. Then you can choose an artisan profession and make in game items.
The system itself seemed very easy to learn but I did not do much with trade skills other than what was taught to me in the training area. Looking over the recipes I had on my character, the items seemed to have some use. However I did not make anything or use crafted items but the stats seemed comparable with looted items. I am not sure if crafted items become more powerful than looted items later in the game but overall crafting seemed to have some perks and was viable.
So after I ran all sorts of quests in the training area, learned how to move around, and touched on Trade skills, there were no more quests for me in this area. I think you can leave earlier but I stayed in the training area until I was level ten. Now it was time to head for Freeport so I went to a boat outside the outpost and away I went.
You arrive at a dock area in Freeport and depending on your race you will be sent to different neighborhoods. I found another Ogre on the docks who needed some help and during these missions he explained a brief history of the Ogre race in Norrath. I ran around picking up items for a ritual that I was going to help cast. The missions were mostly running around and gathering up items needed but after this whole quest chain was complete I had a better understanding of the Ogres and their history in Norrath. I continued on the quest chain but this is about where I started getting confused.
Some of the quest chains were not very easy to follow. Sometimes I found myself wandering around looking for NPCs or mobs. For example, I was given a quest that was related to the Necromancer class which was over by the gates of Freeport. So I began looking for these gates to continue my quest but it took me a while to figure out the gates were three zones over. The city of Freeport is spread out over multiple instanced zones and it could be hard to find specific quest NPCs unless you are really familiar with the city. Overall the city felt HUGE and in my opinion it was needlessly huge. After about ten to fifteen minutes of wandering around and checking the map I came across the gates and found myself in the common lands.