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Newbie Experience Review

Carolyn Koh Posted:
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EverQuest II: New Newbie Experience Review

February 2nd, 2006 saw the roll out of the New Character Progression in EverQuest2. The intent was to allow gamers to experience a class right away rather than playing a generic healing/melee/casting/hybrid for ten levels, a “junior” version for ten more before arriving at the final “profession” at level 20.

Where good and evil characters used to mingle on the Isle of Refuge, they now are separated into different instances of the Isle, renamed Queen’s Colony and Overlord’s Outpost. My guess at this logic is two-fold. It allows a more immersive experience for the PvP players that are separated by realm, and even on the PvE servers, players playing each alignment will be playing with others of the same, circumventing the possibility of disappointment if a new friend you made ended up on the other side of the world when you both left the island.

Players no longer begin the game on Captain Varlos’ ship (which could be bypassed anyway) but on the isle itself, where a lighted path leads you to the Murrar Shar – a Kerran Emissary of Queen Antonia Bayle or Tayil N’Velex, Emissary of the Overlord.

Character Creation
Every character starts off with chest, leg and feet armor, providing each class’ unique look. Something you could not previously obtain until your high teens when you began working on your class armor quests. All characters also begin fully equipped with class requisite weapons, a 12 slot bag and a torch. Pet classes such as the conjurer begin with their first pet spell. Monks begin with dual-wield hand to hand weapons, Berserkers with two axes. The bardic branch with dual daggers, Rangers and Assassins start with bow and arrows as well.

Disappointingly enough, the starting experience for every class is exactly the same. As the main NPC is also the provider of armor, you cannot bypass this step if you wish to get reasonably well geared before leaving the island. Unlike the original game where you could bypass the ship tutorial and arrive on the isle at level 3, you start out at level 1. By speaking with the Emissaries, you gain 33% into your first level. You are then sent to the battle trainer who sends you to attack a training NPC. There are three to choose from of differing levels but you only have to defeat one. It does not matter which as xp is not gained from defeating them but by completing this quest, which takes you up to level 2 and provides you with gloves.

The difference in the newbie experience now lies in whether you play a Good or Evil class. NPCs quest givers gnome Wobblecog and dark elf Priestess Xilea from the Isle of Refuge now reside on the Queen’s Colony and the Overlord’s Outpost respectively.

To provide a better starting tradeskill experience, new harvestable nodes such as coffee bushes have sprung up, and creature dens for trapping are now on the isle. The nodes are plentiful and respawn quickly. What has changed is the rate at which your skill in each harvesting skill increases. Having played newbies through all iterations of harvesting changes, and skill caps, this iteration has the slowest skill increases. For example, I had to clean out the coast line twice for 4 points in fishing.

The tradeskill instance is now a shared instance similar to those found on the mainland, with several levels and many tradeskill stations and a wholesaler. Speak to him and he will provide you with Artisan Essentials Volume 2 which contains utilitarian recipes such as food and drink and weapons and armor recipes up to level 6, using materials found on the isle.

I don’t know what it is about Qeynosian architecture, but the floor containing the chemistry tables and workbenches are list badly in every instance across the land. Antonia must have been drunk that night when she signed off on the plans.

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Carolyn Koh

Carolyn Koh / Carolyn Koh has been writing for MMORPG.com since 2004 and about the MMO genre since 1999. These days she plays mobile RTS games more, but MMOs will always remain near and dear to her heart.