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Newbie Experience Review

Carolyn Koh Posted:
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EverQuest II: New Newbie Experience Review (Page 2 of 2)

Equal, yet unequal quests
The quests are similar on both isles and each has their rare spawns yet some differences provide unequal experiences.

Bladefin has moved to the Overlord’s Outpost along with his cronies. They all continue to proc that annoying silence spell which makes it difficult for a non-melee character to solo. Bladefin remains level 6.

In the Queen’s Colony, Bladefin has been replaced by an oversized Octopus by name of “The V’tuth” which is level 5 and an easy kill.

A quest for a neckpiece (level 4-ish quest) remains on the crabs on the Queen’s Colony. However, with the replacement of crabs with tortoises on the Overlord’s Outpost, the drop for the quest has been moved to Bladefin himself.

The culmination of the main quest storyline leads players back to the instanced cave on the far northern end of the island and again, the experiences differ. On the Queen’s Colony, the mobs are grouped. First, 3, then 2 and then 4. Definitely a challenge. On the Overlord’s Outpost, the first encounter is a group of 3, then obligingly, you are challenged singly by 3 different mobs, allowing you time to heal in between, and the Emissary pops in to off the big guy for you.

Call me Blood Thirsty
After running through several different races and classes, I can unequivocally say that there is more fun to be had on the Overlord’s Outpost. I sought every quest and rare spawn to be had on the isles. As an evil character, I killed. Killed, and killed. As a good character, I greeted goblins and rescued a Halfling that was treed by savage wolves.

Beyond the barricades in the Overlord’s Outpost, are bee-hives. Smack them and an aggro bee spawns and attacks you. If you are lucky, the Queen bee might show up and drop you a nice stinger.

Beyond the barricades in the Queen’s Colony are umm… dead soldiers. An aggro skeleton pops up if you are on the quest.

Assassin Vamir provides you some nice fat mole rats to lure hawks down from the cliffs in the Overlord’s Outpost.

Cleric whatshername has you pull ghostly scouts to her for her to heal in the Queen’s Colony.

But the cherry on top for the Overlord’s Outpost was obtaining a torch with which to burn Tunarian tents. Burning tents also makes the mobs spawning at and near the tent die of “pain and suffering” so it can be annoying when you are working on quests and xp and other players are gleefully running through the encampments, setting tents on fire.

On each island is also a single Heroic encounter. In the Queen’s Colony, the mob is spawned by reading the book in the Tree House and activated by “feeding” it with skulls, which you drop off level 6 skeletons. A little less wholesome (surprisingly enough) than the Overlord’s Outpost, where you have to capture large mole-rats to lure a fabled hawk down. Something I did not manage to accomplish and gave up after 3 tries and too much running around the island to collect the fat mole rats. The bait is no-trade and no-zone, which meant you had to make the attempt all in one session instead of collecting the bait as you adventured – as could be done with the skulls.

Out of the mouth of babes
“Aunt Carol, your sword is poking into your backside.” Yes, dear. It always has. “It’s in her backside too!” Yes, dear, the annoying graphics glitches that we’ve taken to ignoring are still there. “Why is it doing that?”

When you are ready to leave the isle, Captain Varlos’ ship stands at the ready to take you. The same ship with black sails sporting the jolly roger await you on both isles. “Oh no! it’s a bad pirate ship! Don’t go there!” Yes, the devil is in the details. She is four and wants to know why my great sword pokes into my backside, and how come the bad pirate ship is also on the good island.

Quest Flagging & Journal
Quest giving NPCs are now flagged with a glowing quill above their heads. Indicating that they had a quest to write in your journal. They are also marked by a yellow circle on your in-game map. Quest completion NPC’s are flagged by a symbol of a book and by a solid yellow dot on your in-game map. At different times, they can be multi-functional. The quest journal also sorts your quests by zone – depending on the stage you are in – a marvelous improvement on the original quest journal, which was already a vast improvement in MMOs.

Roundup and Opinion
Two newbie experiences, different yet similar, the new character progression allows fast tastes of each class. Lack of unique content and unique progression paths for each class was disappointing. Instead of playing a generic class for ten levels, before going through unique progressions to a final class, you now play the same game no matter which class you start with, and for your first armor quest at level 20, kill the same mobs in the same zone for armor for every class.

I would have liked to see differing quests from the get go; similar to what was previously available. When I leave the isle for a city, perhaps I will receive a reminder from a guard or a letter in my mail to report for duty at my class guild hall “before long, mind you.” From this reviewer’s point of view… A+ for intent, B- for execution.


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CarolynKoh

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.