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EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:59 pm
by Adjanah
After I was frankly nearly blowing my top in fury at my disappointment at the latest LotRO patch, I got to talking with some of you about Everquest 2 and the lovely housing system there among other things. I've completed the demo over a few hours now and was pleasantly surprised. It isn't *gorgeous*, but it's far from as bad as I'd thought. Even after 3 years on the market, it is still better-looking than most MMO's on the market now. The combat seems pretty clunky, but little worse than what we're used to in LotRO.

On the plus side though...:
We get a game that's been in development for YEARS, not unlike CoX, which has frankly been a great surprise in quality so far. The game has several expansions, and more races and classes than I have EVER seen in an MMO. The design isn't GREAT, but it's far from shabby. Even in my short time there and on my lousy computer I've "oooh"'d and "aaah"'d several times. Good animations, solid modelling, if a bit bland. Also, as I traversed the demo-zone I was pleasantly surprised by the talk going on in the general channel. No l33tspeak, people sounded mature and nice.

I can't rightly comment on anything else at this point as the demo cut me off when I tried to leave the starter island.

However, and this is where I think it gets interesting: In less than 3 weeks, the fourth expansion for the game comes out, called The Ruins of Kunark. With that expansion comes ALL the other expansions AND the game itself, at a cost that shouldn't be much more than that of a regular expansion. This is...good timing, to say the least. I for one am very intrigued about this game and would like to poke it more and will most likely buy this expansion. Anyone else interested?

Re: EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:39 pm
by Adjanah
Oopsie... *edits the forum so it can actually be read by others than herself*

Re: EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:48 pm
by kellidir
Me for starters, and I'm sure Candi too.

The thing with the demo is that you're on the starter island only, this island dates back to the original game release. Subsequent patches and expansions have brought out more beautiful and interesting zones.

Also a couple of years ago, to help the launch in the asian market, they did a full model redesign. Now you have a choice in your options menu to play with the original models or these redesigned models called SOGA or something like that. ANyway, these models are much much prettier, and they are much more customisable than you will find in WoW or LOTRO or CoX.

I'm not sure I agree with you on the clunky comments myself, once you have the first versions of all your abilities, it will feel better as you start chaining abilities rather than ability slash slash ability. On Ishka (my toon on runnyeye) combat feels very fluid and quite fulfilling from a nuking perspective.

One of the great advantages it has over WoW is that you can speak and roleplay with people who are loyal to opposing factions to you. WoW and LOTRO and CoX (with the exception of Pocket D) are rather frustrating in the limits imposed that stop good and evil from communicating with each other. I have enjoyed RP as my mercenary leader Ylona from freeport and her dicussions with a Paladin from Qeynos. You can also sneak into opposing faction cities if you know how.

Also if we do try this properly. you'll have me and candi as eq2 vets to pester :)

Re: EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 11:11 am
by Haelewulf
...DAMN YOU!!!


*sigh* If we venture into EQ2, and there's even CLOSE to the level of customization Kelli touts... I'll be powerless to stop myself having a go.

Ah, how quickly my money leaves me... :P

Re: EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:12 pm
by Haelewulf
...having read a bit about the game...

Daddy like. :D

I'm thinking that a free trial is definitely on the cards now. Now, give me the details! Which server, etc?

Re: EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 12:47 pm
by Adjanah
The free trial lets you initially only play their newest race, the Fae. They are tiny little winged forest-sprites and far far too cute for me. HOWEVER...if you make one such character and log out again, all the other races are open for trying. This also lets you out of the Fae-forest of mushrooms and happy critters, and into the content of their PREVIOUS demo, "The Trial of the Isle", with any character you choose.

The character customization isn't GREAT, but it's sufficient and apparently the full game comes with the choice of switching to an all new and more advanced set of characters. From what little I've been able to find on the subject (which is surprising, really) it seems the new characters are indeed much more advanced and somewhat more manga-ish.

I so far have gone for the Antonia Bayle server. It is an RP server, and while I have not spoken or really RP'd with anyone there, the chat in the general channel seems a good indicator that these are good people.

You're also given the choice of either starting in the city Qeynos (the good) or the city Freeport (the evil). I've of course chosen Freeport, but as I hear good and evil characters (and neutral, let's not forget :) ) can play together with no real is not WoW and opposing factions.

Be advised that once you download the demo, you'll be faced with an INCREDIBLE amount of patching. Took me more than 7 hours from installing to actually entering the game.

Re: EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 2:14 pm
by kellidir
To expand on this further:

Starting cities:
Freeport - original game, for evil characters
Qeynos - original game for good characters
Faydark - Expansion city for good characters
Neriak - Free Expansion area for Tier'dal and specific evil races

The new expansion introduced a fifth starting area.

And to top that off ... Desert of Flames allows you to gain a house in another city, but you can't start there.

The character customisation isn't as good as SWG ... despite that game beind pants now, its still the god of character customisation and housing. However, you do get a lot of sliders for facial customisation as well as a number of other generic sliders like hieght. Bodies are however fixed proportions which has something to do with keeping armour looking right.

Mounts ... now here they rock in comparison to lotro. Being attacked does NOT dismount you, you loose the mounts speed buff for the duration of the fight, but you stay mounted and fight mounted. Also there are a lot of different mounts including a fair selection which requires you to gain guild levels. THat being said, there are still a lot of mounts that don't need guild levels. There are things like horses, flying carpets, wargs, rhinos (the upcoming new expansion). guild levels unlock spiritual horses and death horses and faster carpets.

Classes ... now here there are a lot of choices, some are specific to good or evil and some are neutral for either side. a number of these are opposites ... for example: Shadow Knights are basically your evil paladins and instead of heals they wield diseases and such. There are even classes which gain combat pets, Necromancers for example, these are offset by another class on the good side that gain pets by grabbing control of enemies ... coercors or something.

There are a couple of downsides, Chairs can't be interacted with and armour can't be dye'd. I think these are on the wish lists. However if you want a certain colour of robe, there are means to get them and sites out there showing all the colours and names. As for armour, there are a lot of sets to be achieved.

Improving Abilities: every power starts at a "Apprentice 1" which basically means you've just learnt that power. However you can improve this power in a number of ways.

Obtaining upgrades to powers ... you can obtain the following:
Apprentice 1 (starting point, always obtained on levelling till level 50)
Apprentice 2 (Bought from trainers)
Apprentice 3 (Crafted with common harvested items)
Apprentice 4 (Crafted perfectly with common harvested items)
Adept 1 (Looted, Drops in basic chests which drop frequently from random creatures)
Adept 2 (Used to be crafted with rare harvested items. they've dropped this as no-one likes to waste rares)
Adept 3 (Crafted with rare harvested items)
Master 1 (Looted from named mobs / bosses)
Master 2 (At level 14 and every 10 levels after, you get a choice of one of 4 of your powers to upgrade to this)

Achievement Points: Thes are earned by killing named monsters, explorations, completing quests, harvesting rares etc. there are two achievement trees per class. One generic to a group of classes and one specific to the class. Spending points in here can improve your spells and powers or give you new powers. some of these really kick ass.

Stats: stats effect abilities, improving stats through achievements or items will improve your abilities further. Mages with higher Intelligence values deal more damage for example.

Now if that wasn't enough, Echoes of Faydwer expansion also introduced gods, where you chose to worship a specific god and follow through quests for that god and gain access to minor and major miracles which you have to spend faith or something on to buy. At later levels these can make a heck of a difference, but need to be spent wisely, you can only have 1 minor and 1 major miracle on you at any time and these can only be used twice before you have to go back to your shrine.

Its worth forming a guild as early as possible because it opens up a number of special quests that earn status points which are used to level your guild as well as gaining you rare and very special items. Plus a guild gets access to more housing types which again requires different guild levels.

Grouping: We will never have to worry about your level, we can all mentor down to the same person meaning we do not have to worry about being outlevelled ever. this is in many ways a far superior form of exemplaring.

Re: EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:26 am
by Archibold
Everquest 2 is certainly a good choice - and it is undeniably the best Fantasy MMO existing at this moment - with TONS TONS of content.

You probably can count me in as well

Re: EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:32 pm
by Haelewulf
Huzzah, Archie! :D

Re: EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:01 pm
by Archibold
Well, only problem is that EQ2 is now fairly old - 99% players are at high level and reportably low level areas are ghost towns. Rise of Kunark will bring fresh infusion just like Echoes of Faydwer , but will it be enough ?

In any way , EQ2 is well worth the purchase :wink:

PS: Adjanah

EQ2 combat is not clunky. Graphic in EQ is extremely scalable , you just need to adjust graphic to show 100% animation.

EQ2 might suffer from "Uncanny Valley" graphic - but animations are EXTREMELY good - totaly motion captured , and fluid as it gets :P

Re: EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:12 pm
by Adjanah
Oh, wasn't referring to animations or graphics. Both of those are just fine.
I was referring to the combat SYSTEM, which seems a bit clunky. More specifically, I mean the layout of the action bars, the triggering of powers, the visual feedback on the buttons and so on and so forth. But it's of course also just a question of training. Already starting to get a bit more used to it.

Re: EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:59 pm
by Haelewulf
It [combat] is better than LotRO... but not vastly, although it certainly looks infinitely smoother. The animations are head and shoulders above LotRO, definitely... and playing the game on Extreme graphics was wonderful. Making a character that actually looks like I want them too can never be underestimated in terms of RP... I'm not sure I've found my "class" yet, though. Wizard is fun... but I don't know if it'd have the mileage. Anyway, I have a couple weeks to play around with different options yet. :)

I'll definitely be getting that new expansion, to give it a proper chance.

Re: EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:06 pm
by kellidir
If its the clunkiness of the feedback and layout etc thats bothering you, the best thing you can do is download a custom UI. I personnally recommend Profit UI, if you want it, ask me in msn and i'll give you the installation file for it.

As for the buttons and feedback for timers, I don't think this is any better or worse than any other mmo. at least they don't change the bloody icons with every patch. Half of my lore master icons in lotro changed in the last patch.

Re: EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:23 pm
by Adjanah
Guys, guys, it is no problem at all. :D I just remarked on the combat system seeming a bit clunky is all. And I will most definately be looking into custom UI's...loved that part in WoW.

Re: EQ2? Now what's this then?

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:46 am
by Archibold
Just one thing

I would not be to quick to criticise LOTRO housing , and praise EQ2 one.

In LOTRO (i admit didn't see it in action) you get a house and a neighborhood

In EQ2 you get a room in the Inn - very same door all thousands of players use , just everyone is entering their own room - that looks the same for everyone (minus furniture)