I give EverQuest II and SOE a lot of flak. I won’t pretend otherwise. If you didn’t know better you might assume that I really don’t like the game and their products. In actuality the reason I get so fired up is because I’m so passionate about the game. I love EQ2 like an overbearing parent loves their child. Much like that parent I try to “change” my baby whether they want it or not! For a change of pace I thought I would talk about why I like EverQuest II and why you should be playing it.
PvE and Raid Focused
These days there are a lot of options to choose from if you want a PvP focused game. You have a whole pool of niche and failed “next big thing” MMORPGs. If you’re tired of that and want to try something that involves dungeon running and/or raiding EQ2 really is the ticket. SOE does an exceptional job of putting a lot of dungeons in, making them fun to do, and constantly adding more. They also do a good job of serving up fun raid zones. They don’t have as clear of a progression path as World of Warcraft but the trade off is a far less toxic community.
EverQuest 2 is a mature MMORPG that has been around a while. All of the tourists are gone and all you have left are people that care about the product. The community still has the usual people you could do without but they are in the vast minority and crop up everywhere. That environment is further strengthened by a great community relations staff. They actually exist, they are visible and they care. They take a lot of junk and keep coming back for more. If you’ve tried another MMORPG and couldn’t stand the people EQ2 might be just be the place you need to go.
If you look at the picture above and your heart doesn’t melt a little you’re a cruel soul. EverQuest II features ratonga, the allegedly evil race of rat thieves. In reality they’re snuggly, cuddly little mice who just want to be loved whether they know it or not. They’re cheese bandits at worse. What other game lets you play diminutive adorable rat creatures?
One of the greatest strengths EQ2 has (when it chooses to play to it) is the connection with EverQuest. If you ever played that game and loved it you will be thrilled with some of the re-imagination of Norrath. The classic world was a strong successor to EQ and it feels like the same place. Every turn brings back memories (good and bad). Seeing how Norrath has shifted over the ages (or in this alternate universe) is awe inspiring. Rehashing EQ content is one of the shining points of the title.
Choice of Play
EverQuest II offers a lot of different options on how you want to play. If you’re not into the whole hack and slash thing you can be a trades person. EQ2 has the most in depth trade skill environment around. You can also find yourself on a scale of raid ability. Do you want to raid two nights a week or five? You can find a fit either way and there is enough content for you.
It is growing
Contrary to popular belief, EQ2 is growing. Is it because they’re making tons of really awesome and amazing changes? Honestly, SOE might say yes but I say no. They haven’t made any wild changes (other than adding BGs, which was a waste of time and money). SOE has been sticking to what worked for them in the past and continues to refine that. I think the game’s population is growing because players are returning to an MMORPG that fits the classical model. Folks went out, tried all of the new things, and found that they weren’t better. I think the growth comes from returning players more than new ones.
It isn’t WoW
This isn’t meant to be a dig on World of Warcraft exactly. I just know some people who won’t play the game or won’t go back to it. If you’re one of those people but don’t want to go into a PvP niche game EQ2 is the best possible option. The only rival I see in the same category is LotRO and EQ2 has more content in each given level range. SOE also has more leeway to do crazy things with the title since the intellectual property allows more opportunities.
If you’ve tried EQ2 in the past and didn’t like it you might find it to be an entirely different beast now. A lot has changed in the new player experience and it is really worth picking the game up.