Archive for the ‘Everquest 2’ Category

EQ2 Announces Late April Fools Joke

I almost spat my coffee out when I saw this video over at Rock, Paper Shotgun this morning. I still can’t quite figure out if this ‘SOEmote’ feature for Everquest 2 is all just an elaborate hoax or not. Indeed, if it had been announced two months ago, I don’t think any of us would be having any doubt that it’s just an April Fool’s joke gone awry on the part of SOE. Even the presenter, David Georgeson, is so incredibly enthusiastic that it’s verging on the sarcastic. I was half expecting him to turn and wink to the camera at the end.

But alas, it does seem to be the real deal and I can’t say that I get it. Voice fonts, whilst a nice ideal ‘n all, really just aren’t at the stage where they can actually be effective and I was practically cringing when ol’ David there gave us a sample of what they would sound like in-game. Call me strange but I really don’t want to be having conversations with people who either sound like the serial killer from Scream or one of Alvin’s long lost chimpunk brothers. After a few minutes of utter hilarity, it’s going to get very old, very quickly. Personally, until a MMO can make me sound like Brian Blessed, I think I’ll just pass on the whole thing.

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EQ2 Finally Gives Up And Abandons All Design Consistency Completely

Bat Wings

Hey SOE, Aion called and wants its IP back

I used to love Everquest 2. I mean really love it. My feelings towards it transcended beyond the way a man feels about a woman, the way he feels about a fine cigar and even the way he would feel about a fellow Spartan (should be be one himself). To me, it was a game that absorbed years of my life, the plucky little kid who fought back against the face of overwhelming odds (World of Warcraft) and worked harder than anyone out there to improve, to evolve, to better itself. Under excellent guidance it streamlined its mechanics, enhanced its gameplay and tempered some excellent lore into a very immersive and well executed MMO. Not long after I stopped playing though, the game designers just seemed to give up.

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Beastlord Beastlord Beastlord


Probably not the Beastlord you were thinking of


Yes, I’m perhaps a little too excited by the news that the next Everquest 2 expansion will feature the Beastlord, one of my favourite classes from the original game. Of course, this fantastic news comes after years of SOE saying that they have no plans at all to add the class. Goes to show not only how easily companies give in to public demand (especially when faced with faltering popularity) but also how what they often say is never actual, unequivocal and permanent fact (and exactly why I think Titan is actually World of Starcraft… but that’s another blog post).

Now I haven’t played EQ2 in quite some time not only due to burning myself out after a solid three year stint when it was first released but also because SOE’s F2P model annoyed me somewhat. Still, I’m willing to let bygones be bygones and give EQ2 another shot just so I can get my hands on the beloved Beastlord. Oh fickle thy name is Gordon.

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SOE – The Mad Men Of MMOs

Don Draper fom Mad Men

Smed Draper

I’m starting to read some reports of folks trying out Everquest 2 Extended and, pretty much unanimously, everyone is really enjoying it. I’m not surprised at all by this because (as I’ve often said), EQ2 is a rather awesome game and certainly one of the top MMORPGs out there. The curious thing though is that given the reaction to EQ2X, one is led to imagine that a completely new and shiny game has somehow suddenly and miraculously appeared out of thin air. It’s as if the “old” Everquest 2 never existed, funny to me as EQ2X is exactly the same as EQ2 Live except with a few minor tweaks. It’s amazing what a little market and PR can do, isn’t it?

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Everquest 2 Extended – A Deceptive Rip-Off

EQ2X Membership Plans

EQ2X. The ability to pay the same and do even less.

When I first read the news that EQ2 was going free-2-play I was pretty excited. I’m a huge fan of the Everquest franchise having played the original Everquest for five years and the sequel for over three and was looking forward to the idea of being able to dip back into EQ2 without having to pay the full monthly fee. Plus, being a strong supporter of the game, I also liked the idea of it attracting some much needed publicity, attention and new blood. However, instead of following the sensible F2P model that Turbine are introducing with LotRO, it seems that SOE have gone with a system specifically designed to deceive unknowing new players and extract even more money than the current monthly subscriptions.

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Everquest 2 Introduces It’s Own Greed Steed

These cats can smell the money

These cats can smell the money

Well, it was bound to happen at some point wasn’t it? Today a nice little email popped through my cyber mailbox promoting SOE’s new purchasable mount for Everquest 2 called the Prowler (there are actually three varieties, Ethereal, Ulteran and Sinister). And guess how much it costs? Yep, $25.

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Five Things That EQ2 Does Better Than WoW

"Eeeya!" Thumbs up for EQ2

"Eeeya!" Thumbs up for EQ2

Professor Syp (a wise man indeed but I have a mild inclination that he’s not a real professor) issued a general call today for bloggers with experience with Everquest 2 to write an article about five features or aspects of EQ2 that are better than World of Warcraft. Being a EQ2 fanboi, how could I refuse? Name five things? Easy! I could write ten. But I won’t.

Note: in the interest of continuing to explore the multicultural aspects of MMORPGs, I’ve decided to number each reason in a different language. Bonus points and imaginary high-five to anyone who can identify all of the languages.

Uno: Open Dungeons

I harp on about them quite a lot but open, or public, dungeons are an amazing feature which World of Warcraft is completely devoid of, totally to it’s determent. Instances are all very well but they limit social interaction and the randomness of interactivity that creates the spice of life. Some of fondest memories come from open dungeons in EQ2 like Fallen Gate, Runnyeye, Permafrost, Castle Mistmoore and Karnor’s Castle. Open dungeons + PvP = a lot of fun.

Ni: Mentoring

So, the most popular MMORPG of all time allows low level players to gain experience whilst grouped with those at the level cap? And they exploit this ability so they can be quickly “boosted” through instances to accrue easy experience and jump levels? And there’s no such feature as mentoring e.g. the ability for a high level player to reduce their level to a low level friend and thus be able to group and play properly with them? Riiiight.

Dos: PvP Servers

Battlegrounds are fun but the PvP servers in World of Warcraft downright suck unless you enjoy being mercilessly ganked by level 80s in full raid gear constantly as you struggle to level up. The EQ2 PvP server, Nagafen, offers the best faction vs faction PvP I have ever experienced. It limits the attackable level range based on what zone you’re in thus making combat fair, it offers good experience and rewards thus actively encouraging people to do it, and, best of all, taunt actually works thus making proper tanks a valuable component of a PvP group!

Fünf: Voice overs

Voice overs may require a lot of hard work but they add a ton of immersion to a game. Don’t believe me? Just create a character and walk around Freeport and you’ll never think that Stormwind is “busy” or “full of character” ever again. Oh and stop by Boomba on your way into the Commlands. Incredibly funny and a bit of nostalgia in the mix.

Fare: Shinies

Everquest 2 is with no doubt the ultimate collectors game. It has little shiny sparkles called, um, shinies randomly scattered on the ground throughout the land and they can be picked up by anyone to reveal little items that can be added to Collections. Complete a collection and you’ll be rewarded with some experience and sometimes an item or other reward. Be warned though: shiny gathering is highly addictive, very competitive, and has been known to cause the wipeout of many a group, usually right after someone can be heard saying, “oooh, shiny!”.