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EverQuest II: Re-Review

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

Staff Writer Adele Caelia pens this re-review of Sony Online Entertainment's EverQuest II.



Everquest II has come a long way. Now in its second year, it has continued to wow the mmo world with amazing expansions such as Desert of Flames, Kingdom of the Sky, and most recently the well-accepted Echoes of Faydwer, which brought us the beautiful race of the fae. With so many wonderful changes there is need to review the game again.

Graphics: At release, the graphics were somewhat shadowed by its competitor World of Warcraft, but with the latest expansion the graphics were given a boost, and are now up to par with its counterpart. Regardless if you are playing a fae or an elf, whether you are in Kelethin or Thundering Steppes beauty is not hard to find. If you are lucky enough to be able to play the game on high quality the sights are a wonder to behold. The world of Norrath is a beautiful place indeed, and if you take the time to stop and look around you might find yourself noticing things that you have never noticed before. Everquest II is very easily the best looking game currently on the market even beating out next generation mmo's like Vanguard.

Read the whole article here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • ScottAdamsScottAdams platteville, WIPosts: 14Member

    Certainly allot of good points brought up by the reviewer. Some things are in the eye of the beholder I suspect, from day one I have fond the graphics in EQ2 to far surpass WoW's saturday morning cartoon look. But I do agree that Echoes of Faydwar sets the bar even higher with some of the most incredible artwork seen to date in a MOG!

    As for not able to run on balanced in all zones I am a bit amazed. I have a AMD x2 4200+ with a nvdia 7900gt and the only time I have ever had to set it below balanced was on large raids! In any case they have built a graphic engine for the future and it is nice to know it will still be working well in the upcoming years.

    Soloing is something that SOE has put allot of time into changing. Originally the game was like Vanguard and 80% group oreintated. That is no longer the case, a good 50% of the content is now geared for solo or 2 man groups. Yes there are numerous signature and hertiage items that will require groups or raids but there are still many great items that can be gotten by a solo player!

    If you haven't playe EQ2, or had and then went away, this is agreat time to come Norrath.

    I suggest the Antonia Bayle server where i play with my guild Vindicators. www. vindicators.org We are always open to having new friends to play with!

    Happy Adventuring

    M. Scott Adams, Not Dilbert, Adventure!
    http://www.msadams.com

  • KasmarKasmar Westminster, CAPosts: 198Member
    Actually, EQ2 is in its third year.

    ======================
    It's just me, so open the door.

  • lilmitch34lilmitch34 Perry, IAPosts: 33Member
    I've been on the ropes about going back to EQ2 to see whats been changed lately, and after reading this and talking to some of my friends who are still playing, I cant wait to give eq2 another try, it was always a fun game and a great community.



    I never liked WOW's cartoony graphics either.
  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    "the best MMO out there" eh?

    why only a 7.9 then? many other MMO's are rated higher on this site, yet you give EQ2 a 7.9 and claim it's the best MMO out there.

    How much did Sony pay you to say that?

    What's funny, you always see advertisements for EQ or Eve or Vanguard on sites like MMORPG.com and they always get the BEST review, oops I meant most biased reviews.

    Yet everyone here hates WoW and they don't directly advertise here or on any major gaming website... strange...

    "Just because more people play WoW then every other major MMO combined doesn't mean it's the best."

    No, it's all personal preference. But, if that many people love it (me being one of them) they have to be doing something right. I honestly haven't seen this site come up with an un-biased review in quite some time... budget getting a little tight?

    i'm probably going to get banned for this lol. oh well, freedom of speech!

  • AmatalAmatal ZagrebPosts: 189Member Uncommon

    I would expect a staff writer to do a bit more research before making claims about bad preformance. Yes, the game will most likely prefore very badly IF YOU HAVE A GF8800 series card.
    Drop the 8800 and use an ATI or a 7000 series and you will be able to play perfectly fine.
    Now, that topic has been dragging on the official SOE tech forums since the cards were released, it also has a rather leanghty thread on the Nzone forums hosted by nvidia itself.
    It is actually a very disturbing issue, seeing that the most expensive gfx card on the market has drivers that preform like utter crap on many games- and in this case especially EQ2.
    It is even more disturbing founding out how uninterested and slow Nvidia seems to be in adressing those matters. After my experience with this, i am positive that the 8800gtx was the last card i have bought from Nvidia as it would seem that thier driver-writing staff consists of badly trained circus monkeys.

  • KniknaxKniknax LeicesterPosts: 567Member Uncommon
    I run a 7950 GT/512 and play at High Settings everywhere, except raids. I get 40 + FPS all the time. I have lighting / partical effects / textures at max, shadows off, and ocean on low. You need to play with it to get it to work best, but when you do... amazing, the colours are outstanding, and the spell effects are beautiful.

    "When people don't know much about something, they tend to fill in the blanks the way they want them to be filled in. They are almost always disappointed." - Will Wright

  • TymoraTymora Manorville, NYPosts: 1,312Member

    A nice re-review, although I am puzzled by the comparison between World of Warcrafts and Everquest II's graphics.  EQ2 may not have had the artistic presentation of WoW early on, but now it does, and it always had the edge in graphical quality.  As far as gameplay, I have seen EQ2 improve, but in some areas it has gotten worse as far as I'm concerned. 

    I like grouping and SOE's attmepts at making EQ2 a solo friendly mmo turned me off a little.  I am not quite happy about how the game got a little dumbed down not long after release, but I suppose that's the way most mmos are going these days, with one exception (Vanguard: Saga of Hereos).

    I have played Vanguard and thought it would sweep me off my feet like EQ2 once did, but I was wrong, and now I am even thinking of returning to Norrath (if I don't enter Middle Earth first )

  • DaeManDaeMan MelbournePosts: 10Member
    This is indeed a great game, and the new expansion Echoes of Faydwer is a MUST to get.



    I beta tested that expansion, and I can safely say that not only does it have the best sights and looks of any game I've ever played, it's also got nearly as much content as EQ2 had on release!



    One thing to be wary of though, is that the PVP in EQ2 is bad. I stopped playing due to it. Rule abusers (outside healing, exploits, etc), gank squads (6 people 7 levels above you killing you is not fun) and the fact that most PvP happens in the 20-30 level, made me stop playing.



    Play EQ2 in normal PvE, you'll love it so much more!



    I will return one day and reclaim my PvE characters!
  • CitronCitron Lake Saint Louis, MOPosts: 41Member

    heerobya 

    Have you ever had any inkling of thought that staff writers don't review every game here and new writers come onboard and have the right to express their own opinions? Just to fill you in, each game here is handed out to different writers, and yes some are biased to that particular game. The rating scale does not reflect mmorpg.com as a whole, but as each individual writers perspective.

     

    And about the gameplay performance. I for one have a very nice system, AMD X2 5200+ 8800 GTX, 4GB Ram and so on. The game still when maxed in heavy areas like QH lags for me. I know the issue with 8800's, but if the game lags for some and not for others then lucky for the others. Don't call the people who have performance issues liars.

     

     

  • nakumanakuma New York City, NYPosts: 1,310Member
    Originally posted by lilmitch34

    I've been on the ropes about going back to EQ2 to see whats been changed lately, and after reading this and talking to some of my friends who are still playing, I cant wait to give eq2 another try, it was always a fun game and a great community.



    I never liked WOW's cartoony graphics either.



    im in the same boat as you dude, im deciding to go back to EQ2. i have a new powerful system now iwth a 8800 now. the graphics are gonna be sweet. i gotta admit I never liked Eq1, maybe cause i didnt get into it when it was popular and by the time i noticed it and had a good system it was like 2002 etc. but either way, i played WoW until lvl 62 and have til april 1st when my sub cancels I wont be going back, its fun, but there is just alot that is lacking. it lacks depth, the pvp is to basic, the graphical look is far too dumbed down and low poly and has a too cartoony RTS feel to it. not to imply the game isnt good, its just not my thing anymore, its running long on the tooth for me.

     Eq2 just like SWG has alwyas had a place in my heart, except I learned and accepted SWG is a POS and will never be what it was so i moved on. But Eq2 is one of the few MMO's SOE has done a fantastic job with minus a few silly decisions here and there, but overall i commend them ont heir work on that game thus far, they definitely got a good dev team.

    I just gotta wait til i get paid to get my sub redone agian :P bills gotta get paid first hehehe. Like you I was debating whether or not to go to eq2 again this review has more or less cemented my decision in going back. I even believe im still in my Guild as I checked my character so thats good. glad my guild kept me :P. oh yeah im also playing vanguard which is pretty good, and getting better as I get higher levels and continue to explore and do quests, ic ant complain on that game getting better and better as time progresses.

    3.4ghz Phenom II X4 965, 8GB PC12800 DDR3 GSKILL, EVGA 560GTX 2GB OC, 640GB HD SATA II, BFG 1000WATT PSU. MSI NF980-G65 TRI-SLI MOBO.

  • KniknaxKniknax LeicesterPosts: 567Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DaeMan





    One thing to be wary of though, is that the PVP in EQ2 is bad. I stopped playing due to it. Rule abusers (outside healing, exploits, etc), gank squads (6 people 7 levels above you killing you is not fun) and the fact that most PvP happens in the 20-30 level, made me stop playing.



    Play EQ2 in normal PvE, you'll love it so much more!



    I will return one day and reclaim my PvE characters!

    PvP has been tweaked alot since the early days. Out of group healing has gone, lower level ranges in all zones (except the top 70 zone) means you wont get ganked by people any more than 4-5 levels above you until you get to level 40, and the population has grown in levels, so although alot happens around level 20-30, there is alot more at top levels now. Although the people at 20-30 are "level locked" (for those who dont play you can lock your xp gain from killing so you dont level as fast if you dont want to) and you can easily out level them, and then get your own back.

    PvP in EQ2 is the fairest and most fun (imho). You wont get WoW's level 70's camping a level 20, plus you choose your resurection point. You also have immunity zones now, if you die you are unattackable until you move from the immune zone, and have a 30 second cool down on zoning, enough time to Call home or try to run for it!

    You also get alot more PvP rewards now, with city faction unlocking new armour / weapons, and Tokens being dropped by players, which you can exchange for more armour / weapons.

    PvP in EQ2 is also more exciting, as you can lose a percentage of your coin (unless its banked), lose things from your bag (that arent bound) and you gain alot of XP from the kill (as well as getting these from the person killed). Repeat killing is frowned upon, and you have a 30 minute recent list, if you kill someone on your list you get nothing for it, if you do it more than a few times you lose your faction.



    "When people don't know much about something, they tend to fill in the blanks the way they want them to be filled in. They are almost always disappointed." - Will Wright

  • mentalmonkeymentalmonkey barnhamPosts: 85Member
    Originally posted by heerobya


    "the best MMO out there" eh?
    why only a 7.9 then? many other MMO's are rated higher on this site, yet you give EQ2 a 7.9 and claim it's the best MMO out there.
    How much did Sony pay you to say that?
    What's funny, you always see advertisements for EQ or Eve or Vanguard on sites like MMORPG.com and they always get the BEST review, oops I meant most biased reviews.
    Yet everyone here hates WoW and they don't directly advertise here or on any major gaming website... strange...
    "Just because more people play WoW then every other major MMO combined doesn't mean it's the best."
    No, it's all personal preference. But, if that many people love it (me being one of them) they have to be doing something right. I honestly haven't seen this site come up with an un-biased review in quite some time... budget getting a little tight?
    i'm probably going to get banned for this lol. oh well, freedom of speech!

     so MMORPG.com hate wow, why do you use it? or more specificly the eq2 section of it? so tonnes of people play wow, tonnes of people belive 9/11 conspiracy theories, numbers really dont mean everything

    "A*B=C

    A=wow level

    B=intelligence

    C=a constant" lol

    image
    EQ2 player
    Ex - EVE Online addict
    played -
    SWG, EQ2, Vanguard, Planetside, Second Life, EVE-O and a few randoms

  • dentomdentom KonstanzPosts: 26Member
    Originally posted by heerobya


    "the best MMO out there" eh?
    why only a 7.9 then? many other MMO's are rated higher on this site, yet you give EQ2 a 7.9 and claim it's the best MMO out there.
    I don't want to say anything about the review or compare EQ2 to WoW - it's a matter of personal preference as you already said.

    But i would not rely to much on ratings if there's only 0.2 or 0.3 points difference between two games. There are simply too much fanboys and too much haters in all the games who are influencing the results.

    If the difference between overall ratings is more than 0.5 it starts to get significant. So don't stick too much on 0.1 or 0.2 differences, that leads to nowhere.



    Edit: Hehe, ok i just saw that you are referring to the "our rating" section and not to user rating. Then take my apology :)

    ----------------------
    Playing: Ryzom, Vanguard, Everquest 2
    Cancelled: RF online, WoW, Sword of the New World, Rappelz
    Looking forward to: Spellborn

  • XApotheosisXXApotheosisX Chicago, ILPosts: 277Member
    Originally posted by heerobya


    "the best MMO out there" eh?
    why only a 7.9 then? many other MMO's are rated higher on this site, yet you give EQ2 a 7.9 and claim it's the best MMO out there.
    How much did Sony pay you to say that?
    What's funny, you always see advertisements for EQ or Eve or Vanguard on sites like MMORPG.com and they always get the BEST review, oops I meant most biased reviews.
    Yet everyone here hates WoW and they don't directly advertise here or on any major gaming website... strange...
    "Just because more people play WoW then every other major MMO combined doesn't mean it's the best."
    No, it's all personal preference. But, if that many people love it (me being one of them) they have to be doing something right. I honestly haven't seen this site come up with an un-biased review in quite some time... budget getting a little tight?
    i'm probably going to get banned for this lol. oh well, freedom of speech!



    So because someone doesn't suck blizzard's or WoW's nuts, you feel the need to tear down thier opinion? You mention freedom of speech guess what? the original reviewer also has freedom of speech ... and because they use it, they must be getting paid by Sony? Then people like yourself wonder why many of us can't stand stupid WoW fanbois.

    WoW may be doing something right, but that doesn't mean its the best. I have said thise before most population does not equal the best. if that was the case then McDonalds would be the best resturant of all time and Titanic the Greatest movie of all time

  • ThamorisThamoris Posts: 685Member Uncommon

    I don't think the reviewer had any business putting the stink on Vanguard and WoW in the middle of a review for EQ2. Those tactics certainly add " fanboi " element.....and nooooo...I'm not saying that just because Vanguard was included.

     I don't think that was very professional and just screams " hidden agenda " !

    Claiming it was the likely the best mmorpg out there was the last straw. Everybody knows that title belongs to Vanguard !

    I found it interesting...that while I battle the multitudes of posts bashing Vanguards performance ( particularly those with 8800 cards ) .. Eq2 is being judged as even worse performance AND in a game 2+ yrs old !

    Making a public statement towards WoW for being a kiddie game was uncalled for too ..imo. I'm not saying I disagree BUT it should never have been said in a featured re-review ..particularly in the manner in which it was stated. I don't play WoW nor even like WoW ..but that wasn't necessary nor was it very nice. It added nothing to the review cept some obvious bias.

  • NiberNiber Nashville, TNPosts: 203Member
    Hard to believe this article was written by a journalist and not a paid  SOE employee.





      
  • shrunken_manshrunken_man Plymouth, MNPosts: 38Member
    Well I agree with much of what this review has to say. When I first tried EQ2 I was on the fence about it. It launched buggy, was laggy and put my computer through its paces. I think I also expected it to be more like EQ1 at the time, just with better graphics. The game mechanics (combat, obtaining spells/skills, only two starting cities, etc) just seemed a little too different at the time. I have to admit that WoW seemed a lot more familiar to me, and was easy to get into. I didn't mind the cartoon look, because it was well directed and made sense. So I put EQ2 on the shelf and dedicated play time to WoW.

    Well, I slowly starting becoming more and more bored with WoW. And I didn't find the community all that great to be honest. Mostly people who'd rather insult and gank you than work cooperatively toward anything. I thought the community would get better, or I'd just have to hook up with the right people. Never happened. An excellent game nontheless for what it is.

    When Vanguard came close to release I knew this would have the right community for me, and I was excited because it looked amazing and appeared to have a lot of depth. I even got invited to beta in the final stages, whoo-hoo! Except, I couldn't run it very well. Even after it released I relunctantly bought it, and still can't run it well. I'm still excited for it, but I think it's launch is a lot like EQ2's was initially. So on the shelf it goes for now.

    So, having heard sooo much about how EQ2 has changed, I decided to blow the dust off my account and give it a second chance. I'm far enough past the EQ1 days that there's no more comparison there. First of all, I was surprised at how well the game runs now. I don't have what would be considered all that great of a system (2600 Barton, 1.5GB RAM, x1300 graphics) but it runs and looks great on balanced settings. Next I found it extremely fun and addictive. I didn't think I would, but it's got that X-factor now, if you know what I mean. And much to my surprise, I fell into a really nice guild with some nice people who've answered all my newbie questions and we're polite and helpful. And I've only been back for about a week now. I'm slowly learning about all the different levels of depth the game has, and it goes pretty deep, so I don't think I'll become as bored as I did in WoW. And I haven't even considered any of the expansions yet, I'm just playing the core game.

    If you've had your fill of other MMO's like I have, or you're frustrated with Vanguard like me, or you just didn't find the LOTR online beta compelling like me, then I think you'll be surprised by EQ2 and how its come around.
  • zensaberzensaber Port City, NBPosts: 800Member
    paid by soe? what the fuck, are you guys like eight?
  • VesaviusVesavius BristolPosts: 7,645Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Niber

    Hard to believe this article was written by a journalist and not a paid  SOE employee.





      

     

    And everyone here that agrees with the general view expressed by the reviewer are paid by Sony as well right?

    Yeah.. right...

    EQ2 is a lot of fun if you like real MMORPGs (as opposed to the new generation of MMO arcade games), it's very very pretty, and it's only getting better with time. Why does that bother you so much?

    I have just restarted the game with a newbie friend, and he is enjoying sooo much it's funny hehe. We are duoing mostly as a fury and pally, and have found a great guild very easily. The game is still very starter friendly imho.

    The best fantasy MMO out there? Definitly, well, definitly at least until AoC arrives  (hopefully...)

     

  • KniknaxKniknax LeicesterPosts: 567Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Thamoris


    I found it interesting...that while I battle the multitudes of posts bashing Vanguards performance ( particularly those with 8800 cards ) .. Eq2 is being judged as even worse performance AND in a game 2+ yrs old !
     

    No one thinks EQ2 is worse perfomance than VG.

    EQ2's balanced settings are still much prettier than VG's max settings. (imho although its all down to taste).

    "When people don't know much about something, they tend to fill in the blanks the way they want them to be filled in. They are almost always disappointed." - Will Wright

  • CelestianCelestian DFW, TXPosts: 1,151Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by jayanti

    No one thinks EQ2 is worse perfomance than VG.
    EQ2's balanced settings are still much prettier than VG's max settings. (imho although its all down to taste).



    I am not a huge fan of VG but I can tell you from personal experience that VG performed better on my XP system with 8800GTX x 2 in SLI than it did in EQ2. I didn't see that as a huge problem however since EQ2 is using a 2 year old engine so all the bells and whistles and options that I'd have in a new game.

    I could crank VG to MAX and have very little slag, do the same thing in EQ2 and I'd get a lot of slag even outside of raid/large population zones.

    That's about the only good thing that I had to say about VG though. EQ2 beats VG in every other way by leaps and bounds.

  • tharkthark FalunPosts: 1,147Member Uncommon



    Everquest 2 is indeed the best MMORPG on the market right now, even thou I slowly getting tired after playing it since release(2+ years)...

    And yes its also the best looking game on the MMO market, cant really understand how he could compare it with WoW they are in 2 diffrent ballparks, WoW is for every computer(still looking good thou) and EQ2 is for those that has new or a year old hardware, but has all the "bells and whistles you could ever want". And yes this game is absolutly better looking(the whole picture) than Vanguard. Vanguard has good outdoor graphics but after that it stops.

    /Thark

  • LMicheleSLMicheleS Riverside, CAPosts: 6Member
    Nice review I guess, but the writer's notes are pretty much moot to me until Sony drops the price of their Stations Access back to affordable prices for us workin' stiffs. 
  • lancelot76lancelot76 San Francisco, CAPosts: 119Member
    A few good points, but statements like:



     "At release, the graphics were somewhat shadowed by its competitor World of Warcraft, but with the latest expansion the graphics were given a boost, and are now up to par with its counterpart"



    Betray a severe lack of understanding or familiarity with this game. The graphics were not "given a boost" with the latest expansion, there was no update to the engine, etc. Statements like this make this article opinion at best, and at worst, a waste of time. To the author: either learn more about the game or interview people who do.
  • RyowulfRyowulf Greensburg, PAPosts: 668Member
    I played for a while when it first came out. I hated the ai. I hated how there was no pulling and even one mob 20 feet away would pull over the whole group. I hated how there were these huge arrows above the mobs. I hated that when I was 19 lvl I could kill a mob a few levels higher then me, but when I turned 20 those same mobs killed me easy. I hated how so much of the game needed a group. Even things like level quests couldn't often be done by yourself depending on your class.



    The whole interconnected crafting thing I hated. I hated having to go poor trying to level in crafting and needed a group or alts to make all the different parts for an item. I hated how the devs kept making crafting more about randomness and less about any input effect the player might have on it. I hated the whole need to buy drops to raise your spells and specials to their best every few levels, and how the ones that were crafted were crap. Grind grind grind, that is what it was all about. I hated how Paladins got a speed boost at 20 from a little spell that was suppose to be just a fluff thing then have the devs post that such a boost was minor (when it wasn't) and did no harm (when it did)., until months later when they finally said oops.



    So many things I hated about that game. I have not played any other mmo which I left with a more bitter and annoyed feeling.
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