It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
---------------wall of text warning, that's just how I roll.
A Detailed 1 month with EQ2 newbie experience.
I have recently tried most of the new mmos that have been released in the last 3 or 4 years and still haven't found anything that could remotely capture my interest and steer me away from my annual re-subscription to WoW. I am currently very bored and have some time at my disposal, Cataclysm (currently my only hope for mmos in the short term) isn't due out 'till December... this leaves me a full month to give EQ2 a try and find out whether I will stick with it or play WoW's new expansion.
I excuse myself in advance for poor grammar, English is not my native language and I will do my best to write in a fluid and understandable manner, all kinds of criticism is welcomed and accepted.
I will not make any comparisons between games in this thread, nor will I judge EQ2 based on similarities or dissimilarities with other games. My intention is to to find out how SOE's much discussed mmo stands on its own legs.
(Ever)Questing starts, one word should be said on what I was expecting and what you should as well if you consider giving this game a try: a complex immersive and deep theme park experience. I'm not coming to EQ expecting to find ground breaking innovations, nor new core game play mechanics. What I'm hoping for is that this game with its, apparently in-depth crafting, alternative advancement, housing, guild mechanics, grouping and massive amounts of content will be a good all-rounder of current mmo design with some added complexity.
So Rarip starts his adventure and isn't too surprised by the fact that his first assignments are to kill a few monsters bothering an allied settlement and recover some artefacts scattered around a beach infested with very weak monsters. Voice acting is something that caught me off guard, don't know if it will remain as frequent as it is at the start since already at level 10 most of the quests have to be read, but it's pretty well done and very nice for immersion.
Rarip completes his assignments and is introduced to fishing (and gathering), he also spends some time looking into his newly acquired skills, some of them are pretty bland (passive buffs) others look interesting and also have a pretty nice animation to them. I am then sent to another npc camp where some more kill and fetch quests are given to me, by now I'm level 6 and have upgraded most of my armor through quest rewards, as I said I wont compare to other games it's a mechanic that works and rewards questing with something actually useful other than a pure xp (which is also nice!),
To this point the questing has been pretty generic 1-6 was not much more than a tutorial everything has been very simple and quest objectives have always been very close to the npc that gives them.
At around level 6 you finish your quests in the second npc camp and your pretty much involved in a storyline of war between a few elite sarnaks and many harpy-like creatures fighting for control over an island. I will not say that this is ground breaking narration in any way, but I find that the voice acting, the mob placement and the geometry of the zone helped getting that immersion feeling going.
Rarip is then asked to move to a few other small camps, quests start to get more interesting, the use of some items given to you by the npc becomes important and they are a pleasant distraction from the usual kill/fetch routine. Monster placement is very well done and usually every time you travel into a new area you have 2 or 3 tasks assigned at a very short distance, if not linked, between them.
As you would expect nothing has been remotely challenging for my sword wielding war rat, but the fast pace between travelling, fighting, exploring, receiving new abilities has managed to get me into that state where hours of play seem like minutes and has been more than enough to feel satisfied by the time I reached level 10.
As you can see from the screenshot at level 10 I already have many skills, managing cooldowns and resources comes to play making combat a little more interesting, also monsters start to have a much larger aggro radius. Most quests become a little more challenging.
By level 10 my character has seen various npc encampments, completed various kill/fetch quests and done a few interesting gimmicky things with quest items. I'm introduced to crafting at this level, and immediately am impressed, I find that flexible recipes are a great idea and the possibility to actually have a direct manner of influencing the quality of a crafted item through player skill/choice to be very interesting. Rarip, just by following the tutorial was able to craft a run speed amulet which I assume will prove useful. Not much is explained on screen in a direct manner but you get a journal that has lots of information on people and places to go to for more. Crafting seems something like I'd be interested in getting into, I'd like to see if it really is deep and complex enough to consider it a side game and not a distraction or a hidden grind with very little player input involved.. fingers crossed.
Still at level 10 I was also introduced to the AA system, and was impressed by how much customization is allowed. I also had a hard time choosing what to do with my first point, I decided to go for the generic passive damage boost which, in my experience, is usually a safe bet. I also looked into the AA xp slider setting it to 70%, I'm in no rush to get to higher levels so getting the most out of my levelling experience through a strong character at the cost of going a bit slower isn't something that bothers me for the moment.
More questing follows, and still most of the stuff I'm sent to complete are fetch and kill quests, and while this might seem boring I cant deny that I'm actually enjoying myself despite all this. My ratonga is clearly becoming more powerful and more interesting to play every level, every quest I complete gets me some AA experience which opens up even more skills and abilities. Exploring is rewarded with AA xp and the possibility of finding rare harvesting nodes.
I notice by now that while the voice acting is starting to fade, quests are very well introduced, most of them are explained in an easily readable manner. Chat bubbles seem to help (a little) in creating the feeling that you are actually having some kind of conversation with an npc and not just reading WoT number 4xxx3.
Quests (at level 10) remain well done, challenging is definitely not the word to describe how hard they are but certainly the difficulty has increased compared to most of the 1-8 stuff I have been doing before. Monsters are well placed and harvesting nodes aren't that far from killing zones although far enough to invite my ratonga to some exploring. Leading to the discovery of some rare(er) nodes, an elite monster and 2 quest givers I had ignored.
-------end of part 1
One thing that bothers me a little is the very low amount of low level players I have seen while completing the first island of the Timorous Deep starting zone. I'd really like to be able to give this game a full 30 day try. While I'm enjoying myself at the moment I think the solo questing could and probably will get boring once the progression rhythm slows down at higher levels. I will definitely look for a guild and somebody to play with.
coming soon level 10 to ...?? (more pics in part 2)
Edit: If any players or guilds willing to play some low level content on AB server could contact me it would be great