I did play EQ2 before, but it was YEARS ago. Did get to last level, but my friends at the time pulled me back into WoW...I think for burning crusade. Went to EQ2, but then WOTLK came out. So I never did raids in EQ2, but did get to the last level of whatever it was at the time.
So first. EQ2 is VASTLY easier than EQ1. That is probably obvious. But, what I was surprised by...I explored for what seemed like 5 minutes, but probably 15 minutes really. Didn't seem long at all. I was already level 10. Okay that is a low level, yeah. But that isn't without a hint of killing ANYTHING. just running around exploring. Even WoW, which is way easier than it used to be, I have to actually kill stuff and it takes a while to level to even 10. It usually takes me 30 minutes in WoW, and that is with doing quests.
Maybe some people level super fast compared to that, but I always level super slow in games. But, EQ2, a game I was trying to take my time (like any other game), and I was leveling at the speed of light...by doing nothing but exploring new areas. Not even WoW is like that. EQ2 has become insanely easy, more so than WoW. Sure its just 10 levels. But then...I asked in chat...and most people take 4-5 hours to get to endgame in EQ2.
So...you thought this was just me getting to 10? Nope.
In 4 hours and 38 minutes (timed) I hit the max level, by just running around 1 hitting everything, questing and exploring stuff.
From level 1 to 110 in WoW, takes me weeks of hardcore playing to do that. But I never do dungeons, and I like to level with questing and exploring the world. Again, I level VERY slow in MMOs, so for me to level this fast in EQ2 was crazy. WoW even boosted leveling speed, but still takes me ages lol. I don't play differently, just do quests, explore and kill stuff...so nothing different there.
EQ2 does however have a ton of content and TONS of stuff to do. And an amazing housing system. So I'll still play for that, because heck, subbing to Daybreak games lets me play all the games for the cheap price of 15 :P
Very disappointed however (but still will play EQ2, the community is great and I'm in a nice guild). I went to EQ1, a game I never even touched (I was into Asheron's call when EQ was out).
Been playing 2 days, very hardcore playing (as in, 12 hours both days). Not even level 15 yet.
On top of that, I've died...a lot. Every mob is so hard to beat, the game is very group dependent. But I've been having fun soloing stuff, its an awesome challenge.
The game (EQ1) feels just far more epic for some reason, far more immersive. I never felt immersed in EQ2, it felt like playing an arcade-like game, sorta like WoW is these days. Just running around bopping heads like those pop-up moles.
To gain mana, you sit and relax. Probably annoying to some, I find it immersive. When you open a spellbook, you again sit. NPCs talk with each other and have actual conversation, something kinda lacking in EQ2. EQ2 NPCs talk, but its the same thing over and over. In EQ1, even in tutorial area two npcs have an actual entire conversation. Maybe its easier to do it by text or something to have more immersive NPC conversations. Dunno.
So, honestly. I thought EQ2 would be way better, just because of ALL the content it has and the massive amounts of things you can do. But what really killed it. I tried gaining reputation through writ quests, but I leveled so fast, I couldn't even raise my faction reputation properly as I already outleveled it all. No exp boost potions used or anything like that, so I wasn't gaining more than I normally would. But I wanted to raise my Qeynos reputation (which IS possible as a necromancer, takes "sneaking" (carefully walking/running) to NPCs avoiding the guards)...but I leveled so fast, I just couldn't raise my faction reputation properly. That was what really disappointed me.
So, at least first impressions. Especially since I haven't gotten that far in EQ1 (because its SO much harder and takes a lot longer to level)...I like EQ1 a lot more.
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