I remember being in the beta 0 and loving it, the game had one server and it had several instances for each zone. I thought this is how they would do it so people were kept together.... I thought it was a good design. I had so much fun in that beta, I had hoped the boats would be implemented all the way around instead of bells, but instead they got rid of them and put bells everywhere which was a shame.... even if when you loaded to a new area they dropped you in the Ocean lol.
I wanted the class system to change however, I remember so many people spending 20 levels to work out if they liked a class or not, then quitting for good. So then eventually made a change to get rid of the archetype system for classes as it just didn't work.
I remember the game being so well polished and amazing from the Isle of Refuge through the cities and CL and Antonica.... but after that it fell apart. I remember every zone being so poorly made, even CL and Antonica looked barren, but at leas they had a bit of content. However my best times were questing in the cities which blew me away! The first timeI ever encountered an MMO where you could quest throughout the levels without grinding.
What really amazed me about EQ2 questing even over WoW is the quests were original, they made you think and you had to solve puzzles. Where WoW you just got a waypoint and killed 10 mobs, in EQ2 you got a riddle, had to work it out and then did something different when you got there. I remember those Froglok Quests and the two Adventure packs and they had some really cool stuff in them.
This brings me onto Desert of Flames and Kingdom of Sky which I have fond memories of harder content... Kingdom of Sky not so much, but Desert of Flames felt really more of an extension of what EQ2 was meant to be.
However Echoes of Faydwer came and I felt like it was trying to copy WoW, it made the game easier and I hated it...
Just wondering where you think EQ2 was ruined? I know the launch killed it, we all warned them in beta it was too early. However beyond that, where did the game really start to change?