Everquest II (EQII) is the bestselling sequel to the original Everquest massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Set in a time called the “Age of Destiny,” 100 years after the Everquest storyline, EQII was first released in 2004 and continues to be a very popular game.
Everquest II Free Heroic Character
One of the interesting things about the game is the offer of free heroic characters. All new players can now play on a high level character, complete with “a full complement of gear, food, drink, and ammo to get you started.” The max level is 95 and the free heroic character is level 85.
Although at first glance this might seem to be a ridiculous way to run a game, for EQII it makes sense because it is now 10 years old. Most of the older existing players are, of course, maxed. Giving newcomers a high level character straight off the bat lets them experience the high level areas and content that the community is most actively playing.
If you want to give it a go, click on the link below to sign up for a new account at the official website. Download and install the game. At the character select screen, you can chose to either create a level 1 character or “Create Level 85 Heroic.”
Everquest II Review
Guest Review by Duncan
When you play an MMO, you almost always know what to expect, with massive game worlds to explore and a plethora of quests that await you. However, the thing that sets a game apart from the others is the community, the amount of content that is added after the release as well as the appeal of its world. Everquest II, pretty much like its predecessor shows us the massive world of Norrath where nothing is impossible and in which I can create my own fate!
The story in Everquest II takes place at around 100 years after the first game, so we get to experience some of the portions in the first title in a redesigned form, as well as newer location that take full advantage of the better graphics.
I was impressed by the numerous character types, which can be warrior, mage, ranged and so on, and the fact that there are numerous races in the title as well, in fact Everquest II manages to bring neutral, good and bad races that allow you to customize your experience in any way you want. The character creation options are very interesting too, with numerous ways to modify the way your character looks.
What I liked about the game is the fact that it always brings you a ton of quests to solve, in fact each time I went in a new area, no matter how small, there were villagers to help with mundane tasks, locals to aid in their quests against the rebels and so on. Everquest II has had a long life because it’s one game that makes you feel like a part of that world, it just manages to create the wonderful, believable world that you always wanted to live in or at least explore.
Combat and inventory
As expected, the inventory system and character sheet are quite basic for an MMO, with Everquest II taking the safe way. However, I feel that these systems are nicely done and the inventory is easy to manage. When it comes to the character sheet, I found the process of upgrading characters and reading their stats very easy to manage too.
One of the major improvements that Everquest II brings over its predecessor, in my opinion, is the smoother combat. Gone are the awkward animations that made a battle impossible to watch sometimes, instead the whole experience is more refined and as such it’s a pleasure for me to battle new enemies. As a mage, I feel that nothing can stop me as the spells in the game are quite powerful, especially after level 20-30, but I got the same experience as a melee fighter too. However, each gameplay experience differs from class to class, so I feel there’s a lot of replayability in the game.
Skills and quests
An important thing to know is that you can learn new skills as you level up, and they will be in apprentice mode. After some time, I got the opportunity to upgrade these to a much better version, such as Journeyman, and from there to Adept, Expert, Master and Grandmaster. This is the great thing about Everquest II, the fact that it always brings me more reasons to come back, as even from a skill and character standpoint, there are so many things to change and improve! After 10 levels I was impressed to see that you receive a tradition point that allows you to learn new abilities in your tradition tree, abilities that come in handy.
Another strong point of Everquest II comes in its large number of enemy types. Since Everquest II has received numerous expansions since its release in 2004, I was astonished to find an immense bestiary with so many animals included in it. Combat does vary depending on the enemy, so I often found myself trying to strategize the best way I could in order to get the best results during a battle, something that’s impossible to see in most MMORPGs nowadays.
I like the quests in Everquest II a lot, because instead of going with the normal approach of using lots of fetch or delivery quests, the game takes advantage of the vibrant world feeling, and instead it brings quests that relate to the cities and worlds. Killing a person or a boss usually comes with a reason, and while the story in Everquest II might not be the main reason to play it, it’s definitely shaped by the numerous and great quests in it. There is a tendency towards grinding sometimes, but overall Everquest II manages to get over this problem and instead it focuses on providing a good exploration and immersive experience.
Crafting in Everquest II is one of my favorite things to do. Far from being complicated, the crafting system is implemented by learning a trade skill once you learn level 10, and from there you can choose a profession that allows you to craft certain items. It’s very interesting to see that one can craft just about any armor or sword he can imagine, mainly because the whole system isn’t restrictive so you can let your imagination free. All crafting materials can be acquired by purchase, gathering or killing your enemies.
There are a few downsides that I found while playing Everquest II, and one of the major ones is the daunting free to play restrictions. Everquest II was forcefully made into a free to play title, and as such the free version is very restrictive, in fact you will need to pay for various advantages and features most of the time in order to move forward. Also, I found the skills to be a little unbalanced at times, not to mention that I did encounter a few bugs along the way and some lag as well, even on the closest server.
From a graphical standpoint Everquest II looks amazing, mainly because it has been updated periodically since 2004. You don’t feel like playing a 2004 game, instead the graphics are up to date and as such everything looks quite neat. Of course, I think that there are always spaces to improve upon, but as a whole Everquest II brings a pleasing visual experience that’s both enjoyable and highly interesting. Norrath looks very impressive and the diversity of the lands, combined with good character design just makes you keep playing at all times!
The sound aspect of Everquest II wasn’t that different from the previous game, in my opinion. You get the same epic sounds that you would expect from such a title and on top of that you are also receiving some interesting, good voice-overs that help sometimes when it comes to making you feel in a real, wonderful game world.
Thanks to continuous updates, the PVP in Everquest II received many changes and right now it’s a great experience. With so many types of loot and armor customization, placing my hero against the others is one experience that I always come back to when I play Everquest II, and that tells a lot. I also like the fact that Everquest II has a good social aspect, since the chat and voice commands worked seamlessly during my gameplay sessions.
As a whole, Everquest II is a massive game with a ton of things to do and locations to explore. It manages to improve a lot over its predecessor and makes the whole experience faster and fluid, something that the original Everquest did have a problem with. If you are a fan of fantasy MMOs and you want a good title in which to spend hundreds or even thousands of hours, then Everquest II is definitely the best solution. It might not appeal to anyone as it is quite complex at first, but in a short time you can get the hang of it and enjoy one of the best MMO experience in recent years. I had a blast with it, and that is why I recommend it to anyone that wants a solid MMO experience!
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