I thought about all the MMOs currently available, and as crazy as it sounds, after playing a “current-generation” MMO like SWTOR, I was craving an old MMO. I wanted a huge, explorable game world and so many quests that I would never run out. I wanted to feel lost again, so a game that I have already played in-depth was right out of the question. After spending a month in space, I wanted to go back to fantasy. I wanted that old-school MMO feeling.
There was only one good candidate: EverQuest 2
Way back in 2004, after my introduction to MMOs with City of Heroes, my CoH guild was talking about the upcoming “battle of the next-gen MMOs” (reverse deja vu!) between EverQuest 2 and World of Warcraft. My husband and I pre-ordered EQ2 when it came out – anybody else remember the discs you got with the pre-order that let you play with the character creator before launch? That was brilliant, I’m shocked that no other game company has done that since then. Right about the same time EQ2 launched we got invited to the WoW open beta stress tests – yes, Blizz was hijacking their competition even then. We ended up falling in love with WoW and made our home there for a very long time.
EverQuest 2 just faded out into our peripheral vision. Every now and then I’d see something about it on Massively or get curious and check the EQ2 website out, but I never felt compelled to re-subscribe – until now, and thanks to their F2P program, of all things. I was able to give the game a test run for 2 or 3 nights, and once I got past the 2004-era graphics (which aren’t SO bad, you just have to get used to them), I started to realize just how much content there is in the game and how much has been added over the past 7 years. I subbed up to their Gold membership over the weekend and dug into their massive class and race selection.
It took me several tries to find a class that I liked. I played the Wizard during my F2P time, it was easy enough but I wanted to try some other classes. I loved the Minstrel in LotRO and the Bard in Rift, so my first instinct was Troubadour – but I hated the way it played, it didn’t seem to have much power and I spent more time running back from the graveyard than actually defeating mobs. Next I tried Ranger – it did more DPS, but it still seemed more melee-centric than what I enjoyed. Then I moved back over to a Mage class and tried the Illusionist – and it was love at first sight
I kill things by mentally assaulting them with rainbows, cupcakes, confetti, fireworks and glitter. WIN.
So now I have a Fae Illusionist, Jholie, on the Antonia Bayle server. The other neat thing about the Illusionist is that they summon a copy of themselves as a pet – it’s a weaker version of yourself, but it’s still super-handy extra DPS/cannon fodder. Since I’m playing on my original 2004 account, I got an in-game email saying that I have veteran’s rewards available. I did a /claim and I have 7 years of goodies to claim; so many items in fact, that I haven’t claimed them yet because I don’t have the room in my bank.
I found an active and hopping guild that has been on Antonia Bayle since launch, and I’ve met not only a lot of helpful veterans, but also a good number of people there that are either starting the game for the first time ever or are coming back to the game after being away for years. We’ve had a new recruit almost every night over the past few nights, so the F2P program seems to be working pretty well for EQ2. It almost feels like a brand new game with all the mechanics and systems to learn – so much, in fact, that it’s been a bit like drinking out of a fire hydrant. Still, I’m eager to see just what else EQ2 has in store, particularly with their more sandboxy features like crafting, housing, and player-made dungeons.