(N)EverQuest Scrolls

My history with Everquest 2

by on May.19, 2010, under Everquest II

I have played Everquest 2 for a total of 3-4 months, so I am certainly no expert. I tried it, didn’t like it, went back to Everquest. That was a trial month at least three years ago (might have been a lot longer); I bought it when I was out of Everquest and bored with WoW, and played for 2-3 months then cancelled; and I have been playing recently in the past month. Highest character to date is 21, so I have no basis to comment on the game beyond the newbie experience.

Back when it was launched, the Everquest guild I was in at the time mass switched to EQ2, after a long time saying that they would never consider it. They though of Everquest as tough (as in “a good thing”), and EQ2, alongside WoW, was for wimps. Didn’t stop them switching. So I kind of resented a lot of things about EQ2, the last straw was that it was responsible for breaking up my guild. In particular, and more realistically, I didn’t like that you couldn’t kite, couldn’t pull, had a death exp penalty, and had gear attrition/wear, and made heavy demands on your computer. The fact that it was stealing new customers from EQ by association (undeserved), and took all the marketing budget, was beyond too much.

A lot has been changed in EQ2 since that time, and now it’s a “mature” (meaning old) game, just like EQ2, and the budget has been switched to Free Realms. There’s some valid comparisons that I can make: there’s a lot of content (less than Everquest, far more than WoW), the community chat in-game is much more mature than in WoW, noticeably less than in Everquest. I strongly dislike the graphics, and there’s no one around in low level areas (just like Everquest, and even WoW to a degree).

The graphics: yes, I far prefer Everquest graphics to EQ2. The technology in use is undeniably better, but the effect I don’t like. Even with gamma turned up, the landscape is gloomy. The “pretty” effects, like water and butterflies/birds/fish have harsh boundaries with the landscape, and just just serve to emphasise the static nature of most of the background. The character graphics are what I dislike the most. There is absolutely no visible detail in gear (for <20 characters), and body shapes are very unreal, to my perception. Characters are etiolated (that means too tall and thin), with tiny heads. For me, this is on a par with WoW character graphics, which I absolutely hate.

Compared to pre-2004 Everquest, it’s hard to make a choice, the two are very different. Compared with recent Everquest, I far prefer the style of graphics in current Everquest. I fully understand that Everquest graphics are weak, but that is weak in technical details – stiff animation, no cloaks, limited number of armor models, limited customisation, etc.


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