Why it took so long
I think it’s quite unusual to “fall in love” with a game that’s been out for 10 years, but it might have happened to me and Everquest 2. I tried the game on several occasions after it went free-to-play. Before, i was one of the WoW crowd and was under the impression that EQ2 was somewhat older than WoW. While i like some of the systems in old school MMORPGs, i can’t overlook the production quality of those titles.
In the case of EQ2, there were several issues i had that made me stop playing it after dabbling in the starting areas. First of all, the human avatars- they don’t really look so good.
The other thing was a feeling of detachment from my pressing a key and my avatar reacting. There’s some kind of lag, i don’t know where it stems from, but i think it isn’t my internet connection or the server location. It feels quite slow, somewhat comparable to the combat feeling of Lotro.
What drew me in
News of the coming expnasion. I don’t know why, but the general excitement infected me, as well. Also, since SOE got rid of ProsiebenSat1, i can judge the developer on its own merits, and generally i can’t say too many bad things about SOE. Yeah, that Vanguard thing- but really, i think it’s because of SOE that it was available as long as it was. I have no connections to SWG, either, so the CU and NGE stuff doesn’t apply to me. What i see, though, seems to be a company willing to take some risks and approach the genre in new ways (Landmark, H1Z1, EQN) as well as providing their playerbase with new stuff to do (expansions in EQ, EQ2) and good value for their money (All Access). So they have my goodwill, now, and my money, as well.
Of course, all of that wouldn’t matter if the game wasn’t appealing to me, but strangely, now it does. I still think it would be good to have a starting area that’s more like a medieval european landscape, since i’m not really into giant mushrooms and dark woods…and Faes, for that matter, but Greater Faydark pulled me in, nonetheless. It’s a huge zone with many landmarks to see, orientate oneself by and many, many quests.
I also like how complicated it all seems to be- of course i looked for a newbie guide but couldn’t find anything that seemed up-to-date. My first instinct was to level as fast as i could, get to 20 and leave the starting area. The double XP weekend seemed very suitable to do something like that. But now, as i understand it, it seems that i would miss out a lot- equipment, a free mount (although i don’t know if it’s still provided in the quest series), gathering nodes and so on.
So i backtracked. Because i had to, since the timeline quests often seem to build up on one another and i really want the free horse. And that’s another thing i like about the game: there is a quest progression. It’s not enough to be of high enough level to do something, there are quest requirements.
So i went and did level 8 quests with my level 16 Warden, until i could do the Tuathil Laeds quests which, according to one guide over at TTH rewards a mount at some point. The wiki doesn’t mention the horse as a quest reward, so it might have changed in the meantime- nevertheless, i’m eager to find out.