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Ships Ahoy - EverQuest II: Kingdom of Sky

EverQuest(R)II Kingdom of Sky(TM) Ships to Retail is the press release announcing the release of the latest expansion for SOE's MMORPG sequel (thanks Frans). Here's a bit:

DIEGO, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Online Entertainment Inc. (SOE), a global leader in the online games industry, announced that EverQuest®II Kingdom of Sky(TM), the second expansion for EverQuest II, is shipping to retail stores in North America and can also be purchased via digital download. The retail version of the game contains the full version of EverQuest II, as well as the all new Kingdom of Sky expansion, a full-color poster sized map, a limited-edition collectible EverQuest II coin, and a special in-game item, a carnivorous plant that will reward players with items for feeding it. The digital download includes the new expansion only, and can be purchased through the SOE Station Store. Purchasers of both the retail and digital download will also receive a free Arena Champion character that can be used in Player vs. Player (PvP) combat.

"Whether you're an MMO newbie or experienced veteran, there's never been a better time to play EverQuest II," says Laura Naviaux, senior brand manager, Sony Online Entertainment. "First-time players can get an all-in-one experience -- not just the expansion, but also the base EverQuest II game with an enhanced character progression system, empowering them immediately and getting them into the action much faster. For the seasoned EverQuest II player, the addition of new content above level 20 and a new storyline full of dangerous new enemies timed to coincide with the introduction of PvP combat will extend the benchmarks for adventure and excitement in the world of Norrath."

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9. What did you guys smoke? Feb 21, 2006, 18:55 Muscular Beaver
Ok I dont play it anymore, for gameplay reasons (I felt that the class system is the dumbest thing ever implemented into an MMORPG). But the graphics are AWESOME. Yeah the optional models suck, because they look like these japanese cartoons, but the original ones are very good. Most of the male models still look kinda gay - literally (just like in EQ1), but the female ones are pretty sexy and very well made.

About the performance: Its not the graphics that are slow, its just that this game uses ALOT, and I mean ALOT of RAM. I only have an 6800GT and 3.2GHz P4 with 1GB and especially in cities it ran horrible. The graphics itself were not slow at all, unless I turned lighting to full. Everything else was at full or almost at full. And it ran with a smooth 30+ FPS, 20 FPS at worst. BUT because I didnt have enough RAM it really ran shitty since the harddrive had to load all the time.
After I added 512MB more it was much better, and with 2GB of RAM it runs completely smooth.
That said, the graphics are the best Ive ever seen in a MMORPG, and the atmosphere created in the game comes close to that of the Baldurs Gate/Icewind Dale series. The voice acting and number of voice syncronisation (the lips are syncronised to every single word and move absolute realistic) is the best Ive ever seen in any game. They even got Christopher Lee and numerous others well known actors.
But as I said there were various gameplay issues that I didnt like, so I went back to WoW.
Namely the class system sucks (until about level 40 every class isnt nearly as unique as even in the simplest RPG and it really sucks to go through 20 absolute same levels if you want to do an conjurer instead of an necromancer. And even after level 40 your class still doesnt feel that unique to others. For example Warlocks and Wizards are extremely similar and there is no real 100% reason why to play the one or the other.
And theres also the very shitty UI. EQ1 had an awesome and functional and very nice customizable UI, but the EQ2 one is extremely clunky, unfunctional and buggy. Custom UIs can change the clunkyness but everything else is very limited by SOE and thus cant be changed. Nowhere near the EQ1 UI.
Maybe in 3 years its matured out and I will try it again, but only if they remove that stupid class system... I wish they had left it the way EQ1 was.

The quests are really nice. It still takes longer to make experience if you do quests, but its MUCH more fun if you do quests instead of the boring EQ1-like exp grind. You get nice items from quests and get to explore the world, which, as I said, is very well done and much more creepy than any MMORPG Ive ever seen. Adventurers and explorers will really love that part of the game.

EDIT: Forgot to add that the low population on servers really add to the nice real RPG atmosphere. Or did you guys ever read an fanasy book where the heroes came to a dungeons where 30 others were screaming at them that "its their camp"?
I'm not... gonna... cry... you... dumb... doo-doo brain!
This comment was edited on Feb 21, 19:17.
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Waiting for BIS to come back to their senses and do a real ArmA 2 successor.
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