When I heard that Sony Online Entertainment was giving away free level 85s in Everquest 2 as a promotion, I was very intrigued. I've always wanted to start an MMO at the top and just kind of explore the place, and now I finally had a chance to try it out.
A few hours later I was installing EQ2. It didn't take very long because EQ2 now has a system similar to World of Warcraft, where the game downloads while you play it. I give the download about a good hour before I jump in.
Making the Character
I thought I would have to go through some complex process to make the level 85 "heroic" character, as SOE is calling them, but it was actually quite easy. As soon as I logged into the game, a popup showed up with the option to create the free character. Cool. I clicked the popup and proceeded to the character creation menu.
Another surprise: the game was letting me pick any race and class combination I wanted. I had expected to be able to choose from only the free classes and races, but I got to pick from everything except the freeblood race (vampires, pretty much). I don't know if I get to keep playing as the character after the promotion ends (October 15th) but I don't even know if I'll still be playing by then.
I ended up going with a particularly nasty-looking troll (my favorite Everquest race), and made him a Necromancer, because if I have the option of summoning demonic beasts from the pits of hell to do my bidding, then I'm gonna do it, god dammit!
I pick the name "Bloodfear," using the tried and true method of sticking two good-sounding words together to name a fantasy character, and I entered the game.
Starting the Game
After a slightly lengthy loading screen, I find my new character mounted on the winged pegasus promised by the promotion, located in a small campsite in the middle of an icy tundra. Upon further examination, it appears that the camp site is run by cute little otter people. D'aw!
I start to doubt my choice of class. Maybe I missed out on something cooler. I look around. I'm certainly the coolest-looking guy in the room... er... I mean camp. I also have a zombified sorcerer following me around. Sweet!
After the area loads a bit more (starting the game this early makes it really laggy, so I had to wait), I hit the spacebar and launch into the frigid skies. Woohoo! Time to fuck shit up!
Learning the UI
The UI of EQ2 definitely looked different from the last time I played a few years ago. It's a bit cleaner-looking, but probably even busier, with more buttons, which is to be expected with so many updates. I spend the first few minutes trying to simply dismount my pegasus, since I can't try out any spells while I'm on it.
I start digging in the spell book to see what I have. It didn't look like there were any unholy abominations to summon; just the usual zombie warriors. It was a pretty big disappointment, but I did find one pretty cool thing: Lich form. I eagerly click the spell button the see what happens, and... my character turns into the goofiest looking lich I have ever seen.
Ooh, spooky? Whatever. It's fun anyway (I looked up some pictures, and apparently it gets better looking eventually). I float around with the character's equally goofy-looking animations and start zapping down some creatures.
I feel awesome. I have the ability zap enemies with blight or enshroud them in darkness. I summon up skeletons from the ground to rip at the enemies, or I can launch screaming skulls at the to bite their faces off. My pet is equally awesome, cutting down enemies with surprising speed.
After killing some crabs, some little furry things, some elementals, some skeletal gnolls, and some spooky wraith-looking baddies, I decide to go elsewhere. Back at the camp I find a boat that goes to Norrath.
I'm transported to a sea shore on the edge of what appears to be a vast desert. I immediately start looking for things to kill.
The enemies in this area are about 20 levels lower than me. GOOD! I zap as many as I can with orbs of blight and strike them down quickly with crippling ailments. I stand in the middle of groups of enemies and let off what appear to be noxious black farts, killing them all instantly.
"You fight like a coward!" yells one enemy as he crumples into a dying heap. Nope, fucked you up like a BEAST! U JELLY?
I get on my pegasus mount to see what else I can find in the desert. After about a minute I find a giant and a horde of huge beetles. Yes! I fly down to annihilate them and...
The game crashes.
I decide to cut it off there and play more tomorrow. It was a fun experience, but I'm not sure how long the fun will last. I guess we'll see...
Thanks for reading! Anyone else planning on taking the offer of a free level 85 character?