It’s been, near as I can figure, about a year since I last stepped into EverQuest II. I’ve been having a good time in various other games for most of that time, but various things – news items, YouTube videos, MMOQuests, and some others – have been tickling my urge to get back to it for months. So the other day I sprang for a time card from Best Buy and logged back in.
Well, not right away. EQ2 is one of those games you can’t patch without an active subscription, and it took several hours to reinstall and patch. It wasn’t too bad, but I wish I could have done it before entering my code.
Whenever I come back to WoW after some time off, there’s something jarring about the controls that I have to get used to. I have no idea why and it never takes long, but it always happens. But never with EQ2.
I spent some time visiting my various long-neglected characters and then made a new one (on Antonia Bayle,) to check out the recently added Frostfang Sea starting zone. It’s kind of bland visually, but the quest flow is extremely well-done and I think this is the best starting zone in the game. I admit that I will miss the old Qeynos and Freeport starting islands, though – I’d played through those enough times that I could tear through one and leave at level 7 in a matter of minutes, so they were always my first choice.
The Kelethin and Gorowyn starting areas are at a disadvantage because they both suffer from being sprawling places with the housing, bank and tradeskilling areas located an inconvenient distance from one another. The other reason I preferred Qeynos and Freeport as home bases was because everything you’d commonly need would be right there in one of the various neighborhoods. I’m happy to report that while the city of New Halas is a bit spread out, all of the housing, the bank and the tradeskill area are all right in one spot, and the layout is open so pretty much everything easy to get to. Plus the apartments are nicer. I was impressed enough to move my best-heeled character (level 50) up there from Qeynos. With the new travel options this won’t be any inconvenience at all.
Speaking of which, the revised travel system makes it hugely easier to get around, at least from continent to continent, and not much trouble at all to move a lowbie character to a different starting zone. This was a true pain in the rump before.
There’s all kinds of new stuff I haven’t tried and want to get into. I can’t wait to play some more.