RPGFan


Link to Official Homepage

Platform: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Genre: MMORPG Developer: Verant Interactive
Format: CD-ROM Expected Release: Q4/2003

Preview First-Look
11/28
Timothy Duong
Timothy Duong

Any gamer that’s ever logged onto the Internet knows of the Massively Multiplayer Online RPG frenzy, having heard friends recount great tales of epic battles and unforgettable adventures. Games such as Asheron’s Call, Dark Age of Camelot and Anarchy Online have all snuggled into their respective niches in the online war between MMORPGs. Following their success with EverQuest, Sony Online Entertainment and Verant Interactive will bring us the next chapter in Norrathian lore around this time next year with the release of EverQuest II. Promising an all-new class system for character creation, new quest workings and new battle mechanics, EQ II promises to take the genre to the next level.

Over the years, EverQuest has lost many players due to its initially intimidating nature, but Sony hopes to fix this, stating that their main focus for EQ II has been to cater to both hardcore and casual gamers. A new tutorial system to teach the uninitiated about surviving in the virtual world of Norrath is expected but not confirmed at this point. Not only will character creation be changed with races new and old, but the system will also take character customization further than ever with the new, branching class structure. With the tailoring of avatars having been expanded, player characters will be even more unique, making them stand out from the crowd.

To attract both veterans and newcomers alike, EQ II players will have the opportunity to join gladiatorial and theatrical events in-game. These should be real crowd pleasers since similar events in EverQuest have enjoyed major success. The fact that SOE intends to have these diversions as commonplace events only helps woo current EverQuest players to upgrade to EQ II. Another lure for veteran EverQuest players is a storyline and transition path that allows descendants to carry on the name of EQ characters. Players can carry on their adventure in Norrath under their family names even though their old characters will not be ported to the sequel. Eager EQ II players will have to start from scratch like everyone else.

A few months ago, EverQuest introduced horses into the game and EQ II looks to expand upon that concept with the addition of boats and other modes of transportation. Sadly, how accessible these commodities will be in-game has yet to be disclosed. EverQuest II will also give players the option to own property, though whether this will only be for show or used in some other way is still unknown. With the new tradesman class (which has yet to receive an official name), players may even be able to own some sort of shop. This non-confrontational approach to character advancement is sure to have many EverQuest merchant players jumping for joy. On the subject of trading, a new trade skills and crafting system is expected to replace the numbing Ctrl+Left click experience that all EverQuest crafters fear.

With a new 3D engine that takes full advantage of recent technological advances such as per-pixel shading, programmable surface shading and dynamic environment mapping, EverQuest II looks to push the MMORPG graphical limits with a dynamic world that will be moulded by the very players that inhabit it. For such a visual bonanza, it’s no wonder that the minimum system requirements look rather steep:

733MHZ processor
512MB RAM
64MB Video Card
DirectX 8.1 compliance

Players wanting to experience EQ II in all of its grandeur can expect the recommended system requirements to make a nice hole in quite a few pockets. Though this shouldn’t bother the deep-pocketed players of EverQuest Legends. Those die-hard fans that have been spending $40 a month to play on the “Legends” server will end up having the last laugh as they will have first crack at the EQ II beta. Sony promises to have more details on this project within the next six months. RPGFan will provide you with more news and updates as they become available.



Back



©2002 Sony Online Entertainment Inc.
©2002 Verant Interactive
Click to Enlarge
Beware the crazed Atkins dieter.

Click to Enlarge
Prime waterfront property.

Click to Enlarge
Blows flame with a killer smile.

Click to Enlarge
Astonishing background visuals.

Click for More Pics




Coming Up on Twitch

Breath of Fire IV
May 29 • 9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT

Tales of Eternia
June 5 • 9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT

Lunar 2 Begins!
Every Monday • 5:00pm PDT/8:00pm EDT

Grandia II Continues!
Every Wednesday • 2:00pm PDT/5:00pm EDT

Featured Content
Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet Review
Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet
Review
Retro Encounter 14: The World Ends With You - Final Thoughts
Retro Encounter 14: The World Ends With You
Final Thoughts
Root Double Before Crime*After Days: Xtend Edition Review
Root Double Before Crime*After Days: Xtend Edition
Review
Corpse Party: songs of the dead Review
Corpse Party: songs of the dead
Review
Sorcery! Part 3 Review
Sorcery! Part 3
Review
The Banner Saga 2 Review
The Banner Saga 2
Review
RSS Feeds & More
Complete Feed
Reviews Feed
Media Feed
Random Encounter
Rhythm Encounter
Retro Encounter