12 Games of Christmas: 9 EverQuest II Expansions

From Desert of Ro to the Ethernere, EverQuest II keeps expanding.

Sequels are hard: everyone brings expectations to a sequel to a best-loved game. Even more ambitious is a sequel that was designed from the start to forge its own ground. Set 500 years in the future from the original EverQuest, EverQuest II has managed to embrace the lore, creatures and nostalgia of Norrath-that-was while moving down its own path and maintaining a separate identity from its predecessor.

Desert of Flames

In Desert of Flames we rediscovered the Desert of Ro. At this time good and evil factions were still held separate, and the Sinking Sands became the meeting place for people crossing faction lines for business or pleasure. The contested city of Maj'Dul gave faction meaning and djinn, orcs, and undead vied for our attention while we herded beetles. The level cap was raised to 60.

Kingdom of Sky

In Kingdom of Sky we took to the air, literally, as we ventured into the Overrealm. Here we rediscovered the Awakened, dragonkin with a fierce history. The Aviak race has been here all along, and we discover the hat-bearing Hooluk. The Gnomes have crashed a ship here (should we be surprised?). Transportation via Spires is introduced, and the level cap is raised to 70.

Echoes of Faydwer

We rediscovered a huge part of Norrathian history when Echoes of Faydwer brought us back to the continent of Faydark. EQ fans rejoiced at the rediscovery of Butcherblock, the dungeon formerly known as Ak'Anon, and the Estate of Unrest. The Gods returned to Norrath and we could both worship them to our benefit or kill their avatars. From unicorns to werewolves, clockworks to vampires, Echoes reminded us of our legacy. We also got new yet familiar starting cities: Neriak and Kelethin.

Rise of Kunark

Another expansion full of EverQuest lore, Kunark raised our level caps to 80. Besides a new playable race (the Sarnak) with their own starting city, we started seeing the introduction of new features that took advantage of improvements in technology. These features included larger zones with “smooth zoning” between areas and dynamic combat music. Complicated Epic Weapons quests for all 24 classes were introduced along with new deities and mounts.

The Shadow Odyssey

While the Shadow Odyssey only gave us one overland zone, new mechanics were introduced which allowed for scaling dungeon zones. Dungeon rewards here fully embraced the idea of token loot, eliminating a lot of complaining about mis-matched loot. Adventurers and tradeskillers could now both do missions which would get them tokens for desirable rewards. A whole bucket of Heritage Quests were added for additional fun.

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Root Thread
Favorite EQ expansion(s)
# Jan 02 2013 at 8:09 PM Rating: Decent
13 posts
As someone who prefers a more "squishy" profession usually (Templar), I'd have to say that Age of Discovery has been my favorite expansion. Whereas before I'd have to wait (usually) for either my husband or some "tank class" friends to login in order to tackle higher level zones, now my merc and I can venture out and not worry AS MUCH about dying. Beforehand, I would more often than not be dying left and right if I got ganged up on by more than 2 mobs(sometimes 1 tough one was it!). Now I can at least get around and get SOME stuff done without having to wait and wait and wait for someone to login to "protect the Squishy!". It's nice to be able to feel somewhat self-sufficient, even though I know I can't compare with the tank classes. And at least if we are in a sticky situation, my merc's going to selfishly sacrifice himself for his Lady and not complain....

I also like Kingdom of Sky, with the Ulteran Spires. Between the Druid rings and the Spires, it certainly has made it easier to get around to visit new places and not worry about "falling through the world" as would often-times happen while travelling via ship on EQ1... And I still to this day haven't travelled via ship in EQ2-just because I don't care to see if there's any repeat of falling through the world. ;)

Echos of Faydwer was also a favorite. I really loved Kelethin in EQ1, so I have really enjoyed the far-expanded new version of it and the Faydarks(Lesser/Greater). And I must say right now: killing brownies in Lesser Fay is FAR superior now, rather than being handed my ...uh...HAT...yeah, that's it...by the brownies in EQ1. Hahahahaha!

I am just now getting started on The Shadow Odyssey, so I don't really have much of an opinion on it yet, but for now the storyline looks intriguing and I am hoping that my merc and I will have many SURVIVABLE adventures there!

Mind you, I am still NEVER, EVER going to go out with my merc after Honvar, or the 3-headed Oxdaxius in Stonebrunt...lol. That's just begging to die, and I neither beg for it nor wish for it either! And I am quite certain my merc would pale and quite rapidly flee his Lady's service-and we can't have that, can we? :)

Adaora @ Freeport

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