Well so far I love EoF. Which is actually a bit of a surprise. I have had high hopes for this expansion and usually high hopes are a sure way of getting disappointed, but so far I haven’t been. Now granted I haven’t seen a lot when it comes to EoF, I still like what I see.
So far I am level 13 I think with my fae. I guess I should start at the beginning. Many people have been raving about the new character creation, but honestly I don’t think it is that big of a deal… I like that you get a far view and a head view now without having to zoom between them, but outside of that it doesn’t really matter. I do however love the new character selection screen. EQ2 tried to be too fancy with their selection screen and because of that it took a few minutes to go between characters (they had this whole swoop animation and a big loading time just to get to the screen)… now it is just one distant backdrop so it doesn’t take a lot of resources and when you change your character, it just changes… no fancy swoops… it is nice!
Second, the Newbie experience. I love this one so much more than the other one. For one, you can go back to the tutorial area, and it also is much less tutorialish. It feels more like your natural quests that are given instead of explaining how to do stuff, you are just doing it. At the same time the tooltips pop up to explain things and the beginning quest does go through a range of options including harvesting, exploring, and fighting in various ways. The area isn’t seperate from the rest of the game like in the normal game, so it is much more natural in the game. In fact it isn’t even a seperate zone from Greater Faydark!
Greater Faydark itself is amazing. If this isn’t the largest zone in the game, it has got to be close. On the ground layer there is lowbie monsters to fight and is probably about the size of Thunderring Steppes and Antonica combined. In fact, it is geared from 1-20 levels of play and because of that there are 2 dffierent types of harvest to get in the same zone. This is the first time that this has happened! It was quite confusing for me when I went to harvest something only to get a notice that I didn’t have the skill to do it. I did say layer correct, above the forest floor is the city Kelethin. And even though the city has fewer buildings than Qeynos, it feels more like a city to me. Qeynos felt very artificial with about a dozen zones with none of them really going together… this one is all one zone, and all of it is in the same theme… in fact not only is Kelethin one zone, you can jump off the treetops of the city and glide down to the forest floor…. this makes Greater Faydark not only large horizontally, but it is large vertically too! I am starting to get the hang of where things are but it is very easy to get lost both on the ground and in the city. I will also note that Kelethin is far and away my favorite city in the game and I very well may move all my characters there in time… it is a great city, the devs should be proud.
I haven’t really had much opportunity to go in any other zone, maybe I will log on one of my biggins and look through them, but for now I am fine with my newb. I have popped into Loping Planes, ButcherBlock mountains and ummm lesser Faydark quickly… they all seem much higher level than me so I haven’t had the chance to explore them, but I will soon enough I am sure. One thing I gotta say about the general look is that this game is very directly addressing one of my biggest complaints in the game… everything in EQ2 looks the same to me, well this isn’t the case with EoF… every zone is very different from anything previously in EQ2 and I LOVE it!!! Desert of Flames to me was just a giant commonlands, though granted I never played much in it… and Kingdom of Sky was just small portions of Antonica on islands (the islands were cool but the environment themselves were no different).
As for monsters, most of what i have seen so far has been recycled. Alot of snakes wolves, orcs, and goblins… but they also use some of the creatures that haven’t seen much use in EQ2 previously like Bixies which is a nice change of pace. These are low levels again so I honestly am not expecting new monsters at this level. I think they want to hold off the new stuff for higher levels where people will be fighting them more which is a good design. I’ve already started one of the new heritage quests which start only level 10! (the previous low was at 20) And I also gotta say that the legend and lore books are much easier to get in this area… I’ve already found 3 in Greater Faydark, most of them are in central areas…. I didn’t even realize they were going to make new versions of the books here in EoF…it was a nice surprise.
I haven’t had much chance to look that the new class specicific AAs.. I have gotten to AA level 2 already thanks to the lower AA level… but have only gone up 1 in each. From looking at the new ones, all of them seem to just improve current skills and then therea re 4 or 5 new skills to use at the ends of the line. In a way I kind of like this because then you aren’t overburdened by new stuff that you may not like… also I like the orginazation better here too… for the final skill you only need to get 20 in its previous types, but you can get them any way you want really so you don’t have to go up 4 in something you don’t want I don’t think… I found one skill in the new tree for my warlock that looks really cool that I want to give a shot at so I’m going up that line.. for these I’ve decided to stay away from the forums… I kinda wanna see the skills for myself before I deem them worthless…
Ummm Let’s see… I haven’t played with adornments, or the new tradeskills so I can’t really make a judgement on those… to be honest right now I really don’t care about tradeskilling so it may take me awhile to check those out.
I will probably have some more impressions as I advance in the game more.