Everquest II has so much to do and so many places to visit that it can be hard to know where to even begin, especially if you’ve missed years and years of added content like I have.
What I’ve always done to deal with that is to set myself an objective like ‘I want to level up this character a bit’ or ‘I need to acquire the tier 8 advanced tradeskill recipes’ and use sites like Allakhazam or the Wiki to find out where to begin. Once I get going the game does a good enough job to guide me onward from there.
This is exactly how I ended up in Obol Plains for the first time. I’d leveled my carpenter to 95 already but was still missing all advanced recipes from 90 up, some of which you get there as quest rewards. My jaw dropped quite a bit when the veil (i.e. loading screen) lifted.
Bhagpuss mentioned a couple of times how much better the newer zones look, and he’s damn right. While this zone is already six years old (in relation to EQII ‘new’ is a quite relative term) it looks stunning.
What totally blew my socks off though is the fact that this is actually the afterlife’s version of a zone I’m very familiar with: the Loping Plains. I only realized it when an NPC told me that this is the Ethernere and what I see before me is the Loping Plains how they should look like, or something along those lines. I don’t quite know what’s going on there yet. The zone layout is very similar indeed, it just looks completely different. What you see up there is the Obol Plains’ counterpart of the Village of Somborn.
I also met an old…um…friend…
Qho Augren is one of those NPCs they totally nailed insofar that he’s annoying as hell, yet you’re really happy everytime he’s got a new quest for you.
He made me chase him around quite a bit, so I also got to see Eidolon Jungle, the second zone introduced with the Chains of Eternity expansion.
This, too, is the afterlife version of an old zone: The Feerrott. Again the zone layout is similar, but the look is very different. And, like Obol, it’s absolutely beautiful.
And here the Feerrott in comparison.
One might argue that this is lazy game design, but I’d have to disagree. It’s obvious that all assets had to be made from scratch. The placement of mobs, NPCs and the like is also different, so I don’t think this saved the devs much work compared to designing completely new zones.
And I really like this from a lore perspective. I’m actually curious how the quests here will unfold and what the implications for the original zones might be. Great stuff!