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First impressions: Everquest II addons

Jennie Lees

Everquest II
, released over 18 months ago, is being continually revived with expansions and adventure packs. Expansions are full-blown boxed releases which add a great deal of content to the game, sometimes introducing major gameplay changes -- adventure packs are cheaper digital downloads that add new zones and story arcs.

The third adventure pack, The Fallen Dynasty, features the addition of a new set of Eastern-themed zones. In order to feel foreign, a strong Oriental touch runs through the landscape, from pagodas to rice paddies. The adventure pack is heavy on story, and players will have to earn the trust of NPCs before parts of the story unfold.

This pack is aimed at high-level players, and includes solo, raid and dungeon content. The dungeon content is meant to be challenging, turning adventures that usually require two groups of players into a single-group adventure.

Adventure packs lie somewhere between the free content added in with patches and the explosion of content that comes with expansions. By having a small team dedicated to continually putting out these packs, SOE aim to keep the game fresh. On the other hand, the variety of options and expansions is confusing to a beginner, and the continuous extraction of cash from players may strike some nerves.

Everquest II's third expansion, Echoes of Faydwer, extends the game's story and adds gameplay content in the form of a new race, the Fae, and city. The quests and areas are aimed at players of all levels.

EQ2 is a relatively young MMO, especially considering that EverQuest is still around. The game's fan base will undoubtedly enjoy these expansions; the new areas are visually enticing and the added content will keep players busy for some time.

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