This post isn't intended to be a comprehensive review of EQ2 Extended. In fact, some of what I list below is part of Sentinel's Fate and not limited to EQ2 Extended. However, not having played SF I don't really know the difference. And I'm not going to discuss one of my loves in EQ2, crafting, because I didn't make it to New Halas. But I did get two characters up to level 10, so think of it more like notes I've taken as I start exploring the game instead of any kind of review.
First, I created a human berserker and a half-elf inquisitor. Having never played a half-elf, I didn't realize they have tracking. After doing a few quests, I realized the tank really should have tracking, so I re-rolled, creating a half-elf berserker named Rosemary and a human inquisitor named Noizy. Back to level 1.
Two, a lot of people were playing (including a barbarian guardian named Vanhemlock). I started playing and my inquisitor was in the 11th instance. Pro tip: you can invite other characters across instances (/invite [character name]). Then you can right-click on the character's name in the group to be transported to that instance. I noticed that since I did that the first time that my characters have been logging into the same instance every time.
Appearance. I noticed that when I look at my character that I am using the SOGA model but everyone else is using the original EQ2 character models. I went ahead and set my appearance for both appearances at the character screen. If you want to see all SOGA, all original models, or mix and match, a player has to go to Options and click on Alternate Appearance to select the types of models to view. I'm selecting SOGA, not just because I think half-elves look better, but to make the game feel a bit different than EQ2 Live, since I always used the original models when I played the first time.
Another change is that I was able to use the appearance slots at level 7 instead of level 20. I'm guessing there is no longer a level limitation, but I didn't check it until I hit level 7. And in Sentinel's Fate I think the appearance of the gear got better. Below is a picture of my two characters at level 10 over looking a camp in the Frostfang Sea zone.
|Rosemary (left) and Noizy in Frostfang Sea|
Okay, so the armor appearance doesn't distinguish between classes. But I think it looks cool, especially with the SOGA models. And the best thing is that I didn't have to buy it out of the cash shop. You can bet that if I ever reactivate my EQ2 Live account that I'll be using the chronomage to get this armor on my ranger.
A New UI. The UI is different than what I was used to last October. For instance, if you want to replace bags, go to your character screen (default is "C"). I had to ask in local how to do that. I'm such a noob!
In-Game Map. The map has undergone a change, with some of the functionality first introduced in Warhammer Online. While not done as well as World of Warcraft, the map does show where to go to find quests. Whether because the directions in the quests are easier to follow or because of the map, I haven't gone to an outside web site for information on quests.
Bag Space. I have Silver accounts, which means I get 3 bag slots on my character plus 3 character bank slots and 2 shared bank slots. And I received a 24 slot bag and 2 4 slot bags starting out. And then fairly quickly I received a 12 slot harvesting bag. Sure, it only holds harvested items, but 12 slots! That is a lot more bag space than I received when starting characters a long time ago. In fact, that's more bag space than I have on my 4 level 16-18 characters in World of Warcraft.
Alternate Achievement. I had heard of the Alternate Achievement slider bar and was looking forward to using it. Apparently the slider bar does not work for Bronze and Silver accounts. For those looking to level lock, the /disable_combat_exp command still works to toggle combat xp gain on and off. Also, experience gain can be toggled on and off by right-clicking on the experience bar and using the menus.
Macros. If you are dual-boxing, you can make your life easier by creating macros. The first thing I did once I got both characters on the same instance was create macros to follow each other. Then I became annoyed at having three bags I could not access always pop up in front of my face every time I hit the B key so I wrote a macro to only show my three usable bags.
Picking Up Shinies. I find that I'm still addicted to picking up collectables (aka shinies) but since I can't put them on the broker I'm leaving ones I don't need for others. I wonder if that will make collecting them easier for everyone in game.
Effects Nerf. I've heard about the effects nerf. I haven't really noticed anything except for transmuting. No more major light show. Of course, I'm playing a berserker and an inquisitor, two classes I have little to no experience with, so I really can't tell how much was toned down.
Character Copy. Quite frankly, I wish that SOE had not allowed characters to transfer from the subscription servers to EQ2 Extended. I realize that with the split in the game into subscription and F2P servers that SOE would have fired up the player base even more if the split had been complete. Also, the fact that some players would pay $35 to copy a character over so that their EQ2 Live subscription would also cover their EQ2 Extended Gold membership was a way to not only make a quick buck but also hang onto subscribers a bit longer. This was especially important with a lot of players believing that SOE was abandoning the subscription servers to whither away and that EQ2 Extended was the wave of the future. But I really liked the idea of having a new server where everyone started over, especially with the new rules brought about by having the limited Bronze and Silver memberships. Having level 90 characters running around this soon is kind of disappointing.