Although the last 5 days have been largely hectic with work-related stuff, especially the auth issues, I’ve gotten in a little time trying out EQ2’s Echoes of Faydwer. I really didn’t have any expectations, I thought I’d log in to my paladin and see what was new. I was caught off my guard by my usually begrudging guildie, Hoggy, extolling the pleasures of the new experience. Hoggy’s recommendation to try out a new character is amongst the highest of accolades.
I almost had a change of mind at character creation. Winged wood elves? How ghey. But if it sucked, it wouldn’t take much of my time.
I rolled a conjuror; I haven’t played one before. The whole ship & boat thing of the original EQ was a little … chintzy. They’ve cleaned that up a whole bunch it looks a lot nicer now. There was no Isle of Refuge. It also stirred up fond memories when I was presented with a world map to choose my starting city, and it was cool to see the map of “modern day” Norrath.
After that, in short order, you’ve landed in Greater Fay.
I very quickly got the feeling that the team had found their legs with Echoes of Faydwer. I’ve commented before that I felt the initial EQ2 world felt very manufactured; things lacked simple organic practicalities in the way things were laid out being goverened instead by conflicting aesthetics. Maybe this road does look rustic, but only if I block out the world its set in – wherein it looks completely out of place. And made all the more glaring by the high-resolution and polycount of the EQ2 engine.
WoW is significantly less graphically intense than EQ2 but conversely more immersively consistent and natural.
But what I’ve seen of EoF so far, it seems the vision, tools and skills were in sync.
I must confess it is a little reminiscent of playing a night elf in WoW. The woodland scenery, the tinkly music. The quests are coherent enough that I’m reading the text.
Mostly it’s been good fun. I just haven’t really had the time to sit down and play, or have a notion of what I’ll spend my time doing if I do, so I find myself soloing.
The coolest thing has to be gliding as a Fae, jumping off things and slowly coasting to a landing. Why a creature would evolve wings – and all the hassle that goes with – just to float an inch off the ground… Well that’s beyond me. They didn’t build Kelethin, but moved into it.
Although I wasn’t Faydark folk in EQ1, I spent a lot of time there because of the Bard’s guild and Mistmoore, so hearing the new versions of the music tugs at the memory too. The new-old music is pretty cool by and large.
One of the finest achievements of EoF, though, is the way they’ve made it both interestingly new but tantalizingly familiar. It plays far more like you’re seeing it the far side of a cataclysm and a few hundred years. The earlier zones feel retrofitted to try and reflect the earlier world.
I suspect I’ll be spending more time in Norrath again when I need to escape from tha battlefield.
Course – thru the marvel of multiple computers, that doesn’t mean I won’t be in our game in some form watching the natives experimenting with their speedhacks.