Nobody was as big a Sony hater as me after a trifecta of EQ1 pvp, Planetside and the abomination that was SWG. So I was really leary of EQ2. Tried the Trial of the Isle and hated it.
So fast forward to recently. Loathe WoW and what Blizzard has whored it into being. Waiting on Warhammer, looking for fun stuff. Tried a bunch of games, retried ones, tried and gave up on Vanguard. So I decided lets try EQ2 again.
Hmm, I can be a berserker right away....hey its fun....hey there is a one hell of a good storyline and quest framework. NPCs are full of color, the Freeport/Commonlands area is huge. AAs from lvl 10 on.
Of course my luck being what it is, I get a postcard yesterday saying Vanguard purchases can get EQII for free and play till Sept 15th....one week after I dropped 40 bones for my copy. C'est la vie.
So for those bored and wanting to give it a shot I say go for it, if my grumpy self can enjoy it, maybe you will. If not, it's something to do while we wait on the next big thing.
guar...I tried the play the fae trial a bit ago and then it ran out. Within a week, though, the VG purchase trial happened and everyone I know who purchased VG got this stupid offer except me. Wtf? This makes me so sad, because I was having fun with my halfling swashbuckler Snibbs 2.0 :(
I was one of those who got a free copy of EQ2 and the Sept 15th deadline. I installed it, played an assassin to 6 and lost interest a bit. The characters are horendous looking. Not that EQ1 models were any better, just I expected something a little different for EQ2.
The models are certainly not the only reason to not play it, but I guess as an ex EQ1 player I didn't want to be reminded too much of a game I already quit, and EQ2 was a huge reminder. I don't know what will happen at this point, but I may play it again sometime between now and Sept 15th, I know I haven't given it much of a chance yet to lay a good impression on me. We'll see.
Probably the best thing about EQ2 is the ability of any class to solo same-level mobs. Of course if the player just plain sucks they might have trouble, and some classes can solo more mobs at a time than others, but in general anyone can solo. So there's no more frustrations from sitting on LFG for hours, knowing all the while that as a rogue you'll be lucky to solo a light-blue mob while same-level and equivalent-gear SKs are out there soloing yellow named mobs. It can, and probably has, been argued that that very soloability makes the game too easy, but I disagree. True, if you really wanted to you could solo all the way to lvl70(or 80 when RoK comes out) np. But you'd miss out on tons of heroic, and even epic, quests, and HQs as well, which give really good gear rewards for their level. And lacking that gear would probably slow you down a bit in your quest to solo to max lvl(not that having a 3sta/3agi/3str earring at lvl22 is a terrible difference from having the 6/6/6 earring available from a quest in fallen gate, but there's dozens of little quest rewards like that in every tier, and they do add up to give those who group and do dungeons a clear advantage). Not only that, but soloing your way to the top would mean missing out on a LOT of AA that could've been gotten on the way up if you'd been doing dungeons and such. So, yes, you can solo your way to max lvl - but doing so just gives you a weaker character in the long run, and results in the need for weeks of mentoring lower lvl players in all the group content you skipped in order to get all the AA you missed. Besides, people play MMOs for the social aspect, if they wanted a pure solo game I'm sure they'd be playing soemthing like Ultima IX.
Another big attraction in EQ2, at least for me, is the tradeskill system. No more long boring hours of clicking combine every 5sec until you run out of mats - blowing endless hours farming, or endless plat buying, endless mats to do endless boring combines to get 10 freaking skillups. I love the interactive tradeskill system in EQ2 and I went from a rogue that despised tradeskills in EQ1 - to an EQ2 player who has 4 characters, all of whom are a higher crafting level than they are adventure level.
Yep, it ain't no pre-NGE SWG, but it's pretty deep compared to aything else I played recently.
You can Grind exp (all MMO's do that) Solo or Grouped
You can Raid
You can Tradeskill
You can quest, oh my gosh you can quest, at level 43 having done a lot of exp grinding I have completed some 200ish quests, thats skipping a lot of them by the way.
Oh and with the Mentoring system, you can group across a large level range, so you can go back and do lower level quests, or help lower level guildies/friends, without making an alt..... if you don't have altitist like me :O