Review by PJ688

"EverQuest has changed drastically since all those other reviews. Here's the modern one."

If you look at the ''Posted on'' date at the bottom of all the other reviews, you will see that most of them are months or even years old. Things have changed a LOT in EverQuest, and most of those reviews, especially the ones that give this game a low score, are outdated and their facts are incorrect. Let me explain.

Graphics: The graphics used to be just plain horrendous. However, the 3rd expansion for the game, called Shadows of Luclin, updated the graphics tremendously. The character and elemental (pets for the Magician class) models look quite nice now. They still, however, are not the best. The backgrounds are ok, but some of the objects in the world are extremely choppy and jagged. The graphics are in no way bad, however, they just are not the best.

I give graphics a 7/10.

Sound: The entire sound system has been updated now, and the music is just plain beautiful. At first, anyway. It does tend to get old after a while, but again, it is in no way BAD.

I give sound an 8/10.

Gameplay: Oh boy. Gameplay. This is what makes or breaks a game. I'm going to break down this section into several aspects of the game.

-Zones: The game world is broken down into different areas, called zones. When you want to go into a different zone, you have to load it up. The reviews giving this a low score say this is horrible and takes forever. They are wrong. I have a pentium 4 1.6ghz processor, 256 mb of RAM, and a cable modem, and loading takes me roughly 30 seconds. Modern computers are MUCH better than mine. There is also a nifty feature called Texture Caching, with which you may save textures and graphics onto your hard drive, which makes loading zones and logging in a lot faster.

-User Interface (UI): I have seen one of the reviews complain about this. I see no reason for complaint. The UI is extremely customizable, even more so if you know XML (I do not). You can resize windows, move them around, or just plain get rid of them. You can change background colors. It's simple.

-Story: There is no main story to this game. The story aspect comes when you are on a quest. An NPC tells you a story, you follow it, and eventually you are on a quest. Which brings us to another feature of gameplay:

-Quests: Quests mostly involve killing certain things to receive certain items to give to certain people to get certain items to give to people, etc, and eventually you get a reward. Not too thrilling, but it's something to do.

-Combat: I have seen this aspect bashed repetitively. Those other reviews say that killing a creature involves simply pressing the attack button and waiting. DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS NONSENSE. Depending on your class, you may not have to hit a monster at all to kill it. Some classes, such as the wizard, for example, use damage spells to kill things. Some classes, such as monks, DO need to press the attack button to autoattack the monster, but they get other fighting skills as well, such as kicking and special punches. The Druid class uses spells that damage a monster over time. The Cleric class doesn't fight monsters at all. The Cleric's job is to keep the ''Tanks'' (fighting classes that take all the damage) alive by healing them with spells. But healing and damaging spells are NOT the only ones out there. There is a HUGE diversity. Some spells make you invisible, some enchant metals, some make you change form, some make you move faster....the list is endless.

-Solo vs. Grouping: I have seen in other reviews that this game is extremely group-oriented and that soloing is very difficult. Apparently these people never played a Druid, Magician, Bard, Necromancer, Wizard, or Shaman. These classes can solo quite well, and sometimes it is more efficient to do so with these classes than to group with other players. Some classes ARE group oriented, such as the Cleric, who cannot solo at all (well, maybe undead, since they get some powerful anti-undead spells).

-Leveling up: Ok, I will admit that at times leveling up can be slow, especially at higher levels. But there are zones now with AWESOME experience bonuses. With my cleric, I got from level 1-10 in about a day. I then got from 10-14 in a single zone full of undead (remember, the Cleric gets good anti-undead spells) the next day. I went to a zone famous for its experience, called Paludal Caverns, and got from 14-24 in three days. If you know where to go, and it is not hard to figure out, just ask other players, you can level up very quickly.

-New player-friendliness: Before all of the changes, new players found it hard to get started. The game comes with a tutorial that explains the very basics, but this just isn't enough. A number of new features have been implemented, however, that make it easier to be new. A help window shows up the first time you log into a new character. Tips show up every time you use a feature, but you can disable tips any time you want. Your starting NPC guildmaster now tells you what you are supposed to do first. In character creation, right clicking on a race, class, or statistic will give you information on that object.

That's it for gameplay. I'll give it a 7/10.

Now, the last question to be answered is: Overall, is this game worth the money. I will admit that it can be quite expensive, especially if you buy all the expansions. You do get a free month to begin with, however, and if you buy more months you get a discount.

Overall, I award EverQuest 8 points out of 10.

Sony may be money-hungry, but they deliver a good game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/23/03, Updated 07/23/03

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