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EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark is an add-on to the most successful online role-playing game ever released--EverQuest. The Expansion Pack, which includes the full version of EverQuest in addition to The Ruins of Kunark will provide the more than 225,000 current EverQuest gamers with an all-new continent, more than 20 new adventure zones, numerous characters, an additional playable race, and an enhanced 3-D engine. EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark takes players on a mystical quest to the continent of Kunark, home of the Iksar race. On the continent, players face all-new challenges and rewards in their quest for dominance and survival.
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The downside is it does get very repetitive killing something over and over again until you end up watching TV while playing the game. There are quests and places to explore but eventually you must return to very repetative fighting. Advancement is very slow but when you do make it up to level 50 or higher you know you have earned it and you will have nice magic items and probably some handy spells such as those that make you run faster or make you see in the dark, or teleport you instantly to another land. Some classes even get pets to command and fight with them. The world is well made if simply designed. You wont see as much detail like birds flying overhead or little bushes and a lot of buildings and skeletons for example are reused graphics. There are a lot of re-used graphics in this game but the world is HUGE. You can't even explore all of it unless you have several months and a large group of friends with you since some areas are extremely dangerous, even to high level players. There are thousands of spells and items. The items vary from the very difficult and rare Epic Weapons to the simple and worthless. Unfortuantly, to keep items rare, one must sit for hours on end and try to get something while others are 'camping' the same item. My advice is to not get too caught up in items and enjoy the game. You can usually buy what you want with in game money too. Although money is rare too. The world is well designed with the sun rising and setting and it does get very dark at night. There are oceans which can only be crossed by boats, which are huge and automated. It can take 30 min to cross an ocean if you include waiting time for the boat and travel time. You need time to play this game, I'd say at least an hour per sitting.
The game is difficult and dangerous which makes it all the more fun. An easy game where you can run from monsters is not very exciting to me. You do die in this game, but the penalty for death isn't too bad. You have to return to where you died and get your stuff. You lose some experience points but not much. Game balance is good and the whole game is designed to make people group together. For example a cleric can heal another player or himself, but cant fight well. A fighter can fight well but will die without help. A wizard can blast with spells but dies very easily. A well balanced group of 6 players can do wonders. Experience and usually loot is shared among the group. You will make friends with people who likely live in another state. Like real life, you will make enemies too.
And then, all the "little" problems caught up with me and the game began to annoy to no end. The list became too numerous: Lack of real roleplaying by the participants, horrible lag problems for non top-of-the-line computers, loading of zones that take seemingly forever (in EQ, the land is divided into zones, and when you go from one zone to another, the game takes a while to load the zone onto your computer; one city, Freeport, has three zones! UGH!), the fact that many of the really neat creatures or places or items are "camped" to death (which means that you have to wait your turn--believe, that can take forever), the "newbie" areas suffer from overcrowding.
Basically, the game became a huge time suck. Even relatively minor actions take a very very long time. EQ is definitely not a game to be played in short blocks of time. Counting load times, and the time necessary to recover your body and items, the average session was about 3 hours minimum. And then come the experience penalites. After a certain level, when you die, you lose a certain percentage of your experience. In other words, I spent three hours gaining a "bubble" of experience (you need five, if I remember correctly, to get to the next level) and then lost that bubble when I was killed by a mammoth in Everfrost. Well, guess I blew those three hours.
One of the strengths of EQ, especially when compared with Asheron's Call, is the interaction with other players. Essentially, the game is like a chat room with graphics. Which is cool when you become "friends" (in an internet sense) with other in-game characters.
However, this strength can also drive you nuts after a while, especially when you get into a zone and people are completely out of character and shouting nonsense to each other. Made me feel like I was back in high school, sometimes.
Also, don't confuse this game with a roleplaying experience. After a few months, the pattern of the game falls into: go out, join a group (which is necessary because some creatures can't be killed one-on-one), camp a monster or an area, hack and slash, repeat. There are plenty of quests, but most of them still focus on going out and killing something.
Hey, its hard for me to review this game because I thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread for about 4-5 months. And then, things turned sour. Not all at once, but gradually. Hey, fans of EQ are fanatical (I was one of them once) and they have reason: EQ is addictive and can be a lot of fun. But, I am reviewing this game after having played it for almost a year. It starts off wonderful, but then it becomes more of a pain. So, I give it 5 stars to start, then 2 stars for the last couple of months I played it. Overall: 3 stars.