I am a long time Togger and a looong time MMO’er. I have played and quit many many games in my gamer life. Some of these games have given me great memories, and others have given me heartburn
Most recently I played SWTOR for a few months and enjoyed my time, but the game just did not have the magic appeal and addiction factor that I am looking for with a MMO.
Like many out there, my first love was EQ1. I am very sure I will never ever again catch the magic that I felt when playing that game. A lot of that magic was based on it being the first time I had ever actually played along with my friends in an online world. I spent months absolutely spellbound with this idea! This is back in the days of dial up internet and wife agro was at a high due to busy phone lines J
To my point: I recently decided to re-install EQ2 and check out the new F2P model that was just revamped a few months ago. I played EQ2 at launch for about 4 months before I quit in anger and frustration. I then came back in 2009 and was very very happy with the state of the product. I ended up leaving again to start a new MMO and due to the EQ2 population dwindling.
Here I am again in EQ2, and I just love it. I am a subscribing member, but I do believe that the new F2P model gives more content than any other model out there. The restrictions of the F2P account will make you pull your hair out, but overall content available for free is overwhelming. You can level to 90 and partake in all expansions except for the last 2. Basically the game content from 2005 to 2010 is free (with restrictions to classes, races, best gear, bag space, etc).
So, why am I here telling you this? Because this game is really amazing if you have not tried it or have been gone a long time. A few of the things that blow my mind are:
Class options (25 classes total, I am playing the new Beastlord class now)
Housing (IMO the best MMO housing system on the market, now with prestige housing)
Guild control and guild housing (IMO the best guild leveling and system in MMO’s)
Lore (I am not a huge lore guy, but there is so much lore in this game is overwhelming)
Crafting (IMO the best crafting system in MMO’s)
Solo Friendly (This is a big one. I can’t play often and I don’t always have time for groups. Not a problem at all. And now hirable mercs too)
Endgame (Definitely not the best in MMO’s, but substantial content for small to large groups and many active endgame guilds on every server)
Graphics (After 7 years, still one of the best looking MMOs out. Now will re-modeled races for many of the original races)
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are still frustrating things about this game. First and foremost is SOE.
The biggest and most glaring problem with the game is population
While I have been surprised to find a very active core player base ( I was expecting a ghost town after SWTOR was released), population remains the major Achilles heal for the game. The servers are actually very populated, but 90% of that is endgame characters. The low level zones are very empty… So, come on over and join the fun!
I play on the Permafrost server and I am in a casual but nice size guild.
Until the next big release, I will be in Norrath hunting and crafting. Maybe you can join me!