EverQuest: The Scars of Velious
|a game by||Sony Online Entertainment Inc.|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 1 vote|
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Looking back on the last two years of EverQuest, it's clear that this popular multiplayer RPG was ahead of its time when it was first released. Even now, the lush graphics put many other online games to shame, and with every expansion and significant patch the game goes from strength to strength.
Velious proves to be no exception, with 16 new zones to explore for those brave enough to traverse what is still largely uncharted territory. Many areas have yet to be fully mapped and the only way to find what lies within them is to bite the bullet and dive in to see what happens (death, usually).
But as we all know, bigger doesn't necessarily mean better. The snow-laden lands of Velious are indeed expansive and in parts visually breathtaking and filled with new items and armour to renew the interest of higher-level players who have seen and done it all. But it brings nothing new to the gaming experience and, just like the Kunark expansion, is more an extension to the existing gameworld than a breath of fresh air for long-standing players.
This will, however, be more than enough to appease the vast majority of EQ addicts. Many of Velious'zones conceal excellent new armour and items that are visibly unique, addressing the criticism that the game lacked detail in this area compared to others of its type. This was perhaps understandable given the quality of the graphics, but that problem has been addressed here nonetheless. The new Velium armour types look nothing short of stunning, and the quests that yield these items are not as long-winded (and pointless) as the majority of the quests that already exist in the game.
So good news generally for the growing legion of fOfans who rush out and buy Velious. But not everyone will be in a position to take advantage of this impressive expansion - before you can safely enter the lands of Velious, you will need to have played Fflfor a very long time. And levelled your character. A lot.
Club 30 To 60
The minimum level your charactei must be to safely enter Velious is 30 plus. Many have gone there as low as level 27, but they have soon become experts in corpse recovery. This expansion is for mid- to high-level players only, and as such it immediately cuts off a large proportion of the games population.
Verant argues that higher-level players have been playing the game much longer than newbies, so are more in need of new entertainment. That may be so, but this will do nothing to appease players who rush out and buy the new expansion, only to find they are not in a position to take advantage of it There are a few notable interface enhancements (the incredibly annoying change in resolution when switching to inventory is finally gone), but nothing that justifies the asking price alone. EQ is still the best online RPG by some considerable margin, and its classic status is well-deserved and still stands, but as a package in itself, Velious is worthwhile only for those who have put in enough gaming hours to enjoy it.