My Thoughts: Rise of Kunark

Posted: November 15, 2007 by Xeavn in Everquest 2, Rise of Kunark
Tags: , , ,

I have now had the change to play the new Rise of Kunark expansion for most of Tuesday night, and a good portion of the day on Wednesday. I wanted to talk about some of my first thoughts, and problems / issues that I think may arise as this expansion continues.

To start with the expansion seems really good so far. The artwork appears pretty top notch, and I have really enjoyed what I have played of the expansion. The only real problem with this, is that most of the expansion that I have played has been soloing and questing, and a tiny bit of grouping. So where exactly is the problem again? Well let me try and explain. I am currently level 72.5, and I have 109 Achievement points. This is from 5 collection quests that I managed to store up before the expansion, quests, solo named mobs, and exploration. On top of which I took a good 3 hour break from the game to spend time with my wife, and took at least another 4 hours to do things like run guild writs with a group to gain status, and to help out guild mates with quests that I had already completed.

What this means is that if I had been trying hard I should be at least level 73, maybe 74 with 115 or so Achievement points. So unless something drastically changes in the next 7 and a half levels, it is going to be a very short ride to 80. Sure it will be fun, but what I really start to wonder about is how much content is there at level 80? Kylong Plains is great and expansive, but at level 80 I will only be seeing it from the back of a Sokokar as I fly past on my way to something higher level. This is one of the more difficult issues with a new expansion that raises the level cap. It really isn’t possible to have as much to do at level 80 as we had at level 70. We just left two whole expansions worth of level 70 content behind, including a whole bunch of dungeons and whole bunch of raid zones.

Another thing that I liked was seeing 5 different instances of Kylong Plains on the server. It was a bit laggy at times to be honest, but I haven’t seen that many players all at once in a long time. Is there enough content in this expansion to keep players who may have returned in the game? I hope that they won’t be out the door after completing the solo quest lines, waiting another 11 months for the next big expansion. This is not a question that I can answer however, and only time will tell.

One of the things that I was worried about beforehand was the changes to combat. If you haven’t had a chance to play Rise of Kunark yet, one of the first things you will notice is that even the solo mobs are much harder than previous expansions compared to the players level. It wasn’t uncommon for me to die or start running if I pulled more than 2 of anything. At first I really disliked this change, it was different from the way it was before, and like most people I was resistant to any change from the normal. After I continued to play with it though, I found that I really liked this change. It does means that some solo content is pretty challenging, but that challenge is a lot of fun too. Depending on how hard you like your MMO, this change may or may not be seen as a good thing.

The last thing I would like to talk about is the Racial Changes. This felt like one of the bigger changes, even though it wasn’t really a part of the expansion, but rather a part of Update 40. To me it does seem somewhat unfair to make changes as large as they did to all the racial abilities without giving players a little more ability to pick and choose what would be useful to them. It would have been weird to be able to pick a new race this far into the game, yet it seems like there might have been some better options than the way it was handled. What if you had different racial choices based on your subclass for instance? (Fighter, Mage, Scout, Priest) Sure the Ogre Mage choices might not be as great as a Gnome Mage’s choice but at least they wouldn’t be limited to all fighter abilities. The biggest problem with that of course would have been making that many new racial abilities, and it seems like many of the ones we did end up with weren’t really planned out to well.

Well for now that is what I think of Rise of Kunark from what I have played. If you have a different opinion or thoughts on any of the above issues / musing, I would love to hear them. I am sure more information and opinions will show up as I level higher, and can evaluate the content in some of the higher zones.

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Comments
  1. Epok says:

    I am a Human Guardian and now I can summon water and have some ability that sounds like Cleric’s Soothe LOL. No more leadership and tiny defense boosts 😦
    At least I can still increase my health pool and wear plate armor heh.

    Traditions that would take the class into account would have been nice! 🙂

  2. Gdub says:

    The racials for my Ratonga Brigand are awesome, he gets extra crits, and extra proc % for poisons. Otherwise, it’s all about the same. My Dwarf Paladin got another AOE, and some defensive skills, as well as extra melee crits. From what I’ve seen, they’re pretty well done, but I was also fortunate enough to pick proper classes for the races I guess.

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