Everquest 2 delivers if you happen to want long & complex quest chains that will challenge your character’s abilities, your knowledge of Norrathian lore and geography. As a relative newbie to the game these quest chains, called ‘signature quest timelines‘, are both intriguing and perplexing. The copious NPC dialogue related to individual quest steps may or may not help me to figure out what to do and where to go next, or in some cases not really.
It’s probably obvious to a veteran which version of a story instance I should be choosing, clearly not the heroic raid version listed in the screenshot but what about the other three options? I could always jump on the wiki website and find the answer but that seems like cheating. Having to zone in and out of instances to find the right one, by checking the enhanced map for the tell-tale quest objective icons, isn’t much better than following a wiki guide…
Then there are the boss fights that in the advanced solo instances that litter some of these quest chains. Sure I might often be able to brute-force the fight with my super mystic mercenary but not always. One other boss fight in the same dungeon as pictured above was impossible to beat without the right tactics – it is effectively immune to damage until your use certain items in a certain way (spoiler-lite version). It can be fun to work out fights, though not always that practical if you have a lack of dungeon experience in the game to base possible tactics on. I certainly don’t mind dying a few times to learn for myself but when I’m playing a shorter session inevitably the wiki has to save the day (and a lot of time).
The most recent instance of Wurmbane Crag had me climbing the walls of a ravine via this handy vertical maze of wooden ramps and platforms. There were a few precarious jumps involved (I could do with a clicky item to boost jumping distance!) but otherwise it was a blast to play through. I was particularly impressed that my merc’s AI kept him from falling at any point, he dutifully followed me along narrow planks and up and down ramps without the slightest hesitation!
I’m having a blast in Everquest 2 at the moment, I think in part because I’ve relaxed about the leveling speed. Doing these long rambling quest chains may be a very inefficient approach to leveling but I’m getting tons of new gear and it’s sure fun to delve into all the lore along the way!