Island exploration, Norrath style

I’ve been playing Everquest 2 again recently, squeezing in a few sessions before I go AFK to see the new The Expedition Begins! and Panda, Panda, Panda! content.The former launched on the 14th and the later just a couple of days ago.

My Inquisitor main raced through the Panda, Panda, Panda first week quest easily enough: Frostfang Sea is his original stomping ground, and where he still has his home and recall ability bound. I flew around without even glancing at a guide and found the items purely by knowing all the nooks and crannies of the zone, it’s easy to recognise quest objects if you have in-built memory of what items are out of place!

This is a bit unusual for me, sadly, as I’ve rarely ‘mained’ Everquest 2 enough to know zones really, really well. It’s one of my eternal MMORPGs, games that I always return to, but I have other games vying for my time and I don’t always have as much time in this game as I’d like. Anyway, a good start for this year’s catch-up event – like I need an excuse to go visit Panda island!

Sadly my Shadowknight alt doesn’t have the quest available – no time to fix that now but I’ll need to do some catch-up before we get too close to the next expansion drop. This Sarnak needs some new gear. I took him to investigate the prelude event so he got some action – answering the mail invitation to go to the Isle of Mara.

Thar she sails!

Split over two sessions, I’ve travelled to two of the three available islands that are the focus of this event. There some quests to do, some crafting repeatable dailies and a nice little taster of exploration fun. That first time in a new zone is always special, I find. Wandering around, slaying all the hostiles, looking for things that my character can interact with – or things that are likely quest objects or objectives for later.

I can’t go in here, yet…

Everquest 2 is like some MMORPG and “point ‘n’ click adventure” hybrid. More perhaps than any other MMORPG there is a lot of stuff to interact with when questing. The dialogue system is more involved than most and interactive objects that progress quests or require gathering are a major part of gameplay. Other games have such features, but I feel like extra emphasis on this in EQ2 which tends to help me feel more like I’m exploring the zone rather than just passing through while taking the odd screenshot. Husband and I have binged slightly on point ‘n’ click adventures this last year and I do appreciate this aspect of EQ2.

As I’ve written before, I’m particularly attracted to an exploration themed expansion, not least because I am about to go on my first holiday for two years. When I’m back I’ll be very happy to dive into some virtual exploration to keep the vibe going.

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