EverQuest II is an older MMORPG, yet every year it comes out with a new expansion, more content and still seems to have a regular and consistent fan following. This year they released Visions of Vetrovia, and I had a chance to get an expansion pack to take a closer look at it. This is our EverQuest II – Visions of Vetrovia review.
It should be noted that as old as EQII is, at the time of release, its hardware requirements were pretty high. To play at the very best settings was nigh impossible for more modest budgets, and barely tenable for more healthy ones. Now, seventeen years later, it absolutely shows. Despite the fact it is downright venerable as MMOs go, the graphics have maintained decent quality that is nearly on par with other offerings out there. Visions of Vetrovia is no exception, allowing for vivid and vastly singular zones that have their own distinct atmosphere and style. Some glitches are still present in textures and clipping, but they’re fairly uncommon, if jarring from time to time, and wouldn’t be a problem if I wasn’t actually killed by clipping mobs on two separate occasions before I could even respond while wandering around Forlorn Gist.
Other than just maintaining graphic quality over the years, Visions of Vetrovia has also kept up with their writing, adding in more lore as I worked my way through the zones. EQII has always been well written and while I generally ignore a lot of quest text in other MMOs, I found myself, again, actually reading the text given by NPCs as I went along. The story was good, involved and while you do have the standard fetch/kill quests, there are actual reasons for them rather than “I want x thing killed/fetched for me.” If only more studios paid attention to their lore like Darkpaw has been, and actually wrote something other than “go steal some pumpkins, ‘cos it’s evil.” ( ?? stealing pumpkins=evil??)
As for playing through the expansion itself, I experienced more than a few hiccups. Sadly the legacy bug of CTD (crash to desktop) still stalked me, dumping me out at least once every few hours, (something I had forgotten was a thing until it happened), as well as the aforementioned getting killed by a clipping mob before I could respond a few times. The latter seems fairly rare and may have been on my end as Xevrin, when playing the same zone, had no such issue. It should also be noted that EQII is no stranger to FoTM classes (flavor of the month), so some classes may have a harder time than I did with my necro.
Lastly, yes, yes you can, technically, jump right in with nothing more than Tishan’s and your level 120 boost. I wouldn’t recommend it. I ended up trying it and got stuck, unable to complete the solo instances you needed to unlock the second zone until I leveled my mercenary and mount, which meant wandering around trying to figure out what was wrong and then sitting on the sidelines until my stats were good enough to complete it. This was after the rework-which if you weren’t aware, VoV launched with some very high-scaled instances that were causing players issues with completion, but within a few days, they were fixed and returned. Needless to say, I do give props for such a swift and prompt response. It’s not often a studio will actually listen, let alone fix such a problem, and certainly not in less than a handful of days. I could only wish for other MMOs to follow that kind of trend.
When it comes down to it, Visions of Vetrovia is a good solid offering for veteran players of EQ2, the people who have been and continue to play, year after year. For newer players or players who’ve been on hiatus for a bit? It’s a bit…daunting. New players will get hung up on the practice of needing to google information to get the most out of the game and returning players will find they need a week or so just to get up to par for plowing through the content. It’s still pretty, it’s fun, I very much enjoyed it and loved the quests and lore and landscapes. But…as a reviewer, I have to admit, that there need to be more quests, some bug fixes (if they can be, CTD may be a core code issue), and perhaps a bit of a friendlier approach to those who are looking to try things but aren’t familiar with some of the older style MMOs.
OVERALL SCORE (1-10): 6 (8 if you’ve been playing this whole time)
COMPARE TO: World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online
Editor’s Note: This review was completed thanks to a code provided by PR.