The First "Real" Expansion in Over a Year
No graphical overhaul this time. The character models are still the same as they have been since Luclin (if you want those turned on), but the new zones are gorgeous from what I've seen. Lots of new textures and effects liven up the new temples and courtyards, and the new NPC's, while a bit sick and twisted, look great as well. Overall though, there's not much we haven't seen here.
Played EQ before? Nothing's different as far as the controls go. New to EQ? Where the hell have you been the last five years? There are some new additions to the interface that will allow you to get things done quick, like tradeskills. No more clicking over and over to raise your skill. The UI now opens a window with a list of recipes for you to choose. But other than a few tweaks to the UI, it's the same button mashes as always.
Honestly I don't think I've had sound on much in EQ for over two years until last week, and I'm glad I turned it on. The music in the newer zones of EQ (PoP & LDoN included) is beautiful. You can turn off the annoying "Combat Music" if you want, so even when you're fighting, you still hear the normal background music for the zone. If you have "SOUND=0" in your eqclient.ini file, you're missing out.
Um...Hello? This is EverQuest. It doesn't end...you just eventually burn out. Seriously though, from what I've seen so far, there's a ton of new content in GoD. This isn't just three or four zones you'll see once and never come back again like Ykesha. The new expansion is quite story driven and you'll constantly be revealing new parts of the story as your adventures continue. The real question is, what is this leading up to? Is there some type of boss of this continent a la Trakanon, Vulak, Aten, and Quarm? And if this is one of the last expansions for the original EverQuest, how does the story of Taelosia and the Wayfarer's Broterhood lead us towards EverQuest II? I'd imagine these questions will be answered soon enough, but that's part of what keeps people playing this game.
As I said above, if you've been out of EQ for a while and have even slightly thought about coming back, this is the time to come join your old friends for some new exploration. One of the great things is that the loot that is dropping off the regular named stuff in GoD is equivalent to stuff from Vex Thal or better. So if you're afraid that your gear will be sub-par, don't because you can quickly upgrade your stuff in single group grinds. With new AA skills, a new Tradeskill UI, tons of new quests and recipes, an entirely new continent full of traditional zones and instanced zones, Gates of Discord is the first solid expansion to EverQuest in over a year.
*** This review was written for Flamevault.com a few weeks after the release of the expansion. ***