Dec 3, 2007
EverQuest II fans will definitely not want to miss EverQuest II: Rise of Kunark. All sorts of things in this expansion have been, well, expanded. With the introduction of the Sarnak as new playable race, the increase of the player and guild level cap to 80 and huge new zones, this is undoubtedly the best EQII expansion so far. There are more deities to choose from, there are more Achievement points to earn, and there is a new player mount to ride.
The user interface has been upgraded, making it more clear what personalization options are available as you level up, as well as a much improved tab to keep track of your relations with various factions throughout the land. This enhancement comes just in time, since in the new Kunark zones there are many different factions, and your standing with each one will determine where you can travel safely as well as where you can buy and sell goods and services like equipment repair and use of the broker or bank. As a result, your actions matter; what quests you chose and which creatures you kill will affect whether you can do business in the town nearby or whether you have to travel great distances to do so in another town where the inhabitants like you better.
The quests are strategically placed throughout the massive new zones; just as you’re finishing up quests in one area and moving on to another, you find a new bunch of quest givers desiring your help. The adventure and achievement experience you gain from these quests make questing not only a viable option to the grind-fest that a new level cap has meant in the past, it makes it the best option for those who want to level up quickly.
The downside to all these new quests is that most of them are soloable, and because the rewards for them are so good and group experience is so much lower, it can be hard to get a group together to do instanced zones or other things before you are at or close to level 80.
It’s great to have a new playable race in the Sarnak. If you play in third person view, however, you will probably be disappointed with the ungainly Sarnak animations. They're not so graceful.
Another big disappointment is the lack of the promised Epic weapons that were originally advertised as part of the expansion. We’re told that the quests for these weapons will be added soon, once all the bugs are worked out.
Above: That's a pretty big bug
Even though Rise of Kunark comes packed with the core game and every expansion released to date, it’s still an add-on to a 3 year-old franchise. Strangers to the series interested in a new MMO won’t be as impressed with new updates and content as a seasoned EQII veteran, and will be offset by EQII’s dated appearance and design. However, EQII fans can’t go wrong with Rise of Kunark as it’s by far the best one yet.