Fairies and Unicorns Online: Everquest II: Echoes of Faydwer review
Fairies and Unicorns Online
Everquest II: Echoes of Faydwer
Sony Online Entertainment
by Henry Edward Hardy
Echoes of Faydwer is the latest addition to the Everquest II online multi-player roleplaying game. Set in the fantasy world of Norrath, the Everquest and Everquest II online games offer the player the chance to portray a fantasy character such as an elf or troll in a fantastic computer-rendered fantasy landscape. Sony’s Everquest game once dominated the online fantasy game industry, but was eclipsed by Vivendi’s World of Warcraft.
Everquest II is now the flagship offering of Sony’s online games. In Everquest II (EQII) the emphasis is on slaying monsters and solving quests. Players may choose to become craftsmen, traders or tinkers in addition to their primary, combat-oriented profession such as troubadour, necromancer, or ranger. Everquest II generally is more rewarding of a more thoughtful, cautious approach to gaming than Warcraft. Warcraft seems to be more international in scope, with a huge player base in China and south-east Asia, whereas EQII players tend to be American. EQII players tend to be older, and less “hard-core” than WoW players.
Guilds of players in EQII are more apt to be “family” type guilds emphasizing social interaction rather than “raiding guilds”, though both types are common.The graphics and sound presentation in EQII are excellent. The musical score for most zones is pleasant and perhaps a bit Aaron Copeland-ish. Server operation and reliability is not ideal , but is above the rather low standard set by most such games. Customer service is a notable deficiency. The new Everquest II has recently moved to an entirely web-based customer support system which is maddeningly difficult to use if one has a default browser different than Internet Explorer or has set any recommended security settings in Explorer higher than the default.
Echoes of Faydwer introduces to the world of Everquest II the continent of Faydark, where butterfly-winged fairies glide among the forest platforms. With its towering forests, white-marbled cities and not to forget OMG unicorns!, EoF seems deliberately aimed to a more social, age and gender diverse audience than the rather saturated 15-25 male age group to which most games appeal.
Everquest II is excellent for family play, casual play and solo play. There are a number of sites offering Everquest II information such as everquest2.allakhazam.com and the official site at everquest2.station.sony.com. A free trial is available for download.
A version of this article was previously published in Current Magazine and on Electric Current.
Copyright © 2007 Henry Edward Hardy
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