Thursday, November 18, 2010

EQ II: There's an awfull lot going on in the background

Before leaving town last week I had the pleasure of doing the crafting quests in New Halas on both the evil and good sides in Everquest II.


The evil quest line has you trying to ensure an exclusive trade agreement between New Halas and Neriak using mafia tactics. Spinning wheels are broken, cloth is trashed with acid, and bombs are planted. On my next alt through that zone, I did the good quest line and discovered that I was largely reacting to stuff my last character did. "Some asshole trashed all the town's spinning wheels, could you make some new ones?" I even ended up setting the trap that my first character fell into. Very cool.

Even more impressive, I did the evil quest chain for the second time on yet another alt, and the quest dialogue made more sense because I had done both sides of the chain. For example, my evil quest giver couldn't figure out why the demand for fine china didn't spike after I trashed a crate of china in a storage house. That would be because my good alt crafted replacements.

End spoilers.

The thing that strikes me about these interlocking quest chains is that 90% of players will never notice the care that has gone into them. First off, to do either chain you need to be into crafting and know about the quests. Nothing in game tells you that there is a quest chain you can do for free access to all the tier II rare recipes, much less where to go to get the quests. Even assuming you are a hardcore crafter and do the research to find these quests, what are the odds that you will end up doing both the evil and good quest chains? Much less evil-good-evil as I did them.

The attention to details most players will never notice is even more clearly illustrated by a wolf that lives in the New Halas crafting hall. His name is Hagley:

Having run past him on a string of alts, I noticed that he has several behaviors. If you run by him on an evil character, he will growl and bark as you pass. If you run by on a good character he will either wag his tail or sit and look at you. His name is also a reference. Hagley is one of the five Everquest Online Adventures servers. I also presume it's an Everquest (the original) reference that I'm not familiar with.

EQ II is (along with EQ and EQOA for that matter) full of neat little details that I expect most players will never notice. Personally, these things suck me in and make a game a lot more "sticky." I'm still playing and enjoying EQ II well past the month or so that most MMOs get from me.


  1. I did that quest line with my EQ2X character from the good side. I didn't even know there was an option. That is supremely cool. Thanks for the heads-up.

  2. @Anjin: the evil side starts with a trade representative in the rogue training area. Doing the quest chain from both perspectives was pretty neat. The quest that you already did will also make a lot more sense.