Everquest2 was released November 8, 2004 and currently has eight active servers and recently released its thirteenth expansion, Kunark Ascending. The official launch was fifteen days before WoW went live.  The two games feature some similarities but play differently.  Over the years many of this style of MMORPG have come and gone, so why has this one, unlike many others, survived?  

Other than once a year paid expansions, they have started to include all previous released for the one off price. Also the “free to play” edition of the game now includes some of the older expansions, giving players more options. The latest one to be added to the free edition was Altar of Malice, the eleventh expansion.  Collectors’ editions still have content that is not free, but this goes a long way to help players enjoy a rich and varied game.

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The key factor that keeps this game going is the community base is listened to. Time locked expansion servers, quick bug fix as well as weekly updates keep the players and the devs together.  Another thing that helps is the developers and games masters are contactable via Twitter and Facebook, allowing a more personal touch most games lose over time.

So what do you do in this game? A very good question. EQ2 is a quest based MMORPG, with crafting and resale of in-game items. The crafting system is quite advanced for the style of game. Tradeskill as it is called has three main classes which split into a total of nine subclasses. Each requires different skill levels and materials. The tradeskills allow you to make any class item based on the classes you pick. For example a Human Conjuror Jeweler can make items for an Orc Beastlord, allowing you to sell these items, make them for your other characters and friends.

You can unlock special abilities like old style AD&D prestige classes. This allows you to play the same class in multiple ways unlike most games of its style that force you down a path if you wish to be useful. There is an optional monthly subscription; as with other games, this does include things that make playing more interesting.  This includes but not exclusively extra character slots, which can be brought or earned during events by non-paying members.

Monthly events also help keep the game interesting, with unofficial Games Master events. The GM events can have simple rewards like a collectible item, to more sought after ones such as house items, mounts or pets. Houses have more of a use in this game too, beyond extra storage.  They can be decorated with items you have made or brought.  They also allow you to do your crafting, which can be opened up to friends so they can use them too. You may also add portals to other zones within your home, allowing fast travel to locations to gather resources or continue quests. Houses can be entered into awards giving varied prizes depending on what you are entered into.  The boards are always updating so everyone has a fair chance if they want to enter.

Players can enter instances which allow you to pick solo, small group or raid style quest. Depending on how hard you want the event to be. The harder the instance the better chance you have of good drops, including rare spell books, epic and legendry items. This feature allows people to do quests with as much help from others as they require. Overall this game is fun, adding to it good support and a closer to family based community leads to a good MMORPG, and has allowed EQ2 to stay alive despite so many others failing.

Frostfell, the winter holiday event, begins this week and runs through January, making it the perfect time to try out or revisit this game.