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EverQuest Online Adventures: Frontiers

Platform(s): PlayStation 2
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Developer: Sony Online Entertainment
Release Date: Nov. 17, 2003

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PS2 Preview - 'EverQuest Online Adventures: Frontiers'

by The Six Billion Dollar Man on Nov. 12, 2003 @ 4:18 a.m. PST

EverQuest Online Adventures: Frontiers expands the fantasy world of Norrath with uncharted territories to explore, new items and spells to acquire, fierce creatures to battle, and a new playable race, the Ogres.

Pre-order 'EVERQUEST ONLINE ADVENTURES: Frontiers': PlayStation 2

It looks like Sony Online Entertainment is doing what it does best – releasing expansion packs for games to which I’m already addicted. I was recently privileged to hop on the closed beta of EverQuest Online Adventures: Frontiers with the development team, and they hooked me up with a level 60 ogre shadow knight, with super armor and weapons to boot. They let me access some special options to aid me my quest (many, many thanks guys!). There have been a number of changes to the Ever Quest Online Adventures world with this update, and I am going to give the gaming community a taste of what has been altered, and trust me, you’re in for a treat.

Well let’s start this off with obvious content that is added with expansions: more land, new continents and new zones to explore. In Frontiers, there have been quite a few zone additions as well as a few continents. Many of these places will sound familiar to those who have played EQ on the PC: the new continent of Odus, the Rathe Mountains, Lavastorm, and a new plane, the Plane of Sky.

Some of the new zones you will see in the Rathe Mountains are Geomancers Citadel, Cyclops Fortress, Oggok, and the Ogre Ruins. Lavastorm holds Soulsek Eye, and when traveling to Odus stop, by the abyssal sea and kill some striders. Most these are high-level zones and require a raid party to get anywhere close. I made the mistake of visiting the Geomancers Citadel, and the experience gave me new insight on how it feels to have my ass handed to me on a silver platter. With new areas to traverse also come new enemies to conquer, quests to complete, and items to loot.

SOE also packed the new zones with some the coolest looking enemies, and the variety is astounding: ice giants, various frozen, hardened skeletons, tigers, wolfs, sea creatures, dragons … basically everything you could ever want. There are also tons of new items, weapons, and armor to be looted. SOE also added the new class mastery system, which is very similar to the alternate advancement system in the PC version. Like the PC version, class mastery is way to improve your character further than just by leveling up; it offers specific upgrades that have to deal with your class, race and archetype. There are also general class mastery items, such as faster running, or more endurance. It starts to get good when you acquire your specific class mastery options. Since I was a shadow knight and that is viewed as a “tank” class, I started to purchase masteries in fields such as combat as well as defense. Shadow knights also have the ability to cast charm spells that keep an enemies’ attention on themselves so if there is “agro,” they all go to the shadow knight while your casters, healers and other melee players are free to attack them without the risk of being attacked.

You acquire class mastery points by acquiring mastery experience. Mastery experience is a part of the experience that you receive from killing an enemy, which is put into a special pool so you can build up your class mastery points. Since this is a new system, I do not how long it will take to get a decent amount of points or how much experience is needed in order to acquire a point. If it’s like the PC version, this will be no cakewalk.

SOE also introduced a new playable race, as well as a new class. The new playable race is the ogres, large and sometimes ugly looking creatures who are very powerful and have strength that can rival the mightiest troll or warrior. It is good to see that the ogres are back because they can withstand a beating and make excellent tanks. The new class is the alchemist class, which creates potions of all types through chemicals or other means. This is the first time that I have seen alchemy given its own class, as alchemy is usually a skill that one tries to improve with experience. I can’t wait to see what this character class will be able to make, perhaps a potion that is as fast as Selo’s Accelerando … the possibilities are endless.

Despite the content change, The EQOA team has provided graphical enhancements to the original game engine. Expect sharper textures, less-blocky characters and creatures, and other basic eye candy upgrades to give you that warm, fuzzy feeling and to reaffirm that EQOA has the best-crafted world.

EQOA: Frontiers add more depth and more fun to an already great game. The additional class, race, quests, items, and land additions are what the gamers have come to expect from SOE and their long list of expansion packs, and EQOA: Frontiers delivers just that.

To end on a personal note, I would like to give a mighty hail to my mates Espreso, Mithandyr, and Darkrickoet for the awesome good time we had killing Skahyir, not once or twice, but three times.


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