REVIEW SUMMARY: EQ:LDoN only makes EverQuest suck half as much as it used to.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Yet another expansion to the “popular” EverQuest franchise.


PROS: Private dungeons, enuff said.

CONS: Same old grind — nothing new.

BOTTOM LINE: Not surprisingly, once again, Sony takes a good idea, and implements it poorly.

I have to admit, when I first heard about Lost Dungeons, I was excited. The idea of “private dungeons” was very enticing to me. It would alleviate the monotony of camping solitary NPC(s) ad nauseum. It would definitely assuage the fear that you can have a solid group but nowhere to hunt. It would finally make EverQuest be closer to ever-questing than ever-camping. It would do all that, if it were implemented correctly — say, by a company other than Sony. Alas, nothing has changed; more new ideas being implemented poorly. Were you surprised?

Sony, in their infinitesmal wisdom decided that they would implement LD1 with new concepts like dungeon points and dungeon gear. So basically, you get on a dungeon ride, to earn dungeon points, to buy dungeon gear. The question I have is, WHY!?!? Why, on earth, would you make this distinction!?!? When you’re in your private dungeon “event,” don’t you want to earn REAL experience for your characters?? Apparently, EQ doesn’t think that you want to. Sure, you get XP for bashing that monster on your way to completing your adventure, but you ultimately get a thimble’s worth of “adventure points.” I thought I outgrew the “skeetball-for-tickets-to-buy-that-tiny-banana-shaped-stuffed-animal” reward model when I hit puberty; Sony begged to differ.

For all you glass-is-half-full people out there, I must say that EQ:LDoN does make EQ suck only half as much as it used to because well, EQ has always consisted of the following formula for me:

1. Find people to group with.

2. Wait around for people to arrive

3. Decide where to camp.

4. Travel to camp

5. Pray that camp is not taken.

6. Camp for hours on end.

Well, with LDoN, the formula has been reduced to:

1. Find people to group with.

2. Wait around for people to arrive

3. Travel to camp and do your “quest”

So they fixed the second the part, but not the first. For someone whose friends have moved on to play other games, the first part is as painful as it always been — “pick-up” groups are fraught with danger: danger of stupid people, danger of childish people, danger of boring people, danger of… well, you get the point. If EQ only suck half as much, can I pay only half for my account?

I had high hope of recapturing the magic that I once felt for EverQuest. That is why I bought 2 copies of LDoN, one for each of my accounts. I’ve since returned the second unopened copy. I don’t see myself playing beyond the free month. Hell, I’m not playing even when it’s free now!

While this had been a review of just the LDoN expansion, my judgement is based on the entire game playing experience. While the new spell graphics is very nifty and makes EQ somewhat on par graphics-wise with some of the contemporaneous game like SWG and Lineage2, I just wished that they could change it so it isn’t just all eye candy.

1Yet another expansion with an unfortunate acronym — I call it the Link Death of Norrath. Remember the SoL expansion? I think they were talking about your graphics performance in the Bazaar zone.

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