A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) where you become a character in a fantasy world. There's a lot of fighting within this world so violence is prevalent, although there is not blood or gore. Drinking alcohol is allowed in this world and characters can become drunk. Because the game world is vast and content is deep, players can get easily drawn into the game and wish to keep on playing; and players can also spend a lot of time out of the game, searching for and reading information on how best to complete a quest (mission) or hone tradeskills. This game is CPU intensive requiring a high-end PC and graphics card, as well as broadband. In addition to the start-up cost, the game also requires a monthly fee of $14.99.
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What's it about?
EVERQUEST 2 is an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) set in a fantasy world and players choose a character and alignment (good or evil) to play. This is a world of sword and sorcery, a fairy-tale world inhabited by knights and wizards, dwarves and elves. Players use swords and cast magic spells to defeat their enemies which range from insects and animals, to humanoid creatures such as giants and goblins, to fantastic creatures such as basilisks and dragons. EverQuest 2 currently has 7 expansions but the base game and all expansions are included in the current retail box.
Two different types of game play are available, the adventure game and the tradeskill game. Players go on quests to defeat wild creatures and enemies that threaten the cities to gain experience points and equipment, as well as components for tradeskills. Players can and will die (but will revive) while on these quests. Part of gameplay is also the economic game of buying and selling using an auction house system. Players will utilize the auction house to some extent: to purchase equipment or tradeskill components, and to sell the treasures they gain adventuring or the goods they produce using tradeskills.
Is it any good?
Some of the fun of playing an MMORPG is exploring the vast world. Players can spend hours simply visiting the towns and surroundings, riding griffons to fly around from point to point. Other fun aspects include the interaction with other players and learning to work together to defeat a particularly difficult encounter. MMORPGs also evolve and grow as more content is added either from expansions that have to be purchased or from free content that is added every six to eight weeks. Players will also find themed quests and events that happen only around the major holidays. Harder challenges known as Raids require the cooperation of many players to defeat them; and they add depth and complexity for the more experienced players.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the social etiquette within this game. How easy is it to make friends in the game? How important is cooperation? Since this game can be a big time-suck, parents might want to discuss time management skills and how to juggle gaming and other activities. Why did you choose the character you became? Were you drawn to be a "good" character, or did you find playing an "evil" one to be more interesting?
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