EQ Online Adventures: Frontiers
EQ Online Adventures is the PS2 version of EverQuest. Although similar in many ways, it was toned down for the console crowd and in fact was probably easier to get into as it lacked the hardcore time sinks of the original. The small online PS2 market is going to grow by leaps and bounds as every PS2 will soon ship with an online adapter, so it’s no surprise that Sony Online Entertainment decided to go ahead with Frontiers.
This being a console title, where there really are no such things as expansion packs, and Frontiers is no exception. Frontiers is more of an upgrade, or 2nd edition of Online Adventures. It of course features a new class and new race, but also has a new continent and new lands on the old one. In total, about 144 square kilometers (approximately 60 square miles) have been added. Crafting and other trade skills have also been implemented.
Sony has managed to update the graphics with new character models and extra terrain features. Grass patches appear here and there, while the models have all been completely revamped. The world is completely seamless; there are no zones to blunder through. Somewhere in that limited PS2 memory architecture, the devs also managed to find room for battle and city music.
SOE has decided to include many more quests on Frontiers, and designed new epic quests for people approaching the new level limit – level 60. The new race is the Ogre, obviously suited for melee combat more than anything else. The Alchemist class has also been introduced, and they’re a special form of spellcaster. Creating and using potions to augment his abilities, the Alchemist relies heavily on the crafting skills that are new with Frontiers.
Best of all, original Online Adventures owners will be able to interact with Frontiers characters in all the old zones. We’re not quite sure how OA users will be able to deal with new items and the higher levels involved, but we’re quite sure that SOE planned for this contingency when designing the first version of the game.