EverQuest: The Lost Dungeons of Norrath
[ Review Comments | Screenshots ]Everquest: The Lost Dungeons of Norrath Review
Category : RPG
Publisher : Sony Online Entertainment
Developer : Sony Online Entertainment
Release : 09/8/2003
MSRP (US): $29.99 (Monthly fee not included)
PII 400MHz or equivalent
OS: Windows 98/ME/2K/XP
RAM: 256 MB RAM
CD-ROM: 4X CD-ROM
Video Memory: 16 MB VRAM (3D Accelerated)
Hard Drive Space: 600+ MB
Internet: 28.8kk + internet connection
Lost Dungeons of Norrath is the largest EQ expansion to-date,
featuring the most content ever delivered in an expansion. The Lost
Dungeons expansion features 48 new dungeons that span the old world
of Norrath, focusing on several long lost locations, including the Rujarkian
Hills and Deepest Guk. Encounter never before seen monsters that prowl
the halls of these dungeons, waiting to challenge any explorer brave enough
to venture in.
Everquest, the undying, ever relentless,
MMORPG, from Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), has released its latest
expansion, the Lost Dungeons of Norrath (LDoN). LDoN is Everquest’s
6th expansion in the 4+ years that it has been around. SOE said that LDoN
would bring back the days of “dungeon crawling” while being
accessible and fun for everyone from level 20 and up. But did SOE truly
succeed in making an expansion pack that was viable for both casual and
hardcore players equally? Read on you might be surprised.
introduces you to the Wayfarers, which can be found in different zones
such as Everfrost, East Commons, North Ro, South Ro, and Butcherblock.
Each wayfarer’s camp will have an adventure recruiter that will
have 10 different adventures (except for South Ro which only has 8). These
are what comprise the 48 new zones that you and your group can adventure
in. Each adventure has 1 of 3 different types of goals: Collect, Assassinate,
and Rescue. Depending on which adventure type you select, you will have
45 minutes or 90 minutes to complete the adventure. Upon a successful
completion, you will earn “adventure points” which will be
discussed later. Now here is a very interesting point to these new zones.
Once you and your group decide on which
adventure you would like to do, the dungeon is “spawned” for
you and your group. Nobody else outside of your group can enter that particular
dungeon. What this means is that there will be no racing to your mobs,
no camping known spawn locations, no kill stealing of your mob, no ninja
looting from outside people (unless your group has the ninja looter).
But once your time limit is up, you are kicked out of the spawned dungeon
and get to start a new one if you would like to. So there is not a lot
of time to explore the dungeon unless your group is fast enough (and lucky
enough) to finish within the time constraints of your chosen adventure.
The adventures are broken down to two different levels – “Normal”
or “Hard.” Normal seems to be the way to go as the hard levels
still feel they need some tweaking to make the “risk vs. reward”
more appealing or more manageable.
the whole reason to do these adventures is to earn adventure points. Adventure
points will allow you to do a few different things. You can use adventure
points to purchase new spells. Now here is the kicker: You HAVE to do
these adventures to purchase your spells as the new spells are not dropped
and, once purchased, are No Drop which means you cannot buy them from
others players. So you want that new kick-butt DoT for your shaman? Or
you want that new AE stun for your enchanter? You want that new nuke for
you wizard? You best be getting to adventuring ASAP because the cost of
some of these spells is really high (500+ adventure points per spell for
You can also purchase augments. Augments
are like little gems that you can add to equipment that will “augment”
or “add” to your item’s stats. For example, a flawed
yellow sphere of fortitude will add +5 stamina to a given item. Stats
are just one example as you can purchase augments that will allow you
to add a proc to your weapon, add resists or flowing thought, or increase
the damage your weapon can do. But the augment has to fit into a given
slot and type. A given item my have a slot on it but you have to make
sure that the augment you want to put into that item can accept it. Otherwise
it won’t work and you will have wasted your adventure points on
a pointless augment. Unless you come across a piece of equipment later
that you can use on it. Which brings me to my next point.
points can also be used to purchase equipment that has slots on it and
decent stats. The more points you accumulate, the better the gear you
can purchase. Some of the better gear out there that can be purchased
is comparable (if not better) then some of the ornate gear out there.
Some purchasable gear that you can buy also has flowing thought on the
items with slots on them that you can augment to make even stronger. Again,
though, the better the equipment, the more it will cost you in terms of
But is LDoN an expansion for the
masses? For the most part, the answer is yes. But there is a problem with
one aspect of the expansion. And that is the raid system that LDoN
introduces. First off, you have to make sure that everyone that is going
to do a raid in LDoN has to have 2 adventures under their belt in the
zone you will be raiding. If not, then they cannot attend the raid. But
that is not the bad part of this. The raids, currently, are very, very,
very hard to do. Even guilds that are elemental equipped are having a
lot of difficulty with doing or completing the raids in LDoN.
It seems that the adventures for raids need to be tweaked severely to
make the “risk vs. reward” seem worthwhile. As it is now,
the risk far outweighs the reward. A lot of guildmates feel, in time,
SOE will tweak these raid adventures to make them more enjoyable. But
as they stand now, it is pointless and fruitless to even contemplate doing
these types of raids.
as an expansion, is a success in my book. It brought back something sorely
missing from Everquest in the form of dungeon crawling. Characters
that have grown up in wide-open spaces such as Dreadlands, Plane of Nightmare,
Dawnshroud Peaks, etc might feel a little claustrophobic coming into the
LDoN dungeons. But oh what fun there is to be had if you give
it a chance. LDoN allows almost everyone who plays Everquest
to find some new places to hunt, explore, adventure with, and, overall,
have a good time doing it. Experience grinding will always be part of
Everquest. But LDoN will allow you to set that aside
when you get tired or bored with that aspect and allow you to re-discover
that aspect of dungeon crawling you might have forgotten. What is around
that corner? Is that a trap? Better have succor up just in case. You never
know what is right around the corner with LDoN.
Olivas - September 18, 2003
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