Privilege Issues: Start Everquest II At Level 85

SOE send word that the latest update to ageing fantasy massive ’em up Everquest II will give players a shoe-in at higher levels. They explain: “for a limited time new, returning and current players can create one permanent Heroic Character for free.” This option will be available from now until the 15th. Beyond that, a new Heroic Characters Programme will allow you to try a level 85 character for free, and to buy in should you so wish. All this is in preparation for getting the community buffed and with a level 85 tan ready for November’s high level expansion, Tears of Veeshan.

I’ve posted a video of the SOE Live panel explaining the upcoming expansion, below.


  1. iridescence says:

    So it’s a company sanctioned “powerleveling service”? Well, I suppose that was inevitable. I’ll never understand why a new player would want to do this sort of thing though. If you’re having so little fun in the game that you want to pay for the privilege of skipping most of the gameplay perhaps you should just find a different game.

    I can understand it for people leveling alts though which can definitely be a drag.

    • deadfolk says:

      It’s not the first game to do this, although the first to my knowledge to make it an on-demand option.
      WoW does a thing where if a friend invites you, you can go straight to level 80 (I think – fuzzy on the exact level).

      Also Tera just did a one-time boost for new chars up to level something-or-other. I suspect that may have been a test for offering a similar service going forward.

      I’m sure there are others.

      I can understand it in a game this old, where you want to get into it, but there’s no-one playing at lower levels.

  2. Balanuir says:

    So you can basically play to be done with it? In all the MMOs I played, the journey to the top level always WAS the game and once you reached it, it got pretty boring. Guild Wars was the one exception to the rule, mostly due to its level cap only being 20.

    • TormDK says:

      The “problem” is that players would not get to see that much of the old World content, especially as you reach your 50’s and 60’s since People have outlevelede those expansion ages ago.

      That was one of the problems on why I never reached that high a level personally as an adventurer (I love crafting, so got that maxed somewhat). This new offer has me tempted to download the game again and see what changed since last time I tried it.

    • Reapy says:

      By now mmo design is such that max level is only the start. The gear / progression grind is where most players will spend their time. The level up part is usually an extended tutorial.

      • Simbosan says:

        Very much depends on the quality of the MMO. EQ2 has an awesome set of quests to bring you up to level in double quick time. One of the best games in the way that you are led through the zones as your level changes, some excellent fun quests too along the way.

        I really enjoyed the levelling, the endgame raiding turned me off with endless ‘Simon Says’ raid mechanics that became very samey very quick. The solo game is up there with the best however.

        edit: It’s also still one of the best looking even after all this time

      • iridescence says:

        …And this is exactly the problem with “modern MMO design” (AKA blindly copying WoW). I can’t be the only one to usually stop playing MMOs once I reach level cap. Gear progression is more like a boring job than a game. The whole way themepark MMOs conceive of endgame needs to change. Endgame shouldn’t be the whole focus of the game.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          I’d agree on that. The whole idea that ‘the game begins when you finish leveling’ needs to die in a fire.

  3. Moraven says:

    After 2-3 playthroughs you tend to see most of the leveling content. This also offers returning players to try a new class while rejoining friends.

    WoW offers Heirlooms items with exp boost. Almost trivial to level up anymore.

    • jrodman says:

      Of course grinding out those heirlooms takes longer than leveling without them — or at least it used to.

  4. Ezhar says:

    Back in original EQ, we called characters that were of the maximum level but whose operator didn’t know the most basic things about gameplay “ebay”. I guess now we can call them “heroic”?

    • Grygus says:

      I think it’s just an outdated concept, for better or for worse. MMOs long ago stopped being demanding enough to guarantee a legitimate player had learned their class by max level. Since raiding tends to be a completely different game from leveling up, with different gear requirements, different mechanics, and different standards of play, any game that doesn’t require you to raid all the way up invalidates this concept by design; i.e., when they first start raiding, everyone’s a newbie because leveling up didn’t prepare them at all. In addition to that, the never-ending development of any MMO means that a person who played all the way up but then took a long break can often come back to a game with fundamental differences from the one they played. Because of those things, I don’t believe that this changes anything in regards to character level equaling raiding competence.