"A with wonderful game but dogged by it's poor performance."2.5 starson by tyndl
Pros: Excellent character graphics, good story lines and unique crafting
Cons: Crashes to desktop, poor graphic performance and slow server
Summary: I am not a new EQ2 player, so for a new EQ2 player, this may very well be over the top. So be sure to read the CNet official review (which is quite good and informative, it not a little too forgiving) before reading my 2 coppers worth.
I started playing Everquest (EQ1) when it first came out and loved it. When EQ2 came out, it was a great disappoint to see the way Norrath was presented as a host of differently themed islands with things to kill on it rather than a cohesive world in which one could immerse oneself; terrible voice acting, bad scripts, no pvp or dueling and locked combat! arg! Nonetheless, I continued to play EQ2 off and on over the last couple of years, hoping for changes in game play and game involvement (not just user community, guild and group involvement). Changes were made to game play, but old bugs would reappear and more crashes. AND do not get me started on the addition of Sony's "Station Exchange" worst ever user flimflam in the world of mmorpg gaming (now you have to have a Station Exchange account before you can have an EQ account - so you can be bombarded by Sony hype and advertising)! However, adding more content, better soloing and group mechanics, pvp and dueling capabilities, and adding to already advanced and interesting crafting system, and changing the game mechanics for tweaking by making gameplay a little more interesting and easier is one thing, but constantly changing the way everything works is another. Also, as for the huge graphics potential, there are some really nice rendering, details and shadowing, they could never be fully realised as the game IS a gigantic resource hog (and my system was and is pretty up there in HW capability) and had to tweak graphic settings down just to make it playable. So I stopped playing EQ2 around Sept '06.
Then Faydwer was released (as well as the earlier, two lesser additions). I thought, "OK, some new content and game updates". New content, like the Fae, a very cool faery race, new quests, crafting skills, dungeons and lands, but the gameplay has not changed. Too many crashes to the desktop; too many ongoing patches (almost daily); even with a top-end system EQ2 is still a resource hog. Then there are the hard earned items you've amassed on prior quests and instances which are now pretty much useless; new crafting techniques that pretty much render the crafts before them worthless; and, finally, a Sony customer service that is more distant that ever from it's user base and seems more interested in Sony's bottom line than in helping resolve game issues (the in-game reps are mostly wonderful!).
In short, it is still an interesting game in many ways and should be on one's list of games to try to see if it is the one for you. I still have it loaded on my system and check on updates now and again, but no longer subscribe to the game.