I had read that, with the release of The Serpent’s Spine, some older areas of EverQuest would be getting graphical updates. That sounded like a good plan to me. It certainly wasn’t going to hurt my performance. Even with my laptop I can run EQ with all graphics options turned on and set to their highest levels of detail, so my mid-range gaming system should have no problem at all, even at 1600×1200.
Freeport got an update. It looks a lot spiffier now. I especially noticed this in West Freeport where it runs out into the Commonlands. (I only hang out in really old zones… I’m a tourist, not a player in EQ these days.) The whole area right outside West Freeport looks really good.
It now slopes upward and it has a lot of nice, textured little hills as opposed to the tan colored polygonal terrain features that used to dot the landscape. The terrain has a feel to it now that reminds you of EQ2. You can picture how the area in front of West Freeport in EQ could become that same area in EQ2 over the 500 years.
And there is a new orc model wandering around there too. It is really nicely done. (As is the snake.)
I had heard that the Commonlands was supposed to get an update as well, so I headed for the zone line…
…and ended up in the Commonlands of old, completely out of sync with that nice terrain I had just passed through.
Okay, maybe they haven’t gotten to that yet. And I’m a tourist, I wanted pictures of the old style anyway, right?
This transition leads to an amusing visual oddity. Standing in the Commonlands, looking towards Freeport, you see the old terrain, including the little tents outside the city walls, like this:
But standing in Freeport, looking towards the Commonlands, you see the new terrain. including some nice, new tents outside the city walls like this:
I am actually very happy I stumbled upon this, as the pictures show how big the improvements are for EQ. I hope they continue with this upgrade process. Sony has a large investment in a huge amount of MMO content with EQ. With work they can keep it viable for a while to come.