Alternative advancement slider
I downloaded the EQ2 trial yesterday and discovered that they have addressed the issue of people who like to level slowly in a rather creative way.
In your alternate advancement window there is now a slider bar:
Amount of adventure experience to convert to alternate enhancement experience
I set it to 75% and carried on playing. My character is now level 11.44 with 7.25 points worth of AA progression.
For people who haven't played EQ2 recently alternate advancement is like a talent point system that you level up separately. It's based on advancement experience which is earned in a different way from regular adventure experience with more of an emphasis on rewarding exploring.
It starts at level 10 so with 75% of my adventure experience going towards it I've earned 7 and a bit levels of AA progression and one and a half levels of adventuring levels since the system became active.
Now what's so nice for me as a slow leveller is that not only can I set my levelling speed to slow but the game is rewarding me for doing so. Having these extra AA points makes me a more powerful character for my level than I would be had I not touched the slider bar.
So I can explore several different 11-20 areas and progress without my quests and AA objectives turning grey and ceasing to reward me.
The ingenious thing about the system is it doesn't stop people powering to max level. If you never touch the slider bar you will hit max level in the usual way then experience after max level will be converted to AA (in other words you'll collect these quasi talents as if you set the bar to 100%).
Not only does it suit slow leveller explorer types but it also helps keep people who want to play together at the same stage. I was recently playing DDO with a friend but I couldn't keep up with him and he got further and further ahead until we could no longer operate together without penalty. With this system he could still progress his character while not out-levelling me.
I don't remember EQ2 having achievements last time I played but it may have been there. What is new however is you get pop-ups now telling you you've completed an achievement.
They aren't as ubiquitous as they are in WoW, I think I've completed about 4 or 5 so far.
The pop-up looks really elegant and combined with the fact you don't get spammed with them I found it a much less overpowering system than the WoW one.
Revised racial abilities
They've re-done the racials.
Most notably there are no longer the same amount of racial choices as a max level character gets picks. So more choice and you don't have to grab all of them as you max your character out including completely useless ones.
They seem a bit less powerful than I remember. I've only seen the Sarnak ones and they were pretty strong before. No more dragon breath at level 10.
So it's a flatter curve, less oh my god that's utterly broken abilities and less meh I suppose I may as well take it even if it's useless to me choices.
Last time I downloaded EQ2 it took all night, I think about 15 hours or something. This time it took about 40 minutes.
The difference is that I haven't downloaded the entire client. There's a little dinosaur now who pops up from time to time in the corner of the screen and starts walking. That means you're downloading a little bit of the client.
Generally these systems slow your game down when they stream but so far I've noticed very little of that. The dinosaurs appears and does his little walk but you can play on as normal.
It's noticeably smoother than the DDO streamed client and the Warhammer Online stream client.
You start with 300 points worth of cash. I don't remember getting any free last time I played.
This is similar to DDO and is certainly a good idea. One of the key elements to cash shops is to get people to begin spending.
I'll probably buy an experience potion if I can, haven't figured it out yet.
I can /claim an absolute ton of rewards. Most of them are decorative but there's a few exp potions (the principle being it's good to give prospective customers free crack), a pretty powerful looking ring for level 29, a +25% move speed cloak and a 12 slot bag.
This was on a new account. I believe that if you activate an older account it will give you a lot more stuff. However my older account is not eligible for the 14 day trial, I think you can only do that once ever.