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EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark adds a new continent to explore, a new playable character race and graphics enhancements to the fantasy online world of EverQuest. Owners of the original EverQuest can upgrade online inexpensively; newcomers will get all of the original game--as well as the expansion--in this box.
Getting started in EverQuest is easy: just load up the software, connect to a server and start adventuring with thousands of other players from around the globe. Unlike many other role-playing games, EverQuest is designed so that there is little possibility of other players' characters hurting, killing or even impeding your own. Furthermore, to advance much beyond the basic levels it is essential that you befriend other players; this creates an atmosphere of cooperation unrivalled by the competition.
You start out as one of 13 fantasy races (such as human, elf, dwarf, troll or the new Iksar lizardman) specialising in one of 14 different class skills--are you a healer, a wizard or a barbarian? You will need to stay close to your home base as you embark on the most basic quests to gain experience, slay monsters and find treasure. As you beef up, you will want to join or even start a guild to meet other players, chat and find strength in numbers. You will meet rivals, allies, partners and more as you move through the rich fantasy world. The visuals are exceptional, squeezing out every last bit of computing power from your graphics accelerator. The monsters are creepy looking (as are some of the characters, actually), the settings are all varied and richly detailed, and even the downtime sequences are entertaining.
The Ruins of Kunark contains 30 per cent more virtual gaming space than the original set, including the newly revealed continent of Kunark. There are 20 new adventure areas for both novices and experts, many new monsters and non-player characters, and the much-touted ability to advance beyond level 50. EverQuest was an achievement in online role-playing games and quickly became the most popular game in its class. --Rob Lightner