I almost titled this “Revisiting Old Games” but thought, yes these games are older, but they are still being played. Anyway.
I’ve been playing a lot of Everquest 2 lately (https://www.everquest2.com/home). It is no longer under the umbrella of Sony. Servers have been merged from the last time I played. But it is still fun. One of the nicer things that has been done is the return of the Isle of Refuge. If you played back when EQ2 first launched, you started on a ship that has rescued you. You get a few copper and the basics of movement, quests, looting, and the like here. The ship then deposits you on the Isle. From here you gain more experience and gear. Then you head to Qeynos (good aligned) or Freeport (evil aligned).
That had been removed in later years with new starting areas in Kelethin and New Halas (good), or Gorowin and Neriak (evil). Of the four new areas, I prefer Neriak, Gorowin, and Kelethin (in that order). I just despise New Halas, maybe because I dislike snow. Anyway, it is good to see the original starting areas return along with the ability to start in Qeynos/Freeport again. Those two cities seemed to be the least linear in the quests. The other four are fairly linear, though Gorowin and Neriak seem to be the least inclined that way. All four of the new areas lead to Butcherblock mountains as a third zone, while Qeynos and Freeport lead to Thundering Steppes and Nektulos Forest respectively. Both Antonica and the Commonlands have a dungeon, while the others do not.
The game is free to play. There is a cash store, but that is all cosmetic type stuff. The only exception to that are bags and mounts. Free players are limited in auction house, global channels and mail (you can receive but not send). Paying a monthly subscription gets you more slots for characters, double currency for some currencies (loyalty and such), 10% bonus to cash loot, and a 15% bonus to mount speed, plus access to highest tier skills and gear.
In all, I do enjoy the game and I am subscribed to it.