Everquest: Ruins of Kunark by Al Giovetti


By Al Giovetti
Lead Artist:
ESRB Rating:

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Everquest: Ruins of Kunark

History * Company Line * Game Play * Plot * Graphics * Animation * Voice Actors * Music Score * Sound Effects * Utilities * Multi-player Features * Cheats, Hints, and Walkthrough * Journalists * References * Letters

Verant is greedy. They screwed up the orders forcing people to buy the Everquest:Ruins of Kunark for $35 rather than to wait weeks for the initial orders at about $15 plus $8 shipping unless you opted for the blue shipping at $15. The online store was broken after the introduction of the game, forcing the late comers or those who did not act quickly enough to pay the store price. We call the game Evercrack. Evercrack is an addicting game that has torn time from people's lives and money from their wallets, only to leave them with an empty feeling which they feel can only be filled with more time and money. In the end it is an adventure with boredom --- a totally butt gnumbing experience.

PS: When you dont send me a review copy of the game...

Copyright 2000 Al Giovetti. You have my permission to reprint one time. I retain all other rights.


Everquest and its newest iteration Kunark are the latest in the highly addicting massively multiplayer role playing games that are making mediocre game companies rich with $10 per month subscription fees.

Company Line

Game Play

Kunark play is based upon the philosophy that you must be placed in utterly impossible situations with strangers in an effort to survive. You cannot play with your friends because you must group to play the game beyond the level of 20, especially if you are a melee player. Clerics are needed to keep the melee players alive after a certain level. I made it to 21 with my shadow knight and kept dying because unreliable people would not heal me. People that I did not know kept letting me down at critical times.

You have to play with strangers since you must group you cannot sit in game waiting for them to log on. You have to go with the first group that will have you. Many will say that they do not want you since you do not balance out the group, so that even though you cannot wait for your friends you must wait for a group in order to play.

Verant says they discorage soloing. Recently they added a character Roror to Feerott one of the zones. Roror is a level 49 Lizard Shaman and his pet who spawn in southwest Feerrott and run to the zone edge near the spectre caves to de-spawn. A popular place to solo between levels 39 and 52 was the spectre caves in feerott, but now that Roror is killing everyone he sees, the place is dead. Verant says they gave a boost to the players who needed Lizard boost when the activated Roror's aggression instinct, but then ALL of my characters who have gone there, even ones who never killed a lizard are now attacked and killed by Roror in a matter of one or two rounds even the level 50+ characters.

Roror is a prime example of how Verant does not care about players nor about game play. Verant claimes they encourage people to spread out and play in different areas of the game. Then why do they put an impossibly difficult player in a popular camp area that was taking pressure off of other areas of the game. Feerott is a ghost town now except for those staging to go into fear. No one is there playing the specters there.

That said the player, monster, spell and zone progression as you move up in levels is rediculasly difficult. Player, monster, spell and zone just increase in stats as you increase in level. Making a monster more difficult to kill by giving it more of the same stats is stupid. Even more than stupid its boring.

Verant says they discourage camping. It is not true. Howw can Verant discourage camping? Without camping you cannot wait up to 160 hours for essential survival items like jboots that let you outrun monsters (sarcasm). You are forced to camp for totally rediculas amounts of time to get items which are essential for survival. Also more than stupid this is a totally butt numbing experience.

Trades are for wimps and for succers. Even selling items to players sucks rocks. Both are a waste of game time. Level is the only thing that is respected in Everquest and every minute you spend doing interesting things interferes with your level progression. So we must return to the boring aspect of getting into a camp, working at the camp for hours and mining it for items and for experience at the same time.

Quests are most times simply a waste of game time. Sometimes quests are a waste of game time for an essential item. No quest really does anything other than camp something for 18 hours then give the item to the NPC (non player coolie) and get your essential item. All quests seem to have either a step-n-fetchet theme. Go here and get this, that, and the other, combine them with this other camped item that you got deep in the dungeon camping for 18 hours without the fast walk spell, spirit of the wolf, and viola you get a survival-essential item.

Monsters roam in these new areas forcing you to fight out in the open more, where other monsters can jump you. And with all the warping in Everwarp a monster will and can dissappear and reappear right next to you. If enough do this at the same time you are dead. If you are a melee character this could mean a 25 minute run with no experience since there are few gates for druids or wizards to come and get you.

There are only three gate locations in the thirty percent more play areas. When you compare this to the eight gates in the other parts of the game, you begin to realize how out of place your characters are. Also Kunark contains more "no binding" areas so that you cannot bind yourself near the action in several difficult to get to zones. Binding allows you to gate or teleport back to where you were before you died. Only a level 39 or better cleric can do this without a gate. So if you can't find a level 39 or above cleric get ready for another 25 minute run.


Kunark, like the original Everquest, lacks script with depth. I recently took a break from evercrack to play some really good games like Warlords: Battlecry, Vampire: The Maskarade: Redemption, Icewind Dale: A Baldur's Gate Adventure, and Diablo II (which had a weak but better than Kunark plot). The plot and character development of these games was so superior to Kunark I found myself wanting more of the same. Most games end for me in two or three days so I will now go back to Evercrack and spend my time waiting for the next great release Deus Ex to find its way to my desk.


Ruins of Kunark graphics are better than the prior game, but they are far to busy and too detailed. A recent issue of Game Developers magazine wrote about how you need to know where the limit is in adding detail to a character and a game location. Verant with their original game created beautiful graphics but the graphics in Kunark go beyond that limit that Game Developers Magazine talked about. The levels and the characters are too busy, too detailed and are somewhat confusing to the eye. Only the crazed and addicted Evercrack addict could appreciate them, because they are beyond reason in their addictions. Past denial they need more Evercrack insanity.

Several problems come from all the new detail. It becomes much harder to see things than it already is. The trees that are all over the edges of some kunark zones, and the zones themselves make it very hard to see far in front of yourself. Those with visual impairments may want to avoid this like the plague. In Everquest you could tell the monsters because they moved, but in Kunark trees and bushes move too so the monsters are harder to pick out.


Combat animations are comprised of one hit, one block, one kick, and one spell throwing tactic, except for monks which have a variety of moves.

Voice Actors

Music Score

Sound Effects

The sound effects were screwed up from the first. Once they got them fixed they were unimpressive.


Most of the utilities are designed to make the game harder to play--just like in the original game. Logging requires that you find a safe place to log. Then wait 30 seconds doing nothing logging. Accessing your non-player storage is through a banker interface. Bankers are found in towns and outposts.

Multi-player Features

This game is purely mulitplayer and fraught with the problems of multi-player. Warping in Kunark is WORSE than the original game. The game could be renamed Everwarp.


I agree with Mr. Poppinfresh (http://www.corpnews.com/reviews/200008/04/) on all but one point. Mr. Poppinfresh wrote an article claiming that Kunark and Everquest sucks. I have never liked playing against humans. Sure there is more challenge but like a burnt out gunfighter I tire of all the human trash that love to threaten you, taunt you, belittle you, curse at you, claim you cheat, and otherwise play with your mind. HOW MANY HUMANS DO I HAVE TO KILL BEFORE THIS BECOMES BORING TOO?

I have played pvp gaming for a long time and in some of my earlier games I maxxed out. It was no longer fun. I only truely learned a new tactic when one remarkable player after six months of play came up with a unique way to kill other players more efficiently. Once learned the technique was no longer fun.

The technique simply exploited the deficiencies in the combat engine. Once you understood the technique and had mastered it, you were back to infinite boredom. Kill this one. Kill that one. Etc. etc. etc.

I would guess that most of the 200,000 subscribers to Everbore feel the same way. There is something feral and evil about wanting to kill your own kind. Player killing, kill stealing, training, powerlooting, and scamming are those things that really make me regret being a member of the human race.

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