Best Expansion Pack: EverQuest: Secrets of Faydwer (SOE)
by Dana Massey
The most original and innovative expansion of 2007 came from the grandfather of them all. It may not have had the buzz of World of Warcraft's Burning Crusade or even its little sister EverQuest II, but the team at SOE San Diego made an imaginative set of zones that unlike most of their more recent competitors, actually add some new ripples to the MMO experience.
This is an expansion with a dungeon inside a moving robot. The thing looks a bit like the Iron Giant, but if a player can successfully enter his toe without being booted across the zone, adventure awaits. If that's not for you, load yourself into a giant cannon and shoot yourself up to the Fortress Mechanotus, home of Gnomes and adventure aplenty.
It's not just style either. In the Crystollas instance, the dungeons don't just sit and wait for players to crawl through at their own pace. In one hallway, some invulnerable fire elementals creep slowly behind and force the group to advance through the area quickly or die. In another, a series of Indiana Jones style boulders chase players through suspiciously round tunnels and force people to dart from one hidey-hole to another. It's exactly these kinds of environmental challenges that are too often completely ignored by MMO designers.
SOE even kicked off the expansion in style. This wasn't just a patch day, a part of Norrath was literally ripped from the ground and moved through the sky as clockwork themed monsters rained down on players, regardless of whether they'd purchased the update.
Throw in some shape-shifting wereorcs and SOE created a winner with their 14th expansion to the venerable EverQuest. It may not have driven sales like its more famous competitors, but this is an add-on that should be required play for anyone who ever hopes to launch an MMO expansion.
Click on to find out who we selected as the Best Imported MMO.