EverQuest II (commonly abbreviated EQII) is the official continuation of the world and storylines introduced in the original EverQuest that was released in 1999. Following along the same lines as its predecessor, EQII is set on the fantasy-based world of Norrath, which is the home to a variety of different creatures and beings that fight for good or evil. EQII features all of the playable races of the original EverQuest, including a few additions (the Fae and the Ratonga), and many of the settings of the original game. EQII also follows the pattern set by EverQuest in that it focuses on player versus environment (PvE) combat rather than put any sort of focus on PvP. There are a set of PvP servers, but the main focus of the game is on PvE.
Originally, players merely selected a archetype at the beginning of their adventuring, choosing to be either a Fighter, Scout, Priest or Mage. As character progressed, they were then allowed to choose divergent classes that specialized them into a variety of roles. In January of 2006, the system was changed so that you selected your final class during character creation. The final list of classes that are in the game are: Berserker, Guardian, Paladin, Shadow Knight, Monk, Bruiser, Troubadour, Dirge, Ranger, Assassin, Swashbuckler, Brigand, Fury, Warden, Templar, Inquisitor, Mystic, Defiler, Wizard, Warlock, Conjurer, Necromancer, Illusionist, and Coercer.
Since release six expansion/adventure packs have been released that expand the content in the game. With the most recent expansion, the newest player race, the Fae, was introduced. One of the most interesting additions to the game is the use of actual voices for NPCs. The actors used for these parts included well-known Hollywood stars such as Heather Graham (as Queen Antonia Bayle) and Christopher Lee (Overlord Lucan D'Lere). Actor/gamer Wil Wheaton and actor/mathematician Danica McKellar are also part of the cast. According to SOE in October 2004, EverQuest II featured 130 hours of spoken dialog recorded by 1,700 voice actors. More dialog has been added since release as part of regular game updates as recently as July 2006. EverQuest II introduced Player Voice Emotes with the launch of EverQuest II: Desert Of Flames in September 2005.
EverQuest II also employs a Station Exchange store that allows players to buy certain goods for the game.
As of August 20th, 2010 Sony Online Entertainment implemented a new free-to-play server option with the launch of EverQuest II Extended, providing a way for players to play the game for free and buy items they want through microtransactions.