EverQuest II is a game that presents the player with many choices. Maybe too many choices. I never played the original EverQuest, so I found the mind boggling array of decisions to make at launch to be even more overwhelming than many because I didn't know what the choices even meant. Take the races for example. There are EIGHTEEN of them, and I didn't know the story behind ANY of them. And nowhere in game is there any useful description of them. Well, except on the character creation screen. But who would think to look there?
So, I thought, what about the poor sods who want to start playing EverQuest II, don't know the lore, don't know what race to play, and don't have the time to read the character creation screen help text once in-game because there's buttons to push and fancy graphics to slay?
Well, for all of you, here's a brief summary of the 18 some-odd races in EQ II to help you decide the one most appropriate for the character you want to create:
Barbarians are a haughty race. They drink lots of beer. Their temperament is inversely proportionate to their height. They are sometimes thought to be the missing link between dwarf and man in the evolutionary tree, as (human) scholars believe the evolutionary tree started out too small, then went too big, then finally got it right. Its a good thing this game has shoddy collision detection because otherwise they would always be stepping on my character's toes.
Dark Elves are evil incarnate. They love death and destruction. It makes them giggle with glee. They are also highly intelligent. Dark elves rarely smile, but when they do, don't be deceived. Its not a friendly smile. Its more of an "I napalm babies and I'm proud of it" sort of smile.
Dwarves are short. They drink lots of beer. Perhaps Norrathian beer stunts growth? The mysteries of Norrath are interminable. Since Dwarves drink so much, and their short stature prevents a larger cranial capacity, they tend to be stupid, prone to brawling, one night stands and, um, other stupid things I guess, but -- oh god, yuck -- you see, I'm a very visual person and when I say something I tend to picture it, so if you don't mind I need to take a moment to scrub the drunken dwarven sex from my mind. Yuck.
Erudite: the very word itself means "scholarly." They are so obsessed with the wizardly arts that they even changed the appearance of their whole race. "We meant to do that," they say. /chuckle. Yeah, right. Who knows what their next trick will be. Play this class if you want your character to be perceived as an arrogant know-it-all.
Frogloks are short. And green. And prone to being enslaved. And what else is there to do when you are a short, green slimy creature that no one takes seriously except whine about it to song? It isn't easy being green... Frogloks are only suited for two things: Bards and dinner.
Gnomes are puntable but there's little to say about them besides that. They should just stay in their factories making toys and stuff for little children. Who let them out? Their stats are terrible. The only class these guys are suited for is Minimum Wage Factory Worker, which isn't even in the game yet. Maybe in Rise of Kunark?
Half Elves are the bastard offspring of interspecies mixing between High Elves and the lowly Human. Nobody likes them, they don't fit in anywhere. That drives them to embrace the darker side of life, listen to emo music, and cut themselves. Half elves secretly plot the downfall of the racially inbred.
Halflings can't be trusted. They are always sneaking up behind you to play tricks on you or steal your wallet. Since they look like and act like children, they can get away with anything. Even if they are caught, if the victim gives chase and catches them, these buggers get all doe-eyed and pout and cry and --- ooooooh!!! --- I hate them, I hate them, I hate them.
High Elves are a bunch of haughty taughty prancy pants that tend to run around the forest shooting at things with pointed sticks. Their boys look like girls, which apparently some human women dig, hence the half elves.
Humans embody diversity and all that. So they can be anything and everything. And they like to form committees to remind you of that. That's what the Leadership racial trait does to a culture. The non-Human species are apparently highly uniform genetically; scholars speculate this is why so many of them are prone to recessive gene defects like gigantism or dwarfism and are otherwise ill tempered, prone to drunkenness, and/or display various forms of anti-social behavior disorders. If Norrath was run like Britain, it would be one ASBO after another for the fantastical races.
Iksar are evil lizards that worship Cazic-Thule. They discovered and spread Necrophilia. Or Necromancy. I forget which. Probably both, really.
Kerra are cats and cats do what cats do: scratch themselves, lick themselves, and sleep. Its telling what people play in game. Usually people play something they identify with. Which is why you need to keep an eye on Kerran characters. Sort your combat parsers by race, and you'll often see Kerra ALWAYS rank at the bottom
Ogres are brutish thugs that think might makes right. They tend to confront anything that gets in their way by brute force. They are designed for war and well suited for it, but how they manage to forge armor with tree trunks for fingers is anyones guess. Maybe they get it from the other races. Fortunately for them, Norrathian armor magically adapts itself to the wearer and can fit anything from an ant to a dragon.
Ratonga carry the plague and should be killed on sight. After slaying these foul creatures, burn their bodies immediately. It is not widely known that the Ratonga were the true cause behind the plague that spread back when the Bloodline Chronicles was released. Please don't roll new characters of this race, as the plague has finally been contained. We don't need any more outbreaks.
Trolls are the most anti-social of the gigantic fantasy races of Norrath. They speak in monosyllabic tones. They will eat anything, especially you. They are bullies, but you can usually talk your way out of a confrontation by confusing them. This Self-Mez is widely regarded as one of the worst racial traits in game.
Wood Elves are in denial of the benefits of civilization. They love nature, tofu, hackeysack, and meatless food products. They don't tend to take showers, but they insist you won't notice because of this parfum they use. They're wrong.
Recently, SOE added two new races to the stable, with the Echoes of Faydwer expansion pack:
Fae are a small and graceful lot that flitter about and place gold coins under the pillows of young Norrathian children when they lose a tooth. They are so magical!
Arasai are the reason the young Norrathian children lost the tooth in the first place.
Anyway, those are the races available to you in EverQuest II. Hope I helped.
Hat tip to Gdub for his recent post matching up the races with the character classes he felt best fit their lore. Somehow that made me want to write this.