With a laundry list of issues, it might be surprising to find out that Lords of EverQuest is, for the most part, an enjoyable game. The majority of the issues we brought up could be fixed with a patch. The AI and pathfinding routines could be tweaked, Lord levels can be adjusted, and gold amount per mine increased. If enough LoE fans express their concerns with Sony and Rapid Eye, a solid update may not be long in coming. The tough part, though, will be getting the RTS connoisseurs to switch gears, take a break from the Command and Conquer/Warcraft grind, and properly evaluate a new entrant.
Lords of EverQuest works best when approached from a high level, hands off perspective, where the player produces the units, controls attacks and retreats, while leaving the soldiers to make the battlefield decisions. Rapid Eye makes it easy to adopt this method, by letting the majority of units auto-execute their special ability (spells or combat attacks). The only unit on the battlefield that you really need to keep an eye on is your Lord, and control when to casts spells or uses items. Taking any other gameplay angle will just strain the player's patience with the game.
The real punch of RTS games resides in the multiplayer options, and Sony's matchmaking service SOEGames.net is a solid one. The majority of the features of the more popular services, like Battle.net, are replicated here, such as chat rooms, quick game find, and player statistics. The service is reliable, and during our testing, never crashed or caused too much lag. Unfortunately, it was still early and players weren't online in any great numbers. So finding a game took a while, but that should change as time goes on.
Lords of EverQuest is a better-than average real-time strategy game, but its biggest obstacle will be finding its core audience. Die-hard EverQuest players will be drawn to the appeal of playing RTS-versions of familiar units, but might not be willing to pull themselves away from the popular MMORPG to join the real-time strategy foray. RTS aficionados might not be willing to forgive some of the game's immediate flaws, along with the need to change gears and update RTS strategies. Those who will pull the most out of Lords of EverQuest are the ones who dabble in both RTS and EverQuest pools, and are willing to look past some of its shortcomings and dive into the new revision of a familiar universe and characters.