First the box art:
What can I say? Bad fucking ass! As a huge Dark Elf fan I can say that I almost wish I waited to pick up the box, I just love it. Though I think it is an interesting departure from their previous "all in one" box art which generally focused on the latest expansion(i.e. Echos of Faydwer, Kingdom of Sky). But this is an all in one box(meaning all expansions are included with the game), so it is a lot less about the latest expansion and more about the entire game itself, so I don't see a big issue with it, all in all good job SOE.
What can you really say about the Shard of Fear, except it looks amazing from these screens(Oh and these too!). All in all, I think the zone in context is pretty amazing(keeping in mind it is supposed to be a mini Plane of Fear from EQ1). The flesh colored dragon definetly looks a little weak, though I like the direction they are going with the decaying flesh thing(maybe draco got a skin graft?), it is something I really hope will change before release as I can just hear the bitching from the haters now. Shard of Fear(soon to be abbreviated to SoF) is a persistent instance just like Emerald Halls and Unrest currently, and will be a single level 70 group zone. And though it seems the Amygedons went on a diet, I am still pleased with how they look even if they had to downsize the temple a bit along the way. All of this just gets me more excited about EQ2 and its direction. I just hope that once the nostalgia trip is over we can expect some more original content in the far future, not to say I'm upset with the direction, I just hope it doesn't become a crutch.
Well back to school work again, it seems as if I'll never get to 70 before the expansion. Maybe someday...