Asheron's Call was really good, I had issues with the graphics, which were not EQ quality, and the creatures all had bizarre names I could not relate to (unlike 'orc', 'troll', 'wraith', etc.). The crafting and other player skills were much better implemented than EQ. The magic was WAY too complex, involving tons of ingredients and recipes, and that turned me off a lot. Soloing was much more practical than in EQ, and dying only resulted in a temporary loss of some "life energy" and your most valuable item on your person (which can be solved by carrying a few expensive but useless items).
DAoC is a lot like EQ on the surface, but they have made so many changes that make it much more fun. The ability to flag yourself as a player looking for group, and see a list of all the groups and soloers who are looking for people is such a relief from "21 DRUID LFG!!!" Also, you get a compass and an infinite torch at the start! (though I hear the newest EQ expansion finally has a compass). Anyone can bind at bind stones scattered about. Death in DAoC is not bad, you lose some exp (some of which you get back if you return to pray at your grave) but no items. If you are not rezzed, you lose some Con and have to pay an NPC healer to restore it. As I say, not bad. There is not the kind of camping I hated in EQ. People are much more polite about not KSing. You get "camp" bonuses for killing a variety of creatures, discouraging you from sticking to one place for too long.
Soloing is very viable, unlike in EQ, where con blues would frEQuently tear me apart. Oh, and you can run away from a fight in both DAoC and Asheron's Call, thanks to the handy "sprint" skill all chars get. Finally, it does not take much time to get a character to level 20 or 25, so it is easy to create numerous alts and try playing the game different ways. Now getting to 50 takes some doing.....still not as hard as EQ though, the game is geared towards casual gamers more than power-levelers. The economy is handled much better than EQ, none of that rampant inflation. This is because of the crafting abilities, which can be very expensive to bring to a high level, thus reducing the money in the world. Players can craft high quality items not available from NPCs, and crafting can be a lot of fun once you reach a certain level.
But...the best thing about DAoC over EQ is the RvR (Realm vs. Realm, or PvP if you like). Three completely separate realms (Midgard, Albion, Hibernia), all with different lands, cities, classes, races, who all play these massive "capture-the-flag" type games with keeps and relics in the frontiers (but only if you want to, some people never play RvR). There is NO penalty for getting killed by a player, so all you have to do is play and have fun. Whichever realm holds the most keeps has access to a special dungeon called Darkness Falls, to create an additional incentive to capturing and holding keeps. If you play, I recommend one of the 3 roleplaying servers (Valar is on the Percival server, in the Hibernia realm).
The best web site I've seen is daoc.catacombs.com, if you want to learn more.
One thing I do miss about EQ, was my Druid's ability to become invisible, as well as teleport. DAoC has neither of those spells, though scout and infiltrator types are generally invisible beyond a few yards away. Glad EQ finally put in bind points, sometimes having to wait for a bind was a pain. Flagging for groups is a nice addition too. As for death and dying, I read that Star Wars Galaxies will allow you to insure any items you want, so if you die you don't lose them. That should make death a bit more forgiving.
I don't know why camping and KSing are not really problems in DAoC. Maybe there are more places to fight? Most of the KSing I saw in EQ were due to the frustration at not being able to find anything good to fight. Spawns here are pretty quick. Oh, and if some bozo starts a train up to the surface of a dungeon, the mobs do not aggro on anyone they pass by, they just walk calmly back to their point of origin unless you attack them. No more dying because of TRAIN!!!s :-)