Skip to main content

Bruxxing around Norrath

I gave EQ2 another chance today, and things went pretty well... at least at first. I had found the inner strength in sticking with a single EQ2 character to be found in simple commitment. Suddenly, I was making progress, and without the veil of my alt-a-holicism to cloud my sight, EverQuest 2 was free to be EverQuest 2.

Unfortunately, it was in this uninsulated and unbiased perspective that I discovered a game killer living in the underbelly of EverQuest 2.

Bruxx, my level 28 Swashbuckler, was the lucky recipient of his creator's undivided attention today. I decided if I was going to play EverQuest 2, I should get into a Guild. After all, my complaint was lack of social interaction, and what better way to solve that then to join an large group of players? I eventually ended up joining Explorers of Norrath.

I played about 8 to 10 hours today, grouping on two occasions... but both groups were pretty short lived.

The first group was the rare situation in which somebody wandered along who did have the same quest as me as I was hunting the mobs he needed. The resulting fellowship went well, but once the quest was completed there was no longer really any reason to hang around. I've seen the same thing happen in many MMORPGs, WoW being the classic example, and it leads me to believe that this is a design fault in quest-reliant games. While an integrated quest system might provide context, it backfires because players just want the shortest route to the carrot.

The second group was my attempt to get to meet my new guild members by grouping up with them. I was level 28, they were level 36 and fighting level 34 mobs. I could still make experience points (very slowly), but was just about useless as a Scout who can only attack foes. I missed over 99.5% of the time despite having maxed out slashing skill. EQ2's one-way mentor system is a drag - CoH's sidekicking wins again. I eventually left because I could make better experience solo, and I did.

I ended up spending most of the time soloing, earning level 29 Swashbuckler and level 25 Armorcrafter. In that time, I joined a guild, explored much of Faydwer, did a bit of crafting, and completed a few Prestige-earning quests.

The highlight of the day was passing through Greater Faydark on my way to Steamfont. Truly an awesome zone, it included both hunting and a fully functional tree city. Greater Faydark has got to be the best zone in EverQuest 2. That would explain why it had three instances with over 250 players between them.

I would have liked to come back to Greater Faydark later and explore it, but then it happened. A primordial evil of MMORPG design that I encountered before but had hoped I had rid myself of forever:

Things were going great until it came time to bag 17 Bloodsaber medics in the Crypt of Betryal in order to complete a prestige quest. I was waiting at the only place they spawned and where the wandering Arcane Fury mega mob wouldn't find and eat me: A pool of dank sewer water in a largely forgotten corner of the game. There I waited, about ten to fifteen minutes for the next 6 Bloodsabers to spawn, and when they did spawn there was only about a 1 in 3 chance of each being a medic.


It was during this process that I realized that the developers had failed to learn a vital lesson of current generation MMORPG design: You don't make players sit around for two hours just waiting for your stupid game to spit out the mobs they need to progress. EverQuest 2 almost redeemed itself in my eyes, but knowing that I'd be required to participate in this mob spawnign farce chased me away from it quite successfully.

There's little to no of this bullshit over in City of Heroes, and so it's there I should stay. It's too bad I can't return Echoes of Faydwer and get my $40 back. Even though the DVD discs never did read, I used the key and played the game fair and square.

Comments

Gallenite said…
There I waited, about ten to fifteen minutes for the next 6 Bloodsabers to spawn, and when they did spawn there was only about a 1 in 3 chance of each being a medic.

That sounds like some old content. By current standards, we treat it as a bug if you're being asked to kill more than can reasonably expected to be up at any given time. Thanks for the report. ;)
You do care.

Alright, I'll tell you what, I'll keep playing EQ2 and reporting these as bugs if you guys keep fixxing em'.
Also, I'll put up a retraction in my next blog entry.

Popular posts from this blog

Resonant Induction Really Grinds My Gears... In A Good Way

From about 2pm yesterday until 8pm today, I've been dabbling with my latest custom mod mix for Minecraft 1.6.4, which is this time very much Universal Electricity focused.
Aside from the usual GUI enhancers and Somnia, the primary contenders in this mix were:
Calclavia Core - Of course: this is the base of the Universal Electricity system.Resonant Induction - This seems to be largely focused on increasingly more advanced methods of refining ores divided across 4 ages of technological progression.  It also includes some really cool things such as assembly lines.  I'll primarily be talking about just a few blocks out of this mod today.Atomic Science - A mod dedicated to generating more of those lovely universal electricity volts via the power of splitting the atom.  Build your own nuclear reactor!  Deal with nuclear meltdowns!  You maniac!ICBM - A mod dedicated to generating more destruction using those lovely universal electricity volts (and more than a little gunpowder), it cer…

Empyrion Vrs Space Engineers: A Different Kind Of Space Race

In my quest for more compelling virtual worlds, I have been watching Empyrion: Galactic Survival a lot this bizarro weekend, mostly via the Angry Joe Show twitch stream.  What I have concluded from my observations is Empyrion is following in Space Engineers' shadow, but it is nevertheless threatening the elder game due to a greater feature set (the modding scene notwithstanding).

Empyrion is made in Unity, whereas Space Engineers is built on a custom engine.  While this does put Empyrion at a disadvantage when it comes to conceptual flexibility, its developers nevertheless have a substantial advantage when it comes to adding features due to a savings of time spent that would have gone into developing their own engine.  Examples include:
Planets.  Empyrion already has planets and space to explore between them, whereas in Space Engineers planets are in the works but still awhile away (so you just have asteroid fields to scavenge).Enemies.  Space Engineers' survival mode boasts onl…

Greasing The Grind: Adding Lasting Appeal To Virtual World Sandboxes

Game design, being about entertainment, is not as much science as art.  We're coming up with interesting things that the human mind likes to chew on that "taste" good to it.  Different people find different things, "Fun," and a game designer is tasked with coming up with fun, appealing things.  As pertains to virtual world sandboxes, I identified three of them.

Challenge Appeal.

Dwarf Fortress and Fortresscraft Evolved have the same end game appeal preservation mechanic: wealth equals threat.  The more money your Dwarf Fortress is worth, the bigger the baddies who will come for you, including a bunch of snobby useless nobles who do nothing but push dwarves around and eat.  The more energy you make in Fortresscraft Evolved, the more and bigger bugs come to shut down your base.  Rimworld does something a little different based off of which AI Storyteller you choose, but it generally adds time to your wealth accumulation when deciding what kind of threats to throw a…