Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Friday, December 10, 2004

No Guarantee of Success

It seems that one of the design goals of EQ2 is that there be no guarantee of success. Let me give you some examples of what I mean.

You can probably solo greens for a long time and level up without much risk. Though I have run into group greens that gave me a taste of mud, or sewer water, as the case may be. However, this will leave you money poor, and is slow going.

There seems to be a huge difference in your groups effectiveness based on tactics. Does the tank keep aggro? Do the scout and and tank cooperate efficiently to expose the mobs back to the scout? Does the healer get the timing on heals right to avoid aggro but keep folks alive. Do the mages ration their power expenditure correctly? Does the group manage to pull off HO's, kill mobs one at a time.

Likewise, the recent patch(as an emergency measure) stopped NPC vendors from buying any crafted item. This has now been changed; NPC vendors will buy crafted items, but slightly below cost. I'm not yet sure that the "below cost" description means below the cost of the last combine to make the item, or below the cost of making all the subcombines too. It also isn't stated whether this only accounts for the cost of non-gathered items, although I expect that they are accounted for at zero cost.

This reinforces the "no guarantee of success" design principle. If I can get to the point where each turn of the wheel makes me even 10cp, I have a guaranteed income, which I can use to fund my leveling up, and purchase of new books, etc. All solo, and very mechanical. Not what I'd call fun.

I want to be rewarded for using my wits, and adapting to the situation. It's why I'm an enchanter. In the old world of EQ, enchanters had a variety of styles and strategies they could use to deal with situations and hunt with. The skill came in knowing which one to use. In EQ2, all classes have skills that they can use in combat, and it's deciding which ones TO use, and when that makes the game fun. It's also what gives you another taste of sewer water, but that makes the lesson that much easier to remember.

On the tradeskill side, if you really want to be a tradesman, then you have to figure out where the need is, and fill it. Which of the dozens of things that you CAN make, SHOULD you make? If you're a Woodworker, and want money, right now you should be making those boxes to put in bank slots. They sell well, from what I can tell. On the other hand, furniture in general doesn't sell worth a darn, because no one can afford it.

But I think in time, they will want to buy stuff, especially if you can make furniture that is status-enhancing.

And by the way, adventuring is no guarantee of income either. If you end up with a sewage cocktail, you obviously didn't get a drop from the mob. But even if you managed to beat them, you still have to pay for repairs, food, and drink. And for your reward you might get saliva or maggots, which sell for a little bit of coin, but not that much. Sometimes cool stuff drops in chests, but to really get the value out of that stuff, it must be sold to other players, not to vendors, just as with crafted items.

In my view this is all to the good.


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