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.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Musings on Everquest 3

Since Tipa presented her wish list for Everquest 3, I did some slumming on discussion boards, looking for what folks are saying about a possible EQ3.

Here is a completely unfair summary of the sorts of things folks are saying, presented in a completely one-side manner, with no attempt to be fair or anything. [My response to each of this is in brackets and italicized]

  • ...Make it darker then anything people have seen. Im talking full out carnage. Time of War or somthing.

    [Somehow going to Lavastorm and slaughtering void beasts isn't carnage enough for some people, I guess. Or maybe they mean there should be no civilization left, no Qeynos, no Nathan Ironforge saying "have you ever seen a gnoll?" Wait, was I making fun?]

  • ALSO sex and violence sells. All the die hard mmoers are adults now and we arn't kiddies anymore we want to see the violence and blood. Well at least us americans do.
    [ This die-hard mmoer has always been an adult (remember I'm 3000 years old). To me the hallmark of a child is one who wants his sex in a videogame, as opposed to the real thing. And if you want more gore in your life, either enlist, or work in a hospital. A slaughterhouse will do in a pinch. Oh, and keep working on growing up.]

  • Consoles are the way to go. PC gaming has been a dying breed for some time now. Its too expensive to maintain a high end gaming PC to play the latest and greatest. I mean I have seen several threads of people complaining about not wanting to upgrade their PCs anymore to play a certain game. This will be eliminated by moving to consoles.
    [There's some credibility to this. The ante keeps getting upped, developers are locked in an arms race. Of course, THE most successful MMO ever runs on a PC and has a very minimal system requirement. Why is it that nobody seems to want to copy that? Maybe because they want more realistic flesh and carnage?]

  • SOE has openly said that consoles are the way forward.
    [Well, probably somebody at SOE said that once. I would be deeply disappointed if it were true. I have four game-playing computers in my house, and only one TV with console attached. That said, a console is not a moving target. A console means not having to eat whatever flavor of DX microsoft is serving. Sometimes its good, sometimes not so much.]

  • Vanguard was EQ3.
    [This one got shot down by other posters. No lore in common, makes it hard to to think of it as EQ3.]

  • you want a new game from sony first they need a crew or at the very least a young person with lot of imagination cause great game come from great idea.
    [ Because obviously old people don't have much imagination. There's a germ of an idea here, they need fresh ideas. Duh. A sequel without a new idea is a trip to skip.]

  • EQ3 won't happen, it was said by somebody from $OE that they knew calling EQ2 EQ2 was a mistake, there may be an EQ3 but it won't be called EQ3.
    [I think this is spot on. The game devs had some problems with expectations at the launch of EQ2, precisely because it was called Everquest 2, not Norrath Rebooted or something. People expected all the things that they knew and loved to be there. Putting Vox and Naggy back in the game weren't a problem, but busting up the Holy Trinity, and killing driveby buffs were a BIG problem with player expectations.]

  • [Paraphrasing]Make the game harder, more like Everquest. Trains, stiff death penalty. No in-game tutorial. Slower paced, less button mashing. Drive away all of the people who don't like to play the way I like to play.
    [Yes, let's totally spend 10 million dollars to develop a game that 100 people want to play. And I thought I was an old fart.]

  • I want to adventure in Middle Earth, not be forced through the chapters of the Lord of the Rings. [Uhh, weren't we talking about Everquest, not LOTRO?]

  • The EQ series is perhaps, the only lasting game which has encouraged cooperation among players, it's a market that is virtually untouched (as many other games focus on competition through pvp or gear progression). If they can create an environment that encourages player interaction in small groups, allow people to progress in both small groups and small raids they will create a game which is fun and entertaining to a great many people. One thing they could improve on over EQ2 - is the ridiculous number of skills each class gets. They could get rid of half the skills and still have too many. Make a few important skills, and let people enjoy one another's company over focusing on spamming skills like an idiot.
    [Wow, this is the reason I still read message boards. I want to play that game. Wait, I AM playing that game, as Everquest 2. I've made other posts though about how game designers can enable leadership among the players. Of course, I'm an illusionist, and nobody but nobody casts more spells faster than we do, except maybe coercers with Jester's Cap.]

  • Make better graphics, EQ2 had graphics that were soulless and ugly.
    [I'm a high elf, and I'm impressed with the level of snobbiness embedded in that statement. That's the kind of thing you hear at the opera in Neriak.]

I think the worst design decision (that's still in the game, anyway) in Everquest 2 was to make 24 classes. It's just too freaking many, each class is constantly stepping on the other's toes, or seeming to. And there's only 24 slots in a raid. In the abstract, 24 slots in a raid isn't bad, but with 24 classes in game there's no room to add a new one.

The second worst decision was to call it Everquest 2. So it had a huge burden of expectations.

At launched much was made of the fact that EQ2 was designed to go to level 200. I don't think that lasted. I'm still having fun, and that fun is mostly predicated on having interesting things to do with my friends or new people I meet.

But the most important thing that must be done for Everquest 3 is not to have better graphics, or more sex, or slower gameplay, or faster gameplay. No, the most important thing is for it to be fun.

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Anonymous Karaya said...

While I agree that it has to be "fun", I think it's also high time the developers introduce some of these essentials:

-The Illuminati
-Strip LON
-Recreational drugs

12:55 PM  

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