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, August 10, 2010

Freeport Next

What you're looking at is concept art for EverquestNext. That's a possible future Freeport above. There was some discussion of EQNext this weekend at the SOE Fan Faire, in which they described "lessons learned"

* Single world without the need to load zones
* Instanced dungeons
* Low system requirements
* Stylized character models
* Fewer classes, relative to EQII
* PvP from day one and “done right”

Wilhelm2451 of The Ancient Gaming Noob has a nice post up (or maybe it's a rambling Grandpa Simpson post?) in response to this in which he lists several "lessons learned" as implemented in EQ2 at launch. Lessons which turned out to be wrong, in his estimation.

I'm not really going to rehash it here, but it's highly amusing. I am going to add another few "lessons learned".

Faster-paced Combat is Good EQ2, as far as I know, was the first to distinguish between "in combat" and "out of combat" in determining the speed at which mana regenerates. It also made damage output of both players and mobs much bigger relative to the hit points of each. And casting times were faster, and more necessary. There was no more of the cleric mostly sitting on the ground meditating, and getting up every once in a while to cast a heal, then sitting again. There were no long waits after fights to heal. It became possible to move around a lot while fighting. I thought this was a good thing, but it's had an unforseen consequence: It's hard to socialize while fighting. Running an instance is mostly done in silence, with little opportunity for making new friends. Running in a competent group should be a bonding experience, it seems to me. It isn't.

Having a place where players are gathered together is bad There was the tunnel in EC, and the Bazaar, and PoK. Just being somewhere where there were a lot of people hanging out is one of the unique pleasures of MMO's. People like other people, and will clump together if you let them. Because of performance issues, and possibly some other fears, there is no such place in EQ2.

The only legitimate way to fight is tank and spank This is a personal pet peeve. There were dozens of fighting strategies that would work in EQ1: quad kiting, bow kiting, bard kiting, fear kiting, root and rot, mez-and-blast, charm fighting. Most of these are either completely gone in EQ1 or but a pale shadow of their former selves. And it was by deliberate design. I think the idea was that if some other character had some good tactic that you didn't have, it was seen as unfair. This sucks a lot of the fun out of the game for me, since I like trying unusual strategies and using them to fight stuff that ought to be too tough for me. Rather than make it impossible, I'd prefer them to not make it particularly rewarding. You know, experience for oranges and reds not really better than for yellows.

Just a few thoughts. Do you have any more?



Blogger Dan said...

With those features as bullet points I don't see them stealing much of World of Warcraft's dominance.

Of course it's hard to judge until it's actually released :)

3:10 AM  

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