Thursday, February 26, 2015

It's Good News Day: GW2, Everquest

Operating as Wilhelm observes at the equivalent of the speed of light, Daybreak Games have a poll up for the ruleset of the proposed new Everquest Progression server.

I'd take any of the first three. I'd even try the crazy-race last option. Of course, unlike almost everyone else expressing opinions on this thing I'm very happy indeed with the current 2015 version of EQ, which I still play (okay, not as often as I mean to but I logged in last week!).

If I was going to go back to play EQ even semi-regularly I think I'd probably rather get my Magician to 100 rather than hit 50 in Classic fifteen years late but the first few weeks on a real brand-new, all in it together server are always a blast. I'll take every rare opportunity that comes along to savor that experience, even if I do know that I'll probably still be level 12 when they vote to unlock Velious.

If you vote (and you should if you have the slightest temptation towards reliving a past you may or may not have lived through the first time, which in turn may or may not bear any recognizable resemblance to your memories or your imaginings) then be warned that the voting panel appears to register your vote as soon as you click a button. You get no option to change your mind.

Unless, of course, you have seven accounts. Not that I know anyone like that. And not that such a notional person would indulge in such 18th century practices even if he existed. Or she! Or she!

In other news GW2 is getting a First Person Camera. To which I can only say in chorus with Jeromai


Looks like it also comes with a whole lot of fixes for what are quite possibly the worst camera controls I have ever suffered in any MMO. Ever!

The bit about relative height positioning vis a vis character race brought back memories of lumbering along at Ogre speed in EQ. I use the word "speed" ironically. But not the word "lumbering". So glad I only have one Norn and many, many Asuras.

I wonder if Charr pov will change according to whether they are running upright or on all fours? That could bring on motion sickness. Or hairballs. Who knows? It might even make doing jumping puzzles as a Charr possible enjoyable.

They say good news always comes in threes. Or is that bad news? Maybe it was buses. What's the third thing going to be, I wonder? I don't think it can be this can it? No, we don't like buy-in betas, do we? Although $20... that's cheap...


  1. I take it you meant EverQuest 1 in your title? I was hoping some news about a progression server had broken for EQ2. That's what I really want!

    1. Eek! Thanks for the correction!

      Now if they'd polled for an EQ2 Prog server this soon that really would have been news...

  2. I should put up a disclaimer that when it comes to EQ in general, and progression servers specifically, I am very much the MMO nostalgia tourist. EQ today is so sprawlingly huge these days that I cannot get my brain around the amount of zones and content that the game holds. I long for a simpler time, when 50 was the level cap and West Karana was a destination.

  3. HA! I just read about the first person view over in the forums (Colin Johnson coming in to confirm it). Naturally, I thought of you...and screen shots, although we like seeing toons, too. Anyway, yes, it's about damn time.

    My Charr, who doesn't like jumping puzzles any more than I do, has the worst P.O.V. geometry for them but has done.. a bunch of 'em... wouldn't want to hear about this. No fear, tho'. I'm probably over my explorer sensibilities driving me into any more of those damn things. You would think.

    Aside from that... whee!

    -- 7rlsy

  4. I would do a server that stopped at Kunark.

  5. The truely positive (at least imo) thing about the Daybreak news is that an investment company seriously considering adding a Legacy Server shows that there is a potential profit to be made with these kind of 'nostalgia projetcs'.

    Too often companies arrogantly dismiss them (lloking at you, Blizzard), despite players and now apparently 'even' investors seeing their value. The later doesn't really surprise me though, given how much Dev and Art work costs; a reboot always seemed pretty cheap in comparison.

    I'm also pretty pleased that in the blogospshere the third option seems to be somewhat dominant, being the one I voted for. It always struck me a bit of awkward of creating an older version-server, just to have it eventually mesh up with the current game, defeating the whole purpose of the excercise (being able to play a version of a game a customer liked better).

    Note that the EQ voting option seems to exist only for already existing characters.

    After updating the client I noticed there actually was a European Realm, so I created a character on it. I wasn't greeted by the Poll but by the re-introduced Tutorial area (an escape scenario from a Kobold Mine). As, like I said before, I had severe trouble getting the hang of the controls especially on my freebie Heroic character (which btw DID get the prompt Vote inquiry), I figured I might as well play it.

    While I do now have a better grasp of the controls, like the visuals of my Froglock Shadow Knight a lot, and the story itself was entertaining enough, the Mercenaries were clunky and boy was I surprised how awfully slow the combat feels (I turned the ironically rousing music off after a while, as it really was just Emperor's new clothes).

    At least at the part I played it was pretty much just seeing your character auto-attack for (seemingly?) several minutes, which made the many high-volume kill quests feel like an absolute and utter drag. I understand now a lot better why many people just grinded their favorite mobs, as paradoxically grinding the giant cave rats (which dropped a fair bit of copper-worthy loot and the odd piece of gear) actually was kind of fun and certainly relaxing.

    They might want to make it a tad clearer that the 'Home Stone' doesn't port you back to the starting prison camp but to your Alignment capital, while pesonally I don't overly mind being ported into the free world it was rather unexpected.

    Back to the topic of Legacy Realms, RuneScape Classic now is also having a F@P option, I might check it out as while I do miss the wide variety of races oldish themeparks provide (for some reason WoW seems to be about the last one that features actually different options, not at best just a number of Elves/pretty humans plus an obligatory Dwarf) I like the more open world games like Eldevin and RuneScape the best.

    Enough rambling on my part, hoping the next daybreak will bring more sunshine.

    1. The Mines of Gloomingdeep is the very tutorial that began my longstanding dislike of MMO tutorials! Why make a massive overland world filled with color and movement and lighting and weather and then make everyone start off in a featureless, monotone cave? It's insanity but so many MMOs do it.

      One thing that will often feel very different even in modern EQ is time-to-kill. Fights take a while even at very low levels and that never really speeds up all that much. It's one of the things I most like about it now although I remember back in 2004 how excited we were to go to EQ2 and fight whole groups of mobs and kill them as quickly as we were used to taking over single mobs in EQ. Nowadays I think I'd go for a mix of the two.

    2. Well, it isn't so much the slow time-to-kill per se I dislike (I like turn-based RPG's like Temple of Elemental Evil for example) but how...detached and non-involved it is, at least at these lower levels. After pressing a single (slow CD) DoT, I press the attack button, once,...and then proceed to watch my guy and his opponent whack at eachother for what at times feels like an eternity.

      I hope it gets more involved at higher levels (though, looking at my freebie Heroic, it doesn't seem to be), and in general if they just sped it up a notch I think it would be more exciting.

      You mentioned some time ago there was a nice bunch of Orcs that offered some decent loot etc. at low levels (I think I'll just ignore the kill quests all together for now, and go practially full Explorer mode), what was the place called again where they were located? Thanks in advance!

    3. Hmm... I might have been talking about Crushbone over in Greater Faydark although it's Keen who usually keeps going to back to that one. I always preferred Blackburrow in Qeynos Hills. The problem is, though, that none of the loot in any of these places is what you'd call decent compared to what drops in the zones Daybreak... would like you to be in.

      If you go to Plane of Knowledge via any of the "books" outside any starting city (and a lot of other places), find Franklin Teek and speak to him he will tell you which is the Hot Zone for your level. That's where you'll supposedly get the best xp and some special loot. Unfortunatley they seem mad keen on new players starting in Crescent's Reach in The Serpent's Spine, which I think is a horrible starting area. The gear there is better than average though.

      As Wilhelm says, though, EQ is now so unbelievably, overwhelmingly vast and labyrinthine that it's virtually impossible to explain just about anything to a genuine new player and even people who spent years playing, years ago, are completely at sea. I can opnly suggest going to the forums and searching for helpful newbie threads and, of course, spending some time browsing the excellent Zam EQ.

      Shadow Knight is a great class but it takes a long time before it does much more than you're describing. When I played mine to the then-cap of 60 it was generally reckoned an SK didn't begin to get interesting until the early 30s. If you want something that actually has some choices to make at low level you'd be much better off with a Necromancer. In fact, come to think of it, most classes don't really get going until the teens at the earliest and some take a lot longer than that. It's not a game for anyone in a hurry even today.

      As for the combat animations you can forget that! There never are any for any class that bear any comparison with any MMO made after about 2004. Particle effects, on the other hand, can be cranked up to the point where you can't even see your character at all!

  6. Thank you for the response and advice :) The Hot Zone thing sounds awefully gamey to me, though.

    They added a 'Book of Heroism' that explains the zone levels and hence where you can go. So after I ended up in Crescent's Reach by my mistaken 'hearthstone', I looked into it and saw a level 5 area (was level 7 at the time) that seemed to be just at the end of the road thru a moor. Seemed easy enough, but not really, got tagged by a ferocious rat that reminded me that EQ doesn't really believe in leashes. Fled in the direction of a tower, which turned out to be infested by spell-flinging skeletons which promptly killed my frog. As I had forgotten to Bind my soul to my new location, I ended up in the Mine again. Never too ancient to be a noob :P !

    I thought about playing a Necromancer as the Warlock/dark-mage-with-pet archetype is one I often play as well, and I will probably try it out, though the way the combat works I hope I won't be watching a Pet auto-attack for an eternity. Guess. I'll just wait (and wait.and wait) and see ;)

    Like I said over at Grumpy's, what did suprise me was seeing quite a few other players in the Mine every time I ended up there.


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