Thursday, July 13, 2017

I See A Darkness : EQ2

Darkness and night-vision have long been contentious topics in MMORPGs. At one end of the argument you have the "Night-time should be Freakin' Terrifying" crew, mostly survivors of the Rivervale - Kithicor - Commonlands run or those few Barbarians who actually owned a Greater Lightstone.

At the other extreme comes Team "Mommy lets me Sleep with the Lights On".  They feel a gentle blue tint is more than enough to let you know darkness has fallen.

There seems little doubt where the good folk at Daybreak Games stand on the matter. Allow me to illustrate:

Antonica at Dawn. A little too much of the Roger Deans, perhaps, but bright and cheery with it.

Antonica at Noon. Overcast. Looks like rain. Visibility: good.

Antonica at Sunset. Air pollution index: high. Or possibly I am. 

Antonica at Midnight. Good thing my pet's made of granite. Granite's radioactive, didn't you know?

Also, isn't it lucky I'm a Conjuror? We have Infravision! Look what a difference that makes!

The sea around Antonica seems to be mildly phosphorescent. Doesn't help much, does it?

This is The Caves. It's underground. Can you tell how it's different to Antonica at night? No? Well, this is The Caves in day time!

Antonica, just before Dawn. You can tell it's just before dawn because the crickets start chirping. And it gets just light enough to find out where in the hell you are.


  1. Back in original EverQuest my life got easier, but the game got somewhat less immersive, when I discovered the gamma slider.

    1. Yes, when I found the gamma slider the difference was like night and day! Boom Tish!

  2. I'm a fan of Day/night cycles, even when it makes navigation difficult. It makes the game seem more "worldly" as they say. Games that have night plus weather effects can be a bit much, particularly with night and a hard driving rain. It's very dark at night in EQ2.
    I am wishing I could adjust the brightness settings in SWL though, man that place is almost always way dark.

    1. I like day/night in theory and it certainly is immersive when it gets too dark to see where you're going in the sense that I get some of the same sense of anxiety and apprehension that I would get if I was out, alone in a wild place at night, but that's not always conducive to a pleasant, relaxing evening. I think the extra darkness in EQ2 that comes with the rain is a bit over the top though - Freeport in the rain at night is like the inside of a sack.

  3. "A little too much of the Roger Deans, perhaps..."
    As a proud owner of all the Yes albums (on vinyl, for the art), I get that reference!

    1. Yes are the only band from my prog days (which ended somewhere around my 15th birthday) that I still, unironically, enjoy listening to. There always seems to have been quite a strong Yes influence in EQ2's design - the Kingdom of Sky expansion pretty much is a Roger Dean's Yes album cover come to life!

    2. Even the Fae race feel kind of RD inspired now that you mention it. Yea they have some great music to match those awesome album covers (up until Tormato - not sure what was going on there lol, although the music was good)


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