Saturday, November 30, 2019

A Monumental Success: EQII

The 15th Anniversary Event for EverQuest II has turned out to be one of the best I've enjoyed in any MMORPG. It didn't look like much on paper but in the game itself it has been popular, compelling and well-received.

Any event that runs 24/7 for a full month and can still draw a crowd just a few days before it ends has to be reckoned a major success. When those crowds are still upbeat and positive even after hundreds of repetitions that's pretty much a miracle.

The last time (quite possibly the only time) I saw an event on this scale go down as well was probably the demonic invasion in World of Warcraft that preceded the release of the Legion expansion. The two have some significant factors in common.
  • The events are open to all levels and classes (The tradeskill event does require Level 20).
  • They are easily accessible.
  • They give excellent XP.
  • They give desirable rewards.
  • They are extremely alt-friendly.

The adventure events all take place right next to the Ulteran Spires, a transportation network open to everyone, meaning you can be at any event in seconds. The areas around the spires are also close to 100% safe from wanderng mobs, meaning even Level One characters can and do join in.

For any characters under Level 100 the big attraction is abundant xp. Low level characters gain multiple levels on every dragon kill and even in the 80s and 90s the xp gain is significant, as is AAXP if toggled.

Loot is good, too. Every kill gives generous rewards, sometimes as many as four items. There's a huge variety and some of the best are tradeable so there's money to be made as well.

Killing dragons caught the imagination of the playerbase from the start but the crafting event was more of a slow burn. In the opening days, progress was slow and few people seemed interested but as time went on the numbers participating increased and a real buzz developed.

Today, on Skyfire, my main server, both the monuments are complete and they look magnificent. They will be a memorable addition to the permanent landscapes of Commonlands and Antonica.

Even though the statues are finished, the quests remain until the event ends in a few days time.  I was particularly impressed that the questgiver acknowledges this and has new text explaining why help is still needed.

For players there's an obvious incentive. The rewards for crafting, which were lacklustre compared to those for dragonslaying, have improved significantly now the project is done but the real reward for tradeskillers, at least those with levels yet to hit three figures, has once again been the xp. So far I have taken my Carpenter from 50 to 100 and my Alchemist from 20 to 90.

Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of the whole event, however, has been the great spirit in which it has been taken by the overwhelming majority of players. There has been a real community feeling  about the whole thing, both in the co-operative and helpful way people have called out the timers for the dragon attacks and in the the many expressions of support for the crafting effort.

I have spent most of my gaming time this month killing and crafting dragons and I'll be sorry to see it all end on Thursday. It's been a worthy accolade for fifteen years of EQII and best of all, there will be permanent reminders in the form of two majestic statues on the coasts of Karan.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have a few more dragons to kill.

1 comment:

  1. It is so cool when a game lets the server make a change to the game world, like building these statues, through a big group effort. I wish there was more of that.

    I remember enjoying the event to open the gates of Ahn'Qiraj, and that was just donating a bunch of trade goods if I remember correctly.


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