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Tuesday 17 September 2002

Just what is it that EQ has? [slim]

Suits too much of a faggotry disco bunny to post his own blogs, so I'm going to post this for him.

I'm writing this in a slightly confused state.. I'm trying to figure out what exactly it is that makes EQ stand out from the other MMORPGs.. Well, not quite I guess.. I actualy know the answer, but I'm buggered if I can put my finger on where it comes from..

EQ desipite all its flaws has a living breathing intoxicating community that no other mmorpg has managed to capture IMHO.

DaoC tried and basicaly failed miserably and I find EnB currently sorely lacking one.

Basicaly as much as I'm enjoying EnB at the moment, I'm finding it quite a solo experiance. Not many people talk to each other, and those that do tend to use one of the galaxy wide broadcast channels (there are a number of them for various topics including one for each race/class and trades etc).

I think EnB suffers partialy because its not my genre of choice, while I read widely in the realms of sci-fi, I was always drawn more towards the fantasy genre (strangely mainly those involving wizards in some way..).

It also suffers because I can't emphasis with a souless hulk of metal which is your ship.. and although you do have an independant avater, it forms such a small part of the game its quite hard to get attached.. which is criminal really as the avatars in EnB are probably the best I've seen, the emotes are absolutly amazing and you have to feel that they're being a bit daft playing them down so much.

Possibly its just because its such a new game, theres no master/pupil relationships forming anywhere as nobody really knows whats going on.. where the best places to hunt are or which are the best career moves.

The unfortunate point I keep on comming to is that the reason EQ succeeded in creating such a spot on comunity was (no, it can't just be the people who play on BB.. althought admitedly BB has got a top selection of people playing on it) is because it was just so flawed in places..

The nececcity to group from the early levels forced you into contact with people.. The blatently awful treetment of the playing comunity by Verant at times made people band together against a common enemy. At the start there really wasn't any alternative out there so it was a case of get on with it or sod off and don't play mmorpgs.

Every game since has sold its self on 'not having the same hangups as EQ'.. The ones that spring to mind are the ability to solo efectively until the very high levels and a general attitude of 'the customer is always right'.

I suppose they don't have much choice anymore as theres no longer a shortage of MMORPGS out there, they have to try and get the people in and keep them there.. but this current stance really does seem to have caused the genre to loose something along the way.

I've no idea what can be done to bring the future mmorpgs the kind of comunitity that was present in EQ, but I really think that if someone doesn't figure it out fast, we really are doomed to mmorpg after mmorpg comming out, cookie cutter fashon, with little more to offer than flashier graphics.

Anyway. Maybe its a good thing, I'm enjoying EnB at the moment and I fully intend to support it for a little while after it goes live.. the developers have done a great job on it.. However my seemingly endless search for a new gaming mecca after leaving EQ (for good) hasn't ended yet it would appear.


  1. I don't know, I'm finding EnB quite nice compared to EQ. Granted I've always been much more into sci-fi than fantasy, and perhaps EnB is different to EQ because I'm starting early and there are no ubar-twats about, but I'm finding the levelling up and exploring etc of EnB to be genuinely interesting, wheras in EQ the mindless tedium drove me to cancel me sub just after getting to level 7.

  2. in fairness, very few of the clan actualy played EQ.. tho a few did log in for a day or two and bleat constantly. Playing EQ to level 7 is like playing CS to the loading screen then deciding its a bit dull.

  3. I don't buy this whole idea that you should have to play for ages in order to experience the 'real' game - that's just astoundingly shoddy game design. Obviously you need rewards and new things for long-term players to keep them interested, but it seems that many MMORPGs do this at the expense of the early game - which is, as Muz says, utterly tedious.Frankly it annoys me a bit that MMORPG devotees jump up and down about how you need to invest so much time in the game before you can 'judge' it. Fuck off - there are countless excellent games released every year. Why should anyone plough time into a game that has no immediate hook or attraction?

  4. Thing is.. EQ held my attention for 2 years and a lot of people are _still_ playing it now.. hours and hours and hours night in night out. Thats why people plough the time in.. EQ is based entirely on the fact that the more time you invest the more you get out of it.. its adictive.. hense the Evercrack name. Like it or loath it, its the most succesful model I've seen to date.

  5. Suit, with regards to the CS comment, it's not really a fair analogy is it? To get to level 7, I had to invest a fair few hours into the game - anything that requires a monthly sub and the amount of time that EQ does shouldn't punish casual players that don't have the time or inclination to live their lives online. EnB (so far) has managed to avoid that pitfall, which is why it's kept my attention. Also, it doesn't crash when I alt-tab to IRC, which is a decidedly Good Thing (TM).

  6. What Suit is really talking about is a high bar to entry which means that only people who are serious about the game progress beyond a certain level, and that's certainly a benefit to any community that builds up around a game. If you're at level 50, you've invested so much time into the game that you're eminently unlikely to be a complete 'who-gives-a-shit' kind of nob. On the other hand, you're also unlikely to have seen the outside of your bedroom since 1978.

  7. Yep, its a grouping of like minded gamers which is a very important part to forming a comunity. Imagine if there were CS servers out there which you could only play on if you had been playing the game for a year and also it enforced you to retain your identity.. Might cut down on the number of TK's out there as well as raise the general standard of group work on the servers.. That could only make your games more enjoyable?Well.. thats the whole point muz. it did punish casual gamers and reward powergamers.. it had hundreds of flaws left right and center.. but it has/had the best online comunity I've seen todate.. which is what confuses me a little and makes me worry about the future of mmorpgs, based on my own conclusions

  8. What you say about CS is very true Suit - I've experienced it myself to a degree, playing on Irish CS servers before I moved to the UK. You had a very small close-knit community and everyone had met each other IRL, which made playing on the servers far more enjoyable.

  9. That is why Clan EED rocks so hard.

  10. It wasn't just the sense of community and social aspect - teamplay was better, cheating didn't happen, TKing didn't happen and a community like that can self-police very effectively.But answer me this - if Clan EED rocks so hard, why does Spiro suck so much?

  11. I think it's the company he keeps. :)