by Loral on April 02, 2007
In the book "The Little Guide to your Well Read Life", Steve Leveen offers recommendation on choosing the right book to read. His first rule is simple. If you don't like a book after fifty pages, close the book and move on. Time is too valuable and there are too many good books out there to waste it on a book you don't enjoy. You may miss out on a book that gets considerably better after the past fifty pages but is it really worth slogging through material you don't like to find out?
I have a similar philosophy with console games. If a console game doesn't grab me in the first two hours of play, it's better to shelf it and play something I like. The only game I've played in the past few years that didn't follow this theory was Zelda: Twilight Princess on Wii. Zelda got considerably better after the first six hours or so and became the best console game I've played since God of War even with a very weak beginning. Gears of War, Crackdown, Elite Beat Agends, The New Super Mario Brothers; these games all grabbed me within the first ten minutes and never let go.
In my preview of The Buried Sea I talked about all of the basic features that the expansion had: sixty instanced group missions, two new sets of point-based loot, seven huge uninstanced zones and a whole variety of new mobs to fight. It all looked very exciting but given the preview alone, I had no idea if those sixty missions were actually any good.
I haven't played the Buried Sea nearly as much as previous expansions, but with the few missions I have tried, I found the answer to that question. They're not.
On a Sunday afternoon a few weeks past, myself and a group of friends tried out three of the missions involving the lost love of of some pirate. These are pirate missions, from the first set of missions one can acquire. These are supposed to be the easiest missions available, missions for sub level 75 low-geared characters and we were geared in Anguish level equipment.
Even getting to the instances proved a challenge. You talk to one NPC to receive the mission and then must purchase a ticket for one of two different boats (if they tell you which one you are supposed to take, I missed it) which will take you to the instance. Once you figure it out, you'll know it the rest of your days but it wasn't clear at all how the tickets worked until you actually got a mission and had someone point out the boat you need to take.
The missions themselves include a lot of the same "pick up 10 siren head" collection quests we've seen before. Each mission seems to have a conclusion, however, that takes you away from the standard. Unfortunately the drop rates for the collection quests are extremely chaotic - one time we received ten quest items out of ten within the first twenty kills, another time it took us two hours to get the same ten. Rather than focusing the missions on the exciting conclusions, the missions force you through tedius collection or kill X steps.
The third quest in line gives you two tasks: kill thirty sirens and collect ten siren heads. First of all, I can't imagine how a sirin won't have a head after we kill her, but more importantly, we shouldn't kill fifteen of our thirty sirens and only get one head. What is the point in having the "kill 30 sirens" if we'll need to kill ninety to get the heads we need? Well, it turned out that once you complete either step a ship wrecks and you must rescue the crew. Perhaps the ambushing sirens all have heads but we never found out because all ten to twelve sirens attacked us at once and wiped out our party. By this time we had enough. We quit the quest and called it a day. At least three of us planned to switch to Warcraft that afternoon.
Three missions out of sixty is probably not enough of a sampling to make a full judgement. The other fifty seven missions might all be wonderful dynamic stories and adventures. Perhaps it's only those three that are so poorly tested or developed. I should really spend more time playing through more of the missions before snapping to a judgement about The Buried Sea. What I have seen so far is a lot of running around in huge complex zones to hunt down instances and hope that something along the mission doesn't get fowled up along the way.
My time is the most important commodity I have. I only have a few hours every week to play these games. More and more hobbies take up that time and I have to decide exactly where my time is best spent. Should I keep trying to slog through poorly designed missions until I find the ones that are good enough, well tuned enough, and rewarding enough to spend my time? Or should I go somewhere where I know the sort of output I am likely to expect?
The Burning Crusade has some problems. Last weekend I made a spectacle out of myself in the general channel when my level 62 character had to collect owl feathers for a drunken dwarf. The feathers rarely dropped on big white owls that killed me faster than the demons of the Gate. What sad state in my hunter's career had I reached when my job as a Hunter of the Outlands is to collect feathers from owls? Needless to say, I dumped that quest and moved on.
That's not the only example of a poorly designed quest in WoW. It has lots of problems. However, per hour played I have more fun in WoW than I do in EQ. Granted it isn't doing what I prefer doing - grouping with friends - but it offers a better tangible and intangible reward for the time I spend. And the Burning Crusade only cost $10 more than the Buried Sea.
Tonight I went in with five of my guildmates to complete "Locating the Statue". We defeated the four statue guardians. We defeated Brendanus Riordan even with his billion hitpoints. We examined the statue of Prexus. I even took a screenshot. The transcript, however, never showed up in anyone's inventory. So now what, do the quest again? We spent our two hours. We finished the steps. Why should we have to do it again and hope that this time it isn't bugged? I wasted one evening, why waste another?
I'll likely get back into the Buried Sea and find some missions that I enjoy. At this point, however, I'm far more likely to have others slog through those painful poorly-tuned missions and tell me on the forums or in chat banter which ones are worth my time and which are not.
In the mean time, however, when ever asked by a new player which massive online game to play, I have little reason to point them anywhere else but World of Warcraft. It's a better game.
The Buried Sea has an excellent list of features but my first fifty pages makes me want to put the book back on the shelf.
3 April 2007
Comment Posted by: Satthva on April 3, 2007 01:14 AM
Harsh! I once played an enchanter who roamed Norrath and mezzed any who gave me a dark look. I was pulled away from the lands and have only the fondest memories from my days of glory hunting down the Shissar and slaying the Gods. Needless to say, I'm glad that Norrath has not brought me back after the days of PoP.
I now play WoW and I have more fun as a whole than I once did with EQ. It's sad to hear one of the biggest fans of EQ we all know has become somewhat disenchanted with the game. For the sake of EQ, I do hope there are others who enjoy the game more than you appear to or it's fate is shorter lived than we all think. I will never return to the vast lands of Norrath but I hope they draw people in again and again for years to come...
Comment Posted by: concerned1 on April 3, 2007 02:31 AM
you havent seen shit. just wait till loral has some kids and can barely have time to play . that should be interesting.
Comment Posted by: Boshintang on April 3, 2007 02:31 AM
I was wondering when you were going to do this writeup Loral! If you remember, I was one of the folks with you on the ill-fated siren quest misadventure. (I do not, however, have Anguish gear~~) It was indeed a nightmare, especially the gang rape at the end. After that night, I stopped playing EQ for several weeks.
Since coming back, I've done a few other missions in TBS, and they are truly each very difficult. I think perhaps the worst thing about the expansion, however, is the money system- FIVE types of money. It's always difficult to get a group going for TBS, especially one powerful enough to do any of the missions. I have a feeling I'll still be trying to get money to buy my TBS spells by the time the next expansion comes out.
I think this expansion misses the mark. It's close, but there are just too many little factors that collectively ruin it. TSS was way better.
Comment Posted by: skuz on April 3, 2007 03:46 AM
You know something Loral, why don't you just quit Everquest altogether & stop writing for Mobhunter & go write in some WoW fanboi site?
Your last few aricles have all had a severe slant in that direction & I honestly think your objectivity has been lost, your eq heart has gone & your wow heart is in its place.
It's not that TBS doesn;t have it's problems, or that WoW is pefect but your editorials are tainted, jaded, & too heavily involved in comparing eq & wow...how is that fair to either game, they are different beasts they should retain ther own identities yet it always seems you want each game to become more like the other, essentially one day maybe becoming the same game or something.
Why? because you play both perhaps?
Take a step back.
Comment Posted by: pffft on April 3, 2007 04:17 AM
Yeah, once you've converted from EQ fanboism to WoW fanboism all your objectivity is lost...oh wait, it was lost the moment you became a fanboi. But WoW IS the better game, as millions of impartial paying public will attest with their wallets.
Comment Posted by: Redhenna on April 3, 2007 05:27 AM
It really sounds like you are not into a hard game any more. WoW has that effect on some people, giving them quests that almost complete themselves, and require basically nothing from the player other than to stay awake. To complain that EQ quests are hard, when hard is one of the best things going for EQ, just kinda makes no sense to me.
EQ has, and will have, a larger time requirement than most games, will be harder than most games, and won't hand hold you through quests like most games, nor should it. To make EQ into WoW, with a more dated engine, is a recipe for failure. EQ needs to stick with its strength, which means that people actually have to figure things out for themselves.
People get confused alot, because WoW and EQ both fall under the 'fantasy MMO' catagory, that they are similar games, and really, they are not. WoW is aimed more at lower playtime, younger players than EQ. I have been playing alot of different MMO's lately, looking for something to fill the nitche EQ did for me before I burned out on it, and WoW was easily, for some one like me, the worst game of the bunch. A game like Eve Online was much more, to my mind, an EQlike game, despite being a scifi MMO, because it did not handfeed the players, it just threw them into the world and said 'go, do'.
I suspect, based on your comments, that you just are not up to harder, more challenging games right now. Complaining about having to figure out how something worked that was new to you, and quests that take time to complete, and then wiping and just giving up(I did laugh at the 'oh no, we wiped...well, I will just go play WoW' people in your group), these things make me think that you just are not the type player EQ is aiming for currently.
Comment Posted by: wiggles on April 3, 2007 06:28 AM
I got my use out of TBS, far more than TSS. The gear is a huge upgrade to non raiders. Between the Katta ally armor and a few easy zone drops, Ive broke 11k hp/mana and have enough foci and effects to make even the biggest raider be impressed.
I've done katta progresion 1-5. These aren't easy missions and are for raid level people to get flagged for the end zone. If your group isn't CoA+, I don't think you'll have much success after #4.
The only negative I have with TBS is on the Katta there are too few missions compared to the Pirate side. If you're not good enough to do the Solteris stream, you end up with about 3-4 missions to do.
I just complated the Efreeti Death Visage quest, which is a nice mask that has a clicky spectre illusion. The puzzle games you play in this quest were a fresh change and a good challenge.
The hand aug is next for me, and altough it's a very long quest, it is well designed and worthwhile in the end.
ps. It's Fabled month. Lots of stuff to get now too. Fabled Shissar ring is easy peasy, there's the lucid shard, a couple ac augs. As usual, there's always more to do than time allows.
Comment Posted by: Loral on April 3, 2007 08:02 AM
There is a difference between hard, poorly balanced, and bugged.
The first set of pirate missions shouldn't be harder than the missions in Katta. The ones I tried were.
The difficulty of a mission shouldn't come from the mission being bugged and then requiring everyone to do it again even after they had already completed all the steps. If the play mechanic of auto-rewarding a quest item is so delicate that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, that mechanic should be removed.
"go write in some WoW fanboi site"
Did you miss the part about the owl feathers? WoW is just as bad at filling the game full of filler material between all the cool parts as Everquest is.
Right now, however, WoW is a better game. The slant on soloing is its biggest problem (a problem that gravitated 8 million players however) but, from the perspective of a brand new player, I can't think of a reason not to play WoW. I think a lot of us are still playing EQ because that is where we started and that's where a lot of our friends are.
So no, I'm not a total WoW fanboi, I'm an MMO fanboi who wants to push these games to be better. I'm not going to quit Everquest, but I'm not going to let it steal my time away and just shrug when I hit a bug or poorly balanced content like I did before.
I haven't really seen the loot in TBS yet but what I hear is that it's pretty good. It still isn't as good as raiding gear from 2004, three years ago, but its better than what single-group folks had from the last expansion.
I expect to write a more fully rounded review in the next few weeks once I get into it a little more.
Comment Posted by: Loral on April 3, 2007 08:03 AM
To steer us away from the "What is up with Loral" conversation, let's discuss the following:
Name your top five favorite things about The Buried Sea.
Now name your top five least favorite things.
Comment Posted by: Keisa on April 3, 2007 10:44 AM
I'll play your game, Loral.
But first, I do want to make an observation. When you met a quest in WOW that was hard for you, you quit it. I think that says tons about what you want in a game.
Secondly, when you complete the statue quest, everyone in the party is given a scroll. When I was doing that quest a lot, I kept a spare scroll in my inventory. I found you could turn it in to complete the quest if the quest was bugged. I found that one thing annoying also.
On to your challenge.
1. I like the fact that the purchasable armor allowed me to fill in the holes for my raid armor.
2. I love the variety of the Katta quests. There isn't a lot of repeat. Yes, there are some collection quests, but there is a significant amount of thought going into the quests.
3. I enjoyed most the solo tasks that lead up to the hand. I slugged through it in a little over a week. Now, I'm helping frineds to get the hand.
4. As with DODH, I love missions that give me a challenge. Dig this, Loral. Unlike you, I love missions that I fail the first few times around. They give me something to look forward to in the game. I think of them as a challenge. What do I need to change in my approach to win this one next time? If I win everything the first time through, my mind shuts down and I don't enjoy the game as much.
5. I like that there opportunities in the expansion for me to solo or group as I see fit. I have things I can do and progress on when I am alone.
What I don't like about the expansion.
1. There's this one water goblin we all have to camp for the hand. He's a very rare spawn. I've found that I have little tolerance for loooong camps in EQ these days. That one camp is out of line with all the other 43ish tasks required for the hand and very tedious.
2. I don't particularly like having to go to Katta every week or so to buy yet another power supply. It sure would be nice if they were stackable so that step wasn't required. I found it ironic that SOE's sales pitch for the armor was that it would save you inventory space. I think a dev was smoking something if they realy believed that.
3. I think some of the armor needs more tuning, as melee focus is almost non existant on the gear. The last patch upgraded some, still.
4. Actually, I don't like having to even worry about keeping up my armor. I found it one of the more tedious things about WOW, and I find it tedious in EQ as well.
5. I'm thinking... Truth is I like this expansion as much or more than any other expansion I've played... Let me think... Did I forget to mention how much I dislike upkeep on my armor?
Good luck and good hunting.
Comment Posted by: Teremar on April 3, 2007 11:54 AM
Sorry I can't play along, but I am going to come to Loral's defense. That owl feather quest is not hard. It's boring. The mobs you need are kind of rare and the drop rate is low, but it's not hard. That was actually the first BC quest I dropped--so that I could move on to quests that were more interesting and, yes, harder.
Redhenna suggests WoW is targeted towards younger players than EQ. I disagree. WoW does work better than EQ for teens, no question about that (something I have mixed feelings about). But it also works much better than EQ for people with significant real life commitments, and those tend to come with age. I'd suggest EQ's ideal age is something like twenty to thirty. That's part of the population problem: after eight years, current players are aging out of that range, and the kids coming into it aren't playing EQ.
So how old are you Loral? ;) (No, you don't have to answer that.) But concerned1 is right: as a father with a baby at home, I couldn't do squat in EQ right now. I can, however, enjoy playing WoW.
One final thought: writers write best when they write about what's interesting to them. If you're not interested in the issues that are on Loral's mind, the solution is not to try to get him to write about something else.
Comment Posted by: Swampfunk on April 3, 2007 01:20 PM
Soo Loral has turned... I don't blame him. TBS group missions are too long... don't reward enough, and with the diminishing size of EQ player base... it's hard to build groups...
WoW has beaten all of those problems... between solo play and easy grouping, WoW is superior to EQ.
I don't blame Loral for getting burn'd out... EQ has adventure.. it's just really hard to find it anymore.
Comment Posted by: Loral on April 3, 2007 01:31 PM
"That owl feather quest is not hard. It's boring."
That's right. The owl feather quest and later the Worg tail quest aren't hard, they're tedius, boring, anti-climactic, and anti-dramatic. They're filler.
I did do a TBS mission a week ago where we had to fight summoned boss mobs while breaking chests. If we broke the wrong chest, they got harder. We ended up burning a lot of our vet rewards and really buckling down on the last one. One more and we would have died.
That was fun. That was harder than the other quests we did but it was worth it.
"Secondly, when you complete the statue quest, everyone in the party is given a scroll. When I was doing that quest a lot, I kept a spare scroll in my inventory. I found you could turn it in to complete the quest if the quest was bugged. I found that one thing annoying also."
Using one bug to fix another isn't really a solution. Polish is the solution.
Keisa, thank you for your top fives. I learned a lot from those.
Comment Posted by: Redhenna on April 3, 2007 05:30 PM
I would play your game, but I retired from EQ before TBS came out, so I am really not in a good place to evaluate it. I would say that part of the reason I did retire was the absence of new AA's in TBS(max AA was for me incredibly demotivational), so that might qualify as my least favorite.
I want to make a point that I think gets lost alot...there is no such thing as a 'better game', as good and bad are totally subjective. I tried WoW, and trust me, in no way, shape, or form did it come across as a better game to me. I hated the quests, the simplicity, the hand holding, the graphics, the players(I had one guy follow me around obne day 'R U relly a gurl' over and over again), the shallowness...pretty much everything. To my mind, EQ2, which is alot closer to WoW than EQ, did alot of the same things WoW did, and did them better(though I still did not really get into EQ2).
You really cannot objectify subjective things. When I realized I was probably about done with EQ, I started trying alot of other games. My life situation is such that I have alot of time, but am kinda tied to mostly stay close to home(near invalid family member), and need something to fill that time. Most of the standard 'good' games, I hated. WoW I hated, Guild Wars left me cold, SWG was possibly the worst to me. I don't, however, have the hubris to say that, because I did not liek those games, they are 'bad', or that EQ is 'better', only that I preferred EQ, and later, when I found it, Eve, over those games.
I think that is why you are being accused of WoW fanboism, not because you like WoW, but because you use that liking to state a subjective opinion as fact.
Comment Posted by: Loral on April 3, 2007 05:40 PM
WoW is good enough that it has eight million subscribers. That adds a fair bit of objective data.
Don't misunderstand me, I still very much love EQ. I just have a hard time pointing any new players to anything other than WoW at the moment.
Comment Posted by: Redhenna on April 3, 2007 06:18 PM
Sigh, I would hope you knew more than that Loral. Popularity is not indicitive of quality. If I turn on the top 40 radio station, there is no garuntee I will hear good music(in fact, considering my tastes, it will be all horrible music), but I will hear popular music. WoW is popular, but that is not a metric of quality.
Comment Posted by: Xsi on April 3, 2007 07:09 PM
After beta testing it, I opted not to get TBS. As a casual, I like point buy systems, but realized I was not going to be able to accomplish much in the expansion, as I was still struggling with 2 year old content like the Nest or RSS.
Here is some feedback from the few people still in my guild who did.
- More content for lvl 75s, something badly needed after TSS.
- Fair # of missions, some good long quests like the hand you have to assemble from other bones.
- Purchaseable gear (outside of weapons, which are slowly being tweaked) is good from a statistical standpoint.
- Energeiac gear provides a new skillup path for tradeskillers.
- Pirates R kewl, y0. (pirate models in gunthak are much better than the new humans though)
- A lot of the new models are just plain poorly done, (TBS gator, new shissar, pirates, etc.)
- Purchaseable gear needs lots of tuning for ac, melee focuses, caster focuses, etc.*
- Pirate missions are still too hard, even as the 'easy' alternative.**
- Expansion would have been better served by focusing on ONE theme (pirates v. katta), and figuring out a better way to tier the missions.
- Absurd procs even on low level content (3k dd/3k dot on light blue named snake, etc.) results in non-kiters being out of luck a lot of the time.
- Armour upkeep is a bad idea. Even allowing for this, powersources are generally a waste, with the majority of them serving no purpose due to their negative stats. Bad implementation, all around.
Guess that's 6 bad things, not 5, so I somewhat strayed outside the guidelines, but hey! All I know is that I've been playing the Unrest instanced mission lately, because it's (a) doable, (b) can give a nice aug, and (c) is one of my all-time favorite zones.
*Merloc's decision to go with archetype-based gear instead of class-based gear, (even though nothing will rot... since the gear is vendor purchased!!!!) is baffling and resulted in an itemization nightmare, when coupled with the fact that powersources do not provide focus effects, so the armour actually has to have it on it.
** This is probably just an area where the game has simply outstripped my guild... but I have the most HPs (11k, buffed) and AC (1800 AC buffed) in my guild, and I can barely handle anything more than a 1.2kish quadder, (see earlier comment about nest and rss). People who had issues accomplishing much in TSS were hoping they could use the 'easy path' in TBS to gear up and then go back for the earlier content. No dice.
Comment Posted by: Zolina on April 3, 2007 08:05 PM
I was with Loral on the doomed siren mission. There were no walkthroughs available when we did it, and I wasn't aware that the level 75 harmony was available in game, so the mission was harder for us than it needed to be. I eventually went back and completed the Mer arc. The last mission in the arc is rather nice, 40 doubloons for a 15 minute commitment.
1. The Jonas Dagmire's Skeletal Hand quest arc. That was a delighful variety of tasks, and most of them could be completed solo by an Anguish-geared player. They kept me busy for a week, and I had fun.
2. The coins-for-spells system. It takes effort to get all the spells, but the pre-order folks could get one spell very early on and others shortly thereafter.
1. There are no wonderful zones in TBS, nothing compares to Ashengate. Most of the missions are slogs through monotonous mazes, there's no sense of wonder as you move deeper in.
2. Mandatory repetition. It's like Creator missions all over again, but at least the Creator mission had mob variety. Most of the missions have only a few mob models, and they're mostly warriors.
3. The best groupable armor and weapons are still shy of Anguish quality. Casual guilds are mostly in Anguish+ now, so all that time farming orux and faction is largely wasted.
4. Not enough interest in TBS for pickup groups. I think the neon in my LFG sign is wearing out. I imagine the Anguish+ folks stop doing TBS missions after they have all their spells, because nothing else they can buy with doubloons or orux is an upgrade.
Comment Posted by: Sunshadow on April 3, 2007 08:52 PM
Good things about TBS.
1) Casual player upgrades.
2) Tradeskill items
3) Thats about it
Bad things about TBS.
1) Destroys raiding for any casual non COA+ guild (and there are(or were) heaps of them)
2) Pathing in TBS is really, really bad.
3) Merchant faction, I can buy Orum but to get to the top faction is near to impossible outside of group missions, which I can't afford the time commitment to do.
4) Orbs are of little or no use ATM.
5) Pathing in TBS is really, really bad.
Comment Posted by: RosesAreRed on April 4, 2007 01:48 AM
Hard to get TBS groups since not very many bought the expansion. The puzzles missions are very fun but part of a progressing that is almost impossible to finish with a group.
I notice almost no one at bankers when it used to be impossible to get close cause of the crowd.
Very few MGBers in POK these days.
I sense another server merge coming.
Comment Posted by: Hurk on April 4, 2007 03:09 AM
"Popularity is not indicitive of quality." True, but quality is definitely indicative of quality. I used to spend ridiculous amounts of time submitting bug reports in game and scrolling through the EQ forums for information on bugs that were rarely fixed. I have yet to visit the WoW forums since taking up the game and have yet to witness a broken quest or a game crash. 6 months and counting...
Comment Posted by: LJ on April 4, 2007 08:40 AM
I understand where you are coming from, Loral. I only have time to group 2-3 days a week. I have been a gamer for a while and know that a certain amount of patience and persistence is required but because I don't have as much time to play as I used to, my tolerance for problems in EQ is lower than it used to be. Three of the TBS missions that I have done so far were bugged. I don't mind a challenge or having to redo something if group messed up but I hate not being able to finish because the quest didn't update, the items didn't drop, or the NPC didn't respond. I don't really need the AAs so not being able to achieve goals of mission and get reward through no fault of my own sucks.
To answer your question
1) guild banners! they look cool and allow folks to catch up to raid and get into the action faster
3) purchaseable spells
4) seem to be a wide variety of missions (zones look similar but at least you get to do different things like hide and seek, opening chests to stop mob, pirate ship battle)
2) bugs and pathing problems
3) hard to find groups for TBS (always seems to be one player without expansion)
4) gear not worth it
5) portals and instance zones all over the place (someone usually gets lost)
6) difficulty for casual players (doesn't appear to scale well)
Comment Posted by: Scrubble on April 4, 2007 08:50 AM
you sound a little too pro Warcraft now Loral. Little depressing tbh.
Comment Posted by: Nolrog on April 4, 2007 09:55 AM
I really think that you haven't given TBS a fair shake yet. You tried 3 missions, out of 60 (5%), and determined it to be a failure. From what I could determine from your write up, all three seemed to be missions in a similar thread (pirate's lost love.) There's still 95% of the missions for you to explore. (insert innane analogy here.)
TBS may turn out to be disappointing, but there's a lot more to see first. Even 50 pages in a 500 page book is 10%. . . . You still have 25 pages to go.
Comment Posted by: Moorgard on April 4, 2007 12:43 PM
"you sound a little too pro Warcraft now Loral. Little depressing tbh."
You're not getting it. Loral is pro-quality... Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y. In today's MMO market, quality and polish are defined by WoW.
That doesn't mean Loral is a WoW fanboi. You'd have to be ignoring hundreds of posts to think that Loral doesn't want to love every EQ expansion, including this one. He's the most stubbornly pro-EQ person I can think of, but even so he has to be a realist.
It's not about wanting things that are easy, it's about wanting things that are working, polished, and fun. If an MMO in today's market doesn't measure up, you'd be a fool to turn a blind eye to the huge white elephant in the middle of the room doing it better.
That doesn't mean you need to love WoW and scorn EQ, but neither does it mean you can't have realistic expectations for the quality of your playtime.
Comment Posted by: someguy on April 4, 2007 03:21 PM
How does EQ2 measure up to WoW in relation to the topics being discussed by people thus far?
Comment Posted by: Mnennock on April 4, 2007 04:16 PM
EQ2 has done an amazing job of coming up to snuff in the realm of quality.
It's something that I grudgingly have to give them credit for. Keep in mind, I'm permenantly banned from posting on the EQ2 forums because I lashed out at the dev's for the issues that remained in game at launch date (I was in the beta). So it's not a small issue for me to swallow my pride and say they have done an amazing job of bringing the game up to par.
Heck, I'd probably re-subscribe to an SOE hosted game if there was a way to get back permissions to the forums (customer support says it's irrevocable though).
So speaking as a real fan of WoW, Guildwars, and such, and as someone that really really hates what the developers have done over the year in EQ. I can honestly say, I'd rank EQ2 on par with WoW for gaming experince as far as quality, finish and general enjoyment (time put in vs. what you get out).
Comment Posted by: Unmei on April 4, 2007 04:25 PM
Bah. I come to Mobhunter to read interesting commentary, not to hear Loral whine. This posting was depressing and has motivated me to post.
I swear that coming into contact with WoW makes people stupider. I used to keep in touch with some former EQ people who I used to -like- when they played EQ, but now everytime I encounter them in WoW I just want to bang my head on the table and put them on ignore. The entire game is dumbed down to the point where I feel like I'm playing a really pretty version of Angband. Appealing to the lowest common denominator with your shinyness does not equate to quality. A wise man once said: "Scooby Doo II: Cold, hard proof that millions of people CAN be wrong."
One thing I will give to WoW. It's a nice, stable product. Well, except when it's not, because it crashes my video card every hour or so. But I guess that's just what we ATI users have to deal with if we want to play their great game. In fact, I've probably had as much trouble keeping WoW running on two PCs as I've had with EQ in the same time frame. I'm glad it's great and stable for you, but please don't extend that mean it's great and stable for all.
That said... WoW is a pretty okay solo game. But if I want to play an MMO, WoW is never going to be it.
Maybe it's time for me to try out LotR online.
Comment Posted by: Keisa on April 4, 2007 05:46 PM
"You're not getting it. Loral is pro-quality... Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y. In today's MMO market, quality and polish are defined by WoW."
There is no denying WOW did a lot of things right. They produce a good quality product. But I don't think that is really what Loral was after. While quality was part of it, fun was the biggest part. The difference is that he doesn't appear to enjoy doing some of the things that are central part of EQ anymore. That's ok. After all, that is the purpose of playing any game.
Yes, WOW makes a quality product, but it isn't bug free. When I was playing, my pally epic was bugged for close to a month, and very few pallies got their epics during that time. If anyone attempted one encounter and failed, then no pally could do that encounter until the next server reset. Then, you had to be there and get the encounter done before some yoyo screwed it up again. I ran into a number of other bugs, approximately as many as I run into in EQ. Imagine that.
Just because a few million people like something doesn't mean it has quality. It just means it is popular. After all, McDonnels is hardly a quality meal, neither from a connisseur or the nutritionist viewpoint. Yet, they server burgers to a ton of people.
What does better mean when you are talking about a game? For me, I could care less about quality of the game so long as it functions and does what I want. It doesn't matter how many other people play it. Only one thing makes a game better for me... DO I ENJOY PLAYING IT?
When it comes down to it, I enjoyed WOW all the way up to the point that I stopped enjoying it. I quit playing the game and never looked back. It was never the most fun game I played, but it had it's moments. I'd say better than FFXI, SWG, EQ2, and a host of other games. The game that was the most fun when it was fun was COH, though when the fun died, I dropped that game faster than any other.
The one game that has staying power for me, that consistently delivers on the main reason I play... fun, the only game I cared enough to return after I quit for a time is EQ. Ya, ya, the graphics are dated, there are tons of bugs in the game (none of which break anything I am doing), and I don't always agree with how the devs balance things, but over all, it is still more fun than all those other games.
So, if you want to make a big deal out of WOW being a quality program or having a gagillion people playing it, go right ahead. Pat yourself on the back. If all that makes you feel better about playing WOW, more power to you. I'm happy for you, really I am. I will play the game that is fun for me, because that is the only relevant criteria that is important to me.
Good luck and good hunting,
Comment Posted by: Khareth on April 4, 2007 06:06 PM
"I swear that coming into contact with WoW makes people stupider. I used to keep in touch with some former EQ people who I used to -like- when they played EQ, but now everytime I encounter them in WoW I just want to bang my head on the table and put them on ignore."
Odds are your former friends are fine and you're the one with real problems. It's just a game, get over it.
Comment Posted by: Redhenna on April 4, 2007 06:38 PM
Moorgard, I would agree WoW is an incredibly polishedgame, but you can polish up alot of things I want nothing to do with. Quality, well, not so much, unless your idea of quality is simplistic gameplay, mediocre graphics, and not having to figure out almost anything for yourself. For some, WoW is a great game, but for some, WoW is incredibly bad. Of all the games I have tried in the last few months, WoW was hands down, the worst. On the scales I measure quality, it was not even close to many other games.
WoW is relatively bugfree, which is impressive, and they deserve alot of credit for it. Bugfree != fun, nor does bugfree != engaging, nor does bugfree != worth spending money on(as in, I seriously regret having spent money on WoW). Bugfree, but boring, is still boring, and that is how I found WoW. If, using the metric that Loral established, I was going to recommend a game to some one, WoW would not be it(nor would EQ, but I would probably mention it at least as a good game, which I would never mention WoW as).
I compare the new player experience I had in WoW, with the experience I had as a new player in EQ, and with the new player experience I had(and still have) with the game I am playing now, Eve Online, and WoWs was hands down the worst, for some one like me. EQ, I died within 5 minutes, repeatedly the first day. This, for me, is a good thing, I want to feel challenged. Eve Online, within a couple hours of upgrading to my first frigate, second day playing, I lost my ship, and everything on it that I had gotten. This was a good thing, I learned I had to be carefull. WoW, I almost had to try and die as a new player.
EQ, first day out, I lost a corpse(undead ruins in Qeynos Hills), and an experienced player dragged the corpse out to me, explained the use of /loc(so he could find me to drag my corpse to me), gave me 5pp to help get me started. Eve Online, I never failed to have questions as a new player answered, and was impressed by the players who went out of their way to help new players with questions. WoW, I was followed around by some one asking me, over and over again, 'R U relly a gurl' on my first day. My second day included some one spamming me with duel invites(in WoW, this pops up a window in the middle of your display), and kept on spamming me untill I just logged to get away.
I completely lack to understand how anyone finds WoW enjoyable. I found it attrocious. I also tho, understand that my tastes are not the same as everyone elses, and don't try and suggest that because I find WoW a steaming pile of crap(but a well polished steaming pile of crap), it is a bad game, or that EQ is a better game, in some universal, absolute measure. It's subjective, and each person will have a different idea. WoW players tend to trumpet '8 million players', like they are playign the right game, cuz everyone else does.
Comment Posted by: threedom on April 4, 2007 08:57 PM
I find it hilarious that people resort to defending their game by claiming how much harder and challenging it is than others. For the record, I play EQ, WoW, and have played many other MMO's. Both EQ and WoW are easy - yes, EASY. I'm sorry if you find it difficult, but I'm rarely challenged by these GAMES and neither are most of the people I play with. They are a good source of entertainment, but difficult? If you find these games hard, I'm afraid your head would explode if you had to spend a single day at my workplace.
I like EQ for different reasons than WoW, but I still enjoy both. And yes, I've had EQ players follow and make off-comments to my female wood elf ranger in the past, however, I wouldn't be as stupid as to conclude that all EQ players are juvenile kids. Just last week I had a lvl 75? character follow my chanter around spamming buff requests.
Again, sorry to hear that EQ is so demanding to you. Unfortunately, I fear you represent a small minority of players who don't understand what difficult really is.
Comment Posted by: FedUp on April 4, 2007 10:39 PM
My 10 year old daughter can play WoW (and she does, with 7 of her friends in the 4th grade). She has a 47 hunter and can kick your ass in PvP. But I can't stand the game, even when the gameplay and graphics capitvate, the social aspect is severely lacking... as Redhenna said, the jackasses follwing me around "u wanna dewel me? comeon u pussy dewel me!"
Vanguard is where it's at for me now. Tried LOTRO, and it's far too shallow, but now that the performance issues with Vanguard are going away, the game is simply brilliant, and it "grabs" me just like EQ used to.
Please get over the EQ v. WoW talks though. There are too many other products out there, and frankly, it's like comparing a 98 Kia to a 2005 Mercedes. The only similarity between WoW and EQ is that they are both MMOG's
Comment Posted by: Oldfar on April 5, 2007 01:44 AM
The latest Mobhunter's article by Loral is just indicative of an illness which affects all MMORPG writers eventually sooner or later, they become tired of the game and article quality suffers accordingly.
I remember well when Lum the Mad's site was the IT site for MMORPG(maybe 5-6 years ago) At the time Lum was a player and fan of EQ. Slowly through his posts you could see him becoming tired of EQ and become highly subjective. Next thing you know he was hired by upcoming DaoC ( smart move by Mystic).
We all know what happened to Moorguard the original Mobhunter. :) Blizzard is smart too.
So I am eagerly awaiting a new correspondent at Mobhunter or hoping I can find another site to come to see unjaded views on EQ.
I give it maybe 5-6 months tops till Loral goes to become community advisor at some upcoming MMORPG...not that there is anything wrong with that.
There is no need to punish yourself writing about a game you can no longer enjoy.
Comment Posted by: ABFugee on April 5, 2007 02:40 AM
Also did the missions mentioned by Loral. Definately not as polished as the Katta missions in their structure. Had problems with a 'kill 20' mission, there was only 19 mobs in the instance...
Relying so much on instances makes AB a pain on expansion release when the instances are so badly broken, and reports of the problems encountered have been ignored for over a year now. People that were waiting upto an hour for a single mission to start, only to have it crash, to try again, to have it crash again, stopped logging on after a bit. No-one actually seemed bothered about it from SoE. Staggering.
Katta missions had so many tricks available to them to make them soloable, entire guilds all got their faction/Orux/spells/armour without ever leaving the Guildhall except for the odd rogue/monk/bard.
When we took them todo Pirate missions (that should of been a whole lot cooler than killing snakes), the difficulty was totally out of wack. (though that mission with the boat was easy enough.)
What else is bad? Pathing. No, really. The level of pathing on each expansion continues to degrade (making me wonder if they're not adding any new machine on expansion releases, just cramming more in).
Rampant hacking going on, that's got to a state where toons with hours of playtime are racking up CoA gear and non-instanced content not being up due to said hackers killing their way around on a spree, it's depressing many a raider. Did I mention that the instances are broken? So with nothing non-instanced up, and instances not working, what's a raid todo? At least the Fableds are back though and it's a good year for 'em. Been enough people camping them to put off the sploiters I think. More people ready to report 'em (and spawn timers are being checked rigorously).
So yeah, hand aug is decent enough in TBS.
Been mentioned that there's a new slot on the TBS armour, slot13, that there's no actual augs for. They're due to be put in later (wasn't finished in time I suspect).
So, there's plenty of vision to the game, plenty of reach. It's just not working very well at the moment. It's not just lack of polish, but downright shoddy testing. Timeframes on these expansions are obviously too short. Any of these expansions would of been classic if given more time. (Imaging DoD and PoR together as a linked expansion, ToB not opening up till Mayong ascended). TSS and TBS together with a year's dev work, also would of been a classic expansion. As it is, we're getting mediocre expansions that were almost there. Almost got it right. Just not quite enough to keep us interested.
The twilight years of EQ are closing in, slow things down. Less is more on content if it works right. See how it goes.
Just no more bugged and broken missions, it's sapping our will to play.
Comment Posted by: sativa on April 5, 2007 02:59 AM
C'mon people, this site is for WoW bashing and EQ fanboism. Ignore all the quality control lapses, horrendous customer service, lack of vision, and previous generation graphics. Make personal attacks on anyone who dares to have a less than 100% positive view of the game and the company. Take each criticism of the game, whether valid or not, personally and defend yourselves vigorously. That's the way, we can keep EQ alive forever if we just bury our heads in the sand.
Comment Posted by: Klonn Darkbane on April 5, 2007 03:29 AM
'The latest Mobhunter's article by Loral is just indicative of an illness which affects all MMORPG writers eventually sooner or later, they become tired of the game and article quality suffers accordingly.'
It's either that or they wake up one day and think "I've just passed the 10,000 hour mark on this game, and through no fault of my own, have wasted another precious evening of my time because of inadequate testing on SOE's part. I'm paying them for this crap???".
Comment Posted by: concerned1 on April 5, 2007 09:41 AM
isnt it beautiful loral? to see some of these people turn on you in the instant you speak out against eq? you know what is ironic though? one day eq will shut down. all those hours put into getting 1k plus aa and raiding this and that for "phat lewtz " wont amount to a hill of beans.just imagine it skuz and keisha....your precious little toons deleted. how will you get back what you put in them? you cant. it will just be over.
Comment Posted by: Keisa on April 5, 2007 10:05 AM
"So, there's plenty of vision to the game, plenty of reach. It's just not working very well at the moment. It's not just lack of polish, but downright shoddy testing. Timeframes on these expansions are obviously too short. Any of these expansions would of been classic if given more time. (Imaging DoD and PoR together as a linked expansion, ToB not opening up till Mayong ascended). TSS and TBS together with a year's dev work, also would of been a classic expansion. As it is, we're getting mediocre expansions that were almost there. Almost got it right. Just not quite enough to keep us interested."
Interesting. Why would you think that taking twice as long to develop double the content would reduce bugs and make things more stable? The larger and more complex things are, the more unstable they tend to be.
Comment Posted by: Unmei on April 5, 2007 10:22 AM
"snt it beautiful loral? to see some of these people turn on you in the instant you speak out against eq? you know what is ironic though? one day eq will shut down. all those hours put into getting 1k plus aa and raiding this and that for "phat lewtz " wont amount to a hill of beans.just imagine it skuz and keisha....your precious little toons deleted. how will you get back what you put in them? you cant. it will just be over."
Uhm...duh? And you think this won't happen to WoW? Everything ends. I'll die someday too, and then what will I do with my time?
And as an aside: Maybe I've changed and my friends who play WoW haven't, but -boy- I sure don't remember them making as many immature and childish comments when I used to hang out with them. So yeah. Maybe I've just gotten more mature, but I doubt it.
Comment Posted by: blitz on April 5, 2007 12:06 PM
Substitute the word 'anal' for 'mature' and you'll have the answer.
Comment Posted by: Tolem on April 5, 2007 12:58 PM
So basically what I've gotten from the posts is that Loral got bored with EQ...so what? He has just as much a right to be bored with the game as anyone else...I just think he should write about WoW (since he, several times, mentioned how he can not steer people in any direction other than WoW)intsead of EQ. If you don't like the game (Loral), stop playing. I understand that you're trying to be as fair to EQ(in your writings) as you can be while you're awestruck with WoW; but its not very fair to the people who love EQ to hear, "In the mean time, however, when ever asked by a new player which massive online game to play, I have little reason to point them anywhere else but World of Warcraft. It's a better game.", when you're supposed to be writing for EQ...what ever happened to loyalty? I sure hope you're not getting payed to slander EQ on an EQ site...
Comment Posted by: Redhenna on April 5, 2007 04:16 PM
Concerned1, I think you don't understand something. EQ is a game. That means that, in real terms, none of the loot we got in EQ, none of the AA's, means anything. On the other hand, the great amount of enjoyment I got while attaining those things, that means alot. I can't get that same enjoyment, not even close, from WoW. That kinda makes WoW not nearly as good a game, as it fails to deliver, for me, what I play games for...entertainment.
For those tryng to suggest people are attacking Loral for being a WoW fan...I don't think it is so much that, though maybe a little. I think it is more that, when you burn out on EQ, or can't put the time and effort into it any longer, well...you just are not going to find it entertaining any more. If you don't like the type of entertainment that makes EQ, it probably is time to move on. Everything in Loral's article leads one to suspect that, from the shorta attention span opening, to the complaints that fairly easy missions are so hard and time consuming. EQ cannot afford to change fundamentally to be a better fit for Loral's playstyle(any fundamental change on that scale would kill EQ, losing far more players than it gained). So what we have is some one for whom an expansion is not aimed at, being unhappy with an expansion...well, duh. None of this makes Loral's comments bad, or wrong as such(cept the WoW is better comment), just not entirely in context.
Comment Posted by: Brett on April 5, 2007 04:43 PM
Back to the subject of this expansion.
Not only does it have all new currency, the money can't be spent for spells etc. without faction. Since so few bought the expansion, it's very hard to sell or trade currency you can't use, unlike the DON Crystals which are still worth getting even if you don't need them any more.
The main city is a MESS; for no reason I can imagine, it's HUGE and takes forever to run around in to reach the portals and merchants.
The boat ticketing is confusing too although it's a interesting idea. I haven't explored everything in the seas, but it's possible to swim to all the islands if you don't want to take a boat.
Comment Posted by: Loral on April 5, 2007 08:53 PM
"one day eq will shut down. all those hours put into getting 1k plus aa and raiding this and that for "phat lewtz " wont amount to a hill of beans."
Not if you understand from the beginning that what we gain from this game is not loot or experience but the friends we meet along the way. I will never regret my time spent in EQ.
Comment Posted by: romainelettuce on April 6, 2007 02:52 AM
Ironic isn't it, how the same adults who complain about adolescent WoW gamers respond to Loral's TBS opinion piece with attacks on his character. Here's a thought: Loral, keep writing whatever the hell you want and Everyone Else, you can choose not to come to this free site if the opinions expressed here prove to be so distressing to your psyche. Otherwise, try to engage in some form of intelligent debate, leave the personal crap behind, and maybe you won't come off looking like whining hypocrites to the rest of us. Just a thought.
Comment Posted by: Keisa on April 6, 2007 01:17 PM
I don't think anyone here is attacking Loral's character. Expressing concern about what he chooses to write about is not too unexpected. Everyone has an opinion, and part of putting yours out there for everyone to see is that you will have some discenting viewpoints. That people won't agree with you is a fact of every single editor's life. We just hope they address their disagreements and keep them on the subject matter instead of making personal attacks, which I think most everyone does here.
When I started reading this website, there were a lot of editorials about different aspects of the game. It was interesting to read a viewpoint that wasn't too close to the company point of view nor a complete slam against the game. I found reading them gave me insight into the game, at least the editor's insight. Comments were given as to how the game functioned and what the editor thought about the way it functioned and suggestions for improving the game. I got to hear the latest news and some feedback on what it meant to me as a player.
Over time, that content has been eroded on this website to the point that pretty much all that is left is a basic place for people to come and whine about EQ and WoW. With maybe one exception in the last ten or so threads, every one ends up with the following...
No it doesn't. If you don't like it, go away. EQ fanboi alert!
WoW is better because they sold a gagillion copies.
No, they arent.
WoW fanboi alert!
EQ is dying.
No, it isn't.
OK, it'll die in 3+ years.
Yada, yada, yada
Who cares about all that? It's just people wagging their tongues and tells us nothing about the value of either of the games. It is boring and a total waste of everyone's time.
News flash. WOW is a good game. If you like it, play it. EQ is a good game. If you like that, go play it. If you like both, play them both. Don't get bent out of shape because someone else doesn't share your opinion or play the same game you like. We all eat different foods, wear different clothes, play different sports, watch different programs on TV, etc. What does it matter if we choose different computer games to entertain us?
Instead of hearing that WOW is better than EQ or vice versa, I'd like to hear about what changes went into that game and what makes it worth playing, as well as what player think about it, above and beyond the obvious WOW is easy street played by pre-puberty teenage boys with no life and EQ has no low end game and is dieing a slow and painful death played by people with no life. We've heard all that, about a million times already. It's old news. It's boring.
Let's move along to something that has value.
Comment Posted by: Jooneau on April 6, 2007 03:40 PM
The Buried Sea expansion sucks. Does anyone out there disagree with that statement?
Comment Posted by: Keisa on April 6, 2007 04:25 PM
"The Buried Sea expansion sucks. Does anyone out there disagree with that statement?"
Comment Posted by: coolio on April 6, 2007 06:15 PM
I didn't buy TBS, in fact, I stopped buying expansions for all my EQ accounts some time ago. One account has expired and the other two will expire also in June and July. I haven't played EQ in three months, don't miss it, and wish remaining players all the best. I did buy TBC for my one WoW account, was disappointed with the itemization (they went way overboard on the green gear), but overall was very satisfied with the content and stability of the expansion. I'm still debating whether to try Vanguard, but WoW pretty much fills up any free time I have right now anyway.
Comment Posted by: sexywoodelf on April 6, 2007 06:26 PM
"You know something Loral, why don't you just quit Everquest altogether & stop writing for Mobhunter & go write in some WoW fanboi site?
I honestly think your objectivity has been lost, your eq heart has gone & your wow heart is in its place.
It really sounds like you are not into a hard game any more. WoW has that effect on some people, giving them quests that almost complete themselves, and require basically nothing from the player other than to stay awake.
I suspect, based on your comments, that you just are not up to harder, more challenging games right now. Complaining about having to figure out how something worked that was new to you, and quests that take time to complete, and then wiping and just giving up(I did laugh at the 'oh no, we wiped...well, I will just go play WoW' people in your group), these things make me think that you just are not the type player EQ is aiming for currently.
When you met a quest in WOW that was hard for you, you quit it. I think that says tons about what you want in a game.
Bah. I come to Mobhunter to read interesting commentary, not to hear Loral whine.
The latest Mobhunter's article by Loral is just indicative of an illness which affects all MMORPG writers eventually sooner or later, they become tired of the game and article quality suffers accordingly."
Whew, I'm glad everyone made an attempt to focus on the game and not on Loral's character. :P
Comment Posted by: Bunion on April 6, 2007 08:25 PM
I stopped playing EQ several years ago but I still regularly read mobhunter just for Loral's view of the game and of other games.
I have played almost every MMORPG that has came out EQ, EQ2, SWG, DAoC, AO, WoW, CoH, AC2 just to name the ones I can remember off hand.
I am no where near as hard core a player as I used to be. I remember when EQ first came out on my days off I would log in around 8am and play until 1 or 2am straight. I have yet to do that with any game since. I like WoW for what it is, a game that I can play solo if I want or if some of my RL friends are on I can do an instance with them.
In EQ there was a lot of down time and even during fights you didn't really do a whole lot. Melee classes hit Auto attack and then kick when ever it refreshed and healers just threw out a heal every now and then. This allowed a lot of time for socializing. You really got to know people (as well as you can get to know someone in an online game anyway.) I used to have a lot of fun in pick up groups when you got a good group. These are probably the most fond memmories of EQ I have and it is why I put 200 days of playing time in.
Now with the newer games where you have 20 or more skills/spells you need to use non-stop there really isn't any time to socialize other than Teamspeak and that really isn't the same. You could sort of ignore people that just typed stupid stuff nonstop, but in teamspeak you really have to listen to them.
I remember players I grouped with back when I was level 10 in original EQ although I may have never seen them since then. With the exception of the players in my guild in EQ2 none of these other games had any players that I could even remember their names. In these new games if you join a pick up group the only interaction with them will be a "Hi" when the join and a "Thanks for the group" when they leave and that is if you are lucky and they just don't drop without saying anything. In EQ players could build up a reputation and even if they weren't the best of players you still would want to group with them just because they were fun to play with. Now the only thing people look for is a random healer to fill their last slot.
Anyhow my post sort of went off topic, but I don't have a problem with Loral complaining about an EQ expansion. I hope he continues to play and write about it even though I stopped playing EQ a long time ago.
Comment Posted by: RosesAreRed on April 7, 2007 12:07 PM
I think the current level of customer service indicates the lack of interest by SOE. It used to be that a GM or Guile could be contacted for help, weddings, name changes, disputes, broken quests, stuck chars etc.
Now, it's rare to never to find one on, and the /petition system is cumbersome and unpopular. Responses typically come by e mail days after the submission.
Currently on my server, Bertoxx, there is an entire small guild, composed of alts and a few others, that continually trains camps everywhere. The suspicion is that it is some kind of hack as well as a behavior violation of the EULA. Multiple guildies, including the Guild Leaders, have both petitioned and talked to the GMs about this individual. Based on server wide chats and bazaar chats, so have many others. We have submitted text dumps and screen shots and yet, he continues to play AND to defend his behavior.
There is no explanation why this person is not banned. The other night a GM was on and we were asked to talk to him about this. The GM immediately went off line. Great Customer Service, huh?
Comment Posted by: bugs on April 8, 2007 04:59 AM
I'd sooner believe in the Easter Bunny than in GM's.
Comment Posted by: wormy on April 8, 2007 09:26 AM
I made a break for several month, came back when the beta for TBS startet, got in, looked around - and canceled my subscription again *eg*. The Pirates side was far too hard - without top level raiding gear. Nothing there for casuals to close the equipment gap.
EQ is a game for hardcore gamers, with lots of spare time. It's no longer for those who have a life outside the game. Even Vanguard is more friendly to casuals.
SOE dropped the ball on EQ, they keep milking the last remaining customers with less and less appealing expansions.
The next round of server mergers will come soon, long before the next useless expansion. Without the mergers, no one will ever find any group to play this group-only content (outside its own guild). A lot of players left for Vanguard, some others returned to WoW (BC). And other games are coming this year.
For me it's game over in EQ (finally), far behind the current level of the game, with no chance to catch-up in my lifetime.
I played this game since Beta3 - but somehow I've outgrown it *g*.
Play it, while you enjoy it - but don't call others losers or lamers, because those don't like EQ anymore.
Comment Posted by: Greif on April 9, 2007 02:42 AM
I find it amusing that SOE "cheerleaders" are coming forward to denounce Loral both here and in the official forums for daring to write a less than glowing review of the latest expansion. Where were they when Loral was writing overly positive reviews?
I think its a breath of fresh air and long overdue that someone actually came forward and called a spade a spade. There is very little integrity in gaming reviews these days, a negative and honest review is refreshing.
I remember slogging through GoD as a player, it was a sheer torture of an expansion - bug-filled and unplayable. I remember thinking, "for this POS crap expansion XXX-gamer magazine gave a 9/10 rating? WTF they smonking?" No honesty in gaming reviews.
Comment Posted by: Skuz on April 9, 2007 06:30 PM
"A Late, Incomplete, and Pessimistic Review of the Buried Sea"
Title of the article, followed by a brief run through of a tiny portion of the expansion.
The thing is I wasn't denouncing Loral's character so much as I was denouncing his lack of commitment to writing an in-depth article.
He glosses over a few details wraps it up & puts it out, thats just asking for trouble, if his life is now so full he cannot devote the time it takes to explore an expansion before writing an article I submit he should go write articles for a game he does have time to devote to writing in a fuller fashion.
Having no time to explore & experience something then putting out an incomplete view achives very little, no real conclusions about TBS should be drawn from a less than half-attempt.
I am critical because I had grown used to far better & much more in-depth articles from Loral, this one was truly disappointing.
-7 for lack of efort.
Comment Posted by: Loral on April 9, 2007 08:08 PM
I tell you, whenever I go find postings about my articles on the forums it is always a mistake. I'm still not sure why anyone would bother to talk about me instead of just giving their opinions on the expansion.
I do have one clarification to the comments I've seen saying that I'm bringing up difficulty and calling it a "bug".
On the mission in Katta described in the article, no one in our party recieved the item we needed to correctly finish the mission. If we hadn't have had someone in our guild around who happened to have the item in the bank, we would not have completed it.
Not being given a quest item when we're supposed to is a bug. It's a bug that has the potential to waste a lot of time. It isn't a difficulty thing, it isn't a challenge. It's broken.
I'm also a little dismayed that people take an article about a single expansion and relate it to the entire game. I loved The Serpent's Spine and I loved Depths of Darkhollow. I didn't like Prophecy of Ro and I don't particularly like The Buried Sea. I'm more saddened by the Buried Sea because it has all of the specifications for the sort of expansion I should love: instanced group content, good point reward system, multiple levels of difficulty. However, I don't particularly like it.
I recognize that I'm not giving it a full fair chance and I state that in the title of the article itself. A lot of other folks seem to enjoy it and, for $30, its probably worth it for a lot of people. I was pretty put off from the few adventures I did have, though, and it hasn't motivated me to go back in. Instead, I'd rather spend my time on other things.
It's also a little dismaying that everyone calls me a WOW fanboi when I clearly described the things I DON'T like about WoW: a lack of group focus and a lot of filler quests that have you retrieving mundain drops from mundain enemies. When I play WOW I feel like I'm just killing time and I'm not sure to what end.
That doesn't sound like a WoW fanboi to me.
Off to play more Guitar Hero 2. Right now I'd rather learn to play "Message In A Bottle" on Expert than get my hunter to level 70.
Comment Posted by: Glormane on April 10, 2007 07:31 AM
I am quite enjoying TBS, I dont want to get embroiled in the WOWLoralmidEQcrisisscandal. I've never played WoW so I cant realistically comment.
I enjoyed doing the Hand aug quest. Many parts were soloable and you could pursue them when time was short.
I enjoyed the challenge of the Katta progression quests to the raid zone.
I am AOA flagged but I still found the some of the armour pieces an upgrade.
I didnt enjoy the fact that TBS missions are flat, like DoN. No reward in the actual mission, just currency towards gear (albeit much better than DoN, though no augs) its repetative rubbish.
I thought the loot from the named in TBS (the zone) was shocking. 150hp gear for 68 to 75 required levels, when better gear was available from in DoDh missions where the max req level was 70.
Comment Posted by: Keisa on April 10, 2007 02:21 PM
I wouldn't worry about people calling you a WOW fanboi, and griping because you don't like the expansion. How is that any different than when all the tired of EQ crowd calls you an EQ fanboi and complains about what you write? You've lived with that for years. By now, you should know that no matter what you do, someone will dispute it. I don't like if that is a fact of life, but it definitely is a fact of internet life and being an editorialist. Shake it off.
As to that mission you mentioned. Yes, that is a bug, and an annoying one. It happened to us once, and we couldn't finish because of it. It is why I made a habit to keep one of those scrolls on hand. Yes, I agree with you that players shouldn't have to do special things to work around bugs. Still, given that the bug exists, a little insurance never hurts. Then, it's a non issue.
BTW, have you read about the upcoming changes to DON cultural armor? What is your take on that?
Comment Posted by: pffft on April 10, 2007 09:12 PM
Guitar Hero 2 is a much better game than EQ. Discuss.
Comment Posted by: Eldoria Flamestar on April 11, 2007 11:36 AM
Wow Pffft I guess you should be glad EQ exist if it did not it appears you would have nothing to do in life since it would not be around for you to knock on it :P
Comment Posted by: pffft on April 11, 2007 07:49 PM
Eldoria, you should be glad I exist for the same reason. ;)
Comment Posted by: Loral on April 11, 2007 08:50 PM
Somewhere in the cobwebs of my mind exists an article that talks about what we GAIN from games.
I have two hours free right now. I could go hunt in Theater of Blood with my guild (and my wife) or I could get about 1/3 of the way to 66 in WoW (my wife just got her flying mount) or I can go practice "message in a bottle", "can you hear me knockin" and "Crazy on You" in Guitar Hero 2. Which one gives me the benefit? Is practicing in one game just to get better any different than gaining levels in another?
Not since beating Vishimtar a couple of months ago did I feel the same way I feel when I nailed the opening chords of "Message In A Bottle" in GH2 and it took me a whole lot less time to feel that way.
Now here's an idea to blow your mind:
A new MMO with four character class types: alchemist, shadowdancer, bard, and blademaster.
During combat, the Alchemist has to perform operations of basic math (like Brain Age) or line up the proper components (like Meteos). The Shadowdancer must use fancy footwork (like Dance Dance Revolution). The bard must perform the right songs (like Guitar Hero 2) and the swordsmaster has to swing and block with controls like a Wii Remote. Only with the proper combination of actual complementary skills can a party hope to get through the whole game.
So how about it? A GH2 / DDR / Brain Age / Meteos / Wii Boxing based RPG?
Comment Posted by: Aarkan on April 12, 2007 12:36 AM
Loral, I know it's a rhetorical question but I shall answer anyway. People will get bored of that game very quickly because it requires far too much work. Playing Marvel on Wii is far less fun than playing it on any other console because with Wii you have to jab around with the wiimote to do things that would normally be done with just hitting the a button or b and a trigger button. People LOVE to just hit their 1 and 2 to taunt and kick to get by.
Comment Posted by: ispent10000hoursonEQ on April 12, 2007 03:03 AM
"Wow Pffft I guess you should be glad EQ exist if it did not it appears you would have nothing to do in life since it would not be around for you to knock on it"
How dare you begin your sentence with the name of a better game than EQ? If you can't be loyal to EQ I suggest you find a WoW fanboi site to post on.
Comment Posted by: wiggles on April 12, 2007 08:01 AM
The problem I see with this latest article and Loral's opinion is that both are crap. If you're tired or bored with EQ, fine. But don't take it out on a TBS review to somehow justify things.
TBS is farily decent although somewhat small. Like an LoY expansion in size. The single raid zone is for the few absolute top end guilds currently. What TBS offers others are some pretty good gear upgrades in static zones and nice bought gear, either pirate or katta - and 2 levels to choose from. Yes katta ally is the best but the other choices are probably far better than the casual player has. It also takes time like ldon or don to buy the parts. Expansions are meant to be played 6 months until the next one comes out. You won't get the best gear in the first week unless you're hardcore gunning for it. However, if you continue playing away, it will come.
If you don't want to play EQ anymore (or as much). Fine, lots of people get there. I even quit for over a year in 2005. But after taking a long break, trying out some other options including WoW, I came back to EQ because for all its warts, it's got depth.
People hang out in social networks because they all have the same likes. They may have other likes and dislikes but in each network, they have a common like. Mobhunter used to be an EQ social network. Over the last 8 months turned into a rant forum. That's why people who come to an EQ "fan" site and find the owner ragging on the game upsetting. People can tell the difference between ranting at in-game deficiencies and ranting at the game itself. Loral, you've crossed over. Move on, keep the memories of the fun you had in EQ instead of trying to justify your new enjoyment by ridiculing your previous.
Comment Posted by: the dude on April 13, 2007 02:54 AM
while we're picking on loral id like to bring something up.
please stop with the "gear gap" stuff. just get over it.
meet john. john raids anywhere from 1 to 5 days a week with his long time guild. when hes not raiding hes working on "casual" content. at this very moment he's likely grinding out AA number 452.
meet matt. matt raids 7 days a week. on his off time he works on "casual" content. at this very moment he's likely working on his hand bone aug from TBS.
meet jenna. jenna does not raid but used to. these days she focuses on trade skilling and fits a task, mission or quest in every once in a awhile. jenna is always down to help you with your epic, even if its camping fear golems.
its 2007 NOT 2003.. wake up. jenna doesnt exsist anymore. shes playin wii, warcraft or vanguard or etc. more than likely.
and loral its been fun dood. hope your replacement (if there is one) is as good as you.
Comment Posted by: Blahs on April 13, 2007 04:07 AM
meet joe. joe owns 3 accounts and logs in on weekends for a couple of hours of entertainment. joe never raids, groups whenever possible, and solos when he has to. joe is known as a casual player. like many other players, joe is quite computer literate and makes a decent wage. subscription fees aren't really an issue with joe as he has a rather large entertainment budget. joe likes to play all types of pc games, including various MMO's. now you may think that soe would embrace customers like joe because he plays infrequently, doesn't utilize many resources, rarely bugs GM's or Customer Services, and has made a commitment to long term subscription plans and multiple accounts. well, it's 2007, not 2005 and joe has left EQ. somewhere along the line joe got fed up with all the bugs, the departure of many of his in-game friends, the endless lfg's, and SOE's complete abandonment of the casual gamer. oh, and other companies came out with different but very entertaining alternatives. why didn't SOE recognize joe as EASY MONEY? i guess we'll never know, but let's take a moment here to remember joe, that nice guy who's money used to subsidize the game so SOE could churn out relatively stable expansions for the EQ community, casuals and hardcore gamers alike. goodbye joe, we'll miss you.
Comment Posted by: Teremar on April 13, 2007 11:46 AM
I'm curious what those who are apparently trying to get Loral to quit writing Mobhunter think will happen if they succeed. Loral didn't just magically appear when Moorgard left--he already had a site and extensive writings. So is there anyone out there you think is ready to take over? (And if so, why aren't you reading their site right now?) The more likely scenario: Mobhunter has no advertising, as far as I can tell generates no income, and thus has no obligation to anyone to continue existing. If Loral goes, I presume Mobhunter will go, and there goes yet another piece of what holds the EQ community together. Is that what you want? If not, wouldn't it be better to try to reignite his love for the game with, say, more tales of exciting adventures in the expansion? The current approach seems to be "The beatings will continue until morale improves."
On a more cheerful topic: you've got a cute idea Loral, but I don't see it happening. The trouble is that all those games have a steep learning curve, and it's not clear that everyone can reach anywhere near the top. Let's face it: though skill matters in today's MMORGs, the gap between a really good player and a mediocre player isn't all that big. In particular, a mediocre player will be fine most of the time. If that weren't the case, it would be almost impossible to form a pick-up group. Imagine trying to figure out how powerful someone is when it's not a matter of level. "So, can you play Free Bird?"
Besides, who wants to play an incompetent? I remember when my son wanted to play Jedi Academy at about age five: he was pretty much pressing buttons at random, but the game managed to turn it into cool Jedi moves. I'm afraid this would do the opposite.
I'm also really dubious about combat mechanics that don't feel like, well, combat. That's what turned me off on EQ2--the group combo thing felt completely arbitrary.
Comment Posted by: Loral on April 13, 2007 05:43 PM
People don't seem to get that I still play EQ three days a week. I haven't quit and I don't plan to. I haven't quit writing for Mobhunter and I don't plan to.
As Teremar stated, not only does this site not generate any income what so ever - it actually costs me money to maintain it.
Now, given the strange state of my mind recently, you all may need to put up with whatever articles it is I plan on writing in the future. They may be similar to ones I wrote before, they may be videos of me playing Guitar Hero 2 with my cat. You are free to read them or not.
As always, you can get a full refund for your money spent, which, technically speaking, means you owe me money...
Comment Posted by: Aarkan on April 13, 2007 06:12 PM
Where do I send the check?
Comment Posted by: Rarley on April 13, 2007 09:14 PM
I want to see the video of you playing Guitar Hero 2 with your cat! Can your cat jam or what?
Comment Posted by: Loraldoesntgetit on April 14, 2007 03:09 AM
All some readers really want from you Loral is for you to write the articles they lack the talent or commitment to write themselves. They want you to present their viewpoints and experiences of the game. Otherwise, they'll nitpick your writing, quote lines out of context, twist your words around, and launch personal attacks. These same readers are incapable of writing articles worthy of publishing, so they bitch and complain when they can't find someone to do it for them. Accept them for who they are and don't try to please them. Most of us would welcome reviews of other MMO's as well.
Comment Posted by: nctrader on April 15, 2007 10:51 PM
Like Loral and many others, when I have limited time to play on any given day, its not going to be EQ. I've been playing EQ off and on now for 8 years and the play experience has gotten worse over the last two or three years.
I do play WoW and I do enjoy WoW, but as others have stated, it satisfies a different need, which for most of us is mostly time based.
As we all grow older, get married, have kids and get a real job, the time spent playing MMO's will be reduced. On a typical day for the typical married, working Joe/Jane, getting out two to three hours in a given day/night is a luxury. Imagine trying to do all you can and be all you can be in EQ on two hours a night. The fun factor will just not be there, especially if you were an EQ player before you became the married, working hero that you are. You'll probably try twice as hard to keep up woth your guild friends and peers and at the end of the day, it becomes another job.
So yes, for me, WoW is a great substitue, and I enjoy my time playing when I get a chance. EQ of old will always have my heart and EQ of now will never have my money again as its not worth it to me to play due to the time required to gain the fun factor.
For many of us aging MMO's players, it comes down to fun factor per limited time available per day.
And yes, this TBS expansion does suck. Thank god its was a borrowed account.
My god, why does SOE continue to miss the boat on player wants and needs.
Comment Posted by: Ktok on April 16, 2007 03:26 PM
It never fails to amaze me that people will point to clearly bugged or unconscionably tedious tasks in EQ (24 hour camps anyone?) and proclaim, proudly, that their game is obviously harder and more hardcore than someone elseís poison of choice.
Being riddled with bugs and lacking play testing does not equate to being hardcore. Neither does actually having so little of a life that you can camp a mob for an entire day, or god forbid even longer.
I cut my MMO teeth on Ultima Online, and EQ took my attention from that in short order. I played that game for years and only stopped when EQ2 hit the streets. Thatís where my guild and I call home currently, and while at times I miss EQ, every time I try to return I feel violently rebuffed by SOEís fixation on making the game as top heavy as humanly possible. I left EQ with my warrior at level 68 and very nicely geared for the time. Now heís basically gimp and I canít pay people for groups because I donít have X armor and Y weapon or Z hitpoints unbuffed which wasnít even physically possible when I quit.
The path back to EQ is barred for me, and likely will remain as such. SOE has, through their development priorities, told me that they no longer want my business as far as EQ goes. EQ2 and WoW, however, are there to console me. They whisper ďThere, thereÖ itíll be OK. You donít have to divorce your wife and abandon personal hygiene to have enough time to play us.Ē
Comment Posted by: RosesAreRed on April 20, 2007 05:14 PM
Have you seen what the new hot zones are?
Dragon Necropolis for 60+ and WOS for 65+
DN is almost impossible to get to without a port and WOS was already a busy zone. Now it's a hotbed of Ksing and name calling.
Comment Posted by: Sunshadow on April 22, 2007 06:42 PM
Of the new Hotzones, I tried Burning woods but the lack of visability in that zone was frustrating. As for DN it is easier to get to than Riftseekers so I have no problems with that. As for WOS and DS they were kinda weird choices as I see them a 2 zones which people still use. Some GoD zones would have been a better choice.
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