It was a rainy Friday night. I was tired from a long week and was set on a relaxing evening at home. The conscience in my head told me, "Log on to EQII...you have guild writs to do and those heritage quests have been hanging around for eons. I mean seriously, you haven't finished the Dwarven Workboots yet!"
But I had other ideas. My hands trembled as I pulled the box out of the nondescript paper bag. As I put the cd into the drive and began the installation process I felt that somewhere a tear was rolling down Smed's noble visage.
Yes, I was jonesing for the delightful fix of a new mmo and I couldn't resist another day. I wanted to taste a new world...
A World of Warcraft.
I'm just going to give you some general, uniformed impressions. The installation was a bit of a headache and the character creator was a little disapointing in its lack of customization. But then I felt the same way about EQII's character creator when I first came over from City of Heroes which has a great one.
I kind of planned on writing about how the level of maturity and courtesy was better in EQII but reality had other ideas. The majority of people I ran into were smart and helpful. I met a Paladin who basically gave me a complete and much needed tutorial through level ten (the levels come quickly). WoW drops you right into the action unlike EQII which does a fantastic job of getting you up to speed on most aspects of gameplay with the Isle of Refuge.
Don't get me wrong, there are some immature players as well. One was trying the age old phony mistell prank : "So if you kill a hundred chickens you really jump to level 60? Oops mistell." There was much less clever idiocy in the general channel as well. But, it was a tolerable level and was balanced by the helpful people. You really can kill chickens by the way.
The quests seemed lacking in quantity as opposed to EQII but had a bit of an edge in quality I thought. By that I mean they had a touch more of an engaging story wrapped around the similar kill ten mobs/fedex stuff. The combat seemed a tad more fast paced and is definitely fun.
Probably my favorite thing about the game was how absolutely cool the mage class is. You just feel so much more wizardly when you're doing things like turning mobs into sheep, teleporting all over the place and conjuring (useful) food and water along with the traditional dps stuff. I didn't play the other classes enough to comment but seemingly the rogue is popular since I saw roughly seven million rogues skulking about.
One cool moment came when I was wandering Stormwind, the big human city. I found myself in an impressive throne room where the young looking King was surrounded by advisors and a circle of elite guards. It was interesting to me because I've yet to see Queen Heather in EQII. As I was checking it out some uber level 60 guy came in and knelt down in front of the King, presumably getting some high level quest. It was a neat scene.
I didn't really PvP much but I did get involved in a duel. I was wandering in a village and I guess I was near a duel flag, whatever that is. A player challenged me to a duel and I declined. Said player than laughed at me. The same player then challenged me again and I accepted. I then got a royal beatdown and the player saluted me. It was kind of fun and I don't think I lost any xp or gear durability.
But fear not, I'm not going to be leaving Norrath and this blog will retain its EQII focus. It turns out I like Everquest II better for mainly subjective reasons like the art style. As I've said before I'm lucky enough to be in a guild with smart, funny people so that helps too. I'm probably not going to have any time to play WoW so I expect to cancel before the month's end.
It's impossible to review an MMO fairly without really putting extensive time into it so I'm not trying to do that. For now, I'll say it seems like a great game but not so much better than EQII that it deserves such a disproportionately larger number of subscribers. It's just a different flavor of ice cream. I kind of wish a few more WoW players would at least try the EQII Trial of the Isle to see if they like it but that doesn't seem to happening. Here's an ingame conversation:
Paladin: This your first time playing WoW?
Aggro: Yeah, first night, I usually play EQII.
Paladin: What's EQII?
Aggro: Everquest II
I'm not making that up. And another tear rolls down Smed's cheek...