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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

World of Aggro

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

Paladin: Oh.

I'm not making that up. And another tear rolls down Smed's cheek...


Blogger Hirebrand said...

Booo! Come play Guild Wars. :)

4:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I await the post in the upcoming weeks that this is now a World of Warcraft blog. haha.

Who knows, get a few of your bros from EQ2 tearing up Azeroth and I bet EQ2 will take a backseat for at least a few months.


9:06 AM  
Blogger Quylein said...

I have a free 10day trial for about a month now and still havent used it. I'm tempted to try myself but I just have so much fun in EQ2 ATM that it's hard to break away for this WOW.

10:15 AM  
Blogger supernoob said...

I think you will tire of the technical problems existant in WoW if nothing else.

BTW: This was MY in-game conversation.

[1 General]Other: Don't ever leave this game for Everquest 2.
You tell Other: Why what's bad about it?
Other tells you: Everything, it just sux.
You tell Other: C'mon specifically...questing? Graphics? Socials?
Other tells you: All of it...it totally sux. Anything made by Sony is crap
You tell other: How long did you play EQ2 before quitting?
Other tells you: I never did. Blizzard rulez and everyone else sux the big.....

I'm not making that up. Maturity like that is what really made me leave.

But now that battlegrounds are open I might go back at least for a month and try them out.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Pirate Alice said...

I wouldn't mind hearing you review City of Heros... How about throwing that our way? I've only played Guild Wars and EQII so far, LOVE LOVE LOVE EQII....but I am curious about City of Heros

12:17 PM  
Blogger Mr.X said...

Boy, the quest system in EQ2 really shined for me and made WOW's look bad. WOW = Kill ten rats, play a sound, and collect your reward. Compare that with the good quests in EQ2.

What on earth made you try WOW at this late date ?

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Indy said...

I actually did download the free trial of the Isle and tried it out before installing WoW, and it was okay... but when I started playing WoW, I never looked back.

Of course, I didn't have any friends in EQ2 - having buddies in a game makes the game more appealing, no matter what it is. I found WoW much more solo-able, and designed more to encourage fun than to punish mistakes. (Compare the penalty for death in WoW to that in EQ2, for one...) I also can't speak to the end-game, haven't gotten there yet; as far as quests go, I've never been short of ones to work on, and they've been quite useful in directing me to new places at appropriate levels.

Eh, I won't say that I'll never do EQ2; heh, maybe I'll fire up the trial again during a server maintainence (Tues mornings). But it's just too grind-y for me, I think. Regardless, I'll keep reading here.

Never go on an adventure without a hat!

12:33 PM  
Blogger Aggro Me said...

Glad to see this sparked some comments. This is a topic that can be well debated on both sides.

I was just so curious about WoW's high subscriber numbers that I thought maybe I was missing a truly amazing game. Now that I've seen it, I can go back to my EQ II fun in peace (for the moment at least).

I haven't purchased Guild Wars yet but I would like to try it. I wasn't wild about the beta but that's hardly fair.

As for City of Heroes, I absolutely loved it but then got suddenly bored with it. I have been meaning to see how the improvements they made worked out. After I do so I will definitely post a review.

Supernoob, from what I hear about Battlegrounds I wouldn't rush back to try it just yet. From what I hear the Battlegrounds are in sad shape but that is just hearsay. They may actually be very fun for all I know.

In the future, if my EQ2 crew feels like going wild in Azeroth I would definitely be up for it. But who knows, by that time it might be D&D Online or Vanguard we tackle. And the expansion draws ever closer...

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Crit said...

I too after few months of playing eq2 was curious and tried out WoW. Sure it's fun but I still think eq2 is funner though. I log on to WoW occasionally but mainly when a friend of mine asks me too. I created a Rogue and it's pretty fun, wish you could pickpocked other players though, then i'd play WoW 24/7 ;D

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Aimelia said...

Most of my friends that started with me in EQ2 are now playing WoW. I played WoW for a while, but couldn't latch on to it for some reason. I certainly had FUN playing WoW as it never felt like work.

EQ2 is a part-time job IMHO.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Pirate Alice said...

My review of Guild Wars: You get spells, but only one "toolbar" for them, limits you to 7 or 8 spells while you're out and about. When you get back to a town or "common area" you can switch out the spells, but you don't ever get MORE than that at your finger tips while questing so what's the point of knowing all those skills/spells if you can't use them? AND one slot has to be taken up by the resurection thingie. If you're out with a group and someone dies you use that ONCE per quest...but if you're the last one to die with that thing un-used...you're dead...you have to wait until the rest of your party dies before you can all regen and come back. You can't regen on your own....That REALLY SUCKS. Cuz you're laying there dead and you can't do ANYTHING AT ALL until everyone else dies. Those are the main things I HATE about Guild Wars. In EQ2 you can revive on your own, your priest can revive you and everyone else multiple times per quest/adventure you're not stuck there dead unable to do anything. You also get more spells at your fingertips...which I'm all about being able to use all the stuff I learn.
I also hear that level 20 is the max level you can get at this time. I heard that they're going to make you SUBSCRIBE to expansion packs if you want anything higher than lvl 20.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Djin said...

Hey man, i liked the review, I play Horde myself though, you should really check out some movies of end game content IE Onyxia, MC, BWL, ZG, really tough fun fights with big huge raid bosses that involes from 20-40 (most of it being 40) most boss fights are very different between them meaning you can never really use the same strat to down 2 different bosses. And yes I have played EQ2, but after playing WoW i couldent go back.. the graphics and colors of EQ2 were a bit dry... yess of course WoW is cartoony, but I LOVE it. Anyways, check out some of the end game WoW content.. i doubt you will be dissapointed.

3:21 AM  
Anonymous Djin said...

Heh, sorry to double post.. but if anything put you off about the GUI in the game there is a HUGE community who are dedicated to funtionality and user-toys.. like atlas(addon that lets you view the maps of dungeons) and Hotbar mods( lets you customize the hotbar scheme). Theres a truely endless ammounts of possibilities to customize your user interface. And to address the issue of maturity in the players.... horde is better with maturity ussually(little kids like to be more human-like and look pretty) BUT on both sides you can join a guild .. and most serious guilds will only tolerate so much immaturity before you're out, and thats why i ussually only play with guildies. heh one more thing, if i seem a little bit off it's because it's pretty late and yeah. :D

3:32 AM  

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