Aggro Me: Prismatic Patriotic
Mild spoilers herein:Well, I'm going to light off some fireworks today, with my prismatic wand, that is. Yes, my friends and I completed the Fire and Ice quest trilogy a few nights ago and are now proud owners of some prismatic hardware. And, I'm feeling patriotic - about my guild and EQII.
Let me tell you, raiding Darathar was no easy matter. He wiped us on a previous occasion like a teacher wipes a blackboard. This time, we lost our only enchanter and a healer to time constraints and had to face him for the last two rounds with only 22 players. Morale was a little low but hope prevailed and we decided to go for one more try, even though we were down two players. Well, someone once said that those who know they are going to die can be a very dangerous enemy. And we were dangerous. My ice comets were landing like raindrops on a spring morning, the healers were keeping our tank's health gauge practically overflowing and we all worked together to drop the dragon. Victory was sweet.
This whole long quest was a great way to make raids interesting for high level players by packaging them within a story and other events. Plus, there is the reward factor, so you really feel like you're striving for something. Sure, it required quite a few runs through Sol Eye. But guess what - Sol Eye is gorgeous. Even when I'm invisible and have no chance of getting aggro, that zone is still exciting because the footing is so treacherous in many points.
I will continue, in my patriotic spirit, to praise Everquest II. It is a very good game and I have had a blast playing it. And yes, I have tried WoW. It's also very good.
So why does WoW have over two million subscribers while EQII has probably less than half a million? To me it's a brand issue. Blizzard has a great reputation with their lineup of Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo. Plus, they were the new players in town with the MMO all the hip kids were talking about. Meanwhile, SOE has a brand reputation similar to Philip Morris (now Altria) or Enron. It's just considered cool to hate SOE and talk about how they ruined Everquest, etc. Not to mention, their game was a sequel, while Blizzard's was a fresh start. Which would appeal to new players more?
And what has happened since the launch of both games? Blizzard has done very little patching and has had serious problems with what they have added, while SOE has improved their game by churning out patches and additional content the way a plat-farmer churns loot. In essence, SOE has done what people say SOE never does, while Blizzard has done what people accused SOE of doing in the past.
My point? Just that some of those two million WoW players should at least give EQII a chance. Not if you want PvP though...yet.
I will be reviewing Splitpaw on Wednesday but I'll give you a hint now: thumbs way up.
Heck, I am definitely getting soft. Prepare for a venomous anti-SOE rant on Thursday! I'm serious.