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Monday, July 04, 2005

Prismatic Patriotic

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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.


Blogger Fraxas said...

EQ2's live team certainly does seem to have a hankering for quality, and the resources and mandate to make real changes and improvements to the game happen.

It was picking up Guild Wars on a whim that made me cancel my EQ2 sub; in a very real way, GW showed me how far EQ2 still has to go to get away from Raph Koster's poisonous Vision of timesinks and death penalties. Not that they haven't made huge advances, and gotten much better; it's just that the road is long.

Also, from double-clicking on the executable to saying hi in /gu, GW is about 15 seconds. EQ2 is more like 3 minutes. That's actually a bigger deal than you'd think it is.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If 2 minutes 45 seconds is that big of a deal to you, you have more serious problems to worry about than what MMOG to play, lol...

The reson why Guild Wars loads faster is that there's a lot less to load. Read into that what you will...

12:16 AM  
Blogger Quylein said...

Fraxas it seems you have little to no idea what make's a good game... God Mode is cute, not fun and yes time sinks and death penaltys make a game fun and or more rewarding.

Still nice read Aggro

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Scott Adams said...

The real key in the EQ2 vs. GW and Wow is that EQ2 it looks like it will be fun for a very very long time.

I see WoW and GW like a light fluffy twinky, goes down easy but no real substance and EQ2 as a 5 course banquet. Especially after seeing EQ2 keep to their promised bi-weekly patch schedule and quarterly adventure packs.

4:17 PM  

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