As some of us prepare to head into the scorching heat of the Desert of Flames, my advice is to stay cool.
I'm pretty excited about the expansion. Even though I definitely had some negatives in my beta impressions (how about some Guild housing by the way?), my overall outlook remains positive. I noticed a few of my friends came back to EQII in anticipation of the expansion and that is better than any new zone. Let's hope the expansion can retain their interest.
But we all know the expansion is not the only thing we have to look forward to, right? Oh, no. The combat changes are coming. Even if the combat changes were the most brilliant piece of game design ever to grace the planet and they could magically cause peace on earth and grant free Gummi Bears to everyone, there would still be roughly five million threads on the forums saying the combat changes killed their puppy and then laughed about it afterwards.
And believe me, I feel your pain. Many a time I have gotten very frustrated in MMORPG's when I feel my class is underpowered or the balancing is off. And change is inherently stressful. But here is what I have to say:
1. Don't take it personally. "OMG SOE hates me so much because I can't solo group mobs anymore!1!1! Why me??? Why ME?" Believe me, SOE wants the classes to be balanced, the game to be fun and you to be happy. That is kind of how they make money. They don't have a personal vendetta against your class. As far as I know.
2. Look at the big picture. In my above example, let's say you can't solo group mobs anymore. But now take a step back. You see no one else can. If every class is nerfed equally can that even be considered a nerf? I don't think so.
3. Give it some time. If I had my way, I would lock the official forums for a week after the combat changes because I just can't take knee-jerk reactions. It will take you a while to relearn how to play your character and how your group dynamics should work with the new system. And, yes, there will obviously be tweaks and changes after they go live. I'm not asking you to give SOE forever - I say give them a short leash. But you have to give it a little time.
I'm not trying to be super happy sunshine. The whole thing is not an optimal situation. You know I think releasing the combat changes at the same time as the expansion is a terrible idea. You know I think they took far too long to get to this point (refer to this picture). And, I might end up hating them. Right now I am still unsure of whether they are going to succeed or not.
But, before I start ranting about the combat changes, I will try to stay cool, look at the big picture and wait a reasonable amount of time. If after that, I do have issues, I'll try to consolidate them. If you want to e-mail me or post on the forums about how the combat changes adversely affected you, I'll even take up your cause if you can convince me.
Not to say I won't be ranting until then, just not about the combat changes.
Now don't blow it, SOE.
Just a little warning: It is looking like you will no longer get spells from 51-60 automatically. You will have to acquire them from a faction merchant (which would require you to be in somewhat good standing with a faction) or, I suppose, buy them on the broker. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet. It may change - just a heads up.
On a rare personal note, Happy 60th Birthday to my Dad, who takes a break from his studies of Joyce or Proust to read my MMO ravings every single day. I appreciate it. Grats on your ding, Dad - you're at the new level cap already.