Aggro Me: Let Freedom Ring
Let Freedom Ring
Some mild KoS spoilers herein.
I mentioned freedom of movement in my beta impressions for KoS and I thought it was time to touch on that subject in a little more detail.
For as long as I can recall, all PC and console games have frustrated me with that classic gaming cliché, the invisible wall. You know what I'm talking about. Take an old RPG like Shining Force, Phantasy Star, or Final Fantasy. There's always an invisible wall, and plenty of them. Your hero may be able to slay a hundred dragons but yet can't climb a steep hill or even push through a dense forest. Game designers use mountains, forests, water and the like to limit the player's freedom of movement. This is true of MMO's as well and even the base EQII zones. You can't really climb those mountains in Everfrost. You can't even scale the steep boulders in Nek.
But KoS removes those limitations with gusto. The obvious one is that you're free to jump off any island you wish. There are no restrictions there. But less obvious are the rocks and small mountains you can climb in the TT, for example. When I first saw those I never thought I'd be able to climb to the top. But I can. If you see something in KoS and wonder, "Hmm...could I jump to there or get there somehow?" the answer is that you probably can. The paths to zones or areas are seldom a straight line. There is also some of the climbing stuff (with climbing animation) from DoF that is used. But it's not overused. You really have to play the expansion to see what I mean. Movement is finally part of the actual game.
I've just never played any game where the movement feels so real and for an MMO that is a high compliment. It also brings about some cool mini-games. We all probably know of the one in TT where you make that awesome freefall to the Hidden Refuge. I've done it several times and I just find it exhilarating and fun.
But that's just a start. There's a giant chain in the Barren Sky which becomes sort of a jumping and movement puzzle as you try to scale it and make your way to the top to visit a quest npc. I died three times. But, wow, my heart has not pounded that hard playing EQII for a while. Now, I don't want to see EQII go crazy with the jumping puzzles. It isn't a platformer. But having one or two sure adds some nice variety. And even better, I think there are multiple solutions to this movement puzzle (cloud jumping anyone?). But I've died enough times so I'm not verifying that.
Here's another little mini-game I'm not sure can be won or not. Sometimes when you take a cloud in the TT (from Gazer Island I believe), you pass over a tiny floating island with no mobs or trees or anything. Let me stop here for a second to say that jumping off of clouds and griffons is fun and awesome. It just again makes travel and movement much more interesting. I do it all the time in Antonica on the PvP server, making a dramatic entrance into enemy territory with a watery splash to avoid ambushes. But okay, my question is: Can you jump off the cloud to that tiny island in the TT and survive? More importantly, can you stand there and mess with people? I died when I tried but maybe I'll try again. If anyone succeeds in this quest let me know, because that would just be great.
Even if you can't accomplish that minor feat, my premise is the same: The movement in KoS is far above anything I've ever experienced in an MMO and just makes the entire game more fun to play.Edit: But speaking of movement, I hope that cloud bug is fixed soon.