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My MMO trash

I hate blogs, it's like the mind's trashbin but sometimes I got some trash so I made this. I'll update it with new content once a year and will not reply to any comments ...if we're lucky.

Author: Eternal-Master

What's the dealio with EQ, dammit!? Pt. 1

Posted by Eternal-Master Sunday May 4 2008 at 2:53AM
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So...

First of, I should explain that the point of this piece of trash writing is to maybe figure out why I (we? ...something tells me I aint the only one.) cannot find another game that's as good as EQ back in the day. If you don't know what I mean then it's probably best you click away right now. Oh and the, "because it was the first MMO I played" reason isn't good enough for me, I don't think it's that simple ...even if it may be true.

I'll begin with an intro...

*[I know most have read this kind of thing before but, this is how I decided to do it, even if I could change it, I wouldn't do it for you.]*

My first MMO was EQ. The best gaming experience of my MMO gaming life. I haven't had such fun in any other MMO so far.

Some were not bad actually but all of them were 'just another MMO' except with the addition of some gimmick or 'innovation'. Seems like 'the devs' (what I'm going to call the body of people responsible for games' creation) think that you just need to think up something new to make the next big MMO that people want to play (and keep playing).

Yea, that makes sense, seeing nothing that hasn't already been done in other games makes the new game boring; why would anyone bother with some kind of 'clone', right? 

Hey, does it seem like I'm referring to WoW here? (the freaking clone factory technically) 'Cause I assure you I wasn't trying to but seeing that we're on the subject... it's a good example of how you don't need some new super-cool feature for everyone to like your game.

Does this mean we established that the "exciting super-dooper-cool feature that has never been seen before" is NOT everything and, NOT something that 'makes or breaks' an MMO? [but obviously it makes things nicer if it works]

You know what? Maybe it's not WHAT features the game has but HOW they're implemented into the game? As long as it all works cleanly, gameplay is good... you won’t have a game as good as EQ. You would just have a decent game. However, for sweet integration of the features the devs would have to personally care for the game. Something that I think MMOs of the current age are lacking. [Though I should mention that WAR seems to be on the right track to me.] Current MMO game devs seem to be only concerned about creating the game that they sat out to do in their plan. Also, the design always seems to be "player will see this" and "player will need to do that" style. That kind of thinking for other people is screwing with the development. They should put themselves into the game a lot more, they should experience their game (and other MMOs) a lot more too. Instead of relying on tester's reactions and what they’re saying only. It’s as if the devs wouldn’t be able to tell on the state of the game without ‘real’ gamers. Kinda sounds like the devs don’t know what they’re doing, funny huh?

So basically, seems like the devs have to have personal interest in the game that they’re making. Play their game plenty (as well as other MMOs) too. Look at the whole thing LESS as if they’re executing a business plan and MORE like doing their best to make a good game (that means the design plan shouldn’t be set in stone; forget your one cool distinctive feature if it’s not working out). OK that’s good to know, don’t you agree?

So, I think that all this covers one half of the ‘EQ formula’. But the other half.... I think it’s the community also, the connection between the community and the devs.

goldenr1 writes:

You are blurring VERY important lines between "devs" and publishers.  Devs LOVE their games, publishers give them the money to change it.  No money, no change, no love.

Sun May 04 2008 4:43AM Report
AKBandito writes:

well EQ was my 3rd mmorpg

and its still my most favourite of all time, actually tied with DaoC.

everything since then has been trash(yes including the borefest that is WoW).

nothing has kept me interested for more than a month since.

correction, I actually spent 8months in EQ2 until after a few epic instances turned out to be really easy(just like WoW) and gave pathetic rewards.

nvm, rant off i could keep going, but my point is i agree with u 100%

 

Sun May 04 2008 4:47AM Report
Eternal-Master writes:

So it's the publishers? They're not pouring enough money into the development? I kind of think if they get the design right and listen to us, the game can come out great. Without it costing billions, sacrifice the graphics if that helps, it doesn't have to look the best (of course I don't mean graphics are completely unimportant).

Sun May 04 2008 11:57AM Report
qotsa writes:

EQ was my second MMO. I started playing UO and switched to EQ on the day it was released. I drove 90 miles to get it because my town didn't really carry computer games that just came out. Here is why I've always viewed EQ as my favorite. It was challenging and in the beginning it was hard.

There was no hand holding. You created a character, you were dropped in your races unique starting town and basically told to figure it out yourself. Games now are more like mini theme parks. Your hand is held while you're told to go here or there.

Community was a huge part of EQ. it's what made the game to me. You were basically forced to group with other people. There were zone lines where people hung out and chatted. If you wanted to sell old gear you sat your butt down and sold them. Not drop them off at an NPC so they can do it for you.

EQ kept you playing. It took a long time to do most things such as leveling, waiting for spawns. Playing EQ in the beginning it wasn't uncommon to sit for endless hours waiting for something to spawn. Dyllin Starshine, for example. I spent many hours waiting for that jerk. Waiting for boat rides, long hikes through the mountains to get from Qeynos to Freeport and it was dangerous. It got your heart pumping. Those damn Griff's and giants scared the crap out of me so many times. And Dorn! I hated that guy.

Death....In EQ you die, you walk back naked and hopefully get your gear back on the first attempt. You had to have people help you at times.

The lines between classes weren't blurred. When you picked enchanter you knew your job up front. These days everyone wants to solo and have their characters be everything, self-sustaining.

Meditation! The long times we all hated forced you to get to know the people you are playing with. Sitting for 5-10 minutes waiting to be ready for the next batch of baddies.

Faction was a big part too. You had to work on making people like you enough to be able to walk into their towns. If you couldn't get in the conventional way you worked with people to help you get where you need to go.

The things we all used to complain about are the things I miss from EQ. There is no challenge in the games put out today.  You die...Big deal. I'll just hop right back and get back into the game. I don't lose my gear and the penalty for making a mistake is equal to a scratch when compared to losing half you level and walking back naked, through dangerous woods, mountains, canyons.

Oh and these games that don't let you do drive by buffs and healing also helped ruin these games. I used to log onto EQ just to go around for an hour or so buffing younger players. Or the more sinister side of me appeared once in awhile and I'd charm and buff low level mobs then release them back into the wild.

Maybe my view of it is out there. But I miss the challenge and the teamwork that went on in EQ. The day the solo player took over MMO's was the day these games became yawnfests to me. To me EQ felt like a living breathing world. When I logged in I was my character.

Sun May 04 2008 12:19PM Report
Eternal-Master writes:

Wow, great points by qotsa, I completely agree.

Sun May 04 2008 1:54PM Report
petrovich112 writes:

Qotsa i also agree which is what makes me so excited about warhammer. Warhammer is trying to bring back teamwork without shunning soloists which is wicked.

Sun May 04 2008 2:08PM Report
JB47394 writes:

qotsa: "The things we all used to complain about are the things I miss from EQ."

I look at it slightly differently.  Community is certainly key to a good MMO, but EverQuest had such draconian means of building community that it just wasn't fun.  That's why we complained about it.  More recently developers have been listening to the complaints, redesigning the games and the result has been a significant loss of community.

It is my hope that community can come back to MMOs without relying on those harsh measures that EverQuest used.  As I said in my blog article, it was a very special experience that I hope I never repeat.

Sun May 04 2008 4:27PM Report
Eternal-Master writes:

JB47394, em I understanding correctly that you mean to say that the community came together because there were things to complain about? Now the devs listened, redesigned the games and now there is no community as there is nothing to complain about? (so much) ...and we need to find a better way of getting the people together?

If I understood it right, it's an interesting point from a different perspective, thanks. But personally, I would have to go with the other side; I may have complained about the game, but now I'm realising I don't actually want to be without the things I complained about.

Sun May 04 2008 6:35PM Report
JB47394 writes:

Eternal-Master: "I understanding correctly that you mean to say that the community came together because there were things to complain about?"

I wouldn't say it that way, but having a shared misery certainly helped people to relate to each other in the game.  We shared the experience of grinding to a level.  We sincerely congratulated people when they leveled.  It was a grind each time.  Our hearts went out to those doing corpse retrievals.  We'd been there.

It worked, but it's no way to entertain.  I've got to believe that there's a better way to have players interact than to require it of them.

Eternal-Master: "I may have complained about the game, but now I'm realising I don't actually want to be without the things I complained about."

To each his own.  Shared misery is not my idea of a game or of any form of entertainment.

Sun May 04 2008 8:05PM Report

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