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Hudson's Hideout

Ramblings of a MMO player and Miniature wargamer

Author: pvthudson01

EQ1: One week back

Posted by pvthudson01 Thursday May 28 2009 at 11:58AM
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From my blog, this is a repost that I will post up later this weekend

Well it would appear a terrible thing has happened. I have gone back to EQ1 full time it is official.

I will simply sum it up as I have tried since 2004 with no luck to get away from the memories of this game, the zones, the music, the playstyle and I just cannot do it.

Even coming back to EQ2 I sat there and said "Man this is cool but its NOT EQ!"

So this week, with my faithful guild co-officer in tow, I went back to Norrath 500 years ago and now I find myself logging into that more than EQ2. The reasons are simple. Everquest 1 has always and will always fit my playstyle.I can list the reasons and they are many, but a few are:

I don't like to be guided along on rails.

I don't like my epics or my content easy.

I don't like questing.

I want the freedom to move about where I want.

I want to be able to buff people or alts.

I want a fast interface and the ability to macro and make my own commands.

I want my graphics ok but not so over the top they ruin my play experience.

I want vast content.

I don't want instances.

I want people that KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

I want the ability to have NPC's in my group (something that makes Guild Wars so close yet so far).

In short, I want my old game back. EQ1 has changed a LOT. The death penatly is virtually a joke now. When you die you keep all your gear on you. They have mercenaries that in some cases play better than players. They have FREE guild lobbies. We made Titans of the Old Lore on Povar with TWO people. And we got a free guild lobby. Granted it doesn't have the "ooh's and ahh's" of an EQ2 Guild hall but so what. We just want a place to hang our heads at night, tradeskill and port around. We also get a bank and the ability to store tons of stuff. And that odd Guild Banner thing.

I don't care how dead old zones may be, I will just work up to the places where people are. I have over 500 zones to explore and I am way behind the new stuff, but I actually started over.

I own a 63 cleric, 39 shaman, 41 wizard, 39 mage, 28 beastlord, 27 berserker and 41 shadowknight but I am starting over as a enchanter. The reason for this is that no other game has the mechanics of EQ1. I like my combat hard, I like multiple agro'd fights, I like not being to outrun a bad pull and I like locking down mobs in combat as an enchanter. The coercer in EQ2 was just not the same. In EQ2 I still found little things I didn't like ONCE more in trying to go back. The zoning, the tier system, the lackluster abilities, the combat. Meh. I just cannot devote all my time in that game. Plus it was really really boring. No one talked to anyone and everyone solo'd and a few groups could be had but honestly you didn't need that content unless you were a completist.

Nope, not for me. EQ1 has changed and sure the interface is a bit out of date but its just what I like.

One thing I love still to this date is the spell system. You buy your spells, you memorize them and you setup your spell bar but man you only have a few slots. You have to go in prepared to have spells loaded you will use during those fights. I love the fact I can buff the hell out of lower level players. I like that I can have fear again crossing HUGE zones that have mobs wandering and that I can kite once more or root and scoot or even fear kite again.

I like that the bazaar is a simple pop up window with traders that stand around all day and give personality to the AH system. In my day, making a funny trader name for a character that stood on that all important and coveted corner spot was a fun experience. I still have my trader character too, a little halfling paladin who somehow got to level 20 named Taxxe Evaysion.

It has taken me a solid freaking week to come back to this game after testing the waters in EQ2 again. From remembering to download maps off of EQ Map Fiend to redoing my interface, my chat and combat spam windows, and adding my hotbars for pulling, mezzing and more it has been a chore but all worth it.

EQ1 has even added VOICE chat macros that you can use in game. Yes, actual voice macros that when pressed say things in game in a gruff barbarian voice or whatever your race may be. And everyone hears it too which is cool. I can click "AGREE" and my barbarian shaman will say "I AGREE!" in group guild or a tell and other players HEAR YOU. It is so cool and a feature that NO ONE talks about.

There is so much in EQ1 that I still think to this day, even given the fact that post 2004 whiney MMO players probably just wont get this game, that it is still the BEST MMO out there. Argue until you are blue in the face but when you realize the additions to the game in over 14 expansions and the steps they have taken to make is "easier" then you have a win win situation here.

Last night, I got my enchanter to level 5 and after playing around with my interface logged in my 39 shaman to show my friend around the Blightfire Moors. Soon enough I was disease DoT'ing big awesome looking tree mobs and doing what my shaman does best: solo'ing with DoT's and rooting and man it felt so good. The freedom to play the game the way I WANT TO. Go where I want, fight how I want and not be hindered by today's modern MMO conventions of no kiting, no grinding, no loot on grey mobs and more dumb conventions was a huge weight off my shoulders.

I buffed my buddy and logged my shaman out and off he went, feeling like a hero. You can buy Clarity potions now, healing potions, gate potions and can even dye your armor. All the things that used to make the game SO HARD (WAHHH CRY) have been eased up a little. Buffs still matter, people still group and things are still active you just need to know where to look. It is not PoK anymore, it is the Guild Hall where people hang out. Entire raid wipes have been removed with the ability to summon corpses. Sadly as the population dwindles I cannot help to think that I will never get back to my glory days. I am starting over from the first baby steps. However it is not that hard anymore. With my account, which was activated in 2001 (I umm..sold my original account. *cough*) I have veteran rewards out the wazoo.

The first thing I got was a free Worg mount and man it looks cool. I got 3 bags, experience potions, a cool Nimbus Cloud effect clicky that surrounds my character in a lightening storm cloud, gate potions, a knowledge book that ports me to PoK and even Legends of Norrath boosters. I also got entire 3 piece sets of Defiant armor. Opening that box up I got three pieces of free armor designed to outfit me with good gear from the start in a few slots.

There have been a lot of complaints from high end vets about the camping that has returned in Seeds of Destruction and they are bored and blah blah blah. Every MMO has this and I have learned to ignore it. Power gamers and people that cap out a month in will always complain and moan. There is NOTHING you can do about it in this genre. For a now casual player like me, I don't really care. What I do care about is that people power game so much they forget to do what is fun in these games and that is hang out and kill mobs and see things. Some of these vets have been around all 10 years, granted. I have the utmost respect for them. I still want to raid sure, but I know I will never see the cool old stuff anymore. Makes me sad a little but then I remember there is a rich world to rediscover and the chance to actually PLAY in it now with the addition of mercenaries.

My old guild still exists, in fact many of them do. Firestormers, Blades of Law, Utopian. All these guilds STILL EXIST. They are just so far advanced they might as well be gods walking on Norrath. Me? I am not in a hurry to get there anymore. I am in this more for the mechanics and the playstyle.

That is where I stand one week in. My duo gaming partner and I are working up schemes on the best combos for leveling and have not really settled on any one thing yet. It has taken us DAYS to straighten out our banks, equip our characters (yes yes we twink a little bit but so what) and figure out where we want to go and see first. I used to take the easy route out in EQ1. I power leveled a LOT with a friends level 55 druid I won't lie. After 4 years the game became to me a system of seeing how to level alts the fastest by not actually putting any work into it. I was bored because I refused to grind AA. now I see though that I would take ANY of that back in heartbeat compared to what MMO's today offer. At least back then I was hanging out with buddies online and socializing and people knew their classes and did their homework and if you screwed up you DIED and you DIED horribly. While the death penalty has been greatly reduced in EQ1 now there is still a hint of dread but it is not as bad as it used to be.

I am not here to sell this game to people whose first MMO was WoW or something like that. I am simply here to tell the naysayers that I am not seeing through rose colored glasses. To me EQ1 is still the best play mechanic out there. Cry and moan all you want about the work you may have to to or not have to do (like setup the interface the way you want. Do some darn research for once and quit whining) but this game plays like a sandbox title more than ever now. I'm just here to vent about why I am playing what I am playing. Not looking for acceptance or backup, I just need to get these thoughts out there.

Anyone that has followed this blog since 2007 knows that it has been a constant struggle after leaving WoW and wondering why I was there in the first place to find a home. EQ1 is a hard road. I won't lie. Your worthless in that game unless you have AA out the bunghole but I really will not let that deter me. I think I need a challenge and I need it soon. For me EQ1 was always about the journey. I had 65 freaking AA's on my warrior tank back in 2003. Back then that was considered enough for me to get the things I needed to off tank in many raids on the lower end. Now? It is worthless. Games change and so do the people but the mechanics do not. Honestly the hardest thing for me coming back was understanding my veteran rewards, where to get my spells and how to setup my interface again.

I will report more next week because as usual I have a busy weekend. Take care all!