Daily Archives: October 23, 2006

The Official SOE Podcast #6

Alan “Brenlo” Crosby hosts this episode with Aimee “Ashlanne” Rekoske and Joel “Raijinn” Sasaki with Jason “Pex” Ryan reading the initial news segment.

They interview Tracy Seamster (Owlchick) “Design Goddess” of EQ2 and Coyote Sharptongue of Tentonhammer

They also schlep for the PS3, discuss the whole “Are forums valuable?” thing, read “top ten signs you are in a bad raid,” and go into “What are you playing?” with the team and beyond. (Several people say WoW or EVE-Online.)

Echoes of Faydwer dominates the show. If you are not into that, you may want to echo the first poster on the show announcement thread in the Planetside forums.

“Enough EQ crap”

The show duration is 1 hour exactly, which smacks of some strict toilet training.  It is available from the SOE PlanetSide site here as well as from iTunes.

(Thanks to the Planetside community relations people who actually pointed to the elusive show notes that are oft referred to but rarely linked.)

The Small Group Adventure Path?

The fact that a couple of friends are headed back to EQ2 got me thinking about the small group instance experience that I and some other friends are doing right now in World of Warcraft.

WoW makes it pretty easy to have a dungeon crawl with a group (call it 4-5 people) at about any point from level 15 up to level 60. Blizzard leads you by the hand and points you in the right direction throughout your levels.

My question is, could you plan out a similar group progression in other MMORPGs? With enough knowledge, could you plan such a path in EQ, EQ2, GuildWars, Lineage II, Ryzom, or any of the other major MMORPGs in a way appropriate for a group of 4-5 people with about 4 hours of group play time a week and, say, another 2-4 hours of time in smaller numbers to take care of prerequisites or other side tasks?

Or is this something that is really a WoW exclusive? Is WoW the leader not only in solo-friendly level advancement, but also small group dungeon crawls as well?

I think in EQ2 you could follow the path of the heritage quests. There is some dungeon crawling in there and a couple of instances, but a lot of it is open zone competition for mobs.

Of course, I would not expect to find the exact same experience, nor would I necessarily preclude some group exp grinding as part of the experience. Group exp grinding is much less profitable in WoW than in EQ2 for example, so with EQ2 you might spend some time exp’ing as a group in interesting places.

Anyway, I am wondering if anybody has given this some thought or has a recommendation.

Two Friends Head Back to Norrath

Two friends in World or Warcraft have decided to head back to EverQuest II, which is where we played from the time EQII launched until last January, when we jumped over to WoW. 

Both of them are more hardcore than I am and concentrated on getting a single character each to level 60 (unlike me and my 6 40-ish characters).  Then they joined up with a raiding guild and proceeded to hit the big instances for the last couple of months.

However, the wear of regular raids into the same few places in hopes of getting this or that epic item finally began to tell.  One of them writes the blog Trot Line, which I have in my links.  He wrote a piece about the drain of regular raiding a few days back titled “End of Raiding?”

I am going to start pestering him to write about how EQII has changed in the 10 months or so since we last played there.  

A lot has happened since then.  Servers have been consolidated (our server, Crushbone, had the highest population last I checked), tradeskills have changed, an expansion has come out and another one is due soon, and a number of Live Updates have happened.  I am curious to hear how things have progressed.