EverQuest II – 5 Good, 5 Bad, 5 So-So

Syp over at Biobreak asked for EverQuest II players to celebrate the EQ2 5th anniversary in something of a confrontational way, by listing out five ways that EQ2 is better than World of Warcraft.  I just resubscribed to EQ2, so I guess I count as an EQ2 player yet again.

Though it isn’t like we haven’t been there before on this topic. (There Hudson, now you don’t have to comment how you posted on this topic two years ago and I don’t have to remind you I did it three years ago, so nobody is claiming originality.)

I have long been an EQ2 partisan and was quite anti-WoW for a while.  However, I have played both games quite a bit in the last five years so I see good and bad aspects of both.

Because of that, and because I simply cannot follow directions, I am making three lists, one where EQ2 rules, one where EQ2 drools, and one where EQ2 has managed to mix both greatness and crap into a mediocre mix.

Five Places EverQuest II Wins

1) Personal Space – Having your own little home in the world, even if it is just an instanced space identical to thousands of others, is a huge differentiator for EQ2.  Even if you never go beyond the basic cheap one room apartment, you have a place of your own that you can decorate and display your trophies then invite your friends over to take a look. In WoW, if you can’t wear it, it has to be stowed away where nobody can see it.

2) Storage – I have never had so much crap in EQ2 that I couldn’t solve my storage problems by saving up to buy some bigger storage boxes for my bank slots… or the storage slots I get with my home!  And believe me, I am a pack rat.  But I have always been able to buy my way out of storage woes in EQ2.

Not so in WoW.  WoW needs the concept of storage boxes that can only be used in your bank bag slots.  I am constantly out of space in WoW.

And don’t get me started on shared storage.  We’d better get shared storage for accounts in Cataclysm.

3) Guilds – I don’t think anybody will argue with the statement that guilds have had more options and more depth in EQ2 since day one.  Guild banks, guild halls, guild levels, WoW is slowly copying these things, but EQ2 has always been way ahead here.

4) Heritage Quests – I have yet to find anything in WoW that has given me the same feeling as a heritage quest in EQ2.  Certainly WoW has enough lore in the Warcraft line of games to come up with some special treats.

Of course, part of the joy of HQs is that you get status points that you can spend, plus status points that help your guild level, plus when you outgrow the quest reward, you can put it on display in your home.  WoW just can’t match that.

5) Fae Glide – Sure, WoW has flying mounts, which are very cool.  But I got used to having a flying mount pretty quickly.

Fae (and Arasai I guess) glide is hugely enjoyable to this day.  I run across the landscape looking for small rises to launch myself, streams to cross in a single bound, and cliffs to jump off of just to see how far I can go.

Special Bonus Praise: Quest Log – A quest log with room for more than 25 quests is pure win.  Showing all your completed quests as well, double win.  Being able to open it with a single key stroke… okay, we’re only talking about WoW and EQ2 here.

Five Places EverQuest II Loses

1) Home Cities – The original pair, Qeynos and Freeport, seemed to be designed to annoy the crap out of people.  How many zones should a home town have?  I have to think that if you’ve hit four zones, you’ve probably gone too far.  I know there was a desire to have two factions and yet give races their own home starter town within the cities, but it ended up being a royal chaotic pain.

Kelethin reversed this trend, but only for a couple of races.  And then Gorowyn came along with the apparent purpose of proving SOE could make a home town more confusing than the Undercity in WoW.

2) Zones & Travel – It is really tough to play in a seamless world like Azeroth and then have to face all the loading screens that come with Norrath.  I suppose it gives us a chance to read all the help tips.

And travel in Norrath keeps one from getting a feel that this is all one world.  Ring the bell and appear in another zone?  Yes, I know the story is that the cataclysm broke the lands apart, but that feels like somebody used lore to justify a zone based architecture.

3) Factions – Players from Freeport and Qeynos can group, be in the same guild, trade in person, sell to each other via the broker… so why are there two factions at all?  In five years I have yet to read a convincing argument for having two factions.

4) Skills – While it is neat that my characters all have literally dozens of skills, many more than any of my characters in WoW, it can be really tough to remember what does what when you’ve been away for a bit… or even when you change to another character.  This is compounded by SOE outsmarting itself and giving all the skills in a chain of upgrades different names.  WoW, with one skill name and different ranks of that skill, rules the roost for understandability.

This skill problem is compounded by the fact that skills in the same path do not always have the same icon, while similar sounding skills that are not in that same skill upgrade path do have the same icon.

And while we’re on skills, I’m still not all that happy about having apprentice I through master versions of skills.  This goes double when I read that everything after Faydwer was tuned to be challenging for those with master skills, because only raiders get into expansion betas, so unless you’ve been investing in masters, there might not be any high level solo content for you.

5) Instanced Content – Or why the instance group has never gotten into EQ2.

I know a lot of people are big fans of the open world dungeon thing.  In general I am not against the idea and like the option to be available.  But when you’re with a group that has a very specific play budget, you do tend to want to know what you’re going to be able to do on a given night.  In EQ2, you might be able to go delve into that open world dungeon and accomplish something.  Then again you might have to with another group for the same objective. Or, more likely you’ll end up competing with farmers camping the named mobs hoping for master chest drops to sell on the broker.

So while EQ2 does have some instanced content, it is pretty rare unless you’re raiding.  I haven’t been paying attention, has anybody been clamoring for open world raiding?

Anyway, if you want to do the dungeon crawl thing with just your group, EQ2 is not for you.

Special Bonus Gripe: Character Slots – Who at SOE hates people who make alts?

Four slots total at launch?  In a game with 24 classes?

Seriously, I am still mad about that five years later.

Now the character total has been raised to seven slots over all servers, unless you want to more than double your subscription fee.

Sorry, WoW, which pretty much followed the EverQuest model… you know, the game for which EQ2 is supposed to be the sequel… owns EQ2 completely in this regard.  10 characters per server, 50 characters total and I have never felt constrained.

Five Place Where EverQuest II Has Compromised Potential Greatness

1) UI Mods – On the one hand, relative to WoW, the UI in EQ2 is extremely customizable.  You can move and resize most any window and can find a huge number of mods to change the look and feel of just about everything.

On the other hand, it is possible to screw things up and lose essential windows without knowing how to get them back. Plus, the number of parameters associated with each aspect of the interface can be confusing.  Then there is the whole process by which you can apply mods, which is about as clear as mud five years into the game.  Seriously, it is easier to apply mods in EQ still.  How does that happen?

And, finally, while I gripe about my WoW addons being declared obsolete by Blizz with every major patch, UI changes actually break about as often in EQ2, but you don’t find out until you try to open that particular part of the UI and get told it is no longer supported.  Then you have to figure out which XML file to remove from the UI folder you had to create and point to by editing a .ini file.

2) Trade Skills – The “Whack-a-mole” implementation of trade skills made you feel like you were doing more than pressing a button and having an item dispensed, but it becomes a grind pretty quickly.  And where we find a repetitive grind, we find rampant botting.  I am convinced that SOE turns a blind eye to trade skill botting (because it isn’t hard to spot the bots in the trade skill instances) the way they turn a blind eye towards buying platinum.  To enforce either rigorously would ban too many paying customers and kill the already precarious in-game market.

Still, SOE has revised trade skills over time so they are not as onerous as they were on day one.  You no longer have to “Whack-a-mole” for half an hour to get an actual end product item, you now mercifully cut straight to the chase, putting raws in and getting finished goods out without couple of semi-finished states.  I do not miss making chemicals to refine other raws, to make parts, to then make final goods.

Meanwhile, harvesting has been something of a joke at times.  I’ve already ranted about fishing, but the other harvest nodes, spread at seeming random throughout the original zones in the game were just crazy.  There are places in Thundering Steppes where it looks like the resource factory exploded and the contents rained down across the fields.

In WoW, harvestables are always in areas you expect to find them.  Herbs are especially specific, with peacebloom always in open sun, silverleaf always in the shade of a tree, earthroot always in some extruding ground, and so on.  EQ2 got better at that with later expansions, which is why this isn’t in the “bad” category, but the old world still looks like resource chaos.

3) Equipment – This goes with trade skills.  I like that the trade skills allow you to make useful equipment.  However, that equipment is so good that I generally never replace anything with drops or quest rewards.

This means that every 10 levels I have to replace every single piece of equipment I am wearing.  But, I suppose, at least it all matches.  Of course, with appearance slots, that isn’t important any more.

So while WoW’s system is chaotic and I sometimes forget to keep equipment up to date, I often get drops that are upgrades so my equipment is usually being upgraded slowly over time rather than in a once-every-10-levels spending and crafting spree.

4) Lore – This rose up from “bad” to “so-so” after the Echoes of Faydwer expansion, but it will never achieve the level of “good” as long as I still see flying carpets from the Desert of Flames flying around.  How the SOE plan for an sequel to EQ could include avoiding so much of the EQ lore boggles the mind.  I’m glad they changed their minds on the subject.

5) Collection Quests – I have always liked these and I have always been especially satisfied to finish a collection quest without resorting to the broker.  But I think SOE has gone a bit overboard on them, thinking that if some is good, more is better.

And so, like my harvesting gripe above, you can go to zones and it looks like somebody’s loose leaf binder broke open and the papers were blown everywhere.  You see those and sparklies to excess.

Special Bonus Blah: The Broker – The broker, the EQ2 version of the WoW auction house, has never thrilled me.  It doesn’t have the simplicity of WoWs auction house, but does not seem to gain much by being more complex.  I suppose it is good that you have one auction house for all factions, something I have wished for in WoW, but then it goes back to why have factions in any case.

25 thoughts on “EverQuest II – 5 Good, 5 Bad, 5 So-So

  1. Gaz

    not sure how long its been since you played eq2 but the skills there are all same name but different rank now just like WoW.

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  2. We Fly Spitfires

    It’s amazing how people have come up with so many differing points and reasons :)

    I stand by my believe that EQ2 is a wonderful game and very under appreciated. If only they could market it better, it would be a lot more popular.

    Pssst, am I the only one who thinks Syp is getting a kickback from any EQ2 sign ups he refers? :)

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  3. Yetian

    I agree with most of your points. I ave played eq2 constantly since beta.

    A couple of points are a bit out though.

    Spells have been changed to keep the same name and just have a version number changing as you get upgrades.

    Low level dungeons are not often instanced true. All of the top end TSO expansion zones are instanced however.

    I like the fact the lower dungeons are open as it allows newer players to wander in andkill some of the easier mobs to get a feel for it. I used to wander in and shout for anyone doing the same mob. I see your point with the lack of low intances and I do prefer them, but I also think that none instanced areas cam have their place.

    I think I remember reading that in those open instances the named mobs are always up now and that placeholder mobs have gone.

    If your ever on and want a chat feel free to send a cross server chat to yetian or naitey on splitpaw. :)

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  4. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I have not played since last December and have only just resubscribed, so I am still in the “what do all these skills do?” stage and had not noticed that they actually revamped the skills to make them less confusing. About four years too late on that in my opinion, but I’m glad they did it.

    @Yetian – Unfortunately, the game pretty much ended for me in the mid-60s, and at somewhat lower levels for the other members of the Saturday night group, so except for one zone in Faydwer, there wasn’t much in the instanced realm that I could find for us. Meanwhile, places like Varsoons and Runnyeye seemed have their named mobs regularly camped by people looking for master chests.

    So in the end, it just didn’t fit our play budget. WoW simply wins when it comes to knowing what we ought to do as a group this Saturday night and the next.

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  5. dave

    I tried EQ2 for a while when Galaxies turned to crap. I liked it but none of my friends were playing it and I didn’t mesh with the community to the extent that I never found a guild that was doing anything together much, so I lost interest very quickly because I found EQII was very non conducive to solo players. I did like the crafting system though. I like complex crafting systems, Galaxies to this day remains my favorite before of course they killed it.

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  6. Bhagpuss

    I agree with most of your 5 fors and againsts, but I do strongly disagree with your “Home Cities” negative. Freeport in EQ2 is my favorite city in any MMO. I move all my “evil” characters there to live because it’s so fantastically atmospheric.

    It reminds me strongly of a combination of Valetta and Cadiz and every time I travel around it it brings back memories of times I spent in those cities. Someone did some real research on what a 1000 year old, heavily-fortified port city actually looks like. It entirely justifies several zones, not that I mind zoning to begin with.

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  7. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Bhagpuss – I will grant you that it is a great looking city, and it is clear to me that a lot more work went into crafting Freeport than Qeynos, so it is something of a shame that most people seemed to roll in Qeynos, at least on Crushbone. Freeport has been pretty dead since day 1.

    But what I was getting at is how annoying both cities are to navigate, with Freeport being even worse than Qeynos in that regard. Both have four main zones, plus six racial ghettos to navigate through, along with a couple of starter zones, and the required sewers, with a few zones just for those.

    They are linked up with the bells now, mostly, but in times past they were not and you had to figure out what was the nearest point you could insta-travel to your destination. It used to be, for example, much shorter to go via the sewers from Graystone Yard if you wanted to get to North Qeynos.

    But in Freeport you also have the elevation issues, since the place is built on a hill. Too many times I have been trying to find an NPC and have been following the wisp trail only to have it go straight up a vertical wall. Eeep!

    So I’ll grant you that Freeport looks great, but it needs to be less filling… or something. I don’t mind zoning once in a while, but it was crazy in the early days. I don’t want to zone four times just to get across town ever again.

    And who designed the Freeport tradskill instances? I appreciate the lack of doors to open, but did we really need that many stairs?

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  8. Pingback: What EQ2 Hath Wrought « Bio Break

  9. Magson

    As an FYI — either in the next update or with the expansion in Feb (not sure which) any race will be able to start in any “should be available” city — ie all evil races can start in any of the 3 evil cities, neutral races can start anywhere, and the good races can start in either of the 2 good cities (and 3 when Halas is added in the expansion).

    I am totally with you on the “why have 2 factions at all?” thing. It makes sense for pvp, but since EQ2 wasn’t a pvp game at all at the start and only has 1 or 2 pvp servers anyway and even those most everyone went “Exile” in order to make it a) more free-for-all and b) to allow raiding to be successful until SOE changed the betrayal rules and you don’t “have” to change classes anymore so you can have “good” Shadowknights in Qeynos and “Evil” Paladins in Freeport and…. okay, so class doesn’t = faction even for pvp so…… um…. Yah. Makes no sense at all.

    FWIW, RoK was originally balanced with the idea that “everyone” would have Adept 3’s (now “Expert”) for all their spells and at least legendary gear, going from the assumption that since the level cap hadn’t changed in 2 years that “everyone” would at least be to that point on their mains. They were wrong, of course, and RoK’s solo mobs got toned down quite a bit in the months following. They’re still more difficult than anything in Faydwer, but they don’t hit like an M1 Abrams anymore either.

    And also…. most dungeons are instances anymore and it’s been that way since the Faydwer expansion. So much so that there’s been huge complaint and the next expansion is actually going to add a huge open dungeon for people that miss that kind of content. I actually can’t remember the last time I was in an open dungeon with any of my 70+ toons. Go figure.

    So as you can see….. lots of changes since you last played. I hope this is useful info and helps with your enjoyment of the game now that you’re back!

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  10. Bhagpuss

    I take your point on Freeport – it was always a pain to get around for quests and so on. Nowadays I just live there, and (when I am playing EQ2 as my main MMO) I know it like the back of my hand, so it’s not a problem. I expect I’ll be totally lost when I resub for the expansion though.

    The Evil Freeport/Good Qeynos thing was a big part of the original plan for EQ2. When it launched you could barely even be in the same guild – you couldn’t do guild writs together if you were different factions, you couldn’t send mail cross-faction and so on. I forget all the restrictions now, but they only barely stopped short of WoW-style complete segregation. In beta it was even stricter, iirc.

    They never followed through with the plan, though, since EQ2 was haemmhorraging subs after the first 30 days and there were six desperate months in which they thrashed around trying everything they could think of to keep people playing. One of the things they jettisoned to keep the ship afloat was anything that hinted at making it harder for players to get their friends interested in playing, which included any more than a nod at the conflict between Qeynos and Freeport.

    There really is no point in having two sides any more. They should have used the Void incursion as the catalyst for an alliance and dropped the whole idea once and for all.

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  11. Crevex

    your right on with the exception of lack of group instances. last expansion had something like 15+ 6 man instances, with not a single open world dungeon.

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  12. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Crevex – That statement reflects my own experience with EQ2, which stopped in the mid-60s. If they were in the last expansion I’ll probably never see them.

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  13. Tio

    Wilhelm… in the 60s you don’t just have faydwer, you also have the desert, where there are a few more instanced zones.. don’t remember all the names, but there’s the one with the graveyard clicky entrance, the one where you hike around the side of the cliff, there’s the harpy one, the giant one, and a couple of others. Just fwiw.

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  14. Tio

    Oops, just realized that was for the 50s. In the 60s you have the three islands in the sky, each of which has instances for 6-man groups. Lots of them.

    You just have to get out of fairy land to find the dungeons, Faydwer really didn’t have all that much.

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  15. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I accept that there is instanced content. I have even been in some. But where WoW wins is that there is a nice progression of instanced content from the mid-teens onward to level cap. Having to wait until the 50s to have a dungeon for just your group (other than raids) seems like a big gap.

    That is the choice SOE made. They have their core, which is raiders who are all at or around the level cap now. There isn’t any point for them to go back and change things at this late date. That ship has sailed for both SOE and our Saturday night group.

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  16. Crevex

    I personally prefer dungeon crawls, and was very sad to see SOE go to the all instanced dungeon model. Its nice to have instances but they shouldn’t be your only option. Putting instances at the end of dungeons for boss fights is a nice touch.

    I’ve played WoW on and off since it came out, and i feel leveling was much more akin to playing a single player game. With the exception of having horribly monotonous combat. Sure you could grab an instance group, but these never lasted long. And the meat of the leveling was done solo questing.

    I find leveling in dungeons to be more dynamic, even if the fights are not as “challenging”. An example would be trains back in EQ. While it was a horrible mechanic and could be a huge pain in the ass, it added a unique and difficult experience. Instances are fun the first couple times through, but after that you know whats coming and its boring. Just my opinion, take it for what you will.

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  17. Gareth

    Hmm, I agree with a lot of what you have to say, although like others I disagree on your hates of 4,5 and the extra (I agree the home cities need the instancing removed).

    On 4 the skills have been much cleaned up, and I like the extra level of depth the levels to them brings. I would though like to see them rationalised a bit and the gameplay tweaked a bit more, but they do make more sense when you start to get pushed by the content.

    On 5 that’s totally wrong now and has been for a long time as there are a ton of instances from level 50 onwards and an equal number to WoW at the lower levels

    If anything its a weakness I find in WoW with the instances and the lack of mentoring meaning that unless you are at a level cap you have 1-2 dungeons you can run that offer any sort of reward (actually for a group things were so easy last time we ran it that I was picking rewards up that we could not use for another 7 levels! WoW in the low levels is broken if someone knows anything about how to play it).

    And on the extra slots its sort of annoying, a raise to 10 would be nice, but at a pinch there are the extra slots for rolling on a UK/US server, a poor conciliation though so I’ll give you that one.

    Zones and travel I agree with you for the lower levels, the game does though feel much more cohesive level 70 onwards, the moors especially feel very epic and make me realise how flat everything is in WoW in comparison.

    As for the rest the tradeskills are sort of good, much better then WoW which are mindless grinds now since the missions etc give them some depth, the UI mods for EQ2 though I’d put in the loses, painful, fiddly and only cater to the expert community. WoW’s could actually be a bit more user friendly, EQ2’s really are unfriendly and no one should have to manually be editing .ini files these days.

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  18. Gareth

    Oh an the higher level solo content beyond Faydwer was never a problem to solo so these reports were probably early beta’s that were therefore unreliable.

    In fact the reverse was true, a lot of people were complaining that it encouraged soloing too much in Rise of Kunark, they did rebalance how you gain XP a while ago to address just that to make grouping to level a bit more rewarding.

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  19. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Gareth – It wasn’t “Hates” it was areas that I think WoW has done better. That was the premise set out by Syp, a comparison between EQ2 and WoW. Granted, he wanted only where EQ2 had done better, but I had to throw in more.

    On the instances, several people have said that there are now instances at levels 50 and up, but I have heard nobody say that there are instances at all levels, i.e. stuff for say teens through 40s. I certainly never found anything beyond a couple of very small solo quest related instances in that level range.

    So the fact that I never saw any and don’t recall being lead to any via quest chains would seem to support my statement that WoW does instanced content better than EQ2. Or to put it another way, I think I may still be “totally right.”

    As for the difficulty of Kunark and TSO, I rely on what others have said. So far you are the only person I’ve seen that countered that statement about tuning for people with masters which I drew from a source (linked with that statement above) that I tend to trust.

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  20. Balihai

    There are roughly 12 instances for chars <50 & and WoW has 15. OMG 3 whole instances they have soooo much more content for the less than 50 progression who only want to do instances.
    http://eq2.wikia.com/wiki/Zones_By_Level

    In the future it might be a good idea to actually go back and play a game for a little while before commenting on defaults. Otherwise you complain about issues and items that have been fixed / change etc. It also shows that you really cared more about telling everyone how great WoW is vs EQ2.

    WoW is great for what is: A entry level MMO that is easy, streamlined and uncomplicated so that literally anyone can play with minimal frustration.

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  21. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Bahlihai – And how many of those instances you point at under level 50 are raids or require you to purchase additional content?

    I’ve played through both games to at least level 50 on multiple characters. It has been over a year since I played EQ2 seriously, so I am out of date. But I still think WoW’s single group instances are better.

    That is my opinion, and you are welcome to disagree. But stomping your foot or ascribing false motives to me won’t change my mind and just make you look very defensive.

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  22. Balihai

    Purchase additional Content: None. (assuming you have TSO) If you are trying to refer to the split paw pack all you need to do is claim the mysterious shard k and then use it in thundering steps to start the access quest (**not sure if this has always been this way or if you had to purchase it in the beginning).

    All the ones listed on the main page of the link are group level difficulty, however, there is some raid content peppered in some of the store lines. However, with the gear the is available should be rather easy to do even those.

    I guess my basic point is this- If what WoW offers is better for you, great. But just say that. Don’t use your perceived shortcomings of EQ2 as justification for why you would rather play WoW. Just say. WoW is better because it fits me.. and be done.

    I don’t use my dislike of WoW (for many reasons) as justification for playing EQ2. I play eq2 because I like it and it fits what I want in an MMO. Do both of these games have issues? of course! Constructive feedback from the fan base is what helps these games progress and grow, but if all we do is point to the other big title and how we should copy them then what are left with at the end of the day?

    People try to compare the two games all the time to no end. I do not believe they are comparable. These two games have completely difference audiences. If one or the other “jives” with your play style, then that’s the one for you. No need to bash one as justification for playing the other.

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  23. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I wrote 18 things, 6 superior, 6 inferior, and 6 I felt never quite got where they were intended, and were so neither really better nor worse than WoW just different. But the premise was a comparison with WoW, therefore it is a relative ranking and I am going to say one is better than the other.

    How you justify your accusation of “bashing” is beyond me. I didn’t see any WoW players come over here and complain that I was bashing it with the first 6 items.

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  24. Gareth

    @Wilhelm2451
    On the instances, several people have said that there are now instances at levels 50 and up, but I have heard nobody say that there are instances at all levels, i.e. stuff for say teens through 40s. I certainly never found anything beyond a couple of very small solo quest related instances in that level range.

    For the pre-50 (original level cap) there are definitely the same number or more of dungeons for that level, most at the early levels take the form though of non-instanced dungeons with an instanced final end point (to prevent farming since its on a lockout).

    On top of that you also have solo instances too dotted around, I’ve done a few and they are fun, heroic was always too hard for me though. And even further my first ever raid was a level 40 raid instance (Feerrot), so the raiding starts earlier which surprised me (there are quite a few raid level mobs wandering around).

    In terms of past level 50 there are an insane number of dungeons, all the newest ones (The shadow odyssey) scale from 50 to 80, most of the Splitpaw and blood lines scale too and each expansion generally added 5-6 dungeons (so there should be about 25 ish around there + 12 from TSO).

    @Wilhelm2451 So the fact that I never saw any and don’t recall being lead to any via quest chains would seem to support my statement that WoW does instanced content better than EQ2. Or to put it another way, I think I may still be “totally right.”

    Most quests don’t lead you to dungeons, a few do though early in the game like Zek, it happens a bit more later on though.

    @Wilhelm2451 As for the difficulty of Kunark and TSO, I rely on what others have said. So far you are the only person I’ve seen that countered that statement about tuning for people with masters which I drew from a source (linked with that statement above) that I tend to trust.

    The only source I can quote is me since I’ve just entered Kunark in the past few weeks, it might have been true just after the beta. Most of my CA’s were and still are adept level on entering Kunark, my gear was crafted too with 20 or so level out of date items to fill in. It felt harder for sure, but I could slowly progress, the quests are also more rewarding (maybe a bit too, it feels like they learnt from WoW here, although a welcome change in some areas)

    Since getting into Kunark I have visited the moors of YKesha (I’m a big Froglok fan hence the lore there appeals), I can solo level 80 mobs just about on my level 75 guardian now I have a set of mastercrafted gear, although its very touch and go.

    Definitely the game is much harder going from Kingdoms of the Sky to Kunark then WoW was going TBC to WotLK (more like WoW original to TBC), but WotLK set the bar for difficulty so low it was insane.

    I solo’d all the group quests including the 5 man ones at level 76 ish on my protection warrior in his level 70 T4/T6 badge gear. I think people are looking at the EQ2 difficulty and comparing it to WoW, in that case it is much harder, but you don’t need fabled/master gear to progress, if you did then only about 10% of the population would ever make it to 80!

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  25. Loredena

    There are at least 2 group instances in every level range starting at 15 in EQ2, but, it’s true that they aren’t necessarily obvious. Some come from dropped-item quests, others from purchased book quests. Still others are only at the end of a quest chain. One thing I love though, is that between mentoring, and now, chronomagic, you can go back and do them if you missed them earlier while still being level-appropriate. I love EQ2’s mentoring and level-locking features for keeping a group together.

    Since I had fixed groups in the original EQ, I was used to our weekly dungeon crawls being in open rather than instanced dungeons, so that part never mattered to me. I do admit that it works out nicely to have them be instanced in WoW and DDO though, so had I done that first I think I would have cared more in EQ2.

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