So This is Where EQII Marketing is Headed

Wednesday morning and on my checklist just above “find a job” was “read xkcd” and “watch Zero Punctuation.”

However, when I got to Zero Punctuation, it seemed to be blighted with one of the greatest non-flashing eyesore advertising schemes I’ve seen in a long time.  And it was imploring me to tell somebody why my MMO is so cool!

Tell me why you think these colors are so cool

ZP was amusing and, ironically in hindsight, spent some time trashing the collection quest aspect of MMOs, which the game he was reviewing, Monster Hunter Tri, seemed to have adopted as its core game play aspect.  By the end of ZP I thought that, perhaps, this ad was some MMO-trashing come-on to promote a different sort of game.

But it was not.

No, clicking on the ad lead me to the site EQII PWNZ! where it put up a little quiz asking about my current MMO.  In response to each answer, the quiz would reveal a marketing blurb about EverQuest II.

EQII PWNZ because we say so

No matter which answer you select in the quiz, you get the same three responses:

Q: How satisfied are you with the amount of gameplay options in the MMO you currently play?

A: EverQuest II® has 19 customizable player races with 23 different skill classes for all-out adventuring fun whether it be PvP, PvE or crafting.

Q: About how much game content have you completed in the MMO you currently play?

A: EverQuest II has grown its fun-filled world through six expansion packs containing more than 300 expansive zones and 8,000 exciting quests.

Q: Have you ever got bored or tired of the traditional MMO grind and thought of jumping ship?

A: Well, with a new faster, easier leveling curve and directed character progression through the new Storyteller system, EverQuest II is more fun than ever before. Booyah!

I’m not sure the whole thing works.  (And is “game play” one word or two?)

For example, if I am “pleasured” by the experience of my current MMO, why do I care how many races or classes EQII has?

Or, if I have only completed a small amount of the content in my current MMO, why would the admittedly huge amount of content EQII offers entice me?  I haven’t finished the content in front of me.

But the capper has to be asking if I have ever gotten bored or tired (a fine distinction there, I might have opted for “bored or frustrated” were the choice mine) of the traditional MMO grind.

First, it isn’t exactly clear that what they are proposing is anything but a variation on the same old grind in a game that is as mired in the traditional MMO grind as any.

Second, you just told me about all this wonderful content you have, but now you’re saying you’ll help me zip right through.  That can’t really be seen as a hearty endorsement of the content, now can it?

Then there was a little text box at the bottom of the page asking the question, “So, tell me why you’re not playing EverQuest II?”  I hope somebody reads the answers, since I wrote a short tale there.  I would bet that it is more likely that answers will just be tallied up as “favorable” or “unfavorable.”

And then, on submitting the web form, you get one more pass through the pink and yellow, which blend in so nicely with the ice blue of the Halas Reborn logo.

Thanks, now subscribe dammit!

And while it is new content, I am not sure Halas Reborn is really a big draw.  Either you played EverQuest and remember Halas and learning to swim by falling off that raft or running the gauntlet of the great twilight conga line of monsters marching through the snow, or you didn’t, in which case you might be excused for not caring.

And, when you’re done with that page, if you want more information, it routes you back to the current page for Halas Reborn where, if you have a lapsed account, they offer a few goodies if you’ll just reactivate and come back.

Look! A kitty!

All of which isn’t really selling me.  But then I am still being “pleasured” by my current MMO, mostly because that is where my regular group plays.

How about you?  Convinced by any of this?  Excited about Halas?

Now back to the job hunt.

8 thoughts on “So This is Where EQII Marketing is Headed

  1. Dickie

    I’ve never been a fan of this style of marketing and I’m not so sure it will work very well given that the MMO gamer audience has a tendency to be rather… special.

    I’d say that it’s an interesting attempt at knocking out consumer hurdles, but I’d also agree with you that they don’t do a particularly great job of overcoming the obstacles that they convieniently lay out for you.

    Plus… while I love me some Pink, they think yellow is a great color to go with it? What is this 1984? No thank you!


  2. Toldain

    I played in Halas several hours last night with a newb character and had fun. But then, I like EQ2.

    And I hate that kind of marketing. But it’s well known that when you get to be 3000 years old, like me, you get cranky. Get off my retinal afterimage neurons, you damn kids!


  3. Bhagpuss

    Halas is good. I’m a full-time Test player in EQ2 so I’ve had Halas (and Frostfang Sea) for a month now. It was ROUGH when it began but it’s pretty smooth now and probably really is the best starting area.

    The housing in Halas is sublime, though. There will be a mass exodus from the good and neutral cities as people rush to relocate. And you get a FREE KITTEN!!!

    If SoE’s marketing department had a clue, which as you so rightly demonstrate they patently do not, they wouldn’t just be plugging the housing above all else, they’d be agitating in house for a purely housing-based spin-off for EQ2. It’s the one area of MMOs that they truly are market leaders in and potentially it could be huge. There’s a synergy with Facebook-casual gaming that’s just screaming to be worked.


  4. Lomax

    I’m a EQ2 fan and I have to say I’m not impressed by that advert, the colour scheme is something off putting to say the least.

    The other problem I see is as you’ve pointed out the wording, the last thing we need in EQ2 are hordes of people looking to zip through it all, for mindless fast levelling there is WoW…

    Lastly, and the worst error, they didn’t actually mention why you should play EQ2. To me this shows that they don’t have an idea of the target audience, and I’d put good money on the fact that none of the people who created this advert play EQ2.

    Their wording is aimed at current MMO players, in which case they’ve got to be thinking about WoW, Aion and such. Having more races and a fast path to complete it all won’t convince them, but saying we have serious high fantasy adverture, in depth crafting, housing and other RPG features and a dangerous world you can progress in would hit home.

    I know because after 3 years of playing WoW myself I was left craving that and had to find it myself, new ex-WoW players too I speak to are after the challenge chiefly above all too. Instead they seem to be stuck in the thinking that people want to level and be powerful and to be successful you have to give them what they want faster then the competition.

    We’ve had years of that now, I think the veteran players have overdosed on it by now.


  5. Gunthore

    Those colors are terrible, but I’m happy to see EQ2 making some sort of effort at marketing. They have a pretty good game on their hands if they could just attract some more players.


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