WoW Makes Me Appreciate EverQuest Class Design More

Really, I was thinking this before this post was written over at We Fly Spitfires.

I have even opined on the topic myself in the past.

But I have to admit that the simplicity of EverQuest classes, by which I mean the day one classes we are experiencing now on Fippy Darkpaw (and that other server), is very refreshing.

There are no talent points.  There is no choice of paths, no deciding to go tank or DPS.

Your class is what it is.  You get a set of skills and maybe a list of spells, and you make that work however you can.

Our little nostalgia group consists of a Bard, a Druid, a Paladin and an Enchanter, and each of them brings their own unique set of cards to the table.

Yes, eventually we start getting into alternate advancement and such in EverQuest.  But right now, on the progression servers, there is a real purity to each class.  If you substitute one for another, you do not get an even trade.

7 thoughts on “WoW Makes Me Appreciate EverQuest Class Design More

  1. Troy Christensen

    I have always said that options simply breed discontent. A set of classes, even innumerable classes is better than a set with a wide diversity of talents. Simply put, the older and more simple designs forced people to think more creatively and tactically. Today, because of the vast number of configurations of classes (in newer games), there is always a set of class templates that are better than others.

    Game designers need to step back from their game, and not look forward but look to the basics.

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  2. Bhagpuss

    I completely agree.

    Given the choice in any RPG I would always opt for a straightforward Class-Based system. This preference goes right back to my earliest days of rpging, when I chose to play AD&D rather than the skill-based Runequest.

    I also wholly endorse EQ’s system of having to select a small subset of your spells from the many in your spellbook, rather than the current fashion of having absolutely everything you ever learned available at once.

    This was brought home to me when I played EQ2 yesterday for the first time in a month. We were doing the excellent time portal instances celebrating EQ1’s 12th anniversary, which meant I was playign a number of characters I hadn’t played for a while.

    It was more than a little challenging to log in my 89th Shadowknight and be faced with no fewer than 7 hotbars of skills – 84 different icons. Had I logged in my old EQ SK I’d have had to remember 8.

    More choice definitely does not always equal more fun in my experience.

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  3. *vlad*

    I think raiding has a lot to do with the dual-spec class system in WoW. Some boss fights you need 2 tanks (or more in the old days), and then you get fights that only need one tank. What does the other tank do for that fight? Twiddles his thumbs, or gets swapped out for an alt or a different player. That isn’t much fun. At least now he can switch to a dps or healing spec.

    I actually loved the old D&D games that I used to play on my Amiga; warriors bashed thing, wizards nuked things, thieves back-stabbed the bad guys, healers healed. Of course, D&D brought in multi-classes, too in 2nd Edition or whatever. It seems making things more complex is the inevitable fate of games once the original gameplay starts to get a bit boring.

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  4. UFTimmy

    I have been thinking for a while now that Blizzard’s “bring the player, not the class” has made their classes too similar.

    They’ve made classes too vanilla when trying to balance them.

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  5. Yeebo

    Apart from EQ, I can’t think of many MMOs that offer such static classes. Even other oldies like DAoC and Anarchy Online offer much more customizable classes, not to mention classless systems like UO and AC.

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  6. We Fly Spitfires

    Yeah there is something quite elegant and sublime about the classes in EQ. My only complaint with them was that the plain vanilla melee classes like the Warrior and Rogue were quite dull without any abilities to spam.

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