Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Time= Skill and Rewards?

Recently I was on the Everquest forums, which I peek over at on a regular basis to see whats going on. I noticed a topic basically asking why difficulty and time = fun in the game still. There were numerous "This isn't WoW with it's instant gratification!" replies. That got me thinking. Do you consider spending large amounts of time on something more rewarding than a game that doesn't require as much time?

When it comes to MMOs, especially in Everquest, people have often based the idea that more time equals you should reap greater rewards. However, not everyone has massive amounts of time to put into a game. Some have more than others. Truth be told, those people claiming to be hardcore in Everquest today have not a clue just how hardcore things were at one time when one considers time. Unless, of course, they have been playing it since the early days. Today even that game is a walk in the park considering how it once was. Hell Levels?Ugh..

While long camps and the more static environment of Everquest has always been a very easy way to meet new friends and be more social, it seems today that the game is less social than ever. With the age of the game, people boxing and Mercs- You simply don't have to, as much, anymore. So sitting camping a spawn can get very boring.

I did notice another topic asking if a LFD system much like WoW's could be implemented.While people once said EQ had the better LFG tool, everyone drools over WoW's now. The developers have noticed it but I don't think much thought is being put into that area currently. It could be a great thing even if it worked for LDoN at least. Yielding new rewards, revamping LDoN to an extent to draw players in, that surely would grab my attention. We've all noticed the impact on the new system cutting down on time getting into groups in WoW, how it's flourished. So for this area less time spent is more rewarding when it comes to forming groups.

While many people blame WoW for simplifying the MMO scene, in my opinion it's leveled the playing field. I like that my friends can now catch up in games. I think back on how much time I spent on hell levels in Everquest and wonder "What was I thinking!", but it was all we knew. Time=rewards. The more time you had, the more rewarded you were.

Now I'm not saying lets hand everyone who plays instant gratification. I actually miss some of those camps in Everquest, but when I think of how much time was spent camping for a mob that could take several playing sessions, I remember it starts to get tedious and time consuming. We forget that we play to have fun sometimes.

So what do you think? Do you feel that playing more should reap better rewards? Or do you feel that the playing field should be level for everyone? It's a touchy topic with some.This isn't a knock against Everquest either, as a long time player I consider it one of if not the most time consuming MMORPG ever, and after the years it's evolved. I still also consider it one of the most rewarding games in terms of community, lore and the games history.



  1. /sniff I smell an EverQuest post. I think it goes back to the old adage "No pain, No gain". I was by no means "hardcore" in the sense I was geared out from constant raiding. Given the amount of time I was on, I certainly could have been this type of player.

    I still had a blast and never felt any ill will toward those who were enjoying (or not in a lot of cases) the end-game. I knew it was time-consuming, grueling, boring at times and flat out painful for some.

    I acknowledged the fact it was the nature of the beast and the path to "greatness" then. I respected them for what they were having to endure. Those in opposition to this view really need to take a step back and analyze why they aren't having fun.

    They need to decide whether their path to fun is all about the end-game and "uber" gear. Regardless what the new crowd believes currently regarding why these games exist in the first place, community, co-operation and socialization was the driving force.

    There's no better way to support a strong community than with socialization. There's no better way to support socialization than to support co-operation. There's no better way to support co-operation than to make it necessary by way of difficult and time-consuming content and gameplay.

    WTB Risk Versus Reward! PST!

  2. @Skhurd- You just can't resist an EQ post!

    I agree with the risk vs reward. I don't mind that at all. People will think before wasting time on corpse runs or running back in such cases.

    When it comes to camping a named for 5 hours.. or 50 hours.. it starts to be more of a demand than risk.

    I do miss the community of Everquest most often and the play style of the game was/is an environment to get to know others better.

    I raided more towards the end of my days on Lanys with a guild- Oryx, whom I had looked up to for the longest time so it was rewarding to get to join in with them. (They now play WoW /gasp)

    I am some days tempted to go back to Everquest again. I have a ton of characters across two accounts that I miss a lot. What holds me back is not only do the mobs hit like Mac Trucks, I hate some of the time sinks.

    But even EQ has evolved...

  3. I wouldn't say EQ has evolved at all, honestly. Its current issues are driven by the developers desires to "compete" with other MMORPGs. EQ can't really do that in any other way than to remain true to itself.

    As for the long camping times, I agree and disagree. One example I can think of is the "an ancient croc". I camped this f***er for two days at least for some "Gatorscale Leggings" ( This is an example of complete and utter bull****.

    However, looking at that experience from the outset, the time as a whole wasn't really the issue. For one, placeholders are a problem when you're actively camping something. If I'm sitting there for several hours and a PH spawns, oh yeah, I'm pissed.

    If I'm sitting there for a half hour or so and a PH spawns, I kill it and know exactly when to come back, so I'm cool. If I come back and it's another PH, I'm back to seeing red again. Then there's what happens when the named does actually spawn.

    Will the named have the item I am seeking, or will it not. In my time during this camp alone, I believe I must have gotten 5-6 of the "Gatorscale Sleeves". After the first drop of these, I just started calling random casters down to pick them up.

    Eventually, I acquired the item I so diligently sought after...with the help of a GM, no less. Yes, eventually I became ill enough to petition. A GM came down, looked up the history and knew something wasn't right. Next spawn and I was done. But at what cost?

    So this is one example of things that must be avoided. If you want to give a mob a spawn time of several hours, a few days, a few weeks, fine. But the long the spawn time, the higher the percentage must be of it dropping what you're looking for.

    Placeholders need to go, unless there's a reason for them to be there. If they drop something of value, keep them, otherwise they're useless and they're doing nothing but adding to an already tedious and borderline negative experience.

    Time sinks aren't a bad thing at all, when implemented in ways where they don't actually "feel" like time sinks. Our epics were time-consuming and tedious, but to this day I don't recall having the sustained fun it brought in any other game.

    Flagging is also a necessary evil I wholeheartedly believe in. For a long time, however, PoP has been open to all. And what exactly does that mean for those who spent ridiculous amounts of time flagging and re-flagging?

    Alas, I'm just ranting. The genre has changed, probably for good. Now all we can do is adapt or cease to play these games as a whole, which is unfortunately the position I've found myself in. The veterans no longer have a game to call home. It's a reality we're all just going to have to accept.

  4. EQ has evolved. It is no longer the game it once was. Specifically with the risk factor.

    Dead? No problem your merc can rez you. Oh you have a Warrior merc, anyone in the guild lobby could use a merc to rez you. Corpse lost? No problem lets summon it to the guild lobby!

    The xp grind is basically gone from 1-70 it's faster than WoW to get to 70 IMO. The xp flows in so quickly, add in hotzones on top of that.

    Epic 1.0? I duo'd several, solo'd one, boxed another. Mercs, boxing and level increase make it trivial now. The others are more of a challenge than this but the worst parts IMO are the camping still.

    The only thing that hasn't evolved is spawn camps really.

    With guild portals and PoT stones, travel is minimal.

    It's good though. I don't think I could go back to those old days, I do remember them fondly though.

    Each time I play I still do a massive amount of camping for this or that. I camped Lute of the Howler last year and many bard masks. It was strangely rewarding lol.

  5. That's really my point. The changes you described, which I am aware of, is a degeneration of the genre. EQ is devolved. We find ourselves today at one end of the spectrum only.

    Once up a time we had options. Over in my left hand you'll see what EQ was in all of its splendor, circa 2004. In my right, you'll see WoW.

    Even WoW has gotten worse since its release. While the changes in WoW have been less extreme (because you can only make a game so easy until you're eventually giving away epics just for logging in), the changes in EQ have been immense.

    Now we have a closer balance of ease in both games. There are no options. Think of it this way. For long time now, those running for the presidency of the good 'ol United States of America have either been far right leaning or far left leaning.

    What if politicians weren't so different in their beliefs? How easy would it be to choose the next president? How many would simply not vote because it wouldn't make any difference?

    When you look at the MMORPG genre as it is today, these games are becoming more and more of the same. Really, we're already there. The issue here is you can't compete with what WoW is.

    Why model your game after another game and do nothing different? WoW was modelled after EQ, but decisions after release made it what it is today, into an extremely popular, graphical myspace.

    I'm stung because I had high hopes for WoW for the first year I played. The second year was mostly me hoping everything was going to get better. Who knows what not implementing the honor system and battlegrounds would have done for the game. No one will ever know.

    Unfortunately, WoW is to EQ as the prequels are to the original trilogy. Enough to bring in a whole new generation in record numbers, but also enough to make a long-time fan, who is responsible for the very existence of the prequels being possible, nauseated and pissed off to no end.

  6. We all know we played waaay too much back then. Trying to get things done and what not. Looking back we have fond memories but nostalgia clouds our views.

    I do see your point and agree to an extent. However I have to disagree on some points.

    Corpse runs, I really don't and never did enjoy them. Bad mechanics to begin with. Sure let me lose some xp, don't make me lose my gear. It actually happened to me before. Luckily it was all crap gear lol.

    It does make people behave differently when the loss of xp is considered or a corpse run. But.. people are bound to act stupid, that's the nature of the beast heh.

    To me it was just another time waster. I wasted a lot of time trying to get to my corpse some days. OMG it's stuck in PoH someone help me!!

    I liked it more up to PoP then it (Even before WoW) started taking on a different direction. PoP changed some of the game's style. Maybe if it had not changed direction to be even more hardcore than it began as- then taking a turn with more changes to undo this. Well maybe it wouldn't have needed to evolve so much.

    Flags flags and more flags. Time wasted basically. Fun? Not when you had to catch up. Now all those flags? They were removed. Because it was too much of a time consumer and provided a huge gap when trying to catch up. And let me tell you the gap was huge. I've still played it over the last 10 years.

    I do miss the basic game play, group interaction, making friends and fun raiding styles. I don't miss wasting time camping Lord Bergurgle or some other named while I do something else. I like to play when I log in, not sit there afk or have to find other people just to be able to level.

    So it's evened out some. More mild than it once was but if it saves me some time, all for the better. Am I getting anything handed to me? No. I am just able to play without being penalized if I don't have more time.

  7. Do you feel that playing more should reap better rewards? Or do you feel that the playing field should be level for everyone?

    Depending on what you do within WoW it might. For example, The gear you can acquire from raid bosses/emblem/arena points are a lot better than the regular loot.

    Since I really could care less about that I won't reap 'better gear' however I'm still having a lot of fun within WoW playing the game exactly how I want too. I don't have the time to devote to raiding, and even if I did I wouldn't do it since I like to play the game my way and that doesn't involve raiding.

  8. Kaozz, the point I'm trying (but failing) to make is the genre has its easy-mode game, with WoW. The other games are dropping like flies, new and old.

    The old games are trying to "compete" with WoW by making it easier. Unfortunately for them, you can't compete with WoW. No one is going to do what WoW does better than WoW does it.

    The newer games have come and gone or are in the process of dying for the same reason. So, instead of worrying about competing with the 800 pound gorilla in the room, do something different. We need a resurgence of niche games in this genre.

  9. @Pouncie
    I'm one of those players that is all over the place, sometimes I like to mess around, other times I like to raid. But Yeah with time constraints I don't like one way to acquire gear. Emblems are nice.

    I do see your point. We just have different opinions.

    I've played almost every game on the market. WoW does offer many options, that's why it keeps people and a thumb on the market. It offers more to a wide range of players.

    The gaming MMO genre was made a certain way by one game. Then it was changed by another. It could change again.