Monday, April 16, 2012

Choices? (EQ2)

The only thing that matters is the end game, right? 

I haven't played EQ2 in awhile, I worked on my beastlord when the last expansion hit. My inquisitor sat by the sidelines at 90 and still does. I thought about picking her up with the Skyshrine update, checking out some of the new stuff, which I suppose I can but I won't be leveling her anytime soon.

With the Skyshrine update, which adds a lot of new content, the level cap is upped to 92. I think two extra levels is kinda silly. But not as silly as the requirement to get these two levels.

In order to level you'll need approximately 280 AA. I'm short on that a bit, sitting at 169 AA. However, I don't care to hit any type of AA cap before I level. I like to do things in my own due time, in all of my games. I just want to do what I want- when I want. These days I'm a tourist who pops in here and there, and right now I'm held in transit.

I think EQ2 is a wonderful game. It has a lot of fun stuff to do. a lot of choices, lots of activities and some of the best housing in any MMO. This seems to conflict with that feeling. I suppose I got bored after awhile with EQ2, with the lack of a quest tracking system on the map didn't help in the huge world. One haul to 90 was enough to daunt me. Forcing me to work on AA isn't going to entice me to log back in. I don't group much these days anyhow, I'd still like to hit the cap if I felt like it. Because of this, this cap that is aimed at creating a certain type of endgame, I don't see myself playing again anytime soon.

I find it ironic they removed crit mitigation and put in another thing to cap out. We don't want to force you to do this or that- We'll just force you to do something else. This isn't a fix. These days if I log in I'm very casual, puttering around exploring, working on housing, crafting and exploring, so should this matter to me? It sort of makes me feel that only a certain type of player is goal in this game. Which is fine, I don't play it that much these days anyhow. Someone else can take my place, right?

Maybe down the road I'll feel like doing it again, maybe I'll feel like gathering more AA. Not today. Not tomorrow. It's just the little things that keep me away when developers make choices like this. It leaves me feeling sour when a game feels like everything is funneled towards a certain type of play. I can see why this was thought to be a good idea -but- you can't expect a game to feel like a world where players have choices if you force things upon them.

I might sound like I'm picking EQ2 apart, I'm not, I think it is a fantastic game, it has a lot of great options! It is one of my favorite MMO games, if you look in my history here you can see just how much I love the game. This is where I come to share my thoughts about my games and if I wasn't honest there really wouldn't be much of a point to writing. 


  1. As far as I know the *only* thing not having 280AAs does is stop you getting those final two levels and the Prestige points associated with them. You aren't barred from any of the content, all of which is available to any Level 90 character. You can get the quests, enter the dungeons (which includes some tuned for solo/duo/solo+merc), do anything that's there to be done.

    Crafters have no AA requirement and can do their two levels immediately.

    If you play your level 90 through the new content you'll gain some (don't know how much but I'd guess quite a lot) of the AA you need just by doing it since all the xp you gain from the questing and killing will go straight to AA. Also the curve is being flattened so you'll get some free AAs immediately and the rest will come faster.

    If you're mostly playing solo, the extra two levels will come when they come. Not having them isn't going to stop you doing anything you couldn't do before (except for soloing a bit higher in the previous tiers group content, perhaps). GU63 adds a large dollop of solo-friendly content for Level 90s that you can get to immediately.

    In addition, the solo quested gear in Withering Lands, which is equipable at Level 90 from quests which are given at level 90 (maybe lower but I only tested it with a level 90) are equivalent to current near-top end Raid gear. Just running through the overland solo quests will vastly upgrade any character that hasn't been doing DoV raid content.

    I really don't see how any of this is "end game" or gated content at all. It's max-level content but that's nothing to do with end-game. The end-game was in DOV heroic and Raid dungeons, which I've never set foot in, and now it's moved to Skyshrine heroic and Raid dungeons, which I have no intention of setting foot in. All I can see is some very exciting-looking new areas to explore and a massive upgrade in gear for all my level 90s (only one of whom meets the AA criteria to also get the extra two levels).

    Maybe I'm being over-positive. I won't know for certain until I get in and play later today. But that's how I read it. The 280 AAs thing has been added pretty much to try and make the Dungeon Finder work for the new top-end heroic dungeons, I think. For someone not planning on using the DF I can't imagine how it will make any difference at all.

  2. Honestly, I don't like this type of design for a leveling path, that's what it boils down to.

    Gating and endgame being the focus? What this scales down to is- Instead of fixing the dungeon finder this the band-aid was implemented. My reasons for not playing these days are for other things but design like this doesn't encourage me to log in.

    Yeah, you're too optimistic for this early in the morning ;)




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