Friday, December 01, 2006

Is EQ2 becoming WoW?

In the course of my current internal EQ2 EoF struggle of "to buy, or not to buy", I came across this review here.

The Gamespy article opens with this:

EverQuest II has resided in the shadow of World of Warcraft since both games launched two years ago. This fact is far from lost on Sony Online Entertainment, evident in the direction that they've taken the game during the past two years. The game's third retail expansion, Echoes of Faydwer, is essentially the culmination of this process. SOE has worked the sort of casual-friendly, directed play experience into EverQuest II in as many ways as could be reasonably applied to its formula, and without question, it's the players who benefit. Echoes of Faydwer, in short, is quite possibly the most thorough about-face ever seen in the MMO world that did not bring with it disastrous consequences.

This seems to point to something I think we're all seeing and probably what I've been feeling about EQ2...the WoW-ification of EQ2. This evolution to a more WoW-like game seems to be well received by the community in general, however; am I the only one who has a red flag going up in his head?

In 2004, Sony screwed up...they really did. They created EQ2, a game with great graphics and promises of immersing game play. All true at the time, until you hit level 20. At level 20, a progression wall came sneaking behind and bitch slapped you. WoW, of course, took off like a rocket with its fun game play and low entry barrier.

We're now at 2006 and we see EQ2 and WoW starting to converge. Features, game play and experiences are starting to look very similar. Great for Sony and EQ2, but is it good for the MMO players? Ummmm, no. No it is not. If Sony's numbers start to go up due to this convergence to WoW, we're all in a lot of trouble because other companies will notice that trend. If they have any business sense at all, they'll do the exact same thing, i.e. copy WoW. This will give us, as gamers, very little variety. Basically, we're heading down the road that RTS's now find themselves in. WoW is turning out to be MMO's Command and Conquer.

Now, this really isn't that bad. WoW is a fun game from 1-60. I just would really like to see MMOs grow in a more three dimensional manner, so to speak. How do we get rid of grinding at end game? How can players really feel they can change the world they play in? How do we really strike a balance between graphics and performance? Can we make PvP really meaningful?

D out.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Well, there's little virtue in being the best game that nobody plays.

EQ2 started out with a bunch of problems. They fixed them. Yeah, there's lots of echoes of WoW there, except for the parts of WoW which weren't fun, like faction grinding. Where faction is important in the game, there's quick ways to raise it nearby. Don't need to farm hours and hours for resist pots and repair bots. The broker system is far superior to the auction house EXCEPT for the dressing room feature.

I miss that most of all.