WoW or EQ2?
I never liked the idea of MMORPGs, or paying monthly just to play a game. Yet I find it harder and harder to get good, substantial, Single Player RPGs.A few months ago I picked up Guild Wars on the advice of a friend, and despite my initial misgivings, I really enjoyed the game.
However, my problem with Guild Wars is two-fold, although both kind of coming down to the same thing. First of all, I am the kind of RPGer who measures her succes by the advancement my character has made. I love gaining levels, finding better armor, weapons and so on. In Guild Wars the level is capped at 20, which you can reach within hours when playing Factions, and you then also immediately gain the highest level armor. There are more expensive armors, but that it all looks, they aren't any better.
My second problem, is that I am a mediocre player. I like playing games, but I'm not very good at them. Single player games I quite often finish on the easiest level setting. In Guild Wars I got past this by making sure I was a level or two levels higher then I was supposed to be a missions, but after level 20, that is impossible. If I have a hard time fighting a level 26 creature, I can't just gain another level (and/or better gear) and come back.
So as you can see, it both comes down to the levelcap :)
I've tried some free MMORPG (mainly Flyff) and really liked the freedom of them. I like the casual social interaction (I am on at awkward times and can't always commit myself) so being able to find other players to team up with and disband once I need to go, without leaving my party halfway through a mission, is great.
I found I like:
Soloing and occasionally grouping
Doing lots of quests
Being part of a storyline
Auction house/ Private shop where I can set up my stuff and just go AFK while my character sells
Forms of fast travel
Grinding (don't mind kill 'X creatures for me' kind of quests though)
4 or 5 hour long missions that I have to do with other people
Trading directly with other players (IE standing somewhere spamming WTS)
Harsh death penalties
I would be interrested in:
Some form of mount or other owned transportation
Lots of races and character customisabilty
I've been looking into both WoW and EQ2, both seem fun, both have different advantages and disadvantages. I played the EQ2 trial, but it only let me go up to level 6, and was only on a starter island. I liked it, but it didn't give me enough info to really make a decision. I don't have a credit card, so I'll be depended on Pay-as-you-go cards. So I can't try out WoW unless I buy such a card. With my limited budget, I was hoping on some advise before I pick up one or the other.
So, if anybody is still reading after my essay, what game do you think would suit my gaming style better?
I'm surprised you say that you can't trial WoW without buying a card. All of the EB Games stores i've been into in both New Zealand and Australia (read: Melbourne, which is where i now live) offer trial WoW CDs for about $10. With these CDs you can trial the game for 14 days without having to pay and, i believe, roll the game over to a full account using the same CD if you choose to do so. I suggest that you contact your local game store and see if a similar offer is available where you live.
But backtracking a minute to answer your question. Which is the MMORPG for you?
The answer sort of depends on the type of thing you look for in a MMO/RPG. Both WoW and EQ have their merits, and as you know advantages and disadvantages. I think, however, that it is fair to say that WoW is, on the whole, easier for players that are new to MMORPGs to get into. It also has significantly lower graphical overheads, which can be a concern for players on a limited budget, or with a mid-range system.
Running through your list i think i can give you positive responses to a couple of your questions as far as WoW goes. Crafting is available and there are a variety of different disciplines to choose from: mining, skinning, smithing, alchemy, armour and weapon crafting and the like. You can access a mount at certain levels in the game (some classes get a free one, others need to purchase them) that can be taken off the beaten track and is player directed.
Now the negatives. Player housing is, sadly, not available at this stage but the guild structure is fairly robust. Races and customisability is where things fall down a little. There is a limited number of races and visual options available to each character and little to choose from aside from skin colour, hair style and gender at character creation.
The rest. PvP is opt-in so you can choose to participate or not as your preference dictates. Since the addition of Battlegrounds (instanced combat zones) to the game the majority of PvP takes place "off the map" as it were so most of the PvE environment is relatively free from the sort of rolling mauls that (at least in my opinion) used to make the game fun and frustrating at the same time.
Grinding, is, regrettably a factor in pretty much every modern MMORPG to some extent and WoW is no different. That said, there is a decent variety of quests types that ameliorate the feeling of standing in the same place smacking X number of monster Y.
Auction House. Yep, and it's recently been expanded on to offer connected Auction Houses between all major cities.
Roleplaying. Pick an RP server and stick with those into roleplaying and you're golden. The rest of the time it's potluck just like any other MMORPG.
Storyline. WoW seems light on this to me, but then so do all MMORPGs. I'm hoping some of the upcoming games (Age of Conan) will help fix this.
Harsh death penalties. WoW has one of the lightest death penalties i've come across to date. Corpse runs are in, but experience loss is negligible.
Forms of fast travel. Pay to use winged mounts are available between most major destinations. Free zeppelins are available to the Horde and ships to the Alliance.
Hope that helps.
Thank you for your elaborate reply. You awnsered a lot of my concerns, your reply really helped.
I don't mind grinding upto a certain extend, but excessive grinding does get boring, especially when the returns (in XP or loot) are minimal. As long as grinding is broken by quests and other things (like grinding and getting crafting materials at the same time for example) i do not mind.
It sounds like a lot of things on my wishlist are adressed in WOW, and the 10 dollar trial card sounds very tempting. I will look out for one of those trial WoW CDs, that sounds like a very good option :)
I know WOW has and expansion coming up in January, is that high-end gameplay content, or would a newbie like myself need it as well?
and I understand EQ2 has several addon packs, do I need all of those as well straight away to play?
I would love to hear the EQ2 side of things as well. :)
Sorcha - I liked the WoW trial (14 day) considerably more than the EQ2 trial - there was just a better 'feel' of the experience for me. I know you can get it free in places, I also know that some places charge for the DVD.
The problem with MMO's is the time commitment. I'm playing NWN2, and I can hop on unexpectedly for a while, work on stuff, then leave. As you progress in MMO's you need to make a significant investment of time and schedule with others. You should really read Jeff Vogel's latest View from the Bottom!
As for add-ons, they typically add high-end stuff or different features … as a n00b you'd be a long way from using that stuff ;)
Hi TXA, fancy meeting you here :D
that article was hilarious, hehe.
At the moment the time commitment doesn't scare me. I'm a staying-at-home mum, and housework only fills so much of my day ;) Yet I prefer to actually be there for the little one when she comes home from school and during her holidays (2 months in te summer here, 2 weeks at christmas and Easter, and many more inbetween) until she's a bit older, so I have some time to spare.
I've seen with Guild Wars how addictive online games are, but I also know I can walk away and cook dinner or give quality time to my family whenever I want to, it's not a problem for me.
hence the question about the big raids, I do not really want to go AFK during a long mission and leave people in a lurch, yet at the same time, I will shut down my PC at any time to play with Barbies, if the situation arises. ;) So short missions appeal to me the most, and a fair amount of solo play for when I am on at odd times or only have half an hour before my washing machine is done :D
I will get NWN2 if the player reviews are positive, I got burned with Oblivion, and won't buy a game right at release again. I'll give it a while, that way the first patches will be out as well :)
I'm starting to lean towards Wow, I asked on another site as well, and they recommended it over there as well. I'll pick up a trail Cd tomorrow ;)
I've noticed that the WoW trial is no longer free here (US), too. Its 14 days for the price of the disk (don't need a subscription card), and 1.99 will get you the CD at most any store that sells games, but c'mon…don't they make enough money as is?
To do more than gripe - Inauro is right, there are strengths and weaknesses to both games in terms of what you describe what you are looking for. He gave a ton of info on WoW, and I agree with most everything he said.
I've played both games extensively, and I enjoyed both of them. (I actually quit WoW because I started to play TOO much, and my newborn son/wife were feeling the hurt.)
WoW has pretty much everything you are looking for, and also has everything you aren't. So does EQ2, if you don't mind looking for it a bit harder. Crafting in WoW is ok, but once you've gotten a taste of crafting in EQ2 or others games (Ryzom), it's only fair to good, not great. Too simplistic for my taste.
EQ2 wins the race/customizable character competition as well. Mounts are expensive in both, but when I was playing WoW, I had to save gold for 10 levels AND have a friend lend me cash to buy one in a reasonable time. Not so much in EQ2. Housing is entirely EQ2 again - very available, extremely customizable, and you can set up your house to operate as a store as well, even when you aren't online. Not so much in WoW - only the auction house there.
Both games have a huge amount of content. I honestly never felt I was seriously grinding in either - until I got to the higher levels in WoW. Both games literally have so much, you will never see everything with a single character.
EQ2 was a bit friendlier in the long run for soloing, but like any game, the best equipment will only be gained through group encounters. However, for me, the instanced content (dungeons, etc.) for small groups was far better in WoW - just had more fun with it.
As far as roleplaying and storyline that you are a part of - you aren't really gonna get that in any of the mainstream games, if at all. Most MMOs don't deserve the subcategory of RPG, because people just tend not to roleplay. It was rare to find a good roleplay group that was consistent in either game, even on the RP servers. If you find one, stick with them TIGHT, cause you might not find another. Being a part of the storyline, having an effect on the world - sorry, not going to really, truly get that anywhere. What you saw in Guild Wars is about the extent at this point in time. There is a ton more content in both games, but you're doing the same stuff everyone has - that's just the nature of this genre in the here and now.
In terms of everything else on your lists, EQ2 is pretty much the same is Inauro describes WoW. Here's the thing, though. WoW is a massive timesink. If you want to keep up, even in a small way, you'll find yourself putting a lot of time in. And in terms of long-term commitment, WoW has two flavors of endgame (in my experience) - PvP or Raids - neither of which you expressed most interest in. Granted, it'll take time to get to the endgame, but once you get there…that's about it. EQ2 felt like less of a timesink (in a relative sense), but I have to be honest and state that I never got as close to the endgame in that world.
Hope this help. What's with the long posts from me? Badger is rubbing off…
What about D&D Online? That is supposed to have significant solo content as well as the standard stuff?
Ive read just the opposite, that D&D online isnt very solo friendly at all.
I would recommend WoW purrsonally. I played it for like 2 months pretty much solo, then moved into a guild later on. It was easy to get the hang of, and you are able to move around to harder areas if you want, I always end up fighting things just a tad tougher or fight multiples to keep things interesting. Played it about 6 months or so 'til I started getting bored and my guild moved on to goals that I was not interested in, and also felt it was time to start chipping away at the singleplayer games that had been stacking up on my desk the entire time. So I quit for the time being, my characters in stasis awaiting my return.
It was a fun time tho, and i am thinking of re-logging back in lately, most certainly when the expansion hits. Alot of people diss WoW or MMORPGs in general, but I strongly believe that you create your own experience within them, it's up to you how you want to play the game.
The solo potential in WoW is pretty good, but mind you that this also depends on the class you pick as well. Pick the Hunter for what is in my opinion the best solo class, and later on if you want to get into big dungeons delvings with a large group youll find that you and your pet can be a very powerful part of the group. Ive played other classes, but I always end up coming back to my Hunters (I have a couple of them specced different!)
My little sister who is 12 and has never played anything other than the Sims before recently picked up WoW and did just fine with it, so i think it's safe to say that it's pretty forgiving to newbies to the game and genre itself.
Thank you for the long post, rheric, there is a lot of useful information there :)
I will see what the price is like for both games, and might try them both out if I can pick them up cheap. (I'm terrible at making decisions, hehe)
txa, from what I've read D&D Online has no solo content to speak off, and compared to other MMORPGs has not a lot of content either. It has cut out certain classes (like Druids and monks) and races (like Gnome and half-elf) and a very low level cap of 10 (which a lot of people reached in the trial period). The whole game is set in one city, and the sewers and dungeons underneath it, with no content outdoors (like forrests or plains).
most of what I read didn't sound too promising, or appealing for that matter. Which is too bad, because I am familiar with the D&D universe, and would have loved to play there.
I've read several reviews, all of them stating similar issues. I don't know if these issues got resolved over time, but the lack of info, updates and forum threads doesn't bode well…
hehe, while I was posting you guys posted as well. :D
TXA, thank you for that link, that is very usefull information. I'll go and hunt for some more info on how the game plays now…
The way I see it, if you can get a free trial (or $2 trial disk) it is worth it. Since I brought up DDO, I did a quick check, and it is a pretty meager little world - so you really *should* do a trial before committing to anything on that one!
Yes, I've been looking for more info on DDO as well. If it would have been brought out like Guild wars (Free to play after buying the game, with expansions to broaden the game) I would be tempted to pick it up, but the game just doesn't seem to have enough content to justify the monthly cost. Maybe it's fun to play, but both EQ2 and WoW just seem to offer so much more…
I'll try out WoW and EQ2 (if I can pick that one up cheap) and see what I think. If neither suits me, I can look into DDO and maybe even COH, but I'm not going to go mad tomorrow and come home with 4 MMORPGs :D I'll let you guys know what I think once I've played for a while.
Do Guild Wars Factions and Nightfall both have the same level cap as the original?
I only played the DDO beta, so take these comments with that in mind.
If you aren't a "good player" as you describe above, don't even touch DDO. It's a waste of your money - the combat system is complicated and very tricky, takes a lot of practice, and has a VERY steep learning curve. I liked the world, liked the graphics, didn't mind the solo-unfriendly nature even, but I quit after a few days of the beta because the combat/movement/control schema was so damned difficult the game was downright NOT FUN.
I, too, have heard that there is a lot of new solo content, as Turbine realized you can't isolate such a huge population of the gaming crowd…but still, whether or not I can solo at all doesn't matter if I don't have fun playing the game.
Another thing to consider, Sorcha - the power of your machine. If you don't have a pretty good machine, don't bother with EQ2. Its a beautiful game if you can set the detail levels high enough (I actually far prefer the more realistic graphics and design over WoW's cartoony style). But if you can't pull the graphics off, the game loses a lot of its appeal (at least, i thought so running it on two different machines).
Also, just as a quick thought. You might want to check out Saga of Ryzom (or Ryzom Ring - both the same really). That's been my choice recently - very fresh and original Intellectual Property, beautiful graphics and setting somewhere between WoW and EQ in terms of design AND detail level, and has one of the most interesting, fun, and deep systems in MMOs, where you can build and customize nearly every action you learn, including items crafted, etc.
Plus, their recent release, called Ryzom Ring, allows for player created quests and content - even entire story arcs and such.
There's a free trial available with no time limit, but you're stuck on "the island" like the EQ2 trial. Still, very worthwhile to check out, and it might be a good fit for you!
txa: no, Guild Wars has a level 20 cap for all campaigns, and the two expansions reach this cap even quicker then the original. This is mainly to even things out for PvP players, and the same with the gear. You can reach max level, weapons and armors very early on in the game, so you can jump into PvP straight away. The only difference is that you have less skills then people who've played the whole PvE campaign, but in both expansionhit.s you can just go out and buy those skills.
The developers have stated that the level cap will stay in place, because succes in Guild Wars is based on strategy and player skill, not level and items.
There is a lot of PvE content, but emphasis is on PvP, even though a lot of people I know play the game without doing any of the PvP.
rheric, thank you for the info on DDO, I am defenitely going to pass on this. I will pick up NWN2 most likely eventually for my D&D fix :D
Saga of Ryzom is sci-fi, isn't it? I might download the trail version and take a look at that as well. I had a quick look at the site, and it loks very pretty.
I updated my system earlier on in the year to play Oblivion, which it ran well on the lower settings, so EQ2 shouldn't be a problem. The graphics in WoW are my one big gripe with the game, I don't really like the cartoony style. However, it seems less bad in videos then in screenshots, so maybe it looks better in action, so to speak. Also, I have learned over time that graphics are less important then gameplay. If the graphics are good, but the gameplay is lacking, there is still no fun to be had, whereas graphics (even though they can add to the immersiveness) don't matter as much is the game is fun ;)
Still, I can't see myself creating a Night Elf, those ears just look too odd ;)
Saga of Ryzom is fantasy with a twist, rather than sci-fi. It's definitely different from the mainstream MMORPGs, and is a refreshing change from the standard high fantasy milieu.
I have to admit, however, that i found Ryzom's combat system incredibly frustrating. I lost count of the number of time that i'd defeat one creature with ease only to have the next creature of the exact same type and level wipe the floor with me for no readily apparent reason. Maybe there was something i was missing, but i just couldn't make head or tail of it. That said, many of the game systems (especially crafting) are really in-depth and engaging. Well worth trying it out to see if you like it.
World of Warcraft's graphics are a sticking point for a lot of people. Personally, i find a distinctive visual style (for example, Ryzom, the ill-fated SEED and FFXI Online) far more appealing than the usual run of the mill photorealism that so many RPGs and MMORPGs (yes i'm looking at you EverQuest 2) try to pull off these days. Photorealism only gets you so far. If every game were to take photorealism to the endpoint, they'd all look pretty much the same. To me that spells boring, not good graphics.
WoW's graphics (and W.A.R is looking good for the same reason), on the other hand, have a distinctive and cohesive style that really works in the context of the game. I don't once recall thinking, "that looks cartoony" while playing it. More often than not i'd be thinking, "man, that's impressive, and so right for the feeling of the Warcraft world." But, to each his/her own i guess.
Ryzom's combat system definitely takes some getting used to, and I agree with the inconsistency part - i've died suddenly without realizing I was anywhere near it, especially when getting mobbed by more than one creature.
However, the rest of the system is so deep and engaging, and the recent addition of player created scenarios, had me so intrigued that I subscribed to get in on the rest of the game. So far, no regrets (though I have yet to experience any player scenarios).
WoW's graphics were never a sore point for me - I adored the style and loved the visual consistency and the way that equipment sets just made you look like so damned slick. Very cool, and one of the strongest points for that game, visually. I'm with you on the distinctive visual styles - they can really make a game so much more than it might have been otherwise. And the photorealism isn't something I actually seek out…BUT I preferred the more realistic take on armor and weapons that I found in EQ2 over the more outlandish styles in WoW. My thoughts are pretty well summed up here…
My perfect game would combine the more realistic take on equipment that EQ2 had, with the visual style and consistency of WoW - oddly enough, this is one of the things that appeals to me most about Ryzom. It's a middle ground of sorts.
Also why I'm so keen on The Chronicles of Spellborn - what an interesting and captivating style they have developed…just hope the game system plays out as fun, as Sorcha stated - if it isn't fun, it doesn't matter how pretty it is.
I hated Ryzom. Played it for like a month, and was bored stiff by fighting different flavors of like 3 different types of monster archetypes. You have the "Puny Wolf-Thing" then the "Snarling Wolf-Thing", then you get to move on to the "Semi-Perterbed Wolf-Thing", then on to the "Angry Wolf-Thing", then to the "Totally Pissed-Off Wolf-Thing". Then once you master them, you get to move on to the "Puny Crab-Monster Thing", working your way up to the "Snarling Crab…..
Just a startling lack of variety coupled with a totally byzantine system of crafting your own stuff, down to what stamina, str, and whatever other points but done just freakin weird to where i was printing out faqs left and right. Plus, no good stuff was available from the vendors, so you were pretty much forced into buying things from players or making your own. Really good for those who are broke and dont have connections. Atrocious lag, and areas bordered with uber-powerful monsters kept me confined pretty much to one area, albeit big, but one area. Fighting the now "Frothing Wolf-Thing" over and over…
Ive said it before and I'll say it again- Ryzom was the only game that I've ever played where the starter island/area was more fun than moving on to other areas of the game. Variety of creatures, weapons, missions, etc. that ended as soon as I crossed the proverbial mississippi. I had started like 3 different characters, then realized there was something terribly wrong with this situation that wasnt going to remedy itself anytime soon.
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