Everquest Next - News Round-Up #2
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August 6th, 2013, 09:55
I like the idea of procedurally generated and/or player contributed content.
I wish they'd revamp LDON for EQNext since that's one of the best things I ever experienced for instances in MMORPGs. I wish someone/anyone would revamp the LDON concept into a modern MMORPG. It was basically an endgame style loot system mixed with diablo style instances (semi-random layouts and mob sets) along with timed goals. It was some of the most fun I've ever had doing instances (TSW instances finally topped it even if they're static). LDON is is/was so primitive compared to what could be done now. But no, let's just do static instance after static instance with the exact same mob placements, patrols, and static bosses that do abilities on timers so rigidly that addons can tell you exactly what'll happen in advance. And they call it AI? /vomit
The sad thing is that if devs actually gave mobs a smidge of AI most of the dummies playing MMORPGs these days wouldn't have any ability to handle it. They'd just die repeatedly and cry endlessly - and it's not all their fault. Game after game of ultra dumbed down content has lead to so many players being mindless drones of incompetence.
My biggest fear with EQN is that with only 8 skills available at one time, the gameplay is going to be ultra simplistic in a GW2 kind of way (all due to !#@#$!@ consoles and their crappy limitations). I don't think the gameplay needs to be overcomplicated but GOOD MMORPGs have plenty of skills, choices, and require a certain amount of actually playing. With only 8 skills you won't have many options.
The 8 skill thing also makes me think this won't be a real MMORPG. It's kind of hard to have real trinity-based grouping with so few skills. Sadly it's more likely that again, EQNext is going to be more like GW2, and I don't consider GW2 to be a real MMORPG. Real MMORPGs have class roles, class roles lead to structured grouping, structured grouping enables progressive content, and all of this leads to being able to play for years instead of getting bored before you're at cap or shortly after.
GW2 is a massively single player online game. It's all about solo gameplay. Even when you group in GW2 it's a group of 5 soloists sharing chat and an instance. The elegance and substance just isn't there in GW2 grouping. A 5 man is just a mini zerg. The events (public quests) are just bigger zergs. PvP is a big and more chaotic zerg. And all the while you're just an anonymous soloist amongst the lemmings.
Going without trinity seemed like a good idea at first (GW2 again) but ultimately everybody I know including me who loves MMORPGs for quality grouping got sick of GW2 fast because if we wanted to effin solo, we'd be playing single player games, and soloing together in the same gamespace is absolutely not compelling.
It would be enough of a challenge to procedurally generate compelling MMO quality content for ONE player. It'll be amazing if they pull that off. To do it scaleable for duo's, groups…with dozens/scores/hundreds of other players around? Yeah…
In the "big reveal" that talked much and revealed little, there was ZERO mention of grouping or group content. Sigh. If you're going back to MMO roots and have all of these MMO vets developing the game, please tell me that group-based content is THE FOCUS and not the sideshow and that solo gameplay, which is boring, which has been done to death and got all these failed MMOs nowhere, isn't going to be the focus YET AGAIN.
I don't agree with eurogamer that this is fantasy MMO's last shot (idiotic comment) but I do agree that most of what was not really revealed about EQNext is a LOT of talk and dreaming, and very little substance. They were showing concept art and talking it up. It's a big leap from dream to reality when it comes to the complexity and newness of the stuff they wanna do.
F2P is the worst thing to happen to MMORPGs - FOR PLAYERS WHO GIVE A CRAP. There are plenty of players who don't give a crap. They LIKE to cheat, they like to pay to win, they like shortcutting games, they don't care about anything but themselves. They are cancer to community and to gaming. No F2P MMORPG is ever going to have the same type of community or feel of the classic biggies.
The fact that EQNext is starting off F2P just makes me want to vomit, especially after firing up EQ2 the other day for giggles and seeing what a mess THAT F2P is. Zero consideration for former subscribers or purchasers. Locks all over the place. EQ2 is complicated enough and didn't need another layer of BS and complexity that has nothing to do with gameplay added. And this is what EQNext will have - the SOE disaster of F2P model. /vomit
Not that there IS a good F2P model. If they could somehow do F2P where you can NEVER buy a single piece of game data or game currency - then ok. But I've never seen it done that way, and as soon as you can buy even one outfit it's pay to win. ALL stuff you gain playing MMORPGs should come from playing, not from dumping your wallet.
I preordered FFXIV this evening based on watching videos. For only $30 I'm sure I'll get plenty out of it to "pay" for it even if it's not that great, and it looks pretty decent. And it's going to have a sub - which is about the only good news I've read for all of the MMORPG genre lately. The producer's letter in the beta forums is a good read. I'm not sure I agree with it all but I definitely agree that F2P is horrible for longevity and community and player churn of players that don't give a crap isn't the type of people I want to game with.
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