Thursday, November 17, 2005

The younger years

I've been thinking about the noob times in EQ2 I've had lately and reminiscing of what was it that I would later become. This is my first Screenshot of EQ2 I ever took and I figured it suiting to this post.

I'm getting a Co-worker to try out EQ2 for their first time and was thinking about all the things she would need to know to help her out on the first leg of the journey. Here's a good place to start but, all the help in the world there wont make up for my look back on the second journey into a MMO. Most of you know that I've played EQlive extensively then quit due to reasons beyond my control..(life). Once I got into EQ2 with my wife involved it was over, we were both hooked. I look back and know I enjoyed a very big chunk of all of it.

The newbie experience in this game is astounding in an overall aspect. It's set up like a console game where you feel your the cream of the crop your going to battle for the outpost and that was something emotional to me. They had me at "Quickly now grab a weapon" The newbie island is a really well thought out; what I like to call interactive tutorial with real rewards and consciences. There are slight problems and some tweaks that could help but, overall for your first time in an MMO or EQ2 it's very fun indeed.

The problem stems from making alt's or trying out other servers and having to redo this place. It's like anything you've done before, you can do it quicker faster better, and with out any changes (expect newbie class armor quest). It soon become drab and the thought at going to island to collect shells and feather once more is not very inviting. The newbie remake experience in EQ2 is very lacking and to linear for my taste. Like I said built like a console, just like a console game the only great replay value on a lot of the games is few and far between (baring Pac-man, and Duck hunt). Granted you can get on get your profession, killa goblin say hello get level 3 in a matter of minutes and get off. Is that what the dev's had in mind? I would venture to say not, at least I would hope not. I do hope there is a bright future ahead for a great newbie experience make over as I've hear SOE is looking at changing the newbie experience.

The problem is 2 fold here and in some ways an easy fix that requires work. You don't wanna lose the newbie island because there is actually a lot of good stuff there. It will get you started on your first characters armor and loot there is also a lot of good info for those not in the know. However, there is a distinct lack of replay from the alt stand point and not everyone is going to like the Island. There is also only 2 cites to choose from Freeport and Qeynos.. Good or Evil, no one's in between. From a Lore stand point this is great, and sets up a good arena for PVP systems yet, there is a stemming problem of no one coming over to EQ2 and fixing this will help some.

I believe its more popularized partner WoW has a leg up on the newbie side because you have more choices. The fact you can choose from many different starting cites is a factor in why a few of my friends left EQ2. I'm not sure why but physiologically I believe people want to feel they belong somewhere specific rather then just be from one place or the other.. "WEST SIIIDE!" SOE decided that the Hamlets are a good idea and serve as some sort of pseudo boundary. They are small and a big PITA and it seems most flock to Willow Wood. It also makes doing newbie quests zoning here and there and back again rather gnashing.. They may as well just made all the hamlets to include the newbie area's inside the city one zone it's just a hassle otherwise.

I've posted before of making smaller outer villages starting area's for those of us that have already did the Island once. It would fit into the lore, the world is mending and people are branching out. It wouldn't take away from anything as far as I see it and would give people more of a variation. Would it not be neat to start in a small village outside of freeport that is still ruled by Freeport and under their faction but you are recall bound to that village? Like my idea of starting at Windstalker village and spanning outward into the more dangerous area's of Antonica. It would take some planning and would be useful to have them more racially and (good/evil) centric but would be sweet. It's not like the players can't be involved in building these places either (like the TS/Nek Griffen towers) Players can help build the towns that new people can come in a use as their Home and training grounds.

My main purpose to this is to drawl in a new crowd to start playing. Without newb's coming in the game will soon become a ghost town and then end up closing shop. Who else am I going to sell this newbie armor to? It seems there is so many Alt's that its almost been an age since I've seen a true newbie and we all like a real newbie now don't we?

Now after we all get to be around level 20 things grow stagnate for some. There is a lack of local quests givers other then Armor quest which is a great Idea that last till aprox level 26. I think overall AQ's are fun and have distinctive looks, even more so over the past few LU. You can start your Heritage Quests and get to rolling. I also believe that if you chase HQ after HQ doing all the sub quest and access in between will get you to 50 easy. Granted I love this stuff but what about those that are Anti-quest? Or those that have been to TS/Nek and both the Adventure paks a lot? Or those that like to make tons of mini alts but never make it to the end game? Or like EQjournal who ran out of alt spots? I guess what I'm saying here is now with DOF out I hope that the next Expantion is more of a mid level one. I want more choices from start to end game and after 4 alt's is becoming sparingly hard to become less liner and or monotonous.

I enjoyed my venture from stardom to 50 and all the inbetween adventures with my alt's, diversity is the spice of life. Such like the armor to be distinct we need our adventurers to count for us, it's what we remember.

Edit: This just in corpnews reminds us all EQ2 does have some good qualitys for newbs and queue... It takes me no longer then 3min's to log up to my charcter.


Anonymous Mogg said...

Nice writing Quylein. I'd like to give you the opportunity to be a writer for my EQ2 fansite. Please mail me: if you're interested.

2:37 PM  

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