Does the popularity of the TLP servers show that Everquest went down the wrong path?

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Gnomeland, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. Gnomeland Augur

    Can't go a day now on veterans without seeing TLP changes affecting Live, Live players complaining about TLP changes, etc. The TLP server boards are as active as the veteran boards, even though the amount of TLP servers is much less than the amount of live servers. Reddit's /r/everquest is made up of 90% TLP posts, and developer attention has also appeared to have shifted to the TLP servers.

    So here's a thought - does the popularity of the TLP servers show that Everquest went down the wrong path in the last, say, 10 years? After all, the TLP servers are to turn back the time - back to the days of Classic, Kunark, Velious, Luclin, and Planes of Power. Days most of us, who've been through them while they were current, remember fondly. TLP is a play on nostalgia, to be sure, but there's a lot to be nostalgic about - not just Classic, Kunark, Velious, Luclin, and Planes of Power. Everquest has had twenty-two expansions. Yet, judging by the speed at which TLP players empty out of these servers after the first five expansions are done, one has to wonder why no one is asking for a return to the other expansions - why TLP players would rather play the first five expansions over and over again, instead.

    Is there a "magic" to the first five expansions of Everquest that began to be lost after the Planes of Power? I tend to think so. But what is this "magic," specifically? What are the biggest differences between the first five expansions of Everquest, and the later expansions?

    Here's my take:

    1. Static zones, instead of instanced zones
    2. Pick up grouping, instead of soloing/moloing
    3. Camping, instead of mission grinding
    4. Unique and flavorful items, instead of standardized item tiers
    5. Plenty of risk and danger, with none of the tools we have today for mitigating them down to zero
    6. Exploration-focused progression, instead of task/mission-focused progression
    7. Coherent world design & aesthetics, instead of "hey here's an island with weak looking birds and crabs that hit for a billion damage," though this was starting to change with Planes of Power.

    Of the above, I don't think a lot of it is new as complaints about modern Everquest, but I still feel it deserves repeating. I don't necessarily disagree with all the decisions that the developers have made over the years - for example, I thought the introduction of mercenaries was necessary, and they could not have stopped people from making boxes. But I also don't think that it was inevitable that Everquest would go down the path of instance missions, heroic adventures, daily quests, and standardized zone/item design & incoherent world building. At this stage, it's a bit too late, because I think it's very hard to remain passionate about the game - it's been 15+ years, the player base is shrinking every year, and the engine/platform is long past its prime. Yet, one wonders whether they could've held onto the passion & the excitement longer, had they not taken the steps that they did.

    Do you feel the changes to Everquest's basic design over the years have been necessary to keep the game alive & going? Else do you think they made Everquest too different from its beginnings, such that its fans ended up turning to TLP servers to play the actual Everquest?
  2. Unkynd Journeyman

    I think it's more to do with nostalgia. Most people abandoned the game after PoP, so that's the part of the game that is nostalgic for them.
    Perplexed and Xianzu_Monk_Tunare like this.
  3. Ruven_BB Augur

    Can you imagine the amount of work it is going to be to instance Planes of Power?
    Silv likes this.
  4. Porterz73 Augur

    This may blow some minds. I going to reveal something that is earth shattering.

    Some people just may be playing on both Live and TLP servers. (I hope you where sitting for that revelation)

    Side note some raiders are also Groupers. (The don't ask don't tell policy applies to both groups)

    Ok ok I'm going to come out of the EQ closet and admit I'm one that plays both and on top of that like to group and raid. Why, you may ask??? Because the old stuff was fun and the new stuff is fun. IMO

    Choice is a terrible thing !
  5. lancelove Augur

    Yes, it does op. Had they put more development time into expansions / zones like during kunark less would have left to begin with, coming back for nostalgia years later, only to realize you can never really come back home... so that base in tlp will probably now be gone for good equating into another drop in income for the game. Sometimes it is hard to come back after making mistakes. I think if Daybreak could put out an expansion of the size of Kunark, do something with the old zones that are never used...maybe...
    I also think server mergers would be another step back in the right direction. It would form new guilds on stagnant servers...fresh people on the bigger servers would ultimately be a great thing! One of the other major pathing mistakes (see what i did there) was changing raid encounters into instanced.
    Thirdly, some of the class nerfs (like the mage earth pet now) over the years also have been mistakes in my opinion. Bringing other classes up to meet the classes that were nerfed over the years and tuning up the npcs would have been a better route.
  6. Benito EQ Player since 2001.

    Some players posted an interview where Smedley said Gates of Discord expansion was the worst thing to have happened to EQ and that he would have redone it.

    GoD does mark a turning point in both gameplay and lore.

    EQ is still alive though. If we continued the other way perhaps the game would have burned out a long time ago.
    Raptorjesus5 and Raludar like this.
  7. Ozni Elder

    I think it simply shows that a lot of people left after a certain point, and most of them will continue to leave every time a TLP reaches that same point. I hope they're looking at options for retaining players that don't involve blindly wading forward into the morass of forgettable expansions.
  8. Viper1 Augur

    I agree with the OP's premise. To take it a step further, Luclin and PoP marked the start of the downturn and where things started to go wrong. Also of note, that's about the time that SOE took over for Verant. They should have stopped adding land masses and new continents after Velious and instead focus on creating more fun content for the existing continents. New individual zones should have been interspersed within the classis/kunark/velious continents rather than clusters of zones completely segregated from the rest of the game world save for one single "entry point." The beauty of Classic and the Kunark expansion is that they're mostly non-linear in how the zones are connected. Velious starts to get a bit linear but then luclin is well done. PoP I one massive hub zone, probably the worst thing they could have done. If you're going to do more planes, spread the entry points around the world ala the old-world planes (hate, fear, growth, mischief and sky).

    And for the love of god, focus on the original cities. Grow and expand them as the game develops, don't make some generic mega-city where everyone congregates, essentially sucking all the life out of the old world zones.

    And just for the record, I play exclusively on Live.
    Gyurika Godofwar, Fanra and snailish like this.
  9. Aghinem Augur

    Answer to question:

  10. Storytimebros Elder

    There is more people that enjoy pre-instanced content simply cause they played it 1000x times over already. Not many know or have even seen much of the raid content beyond the planes. It is easier to just give up replay something that is more fun and known then to learn something entirely new even if its over 12 years old.
    Gyurika Godofwar likes this.
  11. Beimeith Lord of the Game

    They went down the wrong path, but that's not why TLP is popular. TLP is popular because:
    • Nostalgia
    • Cashing in (krono/plat/gear sales)
    • Competition
    • Boredom
    TLP is as close to classic as possible, but it really isn't -that- close to the classic experience. If it was, it wouldn't be NEARLY as popular as it is.

    Real classic would be:
    No maps, no Krono, no potions, lower damage tables, lower xp, lower ac tables, old UI, losing your gear/plat when you die, crashing every ten minutes and a hundred other crappy things that you've forgotten about etc. If you think TLP would be anywhere near as popular with all of that, I have a bridge to sell you.
  12. Mayfaire Augur

    Don't forget the best one, corpse runs! Wheeeeeeeee. =D

    Well, you kinda have it in there on rereading it. But, calling it a corpse run is more descriptive. "Hey, you died in a zone that, in order to get to in the first place, you had to run virtually blind with no maps through 10 zones chock full 'o mobs that want to eat your face? No problem, just do the same run now, except do it nekkid. G'luck!" :eek:
  13. Siddar Augur

    Origin every 18 minutes starting at level 4 is a big change as well.

    TLP are nostilga servers not clasic.
  14. WhycantIlogin New Member

    Re-release planes of power revamped for level 110 and 54 man raids, surely they couldn't mess that up, and I would pay to do that content any day over the crap we just got in TBM.
    Gyurika Godofwar likes this.
  15. Faana Augur

    F2P was a mistake. Now, they're charging you again.
    rotor and Yinla like this.
  16. Sheaffer Augur

    TLP and modern eq at this point are essentially two different games. TLP is one of maximizing your effiency and modern eq is more about maximizing your abilities.

    I enjoy playing on both, but one thing I do like about TLP is it feels like every decision matters more. When I play my TLP enchanter I need to make a much higher percentage of correct decisions than I do on live because I don't have the same recovery tools. Same with my wizard. If I blow my mana bar on an ill advised fight on live, I just harvest twice and proc a refresh with claw. On TLP, well, sorry, you're out of the fight for a while. I think this leads to people being more invested in TLP.

    I think the biggest mistake EQ made was a)not funneling all their EQ money back into EQ and b) keeping John Smedley on for so long. You don't see WoW 2, WoW Next, The Wowtrix Online, Wow1Z1, Star Wars Wowalxies, etc... They put WoW money back into WoW and look how it worked out for them. Imagine if instead of trying to have this big company with 10 different games, EQ has just focused on being the best EQ it could be. They could have redone the graphics engine. We'd have 22 PoP sized expansions instead of getting expansions with 7 zones in them.

    The other major mistake I think was getting away from the high fantasy theme. A lot of people, myself included, thoroughly enjoy the dragons and dungeons and gods and elves type stuff. I don't want to fight kyvs and aneuks and girplans. Ukun not make me do it! Even luclin was pushing it with the aliens but somehow it still felt like part of the norrathian world.

    Don't get me wrong, I like Alaris, I like GoD, I just don't like it in the context of this game. RoF feels like EQ that happens to have aliens while GoD and Alaris feel like aliens than happen to have EQ.
    Umbraeques, Ksenija, Risiko and 13 others like this.
  17. Greyowl Augur

    Imagine all of EQ gfx revamped (say like "new Freeport"), plus nicely (technically and grafically) made shadows.
    Fanra likes this.
  18. Moranis Augur

    Old everquest had a handful of things that modern EQ and really no other MMO has ever offered:

    1. By far, number 1 is efficiency based gameplay over button mashing. This concept alone sets old EQ in a class of it's own. It lets you really utilize all of the spells and abilities associated with any given class and experiment how to best play the game.
    2. Class diversity. For some reason, after Velious when AA's came out, the brains behind EQ decided that they wanted to homogenize every class. Every class started to get every ability they relied on other classes for! Run speed, Clarity, resists, name it. AA's were may OK in the beginning because they took a heck of a lot of effort to get, but now you get one every other kill it seems.
    3. Simplified gaming. On TLP, I have a handful of spells, maybe a pet and maybe some gear clickies, but thats it. On Live, I have like 9000000 AA's and if I want to be any bit effective, I need to have 400 macros that I need to hit in a certain order or else I'm ranger-gating.
    4. Exploration / Camping / Grouping based game. Oddly enough, the game called Ever"Quest" really never based it's leveling around questing. You had to do quests on the side, but the main method of experience was completely open to how you wanted to get it. New MMO's are so scripted and it's just not as fun. Soloing wasn't particularly efficient (after some bard tweaks were made) for most classes and it forced you to socialize.
    5. Huge world. There were tons of zones with insanely over-designed layouts, no easy transportation, no maps, and it was great. You actually had to rely on people to SoW you, give you /locs, you had to follow paths or risk losing your way, you had to buy a compass or use True North spell or sense heading, you had to ask around for ports, you had to actually think about where you wanted to hunt and invest time in traveling there so that when you got there you would commit to it. Ak'anon was a freaking maze but thankfully the devs had foresight to give us guide-rats to follow.
    5. After Velious, the game started to get out of hand. With PoP, the power scale started to go exponential because they wanted the lvl 65's to stand out from the lvl 60's and the game took off from there. AA's started to get out of control and removed class diversity. Easy transportation started to go out of control, so they removed Druid / Wizard utility.
    6. Crappy PC's and crappy internet connection. This one, obviously, EQ can't help, but it was better because you really only could run 1 instance of EQ at any given time because your computer was just too damn crappy. It made you feel more connected to your character instead of just figuring out how to make the best 3-box group.
    6. Don't even get me started on OOC regen and mercs...just silly. I understand why they did it, but by that point the game was way downhill already so I guess it didn't really matter.

    TLP is EQ as it was meant to be. EQ Live should just be called "Can you click faster than the other guy?"
    Norathorr, Risiko and Azbaelus like this.
  19. Moranis Augur

    Metaphorically speaking:

    Eq TLP = 3 minute guitar solo at the end of "On the Turning Away" by Pink Floyd
    Eq Live = "Jordan" by Buckethead
    TheQxx likes this.
  20. Dre. Augur

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