Impressions after a long time away

Discussion in 'The Newbie Zone' started by PotatoPowa, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. PotatoPowa Journeyman

    This may annoy some people, so apologies in advance if you are triggered. I last played live in 02, quitting the game a bit after Luclin. In that interim, played some other games including a brief stint in WoW, but mostly was busy with life.

    Returned to live EQ a few days ago. It has changed a hell of a lot, the place is barely recognizable. It now has a lot more in common with WoW as I remember it than the EQ of old. Great fun for the first couple of days to ride around on a level 85 and slap Kunark dragons around, solo raiding ToV. Had a blast. Then, on with the grind, let's get a few levels and gear up...

    This is where it became WoW. Which isn't all bad, some of the interface improvements are out of sight and the world itself looks spectacular. Why not have at hand the quest info conveniently reminding you what you need to do? Same diff as having a browser open on some site or forum giving up the info. And at first, lack of downtime from "rest" seemed pretty swish too. And, hm, no death penalty now? Respawn with all your gear and druids (my class) have a rez. So rather than be set back hours and hours of progress, I'm set back mere minutes, with no needing to develop a relationship with other players to help get a rez. Good... I think.

    At first. This is why I quit WoW. First impressions of WoW: looks great, and feels like you're flying first class, what with all those penalties and inconveniences removed and the game spoon fed to you. Gear flows thick and fast, a new upgrade every time you run through a dungeon, awesome!.... at first.

    Then you notice there is no suspense at all. Running through a dangerous zone in WoW does not get your heart racing like trying to, say, creep through the dreadlands as a level 20-something in EQ used to. And loot dynamics in EQ? Wow the pleasure and joy of getting an item with, say, 10 more AC than what you currently wear. Let alone when you snag that first seriously good item. With WoW, eh, you can mouth breathe and button mash through any dungeon run and you will get some unearned, easy come easy go piece whose name you can't even remember an hour later when something better drops just as easily.

    The exp grind - and, I'm in a group of two. He's boxing 3 toons, and we have 2 mercs, ripping up the mobs mindlessly and without any danger as the exp bar noodles slowly along. I'm longing for a good sebilis group, one that's clicking along like a well oiled machine, everyone doing their jobs with precision, which was the only way to make it work. The pride of being a competent player and recognizing when others were likewise. That satisfied feeling as you eventually gate back to sell the gems, pausing at the EC tunnel to see what you can grab with your stuffed pockets.

    Now two hours of grinding in a zone which looks like a lazy man's parody of Plane of Hate, only without the danger, and I realise there hasn't been any fun at all. Loots have dropped, lots of them, but they are meaningless. Required levels on items mean I can't pass them on to a twink and let him ride through the game in relative easy mode, but why would I want to anyway when the entire game is already in super easy mode? I remember a couple of WoW raids I watched my brother playing after I'd quit that game and reflecting that there was no skill involved at all, just a willingness to tolerate tedium. Old EQ raids had aspects of tedium too, but you had to stay on your toes, and in some situations, if someone made a mistake, the whole raid wiped. You had to be switched on. It was tense all the way through, and when that huge statue of zek (or whatever) ran into camp, your heart was beating fast. And if you got that item, it made your entire week, and you never forgot that moment. The rush of gratitude for the guildies who helped you get there, the feeling that you had accomplished something, not just mouth breathed and button mashed.

    And by the by, I guess there was no way to avoid the pay to win scenario here. I'm sure developing and running this game i. How strangely hollow it feels, though, to be on the new progression server and 2 days after Kunark is released to see half a dozen different people selling fungi tunics for 4 Krono apiece. Dota have a pay system for strictly decorative and ornamental items, which doesn't effect game integrity in the least. A guy who has spent $1,000 in game is in an even contest with the guy who spent $30. Not so here, and although that will not change with my (or anyone else's) complaints, it is just a little sad.

    No excitement over loot, no tension and suspense over death. Sad to see what has become of (imo) the most immersive game ever created. Guess I will pass through the familiar zones like a ghost remembering old times until we see if Brad can work his magic again with a new world.
    urgatorbait and Brontus like this.
  2. Sagarmatha Augur

    Millennial whining has ruined the game. Everything now is about "quality of life." Give every player every convenience. The two things that made EQ great in 2002 is that it was hard to play, and community/reputation mattered. That is long gone.

    Hell, hop over to the so called, "TLP" forums, and you see even there, there is a common theme is people wanting more "quality of life," when that completely defeats the purpose and intrigue of replicating that game as it once was.

    You will NEVER again see a game that is like the original Everquest. Ever. Far too many of the MMO player base are millennials that are used to getting everything handed to them.
    complexication, DillyBar and Fantomah like this.
  3. shruggz Elder

    I will respectfully disagree with some of the opinions here,
    from my perspective,

    the game has changed yes, but so has the majority of the player base.
    we are not teens and early twenty somethings for the most part anymore.
    we hold fulltime jobs, have families, obligations and responsibilities.

    spending 12 straight hours trying to camp an item or complete some objective
    is completely outside the realm of do ability for the majority of us anymore.

    wasting half of whatever playtime you might have just looking for a group has led to the
    rise in multiple account holders, log in do what you want when you want. and waste none of your time doing it, and hassle no one else trying to get something done that no one else wants to do.

    eliminating the majority of the time wasted trying to say find a group, trying to find a rez,
    trying to find or retrieve a corpse, traveling to some degree. all of these quality of life improvements
    are good things as far as im concerned.

    if you have no fear of death and everything is too easy, you can always move to a harder zone
    or head out solo and see what you can accomplish on your own.
    you could always impose some self restrictions to make things more difficult for yourself.
    it sounds to me like you have a high powered friend pulling you through content.. yeah I would get bored too.

    as a 3 boxer myself I can honestly say there is some group content at the end game that I will likely not beat until I way out level it and maybe not even then, and that's ok, for me there is always challenge and drive to improve, and things to do to better my characters. that's one of the things I really enjoy about the game,

    finally downing a named that's been kicking my butt for six months, or acquiring an item ive been looking for, or completing a quest that's been undoable for me for a very long time, all those feelings are still there if you earn it. hell I still feel the fear of pulling a new named not knowing what its going to do to me, ros has certainly taken any thought of being boringly overpowered away.

    I guess its all in your perspective, and what your looking for. the days when mmo's were new
    and when no one has ever seen the like of this before, and is awed and amazed by it all
    are never coming back. but I feel like you can still find mystery and adventure in everquest and that's
    part of what keeps me here.

    I hope you find what your looking for
    and good hunting.
  4. Shanarias Augur

    My experience is that I started over with a new main, and have mostly soloed or with a mercenary nearly single-handedly making my way to level 51 as a Cleric, and just got my butt handed to me in Goru'kar Mesa just a mere 36 hours ago. Overly agressive merc aggroed something too big for us while taking down snakes. The sense of adventure is still there.

    To be honest, yes, the gear is easier, and the zones are wildly different in some cases, but the feel is still there. The thing I have a difficult time with nowadays is the fact that NO ONE hangs out in the EC tunnel any more. :) I was away for a VERY long time, and the last expansion I bought was PoP (Planes of Power). That was quite a few computers ago, and things have changed in a mostly good way. True, at low levels it is basically impossible to find a group, but I am OK with that. Paludal Caverns still has crazy good exp around lvl 20, just like in the old days. If you have a journeyman mercenary to tank, it is quite fun. I get right in and mix it up alongside the merc, as mana is easier to get.

    Bottom line for me: I am still enjoying the game.
    urgatorbait likes this.
  5. slayerofbats Augur

    Great thread. I couldn't have said it better, and I tried. I played this game from release until PoP, and I then left EQ, so I quit EQ around 2004 to 2017. When I returned last year I did what you did, took my free Heroic character and went to the old zones, enjoyed 1 shotting Plane of Fear mobs and stuff. But when I started to play the game properly, I started to get really disappointed.

    I am sometimes tolerant of dumbing down. It's not that I like it, but that I have already busted my nuts playing this game from 1999-2004 and in my time away I played many EQ Emulators too which were also quite tough, p99 especially, it is pretty close to classic EQ and it reminded me how a harder game can make things a lot more exciting. Yet coming back to EQ and find it so easy and sedate, I didn't really care because I got to do whatever I wanted without the huge time sinks of making one mistake and having an hour long corpse recovery and looking for rezzes / having to re-grind that exp, etc. It seems nice. But after a while it just becomes boring and I started to question why it is, and the only thing I can think of is all the dumbing down. It hits you the most when you get to the 90s, the grind is slow and boring in the world itself, "Heroic Adventures" are a lot faster, but they are ridiculously dull and easy. You just run through a shooting gallery 1000 times. Every mob spawns in the exact same spot, they all die easily, they all come in little easily pullable/splittable groups, it is everything that made me quit WoW in disgust, not long after I started it.

    The entire games industry is obsessed with dumbing down, I hate it, but it makes the most financial sense for most games. The budgets are so high to make games now, what you want is 20 million kids playing your game, and 20 million teens and just 5 million adults, that's fine. Ka-ching. It is why the makers of WoW, Angry Birds, League of Legends, Fruit Ninja etc. are all billionaires. But it doesn't make sense to dumb down a niche game, that is basically one of a kind, and that is what EQ was. They made this game easy like WoW, and in the process they killed what made it unique, and what made it EQ. Yet what modern player would want to play this? They still have WoW... and if they want something else, there are 100 other modern casual theme park alternatives. EQ doesn't suit those people, so it should have been left as the niche game and at least it could have held on to players who like a challenge, old and new.

    p.s. Maybe Pantheon understands this?
  6. Coffee Journeyman

    I love this game but it is hard to justify the money needed to play it. You cant get anything done without boxing and having to pay for 3 expansions and gold memberships just isn't worth it for me anymore. Its a lot of dough.
  7. Defjam1 Journeyman

    You want hard make it hard, you don't have to use mercs. I guarantee that'll increase the danger level. You have the choice of where to hunt, it does sound like your picking low hanging fruit and then complaining about it. Most all the changes made to the game have evolved over many years and as someone that's never took more than a three month off wow period do not feel any of them are bad changes. Honestly what I found the other day running thru some zones for the explorer checks was how terrible most of the early zones where. Ton's of open space with zero mobs, to tunnels to leave a zone with 20 twists for.. what reason? But eq is like everything some people find reason's to not like it, its ok those that do really don't mind if you don't.
    Xianzu_Monk_Tunare likes this.
  8. shruggz Elder

    so I keep seeing the phrase dumbing down, and I have to again respectfully disagree.
    again from my vantage point

    they did make things a lot easier to do for the pre 100 level and I see that, as to make it easier
    to get a friend up to speed, or to change mains, or for potentially new people to get to where the real game is. I would hardly call that dumbing down.

    without that, what person in there right mind would invest ANY TIME into a game that they will never be able to catch up in? I mean really, without easy xp ha's and missions it would take forever to try to get caught up, and by the time you did the game would have again moved on beyond your reach.

    I suspect that from a ftp vantage expecting to play everquest one might feel that the game has been
    "dumbed down" but if your not playing in current expansions your not playing where everquest really is.

    I have nothing against folks that choose to stay ftp but that is an entirely different game than current content.

    eok, and ros proggressions are still impossible for some, challenging for others I don't think anyone said they were too easy. is that " dumbed down" ? the named mechanics in ros are still causing me difficulty (I am not complaining) there are very few tank and spank named in ot I know for certain. that to me does not say dumbed down.

    the missions that I have attempted in eok have been challenging for me, not at all easily splitable "shooting galleries", unless your an enchanter or bard maybe, and my crew currently lacks the dps required to complete the opening ros mission. (again not complaining) I just don't see any of the "dumbing down" in current expansions, and to say the entire game is that way seems to me a bit misleading.
  9. Shadows Journeyman

    This came to mind for me as well. If you want a harder game, then you can make it so for yourself. There is no shortage of ways to do that.

    I understand the sentiment here, though. The less challenge there is in something, the less sense of accomplishment and reward there will be when you do it.

    I've always been skeptical about "the old days of EQ" and feel that we can look upon those days with rose-coloured glasses and that it's the nostalgia that makes us long for it rather than the 'mechanics' or logistics of the game, themselves.

    Today's game is just different. For better or for worse or all the same, depends on the perspective of who's playing it.
    Xianzu_Monk_Tunare and 22wplkj like this.
  10. slayerofbats Augur

    The "you can make it hard" argument is not really understanding the point. Yeah you could play with your eyes closed but the problem is that the game used to be hard for everyone, which made the game so much more exciting and interesting. For a start it made all achievements really meaningful, anyone with high levels and gear had overcome a lot of hard times which is not the case anymore. It is so easy to level up and gear up now, it just takes a long time for newcomers.

    But it also meant that good players could rise to the challenge and succeed, and it really had an impact on the gameplay. You could spot these players, they would always land that evac in time to save the group from a 2 hour CR, or would whip out their mez spell on their Necro that most people didn't even know exists, to save the day, or the Cleric who would heal aggro on purpose to lead an add to the corner of the room to park with root. People like that and smart plays like that made the game so interesting, and all of that stuff is basically dead now.

    Getting tougher again at the top levels is too little too late and a lot of players will never see that. They are expected to do 100 levels of grinding, with no company and barely any challenge or excitement, just for the off chance that it might get good at the end. It is not a good situation.
    moogs and Fantomah like this.
  11. shruggz Elder

    and how many players would get to the end if they had to slog through it all the hard way with
    no possibility of finding a group, and no hope of achieving the aa count, no hope of being able to kill named or get gear, and very little hope of catching up in levels to where all the players are?

    further more, when I play poorly my main dies, my group dies and I have to spend a bit of my time
    rezzing, buffing, sometimes running, re-gearing pets. and I have days where I just flat out play poorly.
    I panic and forget about the aa or spells that would have saved us. or my reaction was just too slow
    to do what I should have done to pull us out. on days like that I am thankful that there are places I can fall back to and just mindlessly crank out some aa's and relax a bit.

    when im on top of my game my main lives, my group lives, and sometimes pull out of some amazing situations
    I come out of a situation like that grinning like a fool. because there is no way I should have just survived that.

    that kind of play still exists, but it exists in the most recent expansions.

    as far as achievements being meaningful, I just recently got over one of my own personal hurdles in eok progression, the spider caves, been banging my head on that one for a while now but ive finally finished it. and while many find that trivial for me it wasn't, and I am happy to have completed it myself and not had to have someone carry me through or over it. achievements are still meaningful when they are earned. good players are still challenged, and still rise. (im not saying that I am one)

    one restriction I set on myself is that almost never accept rots I earn what I get, that helps me to appreciate things more, anyone can get pl'd to max level max aa, and get spoonfed gear by others but if you earn everything yourself you gain a much deeper appreciation and enjoy your accomplishments much more

    I think have said everything im going to say in this thread, if your not enjoying eq then I hope you find something you do enjoy, and I wish you the best of luck no matter what you do.
    Xianzu_Monk_Tunare likes this.
  12. Elskidor Augur

    It is what it is and some people still love what it has become, but its nothing like it was. Live can be a fun time waster and a pretty simple cookie cutter yet unless you know people it's a solo/molo/box game. TLPs can get you closer to the level of old school fun and grouping but also far and away from the old days. I take it all for what it is and try to enjoy myself, but ultimately my hopes are in Pantheon for an Everquest resurrection. I'm just thankful this game is still around and kicking and hasn't been utterly destroyed like they did to EQ2, but it'll never feel like the same game was 15+ years ago.
    urgatorbait likes this.
  13. slayerofbats Augur

    Not much I bet. But it couldn't be any worse than it is now, I hardly ever see new players. But I gotta wonder that if they kept the game like true EQ, it might have been more popular than it is now. Not just with old players coming back, but a new generation of players who want a challenging 'survival' type MMO and currently there are 0 games like that online. Maybe all the Dark Souls type players would check out the toughest RPG ever, cuz that's pretty much what it was at the start.

    It is good to get that in the late game, and all the AAs added a lot of depth too. But I think only people who are already fans will get to see this end game. New players (or returners) looking for a challenge will quit long before that, and new players looking for an easy game will find 20 other games before EQ.

    Also the endgame is still a lot easier and more casual than it used to be. They changed so much. People used to actually lose all their gear and everyone was terrified of dying. I think that is too extreme but it went from that extreme to the point now where nothing bad can ever happen. So many rezzers out there now, necros with summons, and even if you don't have people to help you can just use your AA once per week, get your corpse summoned from anywhere in the world straight to your feet and 100% exp rez. If worst comes to worst and you don't have that option, you go to the GL and have the NPC summon it and someone will rez it eventually.

    On P99 I lost a corpse in my very first day and it kinda blew my mind the situation I got in. For some reason I went to Tox and died in there at about level 8, and I forgot to bind of course, so had to run all the way back. But it is so misty, I couldn't find my corpse anywhere.. I ran around for an hour and just couldn't find it. Eventually I googled it and remembered there was an item called a Chipped Bone Rod that could locate a corpse, but it was about 1pp and my money was on my corpse... Eventually a high level player passed through the zone and gave me some plat, I got the rod, and finally got back to my corpse, and finally got back on my feet, but I lost like 2 hours. I made sure after that to be a lot more careful and it made the game feel a lot more intense! I played EQ since 1999 but so much has changed, I forgot how tough it used to be. Then later I was on the boat from BB to Freeport and something killed me on the ship. My corpse sank to the bottom of OOT... This time I had remembered to leave some plat in the bank so I got a rod and went back to find it, but my swimming skill was 1 so I had to train just to swim down deep enough and grab it then swimming back to shore, surrounded by red con sharks was terrifying. To some people this is a big lame chore but to me it was scary yet a really memorable experience and really had my heart pumping. Even once I got to the shore I noticed the lady standing at the doc was a red con and aggro so I somehow had to get past her to get on the boat!

    Then one last one... At level 60 ish I went to Seb and was soloing in there cuz I am tough now. Then I heard some guy /shouting for help! It turns out he was stuck way down at the juggernauts because he was in a group with his brother and they got a runner, and the runner had gone all the way down below and it had summoned this poor guy down there, and his brother evacced. He somehow managed to kill the mob that was running and camp out before the other mobs came back for him, but now he logged back in next to a rock with nowhere to move. Mobs wandering everywhere nearby so he can't go anywhere and he can't gate, and he can't even ask for help because chat is not global, and if he dies he knows he might not be able to get his body back. No shadowrest, no guild lobby, no AA summon. He had been down there for days! Logging in each day to see if anyone was there or if he could move.

    I couldn't port so the only option was for me to invite him and fight our way out of there together. I basically saved his life :p I've never felt so heroic and he has never felt so relieved. The game was so intense back then.
  14. Fantomah Journeyman

    THIS!!

    OF COURSE you can, "make it hard." You can play any game with just your nose or big toe and one eye closed. That is so, so, so not the point. This poster nailed it.
  15. moogs Augur

    You are factually incorrect on one key fact. Millennials, by and large, do not play this game. The graphics are way too ugly and the combat is slow and tedious. The people that asked for quality of life improvements are for the most part much older. The average age of my guild is about 55. Eyes, backs, hands are all breaking down physically and nobody has the free time that they used to. When the developers increased XP gain by 10x or more, added defiant gear which ruined the first 15 expansions' worth of gear, and added mercenaries which removed the need to find a group, this is what we ended up with.
    Xianzu_Monk_Tunare likes this.
  16. Thawg Elder

    Hey guys. I haven’t really played or supported the game in 16 years but here’s my opinion.................

    Am I’m “triggered”? Nah I’m not cool and trendy enough.
    Xianzu_Monk_Tunare likes this.
  17. IblisTheMage Augur

    Welcome back.

    Noob levels are now <110, AA < 20k. The game, the grouping, the hardness, the danger, the crawling, it is all here, at 110. The game is better than it has ever been. Getting here is the challenge, it took me quite some time (was casual duo-boxer), like you, with limited understanding of the non-max level game. My advice is to see if you can find a way to enjoy the journey, but also make sure you keep up the momentum, and get to the high end game, and stay there.

    There is very limited P2W in this game, if you follow the rules. Yes, you can buy a few cronos, and get a set of TS gear at 106, that will help you grind the 10k aa you need on top of autogrant, to level to 110. But that is the reasonable limit for that. Some might have the funding to go buy chase loot for 15+ krono a piece, but that is very few. What Kronos does of good is that it allows players with limited funding to play, and players with limited time to avoid worrying about funds for small purchases. The good stuff is not for sale in the game.

    It is obvious that you are passionate about EQ. This is wonderful. EQ is truly The Greatest Game Ever Made, and at end levels, even more so. I had fun the years I spent getting through lower levels and AA, not truly realizing that the best was yet to come.

    The important thing is to avoid burnouts. The same grinds every day, Gribble (may you die a 1000 deaths in pain, Gribble), no questing, no dungeon crawling, no wiping challenges, no be-the-best-dps-you-can-be, etc etc. I would suggest you get to 105 (106 if pet classs like mage) with 100% aa to leveling, which can be done somewhat fast if you can find a good guild, and then go full AA for 10k-15k, depending on class. There will be lots of content there, you can and should do EoK progressio, get your type 7 caster augs, gear up, etc. And then go to 110, and stay at the front, for the rest of your (EQ) life.

    Again, welcome back. It is truly awesome.
    KateL7 likes this.
  18. Aurastrider Augur

    One week a post about how people can't progress or level past 70-90 and now a post about how easy the game is? Personally I think if you want to find challenging content it's there for most players but its human nature to take the path of least resistance. Try a more challenging zone or camp. Play without mercs. Play a more complex class. Only use what you earn from mob kills. 2 boxing is to easy add a third box or fourth fifth or sixth. This game is massive so its doubtful that any returning player has had enough encounters to even to form a true basis for this judgement. It's easy to take a few encounters and come to a conclusion but reality is this conclusion is based on limited time and data to formulate it. How much effort was actually put into doing challenging content? It's there if you decide to do it as it was created when the content was current. Running around in old zones with more modern gear and saying I am a God this is boring only reflects on the individual and how this game allows for an easier road if people choose to take it.
    Xianzu_Monk_Tunare and Shanarias like this.
  19. 22wplkj Lorekeeper

    I enjoyed reading your post PotatoPower. I think WoW became successful because of the quality of life features in the game. They are welcome additions to EQ as well. Both are great games but very different.

    If the day comes that you have to camp augmentations you might change your mind about how easy it is to get gear in the new EQ. It is still much like the old.

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