Truly hard for newcomers...

Discussion in 'The Newbie Zone' started by Arborer, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. Arborer New Member

    I've played EQ since 2000 and leveled several classes to 115. A friend wanted to try out the game. I encouraged her to make a druid since I do think, with some guidance, it's a great class for newcomers. Plus she likes leather lol.

    Helping her out, I realize this game IS hard for newcomers. REALLY hard. Part of it is the huge world and the huge amount of complexity arising from 20+ years of expansions. What makes it even tougher is that while there is a huge amount of content on the Internet about playing EQ, it's not well-organized and quite a bit of it is outdated, thus adding to the confusion.

    She's up to 56 now, but that's with some PLing. And she has said more than once while she really enjoys the game she'd have already rage-quit without my help.

    And that's unfortunate because while we can all agree that the game IS challenging, and we enjoy it that way, we'd all like to see new players enter Norrath because that's the only way the game stays alive.

    I do think the usual tips provided noobies here are well worth considering. Joining a helpful guild is huge and asking for pointers in a chat channel helps a lot. Reading current Internet resources like allakhazam and almars and eqresources and fanra is useful too, but only biting off small chunks at a time because the whole spectrum of content is very daunting to a newcomer. Going thru the tutorial is an excellent way to learn basic mechanics.

    Even then, my friend emails me lists of questions regularly when she's browsing these helpful sites because even walkthroughs and guides don't answer questions which seem obvious to us veterans but very puzzling to newcomers. I chuckle at some of these questions but I also realize they're good questions and the answers are not always readily available. One was "how can you tell a player from a non-player?" LOL. Yeah, seems obvious to us but to a newcomer... and when you think about it, it's not obvious. In zones like PoK, NPCs do a darn good job of looking and acting like players!

    No gripes or criticisms here, just observations...
  2. Herf Augur

    It's no harder now than it was then, and we all not only got through it but enjoyed it. And in many ways it's easier now. Only problem for newbies is that on many servers there are few people their levels to group with.
  3. Corwyhn Lionheart Augur

    Thing is we were all getting through it TOGETHER. I think the fact everyone was figuring out things together makes a big differene. No I get what the OP is saying.

    But I will agree that anyone starting now has mature websites available for info although in the early days where were many more websites so....I deal with new and returning players a fair bit as we actively try and recruit them. Websites are great but a lot of the time it is about knowing what to ask about.

    I definitely thing someone new to the game needs a friend or a guild to help them through things.

    I recommend this video to new or returning folks as a good starting place.

  4. yepmetoo Augur

    It isn't that its too hard. Its not even the lack of people. Its the expectation of "catching up" in a 20 year old game. It takes a lot of time. Spending a full year playing 6 hours a day, without being PLed or someone gearing you and dragging you through things, you still probably wouldn't be "caught up".

    That was what heroic characters were for, but, doesn't help you understand how to play them any better.

    This is a race on foot around the world where you can only walk if you started at the beginning but can run if you started late, and no matter how hard you try and run fast, it will take a long time to catch up to the pack.
  5. Arborer New Member

    I agree, it's MUCH LESS hard now than back then. I've told her about "back in the day" when your gear stayed on your corpse and you had to run back naked to recover your stuff. The game is hard for noobs despite the fact that the devs have heavily "care beared" it. I mean it was a love/hate thing for me back then. I liked the challenge of recovering my corpse but I sure hated all the work involved and the lost time. I agree, though, the player base has changed in that regard; if corpse runs were still a thing we'd have no noobies coming into the game, only masochistic old-timers returning to experience "the good/bad ole days."
  6. I_Love_My_Bandwidth Augur

    The biggest problem with the game isn't the game. The problem is expectations have changed since EverQuest was released over 20 YEARS ago.

    Think about that. What were you doing on the web 20 years ago? Chatting on IRQ? AIM? Waiting for 15 minutes while that photo from ilovesarahmichellegellar.com loads?

    Expectations when EverQuest launched were...ZERO. ZERO expectations. Why? Because it was the first of its kind. It was wondrous, and exciting, and captivating, and social, and frustrating. It CAN still be all of those things, if your expectations allow it.
    Duder likes this.
  7. Fredescu Augur

    EQ has gone from punishing but fairly simple, to less punishing but extremely arcane. It's a different kind of challenge now that it is then, and it can be hard for us to have the perspective of a newcomer.

    20 gears ago gear had barely any stats. Now you get focus items and clickies and augs in the tutorial. Even deciding which weapon to use from the mines as a melee takes 30mins of research where the answer will be a two line formula that might be outdated because it was posted five years ago. Hey level 5 rogue, you really should be running a parser. The other day I saw someone in the general channel ask if their ranger could backstab because their weapon had backstab damage on it.

    I think TLPs are a better starting point for complete newcomers for that reason. Only problem is there's no free trial for them.
    Quatr likes this.
  8. Raptorjesus5 Augur

    Most of these questions are answered in the tutorial. If your friend is having trouble I'd recommend starting there.
  9. Eggolas Augur

    Can you provide us with some more of the questions your friend has asked? It may help to understand where some of the difficulties lie. These are unlikely to be min/max or formula questions I suspect. :)

    Secalna in PoK has some very nice tutorials regarding the game that might help depending on the questions being asked.
  10. Arborer New Member

    Some questions my noobie friend asked. None of which are foolish and in retrospect I can see why they'd be asked by a true newcomer to the game. Some relate to the walkthrus and guides I referred here to on allakhazam and other sites that do try to be helpful to noobs:

    What are the numbers appearing in quest walkthrus (those were map coordinates!)

    Why do some mobs threaten and some are just dubious? (faction takes a long time to explain)

    How do you tell an NPC from a player? (Think about it, not obvious cept to us lol)

    Why can't I run over this little hill? I've run over bigger ones

    What's an augmentation?

    What's "AA" mean?

    How do I know to replace a piece of gear with something I've looted?

    What means LORE? LORE EQUIPPED? PLACEABLE? PRESTIGE? NO STORAGE? NO GROUND? HEIRLOOM?

    Why is some gear marked MAGIC? What if it isn't MAGIC? (Most of us forgot the first time we discovered our rusty short sword could not hurt ghouls in Unrest!)

    Does my horse need to eat? How do I feed him?

    When I die, why is the option to respawn in the zone I died in greyed out?

    The numbers on my inventory... what means HP MP EN AC ATK?

    What's the yellow bar under my name? (Explain endurance to a caster lol)

    Where do I find ammo for my ammo slot?

    What are EBON CRYSTALS and why are they in my Inventory?

    What's RECLAIM do?

    Just for starters lol. Yes, everything has answers and Google is available. But when all of this stuff hits a new player almost from Level 1, it has the potential to be very daunting. Maybe noobies should start with a stripped down UI which doesn't include displays and options for advanced aspects of the game?
    Eggolas likes this.
  11. Vumad Augur

    A lot of the questions are ones intentionally left in the game to make the game difficult. To this day quests are vague. You get the information from the community in the game or the community online. A lot of your friends questions are not going to be answered in the game. A lot of the questions you are asking are the equivalent of tradeskill recipes, which will never be fully provided in the game. You get a book, it vaguely gives directions, you figure out the rest. It's part of the design, so it wont change.

    -----------

    The issue for new players is a lack of people to play with. There are a lot of ways this can be fixed...

    - Ladder servers. TLP servers that era cap with free transfers up the ladder to the next era until the player catches up with live, at their pace, not the server pace.
    - Bundled heroics. New account subs getting a free heroic. This leads to problems with learning curve. The free boost I got in WoW and picked a druid healer left a bad taste in my mouth.
    - New heroics. Heroics haven't been updated, and they need to be.
    - Boosted XP curves on live servers, so the time it takes to catch up is greatly shortened.

    Unfortunately most of these options affect the bottom line (reduces heroic sales or increased dev costs) so they probably wont happen.
  12. Sakuraba Elder

    I actually don't feel that the game is too unnecessarily hard for newcomers in general. It is more the people that do not like to communicate with people that end up running into issues. Even early game, honestly, it's far more effective to do everything as a group. There is literally an exp bonus baked in, for 4-6 players getting together to kill mobs. Mission system at mid-game and later is largely a group endeavor, and a big part of the exp there comes from the grouping bonus as well.

    Mechanical questions and questions about game play can usually be solved by asking. If you don't get the actual answer, people may point you to a resource that is beneficial.

    Everquest started as a social, exploration, and loot oriented game. Everquest has STAYED exactly that throughout the years -- that's kinda the main draw. And it's unfortunate to me, that the actual biggest struggle for newcomers is in adapting to that fact.
    Mistimichelledge likes this.
  13. Arborer New Member

    I agree with most responses. We're on the same page. But the devs have made inconsistent complete efforts to help noobs. Like it would be nice if every term had tool-tip popup explanations when you hover with your cursor. Terms have been changed to be clearer, like when "no drop" was replaced with "no trade" and "flowing thought" became "mana regen." But there are still many not whose name is unhelpful and a tooltip explanation would be useful. Hell, I have to ponder a few secs to remember what ARTIFACT means.

    While I agree the game design is intended to be somewhat challenging, and it also encourages socializing in order to get help and questions answered. But there's great inconsistency here, with some quests providing almost too much help from NPCs (endless blather) and others leaving critical steps quite fuzzy.

    You do get the feeling of a game built from programming odds and ends over years and years... which is what happened. WE vets find this quaint, nostalgic and interestingly challenging. I LOVE the fact that there remained unsolved (and probably unsolvable) quests in EQ. I love the fact that nobody has ever explained why Kaladim Citizens were turned invulnerable and now serve no purpose in Butcherblock. They don't even respond to hails. (Nowhere else in the game, AFAIK, are there NPCs of this sort!) But for newcomers this comes across as incomplete, unhelpful and uncomfortably buggy.

    It is what it is, of course. Hat's off to any true noobie who comes on board nowadays and manages to work off the noobiness enough to really appreciate this great game.
  14. SunDrake Augur

    Really great posts from multiple angles in this thread. If you follow this sub forum, this is a very regular question that sometimes doesn't always get such quality responses. Finding posts like this was [and still is] an invaluable part of piecing together information for me when I came back to EQ. Even if you really love the game and dedicate the time, it's a heck of a process if your goal is to feel fully "caught up."
    Eggolas and Shanarias like this.
  15. Vumad Augur


    Are you on a TLP or live server? On live servers it's not a communication issue. There is just a complete lack of anyone to group with. If the low level zones were bustling like in the old days, then it would be a different conversation entirely.
  16. Corwyhn Lionheart Augur

    I think what makes all the difference is whether a new person gets in a good social guild or not. This is important for returning players but I think crucial for new players. Info on the game is out there but new and returning folks don't know the questions to ask so that they can find the answers on various websites. Social interaction helps players get the info they need to learn the game. It's not just getting your questions answered but also people offering information without being asked that they think you might need.
  17. Daedly Augur

    I think ingame help windows should have something that can direct them to these forums. Like a link that reads
    "Having trouble? Ask other adventurer's!"
    Corwyhn Lionheart and Vumad like this.
  18. Vumad Augur


    This is not at all a bad suggestion. We already have things in the game that open external browsers.
  19. Faradey New Member

    This...
    2001 (or 2002, cant remember exact) we have had a raid (Queen Chardok) with a wipe and need 4+ hour,s to get all corpse and items back, now is easy going ( today what, 1 min ?) . Or no maps, thats was fu... hard (i hate sense heading....) and and and. Today is alot easier, but ok we have now alot more zone,s, items, AA, and spell,s but this is what everquest makes to a good game (for me)
  20. Arborer New Member

    Every old-timer has tales of time-consuming corpse runs after raid wipeouts. I remember incidents like that in Chardok but the worst had to be Plane of Fear. My guild was up all night recovering after one of those and I still get chills remembering zoning back in naked multiple times and dying over and over until I could finally camp at the safe spot. The big danger was de-levelling below 46 and then you couldn't even zone in anymore to get to your corpses!

    And, remember the devs warned you they would provide absolutely NO help with any raid wipes in the Plane of Fear. "Operating as intended", was their watchword. If you failed to recover your corpses, your options were pharm new gear or roll a new character.
    Quatr likes this.

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