Home > Design, EQ2, MMO > Sturm und EQ2 drang

Sturm und EQ2 drang

I’m not using my own, brand-spanking new computer right now because it brand-spankingly came with a brand-spankingly duff graphics card. Which, on the bright side, gave me the excuse to avoid blogland and feeds for over a week, since most of my stuff had been yanked off the old machine and I couldn’t be arsed to set it back up. Until today that is, when I saw the EQ2 squall come in over the horizon (thanks for the heads up, Stropp!).

Wolfshead has impressions of EQ2. Two of them. Well, there are two EQs, so it’s fair.

Tipa disagrees.

Stropp has comments of his own, except they’re upside-down.

EDIT — but wait! Dragonchasers’ Pete weighs in! This is where I get the popcorn.

(If I’m missing any here, let me know!)

Tempest-in-a-Teacup

For the record, I mostly agree with Tipa. EQ2 does indeed have flaws, and some of Wolfshead’s points are very valid indeed; however, I — like many other readers — felt those points were buried inside an approach that isn’t nearly as objective as it might wish to be. That said… I’m not sure any of us old MMO hands, bloggers or not, are entirely capable of being unbiased anymore. Oh, we try, but it’s not easy to set aside everything one knows and everything one has spent so long learning. You’re really only an MMO-virgin once.

A week’s break made a few things clear to me, one of which is that the polemics we see daily in Bloglalaland aren’t earth-shattering. Interesting, for sure; fascinating and amusing quite often too, and instructive rather more often than one might expect from the intarwebs. But for now, I’ve lost my taste for 18-page debates.

What I’ll do instead is post my own extremely short impressions of EQ2 and WoW as a returning player to both. When asked what kind of player I am, I describe myself as a crafter, even though that still sounds like I’m coming out of some dark closet where people will gasp and titter behind their hands because I don’t raid and don’t care about loot. Point is, that biases me very much against WoW. Not that WoW is a bad game, just that it doesn’t do it for me beyond the first couple of “oooh” and “aaaah” weeks.

1. WoW is like the date who spends all evening talking about how great he is. And sure, he’s really good looking in a roid rage meets the electric kool-aid acid test cartoony kind of way, but there’s nothing beyond the facade of killing stuff to get stuff so you can kill more stuff to …. yeah.

2. EQ2 is more of a nerd with glasses, but at least he lets you take your time rooting through his record collection if that’s what you want to do (and he has vinyl!). His house is a bit of a mess with a zillion nooks and crannies you may not even find for 6 months, but hey, at least he HAS housing.

Of course that’s ridiculously biased and far too short to give any kind of a complete picture. For today, however, it’s good enough for me. With a bit of luck my new vid card will be here tomorrow and I can go back to playing EQ2 in high-quality mode. I’ll tell ya something I had to learn just recently: you don’t always notice an increase in performance all that much, but you sure as hell notice when you have to downgrade again, for however limited a time. YECH!

(Oh and PS Spinks and Arbitrary — that EQ2 crafting guide is in the works. Honest. Except by the time I finish it, nobody will need it. (Or so I hope!))

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  1. July 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I’m just leaving a comment to get us on the road to an 18 page debate!

    Oh, and nice to ‘hear’ from you, Ysh!

  2. July 23, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    cute analogy, I like it :) I have yet to try EQ2, mostly due to money constraints, but someday ™ I may.

  3. July 23, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    or maybe I’ll just wait for EQ3…. ;)

  4. July 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Good take, Ysh. This is why I cringe any time someone professes to an objective viewpoint. It would be better for everyone to admit our biases so that we can all see why we’re writing the things we right.

  5. July 23, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    I did write that post standing on my head, so it should be the ‘right’ way up. BTW, if an alien came flying into the solar system there’s a 50/50 chance that the US would be ‘down-under’ ;-)

    Bias is one of those interesting things. We all have it, but some play to it, while others try to be objective. I’ll never claim to be unbiased, but I’ll try to be (when it’s appropriate.)

    And I love your hot date/nerd analogy.

  6. smakendahed
    July 24, 2009 at 7:32 am

    You never come around anymore. :'( I had thoughts on Wolfshead post the same day he posted it. Okay, they’re not as interesting as someone that completely disagrees and who is trying to refute constructive criticism.

    I do admit, I like what is being stirred up because of it and watching how people (over)react to it.

    • July 24, 2009 at 10:50 am

      Sorry Smaks — I haven’t been much of anywhere lately. The expensive shiny new computers have turned out to be a huge headache in the last month. Right now mine is little more than a $1400 paperweight and I’m alternating between fatalistic resignation and fuming resentment.

      That + family issues + work stuff has just left too little room for anything else, which includes blogging and reading blogs. :|

  7. HarbingerZero
    July 24, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Your review of EQ2 is made of win and awesome. I’m looking forward to getting back in when my birthday loot arrives next week.

    WoW is the DnD of the MMO industry. Yeah, its basic and there’s alot better out there, but its the most accessible and thus the most popular. You don’t make an MMO to “beat” WoW – you make an MMO for those people who finally outgrow it.

  8. July 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    If I start back playing EQ2, what server should I be playing on so I can sit at the feet of the master of all crafting?

    Also, great post as always. Your perspectives are, well, always interesting.

    • July 28, 2009 at 3:07 pm

      I’m on Lucan d’Lere, where all the kool kidz are. Oh, and there’s kool kidz (Stargrace, Tipa I think, others) over on Antonia Bayle too.

      My plan to take over LDL with bloggers is coming along nicely! ;)

      My charnames are legion, but if you /who all halasian it’ll show you who’s on from the Halasian Empire guild. I may not be online, but every last person in that guild is a star and most of them know a damn sight more about EQ2 than I do.

  9. July 29, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    EQ2 does indeed have flaws, and some of Wolfshead’s points are very valid indeed; however, I — like many other readers — felt those points were buried inside an approach that isn’t nearly as objective as it might wish to be.

    My look at EQ2 was only at the first 15 minutes. It was an ambitious article in that I was trying to experience the MMO from the point of view as a new player and then analyzing what I encountered from the view of a game designer. I only wish more people would have appreciated what I was trying to do.

    To my knowledge I have never seen that attempted before but that is the kind of skill that a video gamer designer needs to have when evaluating video games.

    From studies I’ve seen of the habits of game designers it’s been demonstrated that the average game designer only needs to spend 15 minutes with a game before they have figured out what the game is all about. So the 15 minute exercise is not something that is unknown in the industry.

    To have people that are not game designers accuse me of not being objective is something that I take offense to. After all anyone can create a blog and write whatever they want. I do what I do to please myself, I’m not looking for the approval of the MMO blogosphere. I like being an independent thorn in the side of the group think that often plagues the politics of the MMO blogging community.

    Of course nobody can be purely 100% objective when they write and after all why should they? At least I tried to be and hopefully presented readers with an interesting article that opened up some eyes to many details about how video games are produced and critiqued by those inside the industry notwithstanding some of the comments by veteran EQ2 players who saw my analysis as a threat to their comfortable old sweater.

    Perhaps in future articles I will close off comments altogether as I don’t have the time or energy to be constantly explaining myself to people who don’t understand what I’m trying to do and don’t appreciate my intentions. To be honest, I’d rather spend my time more productively.

    There was no ill intent in my article just a genuine desire to see that SOE and EQ2 get a bigger share of the MMO demographic. I’m sorry that there are a few people that still can’t see past that and are very defensive about their MMO. At least I put my biases out on the table for everyone to see. Perhaps they should question their own objectivity before they question someone else’s.

    • July 30, 2009 at 4:18 am

      “Perhaps they should question their own objectivity before they question someone else’s.”

      Oddly enough, that’s exactly what I do in the sentences that follow the ones you’ve quoted.

      I’m not sure I understand what’s going on here. You wrote an article that stirred up a great deal of passion and a lot of responses. Not all of it agreed with what you had to say. Some, myself included suggested you might not be as objective as you hoped in that post — *not* that you weren’t trying to be — which could certainly be wrong. It’s an opinion, which is exactly what you expressed in your post.

      Or are YOU writing facts and the rest of us, not being hallowed developers, are just spouting opinions?

      Now I’m getting a bit pissed, because I’ve been DEFENDING your right to write whatever the hell you please about whatever the hell you want, and you come here and selectively quote me on objectivity. I LIKE your articles, I just don’t happen to agree with you all the time. If thats’ a requirement for visiting your site and reading your stuff, then I’ll make sure I don’t let the damn door hit me on the ass on the way out.

  1. July 24, 2009 at 5:31 am
  2. July 24, 2009 at 2:02 pm
  3. July 27, 2009 at 12:24 am

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