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Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: jpark on August 04, 2004, 09:49:29 AM
I am not sure of the etiquette here, so I will post anonymously a response from an editor that answer my question regarding EQ2 and WOW.  He wrote an article comparing the two games and we talked on these points - purportedly he has spent 20 hours playing both games.

About character customization as you level, where Shadowbane and City of Heroes and to a lesser extent Wow with their talent system, may be examples he said:

"...Additionally, since the writing of that editorial, EQ2 has decided to not allow any user skill point allocation.  I find that ridiculous, and should I update the editorial, I would switch character customization over to the WoW side because of the talent system and lack of user assignable skill points for EQ2.  The ďartĒ argument is a sound one, but in the world of gaming, graphics unfortunately are often the primary reason a player picks up a box in a retail store, and plays heavily into a retail decision.

 And as for your question, yes, there is a max stat cap.  It does not vary by race, so it makes it possible for a Ratonga fighter to be as effective in dealing out DPS as an Ogre tank."

So why play an excessively small or large avatar (ogre, troll, gnome)?  These are real problem in dungeons.  EQ taught me that given the impact of gear, it is racial maximums that matter, not starting racial stats.  It doesn't really sound like players "assign" much as they level, or that the differences between races are that meaningful.

I can go on about this further - but I am interested to hear what you think.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: HaemishM on August 04, 2004, 10:04:17 AM
I'm not sure exactly what editor you are talking about, but it sounds to me like EQ will have about as much character customization as a fucking adventure game. Even EQ1 allowed characters to customize their skillsets a little.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: schild on August 04, 2004, 10:17:23 AM
I'll wait til I play it. I never complained about the max stats in a final fantasy game, or the lack of customization. I want to see how crafting and guilds function before I make any judgement on how boring the characters are.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: kaid on August 04, 2004, 10:22:10 AM
Actually that is about the same as eqlive. Sure you had to work up your skills in eqlive but after a certain level if you chose to use an item at all your skill maxed soon enough.

Would I like a bit more diversity? Maybe it depends if the classes are diverse enough on their own.  I never had a problem with this in eqlive to much intarclass diversity was non existant but intre class diversity was very well done and I enjoyed it.  

I believe that eq2 stated in the past that you would get discretionary points to spend on things to tweak your character. It is probably like the talent system in wow where it is being put in and then yanked from time to time.

Edit

After rereading the response you got it seems more and more similar to their decisions in eqlive.

Races in eqlive at the far end level 65 and aaxp don't really mean much other than personal preferance. At the high end a gnome is just as tough and strong and fast as an ogre. Hell you could max an ogres int if you chose to as high as any erudite. The road to being maxed through is the big thing though. I played a human mage in eqlive and I struggled for 63 levels until I finally started getting the uber loots that I was able to cap min int. I wound up spending more cash and looking for rarer items than any erudite would have to as I was always playing catch up statwise. At the high end though you CAN catchup.

I don't really see this as a negative in a game that is any race any character class it will just add more diversity of races chosen. If somebody is willing to bust their nuts and work harder to get to the same point as you why is that a bad thing.

As for the talent/skill system meh I can take it or leave it eqlive was a class based system and eq2 is as well. I myself when doing pickup groups almost prefer this as you have a lot better feel over what somebody can/should be capable of doing. COH's skill system is a blast but grouping with people you don't know is very scary. Grouping with defender only to find out they chose nothing but the must grab powers then went after every power pool skill they could get their hands on is an eye opener.



kaid


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: daveNYC on August 04, 2004, 10:26:26 AM
Maybe you have intra and inter switched around?


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Trippy on August 04, 2004, 10:28:31 AM
No class customization just means they are following the same basic class design as EQ (ignoring alternate advancement which only applies at high levels). No race differences means they've learned from EQ that items "wash out" any differences between races -- e.g. an EQ Wood Elf Warrior can tank an uber mob just as well as an Ogre Warrior as long as the Wood Elf has the proper equipment.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Furiously on August 04, 2004, 10:36:25 AM
Quote from: Trippy
No class customization just means they are following the same basic class design as EQ (ignoring alternate advancement which only applies at high levels). No race differences means they've learned from EQ that items "wash out" any differences between races -- e.g. an EQ Wood Elf Warrior can tank an uber mob just as well as an Ogre Warrior as long as the Wood Elf has the proper equipment.


Just wanted to nit pick. I thought Ogre and Trolls as large races were immune to "stuns from the front" which lesser races don't get.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Murgos on August 04, 2004, 10:45:43 AM
Quote from: Furiously
Just wanted to nit pick. I thought Ogre and Trolls as large races were immune to "stuns from the front" which lesser races don't get.

Ogre's, at least in my experience, are or were.  Don't know about trolls.  I was guild main tank up into the 50's before I quit and I wouldn't say being unstunable from the front was really all that noticible an improvement.  I had opportunity to watch many other races tank and they didn't seem to be hampered by it.

Not hampered as much as ogres and Trolls trying to get around some of the dungeons anyway.  Me, I had a pre-nerf DE mask so it wasn't a problem but there were almost always issues with getting someone past a bottle neck, waiting for a shaman or mage or shrink potion or whatever.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Trippy on August 04, 2004, 10:55:07 AM
Quote from: Furiously

Just wanted to nit pick. I thought Ogre and Trolls as large races were immune to "stuns from the front" which lesser races don't get.


It's only Ogres that get that ability. And it's only a temporary stoppage of aggro accumulation if your warrior gets stunned. If your warrior can't hold aggro because of stuns (I'm assuming a single uber mob here), then he/she doesn't have good enough weapons (or tell your dang thieves to stop backstabbing for a bit). I stopped playing EQ right before PoP was released so things may have changed but I watched plenty of tankage of uber mobs by non-Ogres to realize the "no stun from the front" wasn't really a factor.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Trippy on August 04, 2004, 10:58:29 AM
Quote from: Murgos

Not hampered as much as ogres and Trolls trying to get around some of the dungeons anyway.  Me, I had a pre-nerf DE mask so it wasn't a problem but there were almost always issues with getting someone past a bottle neck, waiting for a shaman or mage or shrink potion or whatever.


Or Cobalt bracer.

"Somebody shrink the damn fatty!"


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Tige on August 04, 2004, 11:00:13 AM
Quote
"...Additionally, since the writing of that editorial, EQ2 has decided to not allow any user skill point allocation. I find that ridiculous, and should I update the editorial, I would switch character customization over to the WoW side because of the talent system and lack of user assignable skill points for EQ2. The ďartĒ argument is a sound one, but in the world of gaming, graphics unfortunately are often the primary reason a player picks up a box in a retail store, and plays heavily into a retail decision.


The writer needs to stop writing in stream of consiousness and explain wtf the "art" argument has to do with skill point allocation.  

Aside from that, it would be good to know whether or not EQ2 uses items to let players modify their skill points rather than allocating points from the start.  It could very well be that you wind up with the same results with both games, just different ways of going about it.  Looks like it is just a pet peeve of the writer.

He is actually thinking about updating his editorial.  In the words of Count Floyd "Ooooooo Scary".

-Tige


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: jpark on August 04, 2004, 11:07:58 AM
Quote from: schild
I'll wait til I play it. I never complained about the max stats in a final fantasy game, or the lack of customization. I want to see how crafting and guilds function before I make any judgement on how boring the characters are.


Point taken.  My current impression is that EQ2 is doing more for guild dynamics than other game.  That's good.  But I am looking for more.  Recent references to the Combat Wheel intrigue me - and that helps.

Trippy maybe its just me but I really love the idea of choosing skills as I level.  Hell in CoH I have started catassing recently - because"choosing" that next new skill means a lot to seeing how "my concept" of class X, is going to work or not.  That same dynamic was the core of Shadowbane.  

In EQ you can ID a fighter just buy looking at the weapons in his hands.  So often there is only one optimum, so there is really no diversity.  Shadowbane avoided that problem (but succumbed to others) and City of Heroes has largely avoided it too.  WoW.. maybe.  EQ2 seems very cookie cutter in this regard.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: kaid on August 04, 2004, 11:08:19 AM
DOH yes I do damn my inters and intras bah humbug.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: kaid on August 04, 2004, 11:13:07 AM
On racial diversity in eqlive there were some bigger differances than will exist in eq2.

In eqlive you could have trolls with regen or ogres with frontal stun immunity, iksar regen and ac etc.  These were all paid for by a exp penalty. For trolls and iksar they needed 20% more xp than anybody else to level their classes.

In eq2 the differances between classes are planned to be innate resists and vision types. They are avoiding some of the more macro abilities like regen but they also are doing away with EXP penalties.

Kaid


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Krakrok on August 04, 2004, 11:13:38 AM
Yes, but WoW doesn't have secret super sleuth decoder rings on popcorn containers. That makes all the difference.


(If you didn't get the latest EQ2 "newsletter" you won't know wtf I'm talking about.)

Edit: http://www.fileradio.com/eq2/eq2nwl.jpg


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: schild on August 04, 2004, 11:16:46 AM
Quote from: Krakrok
Yes, but WoW doesn't have secret super sleuth decoder rings on popcorn containers. That makes all the difference.


(If you didn't get the latest EQ2 "newsletter" you won't know wtf I'm talking about.)


Post wtf you're talking about.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Trippy on August 04, 2004, 11:24:05 AM
Quote from: jpark
Trippy maybe its just me but I really love the idea of choosing skills as I level.  Hell in CoH I have started catassing recently - because"choosing" that next new skill means a lot to seeing how "my concept" of class X, is going to work or not.  That same dynamic was the core of Shadowbane.


I understand the appeal. However allowing class/skill customization also leads to large amounts of angst as the inevitable nerf bat swings around and people start screaming for immediate "respecs" and other things. And the powergamers love these sorts of systems leading to the "template of the month" club which of course just encourages the nerf bat to swing harder and faster.

Which reminds me, AC2's system of skill "untraining" was one of the few things I liked about that game.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: kaid on August 04, 2004, 11:24:17 AM
Somebody mentioned the character options in Shadowbane and COH.

I really did enjoy the ammount of diversity you could have in shadowbane and also in coh but this diversity does have some downsides as well.

In shadowbane I loved my centaur huntress and I got her to max level looking forward to the ability to run super fast as a panther. Only to find out after I was maxed level and could get no more skill points at that time that I was 2 int points short of being able to purchase the highest spell power for this class.

It was painfully easy to completly screw yourself with skill or training choices in shadowbane that was only mitigated by the fact that leveling was so fast at the time I played you could start over without to much fuss.

COH has awsome skills but there are a handfull that just are not up to snuff or just do not work with somebodies play style. Eventually they will add the ability to respec as in games with choices like this it is something that is necessary. The problem with the necessity of respects is you will get a LOT of flavor of the month templates

People like diversity but if there is one clear path that is stronger than the others most folks will pick that. So in the end if you do not do a very good job balancing things in a system you can pick your skills you can get situations with very little realized diversity.

I think coh did a good enough job to avoid the worst of this but its still a danger.

Eqlive a game I played and still play from time to time for 5 years has very little in game code that makes one mage different from the next but I can't say I ever felt an issue with this in all my time playing. People chose me over other mages not cause I had the leet template but because I was very very good with the tools I had and I knew how to get the most out of them.

Kaid


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Soukyan on August 04, 2004, 11:25:14 AM
EQ had some racial diversity, but it is pretty much null at this point in time anyhow. As a character, your main stat (IIRC) can be maxed to 355 and every other stat can be brought up to 305. Some classes have more than one "prime" stat, but it's essentially all the same and with the way equipment works, possible for any race to max all their stats with equipment. EQ2 will end up being the same way and the caps will be raised over time. There really wasn't much customization as far as skills went in EQ either except that the ones you used went up. Of course you could use trains to train up some of the ones you wanted, but once they started costing money and skill points, most people just left them at that and spammed that skill to work it up. I know people look for a nice depth of development for characters in RPGs, so it'll be interesting to see what more players think, but EQ was always about the equipment end of the game anyhow, not so much actual character development (at least until AAs and even then, as was stated above, that's more personal preference or guild requirement). Skill-based systems seem to have a much wider range of options available to people. For an amazing implementation of racial diversity, see Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. Of course, that's single player, but what can you do?


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Trippy on August 04, 2004, 11:36:09 AM
Quote from: schild
Quote from: Krakrok
Yes, but WoW doesn't have secret super sleuth decoder rings on popcorn containers. That makes all the difference.


(If you didn't get the latest EQ2 "newsletter" you won't know wtf I'm talking about.)


Post wtf you're talking about.


SOE is running an EQ II Sweepstakes. Here's a blurb about it from Frictionless Insight:

Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has enacted a grand scheme to collect the e-mail addresses of everyone who might be even vaguely interested in playing EverQuest II, SOE's massively multiplayer online role-playing game for the PC due out later this year. SOE is hosting a contest called the "Discover the Riches of EverQuest II Sweepstakes" and features a variety of prizes including two Jeep Wranglers. While interested folks can register for the contest at the contest site, game pieces will be attached to large popcorn tubs and drink containers at Edwards Theaters, United Artists Theaters and Regal Cinemas until September 30. Pieces will also be available at GenCon and at certain comic book stores in September. Of course, to see if you've won, you'll have to use the game piece to register at the official site, at which point you can view videos highlighting the game's playable races.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: HaemishM on August 04, 2004, 11:55:13 AM
I find it interesting that a lot of the talk about EQ2's possible diversity or lack thereof is all focused around endgame, stat caps and items.

That sounds sooooooo goddamn familiar.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: kaid on August 04, 2004, 11:56:50 AM
I would imagine it sounds familiar because it is a mmrpg and eventually if you keep playing no matter which mmrpg you play there is an end game phase.

Kaid


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Rasix on August 04, 2004, 11:59:05 AM
Quote from: kaid
I would imagine it sounds familiar because it is a mmrpg and eventually if you keep playing no matter which mmrpg you play there is an end game phase.

Kaid


WHOOOOOOOOOSH. Something flew overhead. Might want to see what that is.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: jpark on August 04, 2004, 01:13:35 PM
Quote from: Soukyan
For an amazing implementation of racial diversity, see Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. Of course, that's single player, but what can you do?


I guess at this juncture I should bann myself for possible thread derailment - but man - you just cut the heart of the matter.  Fallout and Vampire - awesome character development.  I look for that as much as I can in any MMORPG.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Sky on August 04, 2004, 01:22:50 PM
Hey, I've been jonesing for a new gaming experience....time to whip out Vampire: the Masquerade! Thanks for the reminder!

Actually, all the comparisons of Doom3 to SS2 are making me want to play SS2, but I lost my discs promptly after finishing the game once :(


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Alkiera on August 04, 2004, 01:27:02 PM
Quote from: jpark
Quote from: Soukyan
For an amazing implementation of racial diversity, see Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. Of course, that's single player, but what can you do?


I guess at this juncture I should bann myself for possible thread derailment - but man - you just cut the heart of the matter.  Fallout and Vampire - awesome character development.  I look for that as much as I can in any MMORPG.

I torrented that the other day, on a whim, I'd heard it was a good RPG.  Guess I'll have to play it inbetween jaunts thru the NWN expansions.

--
Alkiera


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Dark_MadMax on August 04, 2004, 01:27:17 PM
Quote

I understand the appeal. However allowing class/skill customization also leads to large amounts of angst as the inevitable nerf bat swings around and people start screaming for immediate "respecs" and other things. And the powergamers love these sorts of systems leading to the "template of the month" club which of course just encourages the nerf bat to swing harder and faster.

Which reminds me, AC2's system of skill "untraining" was one of the few things I liked about that game.


 So why not allow player to do exactly that - respec ?  If you have rich and complex character class/skill customization allow  players to respec in case they make mistake , something got nerfed/loved.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Rasix on August 04, 2004, 01:29:44 PM
I've been wanting to play SS2 also recently.  Of course, I've never played it and my curiousity has peaked.  (interestingly enough, all of the exult talk on another site got me interested in U7 and despite the crappy graphics I'm really enjoying that game too)

Don't know where I'd find a copy of it either. It's not exactly a spring chicken so I don't imagine it'll be easy to find on the five finger discount scene.

Sorry for the further derail.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Bloodrage on August 04, 2004, 02:27:03 PM
Part of what ruined EQ for me, back in the day, was that every character of your class was essentially the same. It got to the point where I would look at my troll warrior and see a transparent graphic over a tiny spreadsheet, and every other warrior my level had the exact same spreadsheet. It was at that point that I quite the game for good.

Of the games I've played, Shadowbane has had the best character development of them all. Seeing that EQ2 character development will be the same as EQ, I cannot imagine myself playing the game. I had been toying with the idea of picking it up when it came out, but no longer.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Alluvian on August 04, 2004, 02:34:47 PM
I don't really see the problem myself.  It is a class system.  Like the diku muds it was based on and they in turn based on D&D.  level 12 fighter is level 12 fighter the difference is equipment and how effectively you play them.  In D&D it was often fast thinking and creativity that was rewarded by the GM.  In mmogs and muds it is understanding the core game elements and class group interactions and being the best of your class for the given situation/group layout.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: SurfD on August 04, 2004, 02:42:01 PM
Weren't both the System Shock games available off the Under Dogs site? Or was that just the first one?

Edit: Yes, Yes they are: System Shock (http://www.the-underdogs.org/game.php?gameid=1114), System Shock 2 (http://www.the-underdogs.org/game.php?gameid=3924).


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Alluvian on August 04, 2004, 02:54:02 PM
Regarding system shock2, there is a site out there that has done a pretty big graphics overhaul to the game, replacing many of the old shitty models with much nicer ones.  The models were pretty behind the times at launch.

This is one of those games I just have to go back and play.  All I ever played of ss2 was the demo which did a poor job of showcasing the game IMO.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: El Gallo on August 04, 2004, 03:00:26 PM
Quote from: Trippy
an EQ Wood Elf Warrior can tank an uber mob just as well as an Ogre Warrior as long as the Wood Elf has the proper equipment.


Thank goodness for that, or 100% of fighters would be Ogres.  Bland.

The problem with customization is that you have gone from a game where you have to balance 15 classes to a game where you have to balance 15,000 different skill combinations.  The chance of character balance not being an utter abomination in such a game is about 0%, even if your dev team is Sid Meier, Albert Einstein, and Jesus Christ.  So everyone picks one template anyway.  Hell, back when I played AC, there were fewer viable builds in that game than there were classes in EQ.

Customization for a little flavor is good, customization that has a significant impact on combat skills is a 1-way ticket to blandsville.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: jpark on August 04, 2004, 03:12:06 PM
I don't think its good use to make a new thread, but some may find the "editor's" subsequent email on this of interest.  He is the only guy I know who has played EQ2 - so for what it is worth:

(context: I state that I am concerned EQ2 will be a train wreck, and that SOE, for business reasons, cannot support both titles and must herd players to EQ2 eventually... my view.  I note his rumor about WOW, his optimism about EQ2 and why I am likely wrong on SOE business strategy.)

"Fortunately, SOE has thought this through.  While transition will inherently occur from EQ Live to EQ2, the goal of the EQ2 team is not to erode their current user base in either EQ Live, or SWG.  After all, if EQ Live can still be seen as a viable product for the next few years, there is no reason to market to those players.  Overall, SOE is concerned with getting a portion of the 1.4 million players who at one time had an EQ account, and have left for some reason or another.  They took feedback garnered from the players as they left, and tried to model a new game without the problems currently in EQ Live.  It is a strategy that is based on taking places from existing titles such as FFXI, as FFXI is thus far their only true competitor in the global market (outside of Lineage which it doesnít seem SOE is too concerned with).  Perhaps this is why EQ2 is very akin to FFXI in several game systems, I donít know.
 

As far as a train wreck, it simply isnít the case.  With LucasArts not calling the shots, and with the financial muscle that SOE has, the game can be delayed or released at the whim of corporate.  Only SOE will be involved in the decision making on this title, which allows it to avoid the SWG early release fiasco that was forced by Lucas.  But perhaps you meant to speak of your concerns about WoW being the train wreck because of Vivendi having 100% call on all decisions Blizzard makes, and with Vivendi Games on the market to be sold (because of its terrible losses over the last 2 fiscal years), it appears that Vivendi is beginning to muscle Blizzard into a release before Blizzard feels ready.  This is speculation and not something I can confirm, but as business analysts, surely you know that Roper and the Blizzard North team left because of Vivendi secretly negotiating a sale to Microsoft and Blizzard being kept out of the loop (the sale never happened, but the damage was done).  


I think jaded MMORPG gamers who were looking for something new in the genre will be pleasantly surprised when EQ2 hits retail.  It wonít bring back that first time MMORPG experience for anyone, but it will be different, and that is ultimately why it will remain popular in the long run (or at least until Vanguard hits shelves in 2006)."


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Dark_MadMax on August 04, 2004, 03:22:28 PM
Quote from: El Gallo

Thank goodness for that, or 100% of fighters would be Ogres.  Bland.


 So different skin on exactly same spreadsheet is all variety you want?


Quote


The problem with customization is that you have gone from a game where you have to balance 15 classes to a game where you have to balance 15,000 different skill combinations.  The chance of character balance not being an utter abomination in such a game is about 0%, even if your dev team is Sid Meier, Albert Einstein, and Jesus Christ.  So everyone picks one template anyway.



 Anyone picks a template-  if its balanced or not. Combination of race/class/skill/whatever is called a template . Some templates are gimps some are average some are uber. Balance is when you have hard time picking one "uber" template over another and make decison based on which "uber" template style is more appealing for you.

  Players in game balance the thing themselves - gimp templates die in a natural way (few ppl play them). Balancing is not about that every single stupid combination is viable- no. Its about providing neccesary variety. out of 15 000 templates only a few dozen could be viable -thats all what is needed.

 

Quote

  Hell, back when I played AC, there were fewer viable builds in that game than there were classes in EQ.



 AC had a lot less viable skills . It was basically either pure mage or  one of 2  mage hybrids (bow hybrid or weapon hybrid (dagger,sword,UA)) . EQ just had more static templates (10 or whatever classes it had).

 SB has for example tons of combination within the same class - same class could be completely different in gameplay and playstyle.  Even  same  skill/power combo  can feel completely different on a different race and/or different disciplens subset.

 even now when SB last year addition alsmot completely destroyed and turned upside down a lot of  subclasses and playstyles it still has a lot more variety in "uber" templates to choose from than EQ/Daoc/Lineage2 and AC all together.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: El Gallo on August 04, 2004, 04:06:27 PM
I meant "everyone picks one template" as "each person picks the same [uber] template" not "each person will select one template" though the way I wrote it was not very clear.  It's an exaggeration of course because there will be a few different uber templates in all likelihood.

Quote
So different skin on exactly same spreadsheet is all variety you want?


Like I said, I like customization for taste/style/flash, but I will take a "balanced class system with some stylistic choices" over an "imbalanced skill system with kajillions of meaningful choices" any day of the week.  Now, I might be into "balanced skill system with kajillions of meaningful choices" but I would also be into "Salma Hayek sitting on my lap as I type this" and consider both to be equally likely.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: geldonyetich on August 05, 2004, 01:03:27 AM
Just had a chance to read that email with that EQ promotion.   Heh, well at least it'll make going to the movie theatre interesting.

I've done a little research into Everquest's character advancement system and it looks fairly interesting.   I'm a little afraid of some similarities to Lineage 2, however.  

Like Lineage 2, Everquest has branched class advancement.  Meaning you start out as a basic verison of a Fighter, Mage, Priest, or Scout and then as you advance as one of those, it unlocks other classes you can advance into.   For example, a Warrior (Fighter) can become a Berzerker or a Monk.  A Crusader (another kind of Fighter?) can become a Paladin or a Shadow Knight.

I'm pretty sure how it works is you start out as a Fighter, Mage, Priest or Scout.  Then, after you gain some level, you advance to the next kind of class you want.  (A Fighter can become a Warrior) and from there you advance to another class within that class (A Warrior can become a Berzerker).

The really complicated thing is that there may or may not be considerably more flexibility to it.   Apparently, once you have chosen an archetype, you can choose to gain levels for any of the classes within that archetype you qualify for.   For example, lets say you choose to be a Fighter, Warrior ,Berzerker.   Next time you gain a level, you can choose to put a level into Fighter, Warrior, or Berzerker.  

Each profession inherits the abilities of the profession before it, so as a Berzerker you'll still know your Fighter's Martial/Weapon Knowledge skill and be able to wear Light armor type in addition to your Warrior's Medium Armor type and Berzerker's Heavy Plate Armor type.

The full extent of the flexibility evades me.  I know that in addition to whatever profession you have chosen, you can *also* be an Artisan, and this is handled on a seperate tree entirely that does not interfere with your main combat class.   What evades me is that I'm not certain just how far back you can invest in the other professions.   If you are a Fighter, can you also choose to invest in Mage, Priest, or Scout?   At one point I read a description that made me think this may have been the case.    However, it's completely possible that once you have made a choice, you're stuck with only investing further in that choice.   (For example, if you've chosen to be a Berzerker you can't start investing in being a Bruiser.)   At this point, I don't know which it is.

So basically, templates are the least of our worries.  So far as I can tell, you're pretty much hard-wired into pre-existing classes and not allowed to customize them.  But, on the other hand, you're given *some choice* as to WHICH of those classes you want to gain levels in.  

It appears that last tier is a choice between good or evil.  This is probably where you decide if you're on Freeport (Evil) or Luclin (Good)'s side.  I smell PvP endgame and heavy class restriction based on which you decide to go with.

Hmm, I'd probably shoot for Mage->Enchanter->Illusionist or Mage->Summoner->Conjurer myself.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Alluvian on August 05, 2004, 09:00:56 AM
Luclin is the moon, which is shattered during this time period.  The two cities warring are Qeynos (good) and Freeport (evil).

I am going to miss all the other towns if they are not there anymore.  I hope there are some other towns in the game, I suspect there will be for restocking puposes at least.  Although I doubt most of the smaller old towns will still be intact.

I wonder if Erudin and Faydwer (sp?) still exist.

I just wish I had a crystal ball that would tell me actual video game release dates.  I want it for a lot of games.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: jpark on August 05, 2004, 09:11:47 AM
The class descriptions are somewhat intriguing - but we have so much more information on WoW at this point.

The have done a nice re-work of the scout/ranger... group.  Unlike EQ, in EQ2 their stealth plays a much more important role for groups now which is really nice to see.  When a ranger/assassin/ rogue etc. goes into stealth mode, my understanding is that it affects the entire group - a real asset for travel and getting deeper into dungeons without trash mob clearing.

They also finally dealt with the hybrid wars - e.g. Paladin vs. Warrior or Shaman vs. Cleric.  All healers heal equally (fury, cleric, shaman etc.) and all tanks can tank equally (Pally, SK, warrior, monk, brawler).  This strikes me as a good step to putting these wars to rest (although witness scrapper vs. tank problem in CoH).

Combat will be very different.  I am told that not only will zerging be the rule with opponents far outnumbering the party, but all party members will pretty much be under attack.  I saw this in one of their videos - when the dragon fought the party - it seemeed all party members were subjected to the same AoE attack each round.  Raises the question of what tanks are supposed to do in this dynamic - but the combat wheel may provide the clue.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Sky on August 05, 2004, 09:16:50 AM
Speaking of stealth, the fade effect seen in one of the videos is pretty cool, at first I thought a caster had a pet...and then the rogue became visible after making a backstab. I got a chuckle when the mob instantly turned around to her. The dwarf guy then must've taunted it back, so the combat dynamic looks similar to EQ.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: jpark on August 05, 2004, 09:22:12 AM
Quote from: Sky
Speaking of stealth, the fade effect seen in one of the videos is pretty cool, at first I thought a caster had a pet...and then the rogue became visible after making a backstab. I got a chuckle when the mob instantly turned around to her. The dwarf guy then must've taunted it back, so the combat dynamic looks similar to EQ.


Maybe - or the combat wheel played the role.  My take is that the combat wheel "suggests" an order of abilities to be used by the party in a fight - which if followed, opens the door for extra damage or some such.  The combat wheel may have indicated the next move not to be taunt, but some other maneuver.

I find this intriguing as hell.  In EQ you always slowed (shaman), always taunted (warrior) or nuked (mage).  The combat wheel changes this - apparently.  The action you take is now based on the sequence of others - which you can follow or not.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Alluvian on August 05, 2004, 09:24:21 AM
Combat seems more like FFXI to me.  Mob aggro that you 'lock in' to your group upon attacking, etc...


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Soukyan on August 05, 2004, 10:00:46 AM
Quote from: Alluvian
Combat seems more like FFXI to me.  Mob aggro that you 'lock in' to your group upon attacking, etc...


That and the "combat wheel" would imply a sort of Renkei system as in FFXI.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: kaid on August 05, 2004, 10:04:46 AM
Slight clarification on how the classes are designed in eq2.

Commoner

This is the profession you all start as it gives you the ability to dabble in all powers from combat to priestly magic to stealth. This gives you a feel for how each archtype works so you can make an informed decision on what you want to be.

Archtype

Once you make up your mind you become an archtype like scout/warrior/mage/priest. No matter what else you branch off into you are ALWAYS your archtype. These are your bread and butter core powers and you are always gaining skills and powers in this archtype throughout your career. It is not a choice on which you wish to level as you level you become a more powerful person of your archtype.

Class

This is where you start getting into more diversity. You start picking up more unique and diverse talents usually focusing on an aspect of your archtype. Say if you are a cleric you focus more on direct heals while shaman focus more on wards which are damage absorbers that also heal when their duration is up. Note that you also still are gaining powers in your archtype so even though a cleric and shaman focus on different things their core abilities are ramping up as well so they can always fill in and do a priests job in a group.

After you choose your class you ARE that class for the rest of your career and are always gaining skills and powers in it.


Subclass

This is where you are really picking up the more unique and diverse skills. This is your final(unless they add more later) profession pick.

Note that while you level and are gaining your subclass powers and becoming a mighty inquisitor or something you are still becoming a more powerful priest and cleric as well.


On top of this you also can if you wish choose one of two basic crafter the builder or the scholar.

The builder is basically the class for people who want to make armor/weapons/furniture and other items of a more solid nature.

Researchers are for folks who like making potions, researching languages and creating spells.


At some point you then can choose one of two subclasses to the main artisan classes.


So at one time  you can potentially be gaining powers from FIVE different skill trees.



The goal in eq2 is instead of the holy trinity of warrior/cleric/chanter that you will instead in a normal 6 man group want 1 warrior archtype/ 1 priest archtype/ 1 scout archtype/ and 1 mage archtype and two of whatever you feel best suites your needs. Different classes and subclasses may be more important for certain things but at their heart anybody of a certain archtype CAN do their main job.

So if you see a monk you can expect them to be able to main tank raids just as you would a paladin or a warrior.




How this will work out in play who knows but they have an early version of this in EQOA and from most reports I have seen it works well as a balancing tool while still having some very good diversity between classes in the same archtype.


Kaid


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Numtini on August 05, 2004, 10:18:11 AM
I tend to not like the general to specific class progression because I think most people know right from the beginning what they want to play.

At least without a skill system, we won't have the DAOC and Shadowbane archer issues, where rogue base didn't have any skills archers needed to put points into, so you were trying to make it to the level to get your specialization class without spending any skill points at all.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: kaid on August 05, 2004, 10:30:40 AM
I would agree with you Numtini personally I know what class I want to play right away. Then again we are not the "norm" we read up on the forums and understand what we like to do.

SOE is aiming EQ2 alot at the newbie market and they want to teach people what the various powers of classes before forcing you to make a choice you may or may not understand.

Meh I can live with it and I understand why they are setting it up that way.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: jpark on August 05, 2004, 11:52:39 AM
Quote from: Numtini
I tend to not like the general to specific class progression because I think most people know right from the beginning what they want to play.


By the sounds of it is better to be undecided - since it looks like the only decision players will have to make regarding their class :P


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Alkiera on August 05, 2004, 12:54:22 PM
Quote from: jpark
Quote from: Numtini
I tend to not like the general to specific class progression because I think most people know right from the beginning what they want to play.


By the sounds of it is better to be undecided - since it looks like the only decision players will have to make regarding their class :P


jpark... English is not a first language for you, I hope?

Numtini - While I can sorta understand where you're coming from, as someone said above, they are trying to expand the genre playerbase with EQ2, not just move everyone from EQLive over.  They are aiming to make the newbie experience very friendly, very open, so people who don't know what they will find fun, have a chance to play a bit with everything before picking a class(or 3 or 5) whose playstyle they hate.

Frankly, I think this kind of thing is a good idea.  Some people who already had a good idea of what they thought they wanted to play may change their minds once they get to play with other abilities, I think.  Heck, in EQ, the playstyle of most classes changes over the course of leveling the character, often without warning unless you read boards or other guides to your chosen class.  The Wizard class changes quite a bit between the pre-root era, to getting enough mana to regularly use root, to getting snare and some decent AE spells.  You could call the first couple levels, where melee is more effective than your spells, 'commoner', then you chose 'mage' and have a few effective nukes, and wizard when your nukes and root become a useful technique, and some further thing... 'quad-kiter', or whatever, once you've got the spells for that technique.  Sounds the same as the EQ2 system to me, with the exception that while that is more or less the only path for the EQLive wizard, EQ2 plans to have multiple options besides 'quad-kiter' and 'group exp leech' for the class.  And they seem to loudly announce when changes to the primary playstyle are coming, as opposed to you realizing this after a few deaths when your old technique doesn't work on the new mobs you have to kill for exp, or you get some new type of spell when you level, that you have no idea how to use.

--
Alkiera


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Sky on August 05, 2004, 02:01:33 PM
Gah! Don't get me started (again) on how they turned my evil master of the undead into a mana cleric :(

Now...if there had been an option to be a twitch necro or a more powerful summoner or a more effective DoT'er....


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: kaid on August 05, 2004, 02:13:32 PM
Funny you should mention twitching:P

One of the core archtype abilities of the mage archtype is power replenishment spells.

Also there is no mana in eq2 everybody uses power to fire off their special abilities so not only will you be twitching the clerics but the warriors as well.

We shall see how that works in practice if it becomes the all consuming chore twitching was for necros or if it is a bonus instead.

Kaid


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Alkiera on August 05, 2004, 11:12:09 PM
Quote from: kaid
Funny you should mention twitching:P

One of the core archtype abilities of the mage archtype is power replenishment spells.

Also there is no mana in eq2 everybody uses power to fire off their special abilities so not only will you be twitching the clerics but the warriors as well.

We shall see how that works in practice if it becomes the all consuming chore twitching was for necros or if it is a bonus instead.

Kaid


Well, that system is basically what CoH does with Endurance.  Frankly, endurance as power-source seems to make more sense based on magic used in books in movies(mages who've expended a lot of magical power feel 'tired' typically, as does a fighter who's just killed half a dozen orcs.  Why are they typically different stats?).  Hero, my favorite of the PnP systems, does this too.

As far as 'power replenishment', it could be more a 'clarity'-like power, similar to the endurance regen that empathy users get in CoH, or enchanter's Clarity line, that is regen, not a 'heal' spell for your mana bar.

--
Alkiera


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: kaid on August 06, 2004, 10:16:25 AM
I have no problem with everybody using the same "energy" pool to do specials or magic. From the sample spells on the eq2 site it looks like there is a combo of buffs to raise the ammount of max energy you have, regens like clarity, and some direct energy transfers like necro twitchs.

If it is done well it should be a fine mechanic. I just don't want to see if there is one mage in a group them spending their entire time doing nothing but feeding power to other people.

Kaid


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Sable Blaze on August 06, 2004, 10:20:04 AM
The "power" concept is straight from EQOA. That's how that game fundamentally works. This is a good sign. The further from EQlive they can get, the better.

I actually have hope for the melee classes now. EQlive is so badly broken in this regard I don't think it can recover again. EQOA, however, has totally functional tank and melee classes. They all have a role and are fully interchangable.

If this is the route the EQ2 classes are taking, then I think the game will be OK, at least in regards to class balance.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Sable Blaze on August 06, 2004, 10:23:47 AM
The "power" concept is straight from EQOA. That's how that game fundamentally works. This is a good sign. The further from EQlive they can get, the better.

I actually have hope for the melee classes now. EQlive is so badly broken in this regard I don't think it can recover again. EQOA, however, has totally functional tank and melee classes. They all have a role and are fully interchangable.

If this is the route the EQ2 classes are taking, then I think the game will be OK, at least in regards to class balance.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: kaid on August 06, 2004, 10:26:34 AM
Yup as I have mentioned previously the archtype/class system is an upgraded version of what they used in EQOA. EQOA was their test bed for some balancing ideas and the system was expanded and extrapolated on in what they are doing for EQ2.

This sounds like a good thing to me most of what I have read for EQOA they did a good job on class/archtype balance and most of the boards I read seemed pretty pleased with how it worked in play.

Kaid


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Sable Blaze on August 06, 2004, 10:32:28 AM
EQOA is a far better game than EQlive.

It's only problem is endemic to the platform. Aside from issues with what the PS2 can or can't do, consoles attract the lowest common denominator in gaming. The community in EQOA was simply impossible to deal with. Hopefully, EQ2s system specs are so horrendous that it keeps as much of this lot away as possible.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Sky on August 06, 2004, 11:38:30 AM
Quote
I just don't want to see if there is one mage in a group them spending their entire time doing nothing but feeding power to other people.

That was pretty much my core problem with twitching folks. I'm along so other people have more mana to play their characters? Nope, I'm going to be tossing my own spells, kthx. And if someone bitched about it, I'd cast Ignite Bones on the raid mobs.

Meanwhile, to the people who played regularly with me and didn't have preconceived notions of how I should be playing, I was considered the most adaptable and versatile necro around.

Close minded people who try to dictate how others should behave suck imo. I saw lots of that in EQ.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: kaid on August 06, 2004, 11:57:22 AM
Twitching was a useful tool and in our group our necro usually did a great job of twitching somebody if he saw them struggling with mana load. It was never demanded nor did we want nor expect him to stop casting his stuff.

Due to his regen of mana in general he just had alot more mana than the rest so to quicken downtime he would slap some twitches to give somebody a boost. As a shaman I would keep him perma regening hp so he could run his full bore life to mana conversion power all the time so it worked great.

I would never want nor expect somebody though to do nothing but turn into a living battery for others. I have seen our necro get taken to raids and made to do the twitch job and it has to be the most boring god awful horrible game play.

I will be making a mage archtype as my main but if anybody expects me to do nothing but twitch them they are going to get an earth elemental shoved up their ass. Boosts as needed sure and buffs deffinatly but I will not be a twitch bot.


kaid


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Sky on August 06, 2004, 01:21:04 PM
Yes, I'm mostly referring to larger scale encounters, which my guild got hooked on months before I quit. There was a definite correlation.

Hanging out on top of the Tower of Frozen Shadows with my buddy the eqholic's wizard and our druid friend was still fun, mostly because at the time he had moved away and it was the only time we would hang out.

Same reason I'm compelled to look into EQ2.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Trippy on August 06, 2004, 06:29:25 PM
Quote from: kaid
Due to his regen of mana in general he just had alot more mana than the rest so to quicken downtime he would slap some twitches to give somebody a boost. As a shaman I would keep him perma regening hp so he could run his full bore life to mana conversion power all the time so it worked great.


That's cause DoTs don't (or didn't when I was playing) stack. If they did, necros and shamans would be busy using their mana to do damage rather than just casting support spells in a raid.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Shockeye on August 06, 2004, 07:20:06 PM
Quote from: Trippy
That's cause DoTs don't (or didn't when I was playing) stack. If they did, necros and shamans would be busy using their mana to do damage rather than just casting support spells in a raid.


Shaman DOTs still don't stack so having more than 1 Shaman for anything in a raid is kinda useless.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Merusk on August 07, 2004, 01:08:23 PM
Quote from: Shockeye
Quote from: Trippy
That's cause DoTs don't (or didn't when I was playing) stack. If they did, necros and shamans would be busy using their mana to do damage rather than just casting support spells in a raid.


Shaman DOTs still don't stack so having more than 1 Shaman for anything in a raid is kinda useless.


So the dots from all other classes stack, but shaman dots don't?  Do they have some kind of debuff component to them? Your pure damage ones should stack, but damage & debuffs don't.  Hell druid DOT lines even stack with themselves so I can drop all 3 of the "Swarming Death" varieity with each other if I were so inclined.   The same with my Necro, other than the lifetap varieity of DOTs.

Re: Alluvian's missing the towns.   The last thing I saw about the old towns was a comment that the Halfthings finally took over Neriak after the trolls pushed the DEs out.   I expect similar stories from all the races after reading the first bit of lore on the EQ2 chargen disk.

As for EQ2 itself, I've almost got more hope in it being a fun long-term game than WoW.  I'm still hesitant because SOE has had a few cases of not knowing what to do in the past.  That and, as Haemish pointed out,  a lot of the talk about EQ2 tends to focus on what EQ1 is like.  Should enough people get into the game expecting EQ1 and complain enough to force it down that path it would be a BAD thing.

   I do suspect someone at SOE is watching over the games and keeping them in focus, though.  (The notion that EQ1 is for raiding, and EQ2 is for casual-friendly fun)  What lead me to believe this is the way the EQlive team entertained notions of putting soloable content into EQ1 until very recently. Something i'd always figgured would be the sole domain of EQ2, and was initially one of the strengths they'd been advertising.  Now recently it was stated that this content wasn't going to happen in EQ1.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Alkiera on August 08, 2004, 12:14:14 AM
Quote
That and, as Haemish pointed out, a lot of the talk about EQ2 tends to focus on what EQ1 is like.


I've only seen a few movies about EQ2, and read a little bit of what the devs have said about it.  In every case, they seem adamant about emphasizing how EQ2 is different from EQLive in gameplay.  I don't know if they are succeeding with this PR campaign, but they definately seem to be taking a "This is EverQuest Two, not EverQuest Too" tack with all the interview and releases.

Now, whether that has any effect on potential player expectations for the game, I don't know.  Perhaps once some things come out of beta we'll know more from people who've played both games.  Hopefully there won't be too much reaction to people in beta from the Legends server. I suspect they won't like the game, I mean, they're already paying $40/month for a game that is supposed to be really different.

--
Alkiera


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: El Gallo on August 08, 2004, 09:15:43 PM
shaman dots stack fine (both multiple dots of the same line and the exact same dot from different shamans)

they do, however, tend to either take way too long (disease), hog up spell slots that aren't available with huge recast times (magic) or have ridiculously disproportional aggro (poison), making them  fairly situational on modern raids (targets don't live long).


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Margalis on August 08, 2004, 10:00:53 PM
The EQ2 class stuff sounds horrible to me.

So basically, I choose a vague path without knowing much about it. Then I choose a vague subpath. Then, I choose another vague subpath. When I finally get to the end, I find out my class is boring and cry.

Isn't this one of those gotcha's that everyone knows about now? It's like roots in PVP. Don't make the player make an irreversible choice without knowing what they are getting themselves into.

I know the FFXI job switching breaks character, but it rules. No, it doesn't make sense from a "realism" perspecitve, that I'm a monk one second and black mage the next. But from a "games should be fun" perspective it makes total sense.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: geldonyetich on August 08, 2004, 10:18:02 PM
Quote from: Margalis
So basically, I choose a vague path without knowing much about it. Then I choose a vague subpath. Then, I choose another vague subpath. When I finally get to the end, I find out my class is boring and cry.

It's not neccessarily that bad.  Under the old system, you pick your end class right away.  If you happen to find out at level 20 you hate it, time to restart over again from scratch.   Under this new system, you can sort of gently choose the direction you like to go.   You start out as a commoner, playing with base Fighter, Mage, Scout, and Priest powers and decide from there which direction you want to go.  If you decide to play a Mage, you have a limited amount of base spell abilities abilities available, and from here you can decide which you would rather put heavier focus on when you make your next class pick.

Using this gradual change system, you should never end up in a situation where you have a profession that does not truly match your interests, especially if you take your time to think things out before making any choices.   (Which you should have pleanty of time to do, considering there's probably level restrictions on when you can make those choices.)

I consider it an improvement from Everquest, but I agree that the FFXI system has considerably more freedom.   Under the FFXI system you can, any time you're visiting your apartment, think to yourself, "Hey, you know what?  I think I'd like to play a Black Mage for awhile."   Boom: you're downgraded to the level of how well you know your Black Mage.   However, later, you can switch back to your original class if you decide you preferred that and instantly regain those levels.   Other than gained levels (and massive time investment), there's totally no obligation to stick to any one class path.    Really, it makes me pine for the game just talking about it as it was a very relaxing and satisfying hack and slasher, and I haven't even mentioned subclassing yet.    

Sometimes I hear a piece of information that makes it sound sort of like you can, in Everquest 2, go back to previous classes and change your alignment.   However, I haven't hread anything solid here.   If that were so, EQ2 would be like FFXI except with branched advancement.

Come to think of it, there may be even less freedom in EQ2 than you think.  The last profession choice is, I believe, alignment dependant.  So the moment you have chosen Crusader, you're stuck with ending up with Paladin or Shadow Knight depending on if you started out on Qeynos or Freeport.   Another thought - originality prior to those level limits is going to suck.   At level 1, *everybody's going to have the same class* (Commoner).   It won't be until the last transition point that the most variety takes place.

Of course, the gameplay is what it really comes down to it.   FFXI has skillchains and heavy elemental emphesis going for it.  If EQ2 can't match that level of player involvement, the game fails by default in my book.

If I had the money for it, I think I'd go resub to FFXI right now, but then there's the matter of what to do with SWG.   I wonder why the majority of the F13'ers aren't playing FFXI anymore - I seem to recall something about higher levels being a PITA.   Granted, the potential catassitude within FFXI, stemming from the fact that anyone could potentially make a character who is maxxed in every single profession in the game, churns the stomach.   Nobody but permanent Cyber-Cafe inhabitants have that much time on their hands.   While we're on the topic of FFXI, I suppose I could also mention that FFXI is the only full priced PC MMORPG for sale at EB-Games right now: There's a sign of success for you.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Trippy on August 09, 2004, 03:28:30 AM
Quote from: geldonyetich
Using this gradual change system, you should never end up in a situation where you have a profession that does not truly match your interests, especially if you take your time to think things out before making any choices.   (Which you should have pleanty of time to do, considering there's probably level restrictions on when you can make those choices.)


In EQ, though, if you just consider the single group gameplay (end game class role can be different -- in some cases painfully different) you learn how your class is going to play very quickly, like in the first 8 levels or so. With this generalist to specialist type class progression it might take you longer before you figure out this class line isn't for you since you won't experience the specialist gameplay till later.

Quote

While we're on the topic of FFXI, I suppose I could also mention that FFXI is the only full priced PC MMORPG for sale at EB-Games right now: There's a sign of success for you.


CoH is still full priced.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: jpark on August 09, 2004, 08:30:36 AM
Quote from: Margalis
The EQ2 class stuff sounds horrible to me.


Me too but to be fair we have almost no information.  WoW sounds like it has a lot more customization by way of choices you make as you level (attribute points, talents).  So far I really have not heard anything about a particular EQ2 class that evoked the "neat!" response.  By way of counter example, the Priest, Warrior, Paladin or Hunter abilities in WoW evoke that "neat" response from me in reading the descriptions (especially the Hunter ability to capture, name, tame and level his own pets).


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: kaid on August 09, 2004, 08:54:40 AM
Well one reason you hear more "neat" abilities about WoW characters is it is in a no NDA beta at the moment. Eq2 still really hasn't listed much of any information on what powers/skills the various archtype/classes/subclasses have.

WoW better damn well have more intesting sounding abilities than a game that has not even really announced what abilities their classes have in any specific way.


Kaid


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Merusk on August 09, 2004, 11:34:12 AM
Quote from: Alkiera
Quote
That and, as Haemish pointed out, a lot of the talk about EQ2 tends to focus on what EQ1 is like.


I've only seen a few movies about EQ2, and read a little bit of what the devs have said about it.  In every case, they seem adamant about emphasizing how EQ2 is different from EQLive in gameplay.  I don't know if they are succeeding with this PR campaign, but they definately seem to be taking a "This is EverQuest Two, not EverQuest Too" tack with all the interview and releases.

Now, whether that has any effect on potential player expectations for the game, I don't know.  Perhaps once some things come out of beta we'll know more from people who've played both games.  Hopefully there won't be too much reaction to people in beta from the Legends server. I suspect they won't like the game, I mean, they're already paying $40/month for a game that is supposed to be really different.


Well, what I meant was the conversations from the potential players.  The devs and Moorguard have done a reasonable job of trying to express that EQ2 is in fact a *fundamentally different game.*

The problem is they tacked the "Everquest" name on it.  I understand the desire to use their IP and branding and draw in old players of EQ, but they are having to fight a 2-ton gorilla of what players expect when they hear the name "Everquest." EQ is a game about lewtz, camping, grinding, content cockblocking, and being 'Druid #4of 9' on high-level raids of 40-72 players.

 They're promoting EQ2 as a more relaxed game where items and loot still matter, but you concern yourself with a smaller base of friends.  Content is (supposedly) able to be digested by 6-person groups and the occasional (or maybe frequent who knows how often this will be laced through the game) 24-person-MAX raid.  The small raid size curse the 'nameless number' problem, while instancing solves or severely mitigates the cockblocking problems.

  All this is IF, (BIG BIG IF) the devs can provide what they're hyping. We've seen how well that's worked out in the past.  What I suspect is going to happen is since they're allowing Legends and then Long-term EQ subscribers into the Beta first is the game will take a shift towards being more EQLive 1.5 than EQ2, as has been predicted many times by others among us pundits in the past.

Geldon- as far as being 'forced' into your final class. (If you're evil you're an SK, good is a Pally) they have stated there will be quests to "prove" yourself to the other city.  So you can have a Dark Elf Paladin or a Dwarven Shadowknight, so long as you complete the "difficult" quest to change allegiances.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: geldonyetich on August 09, 2004, 07:24:53 PM
Quote from: Trippy
CoH is still full priced

True, but the game is still relatively brand spanking new.   FFXI, on the other hand, has been released in the states for 10 months for the PC, 5 months for the PS2.   I can usually tell a MMORPG is going pretty poorly because the price will drop.  We'll give CoH another 8 months and see how it stacks up.   It's a fairly good sign it hasn't dropped in price 2 months after release, at least.   Horizons and E&B's prices were in the bargain bin range a month after release.

If EQ2's gameplay turns out to be inferior, methinks I'll resub to FFXI again and give that another spin.   Or else give WoW a spin, which should be out by then.   Ideally, I'd like to participate in the betas of both.
Quote from: Merusk
Geldon- as far as being 'forced' into your final class. (If you're evil you're an SK, good is a Pally) they have stated there will be quests to "prove" yourself to the other city. So you can have a Dark Elf Paladin or a Dwarven Shadowknight, so long as you complete the "difficult" quest to change allegiances.

Interesting.  Perhaps I can be a Ratonga Conjurer after all.   Little rat, big pet.

Eh, but then again, Gnome would be a little more interesting.  Those Ratongas seem somewhat underhanded, which would make for a hard to believe transition to conjurer when Necromancer so readily presents itself.


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Margalis on August 10, 2004, 12:06:18 AM
There is no point making a game called "Everquest 2" then being all surprised when people think it will/should be like EQ1.
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My philosophy on things like classes is that you WILL make mistakes. I hate for those sorts of things to be unalterable. Even if you don't make mistakes, maybe you simply want to play a different class with the same character name, all the low level quests completed, etc.

A nice thing about the FFXI job system is that you don't have to redo all the starter quests, get all the items and such you need, visit all the towns again, etc.

I'm not sure if skill points are really any better....so I allocate them then realize my skills are useless. I'm having flashbacks to the AC2 beta where some skills simply didn't work at all or were 100x worse than other skills.

I want to be able to change my mind. (In AC2 I believe you could untrain skills...to be fair)


Title: EQ2 level progression & race: template vs. cookie cutter
Post by: Soukyan on August 10, 2004, 06:16:47 AM
Quote from: Margalis
I'm not sure if skill points are really any better....so I allocate them then realize my skills are useless. I'm having flashbacks to the AC2 beta where some skills simply didn't work at all or were 100x worse than other skills.

I want to be able to change my mind. (In AC2 I believe you could untrain skills...to be fair)


Yes, you could always untrain skills in AC2. And they all work now. ;)