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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  The Gaming Graveyard  |  Archived: We distort. We decide.  |  Topic: The Newbie Trial of the Isle: An EQII Newbie Writeup 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: The Newbie Trial of the Isle: An EQII Newbie Writeup  (Read 24788 times)
Shockeye
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Reply #35 on: December 22, 2005, 05:11:09 PM

Correct. I do not believe that the userbase should seriously be considered as potential customers for games not made by Blizzard. And I'm fairly certain many developers agree with me.

But that still doesn't mean you're right. It just means many developers are as deluded as you. But that's for another thread. This thread is supposed to be about the EQ2 write-up.
schild
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Reply #36 on: December 22, 2005, 05:12:13 PM

See, now you're just trying to bait me. Dirtbag.
jpark
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Reply #37 on: December 22, 2005, 05:14:48 PM

Schild I find your position so ludicrous I had thought for awhile you had quietly shelved it.

Otherwise, I would have expected you be defending yourself in this thread, which was really all about you:

http://forums.f13.net/index.php?topic=5166.0

My apologies Margalis for derailing your thread like this - this ends my derail.  Schild - please take the time to explain your position to people in the thread above, including myself.


"I think my brain just shoved its head up its own ass in retaliation.
"  HaemishM.
WayAbvPar
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Reply #38 on: December 22, 2005, 05:19:22 PM

In other words, people who play WOW do so because they are Blizzard Fanbois.  The user base underpinning wow does not represent actual market expansion for this genre as a whole.  That's what your saying...

Correct. I do not believe that the userbase should seriously be considered as potential customers for games not made by Blizzard. And I'm fairly certain many developers agree with me.

That is asinine. The user base is just too big not to include a significant number of Warcraft newbs. Me, for one (although I am an ex-player at this point)- I never played a Warcraft game. I can think of 2 RL friends off the top of my head (who are stilling WoWing it up) that also fit the bill.

I will agree that their previous exposure did nothing but help them build the staggering numbers ther are currently enjoying, but I will not agree that the majority of the user base is former RTS players.

When speaking of the MMOG industry, the glass may be half full, but it's full of urine. HaemishM

Always wear clean underwear because you never know when a Tory Government is going to fuck you.- Ironwood

Who the hell taught you how to write? Fuck, that sentence is like internet transmitted face-attacking knives. Jesus. schild
schild
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Reply #39 on: December 22, 2005, 05:25:13 PM

The majority of the userbase is not former RTS players. I'd agree. Maybe former Diablo players. But if I were trying to convince someone to fund an MMOG by me, I would find it unbelievable that they would allow me to include WoW as a possible market.

WAP, you are not expansion of the market. You've played MMOGs. If we're talking about Market expansion we're talking about people that weren't MMOG players before or weren't fans of Blizzard before. You'd be hardpressed to find huge market expansion in WoW.

I find the iPod logic to be complete fallacy. While at the same time prove my point. There are better mp3 players out there than the Ipod, yet it's still by far the best selling one. Also, the iPod came out at a time when it could be the best Mp3 player.

So, I guess, we just have to wait until an even more streamlined dumbed-down MMOG than WoW comes out for my point to be proven.
Hoax
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Reply #40 on: December 22, 2005, 05:30:19 PM

Dont get me started on how much Starcraft sucks compared to many other RTS titles.  Fuck I hate that game.  When does Supreme Commander come out anyways?   cry

A nation consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, then that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.
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Zane0
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Reply #41 on: December 22, 2005, 05:38:34 PM

I have a friend who started MMOs when he got WoW last christmas.  He quit a bit later, and now he's ping ponging through MMOs- EQ2, DDO, GW, etc.  Incidentally, he's probably going back to WoW, but he sampled the competition.

WoW hooked me with their FP stress test after a boring time in CoH and two years of AO behind me.  I loved WC2 and Starcraft, but absolutely hated WC3.

My guild is a mix of Blizzard fanbois, old EQ players (going on to the next big thing), and MMO veterans- our guild leader played UO for a coupla years. 

I have no reason to believe that this is anomalous.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2005, 05:40:28 PM by Zane0 »
Righ
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Reply #42 on: December 22, 2005, 05:41:53 PM

They are a fucking anomaly. They have always had shitty customer service, terrible patching, mediocre launch days, a customer base that would drive the sanest person mad, and a developer team that doesn't think the outside world exists. Any other company pulled all that shit, they'd be hung in town square (at least by the internet). But not Blizzard. They could shit in your cereal and you'd eat it.

If only that were an anomaly. Blizzard are only following orders. This is how the market works.

The camera adds a thousand barrels. - Steven Colbert
schild
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Reply #43 on: December 22, 2005, 06:56:42 PM

My guild is a mix of Blizzard fanbois, old EQ players (going on to the next big thing), and MMO veterans- our guild leader played UO for a coupla years. 

I have no reason to believe that this is anomalous.

Where are the people that didn't play MMOGs before? Blizzard Fanbois, old EQ Players and MMO veterans completely follows my line of reasoning.
jpark
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Reply #44 on: December 22, 2005, 07:42:25 PM

If the rest of EQ2 played like the experience we all had on newbie Isle - would the prospects for the game change materially?

My impression is yes.  Looking at the response of others - I have the impression that many players enjoyed the zone design (which was very compact and interesting) compared to what they later experienced when they eventually moved to Antonica / Steppes.

I wonder when Newbie Isle was created at the end of EQ2 development?

« Last Edit: December 22, 2005, 07:44:26 PM by jpark »

"I think my brain just shoved its head up its own ass in retaliation.
"  HaemishM.
Zane0
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Reply #45 on: December 22, 2005, 10:32:53 PM

Erm, this is Blizzard's first MMO, so..  Blizzard fans would be new people being exposed to MMOs?

EDIT:  I guess you can make the argument that Blizzard fans are self-contained players who only play Blizzard games, but I'm not seeing even competing anecdotal evidence to support this, much less anything factual.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2005, 10:37:26 PM by Zane0 »
schild
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Reply #46 on: December 23, 2005, 03:19:59 AM

EDIT:  I guess you can make the argument that Blizzard fans are self-contained players who only play Blizzard games, but I'm not seeing even competing anecdotal evidence to support this, much less anything factual.

The only evidence I ever put forth was that for every RTS or dungeon crawler on the market that sells well, Blizzards games sell 10x that many. I think the AoE series (+ AoM) sold something around 16-18M. That's all four games. It would not surprise me if Warcraft III alone sold that many. I'm not saying that there aren't people who aren't necessarily Blizzard fans playing Blizzard games. I'm merely saying that the Blizzard Fanboi crowd is large, just as there are a lot of people who only own a Gamecube as their main console. Or people who are Apple Macintosh only. Also, remember, there are still lots of gamers with Macs. Every Blizzard game, afaik, runs on a Mac. What other MMOGs run on a Mac? Everquest 1? Whoopty.
Ironwood
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Reply #47 on: December 23, 2005, 06:30:42 AM

Do you strain your arms reaching ?

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Trippy
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Reply #48 on: December 23, 2005, 07:17:11 AM

If the rest of EQ2 played like the experience we all had on newbie Isle - would the prospects for the game change materially?

My impression is yes.  Looking at the response of others - I have the impression that many players enjoyed the zone design (which was very compact and interesting) compared to what they later experienced when they eventually moved to Antonica / Steppes.

I wonder when Newbie Isle was created at the end of EQ2 development?
The only thing going for the Newbie Isle was its compactness. Virtually every other lame idea in the game at launch was represented on that Isle, only in a smaller dose.

* Hunt the glowing pixel collection quests? Check.
* Kill the same fricking mobs over and over and over for rare body parts drop for racial mastery (or whatever they were calling it back then)? Check.
* Rare spawns that drop phat loot (not unique to EQ2)? Check (Quartermaster dude or whatever that was).
* Quests that required clicking on semi-hidden objects in the game? Check (gnome collection quest).
* Quests that are triggered by clicking on semi-hidden objects in the game? Check (there's an object underwater in the middle of the bay by the ruins that triggers a quest).
* A taste of the bizarre HO system where things like lightning bolts seemingly shoot out of fighters fingers? Check.
* Crafting where you can die? Check.
* Forced grouping to progress in game? Check (quest to get off island).
* Linked mobs that make it virtually impossible to solo at equal level? Check.

And so on and so forth.

Edit: fixed typo
« Last Edit: December 23, 2005, 07:19:59 AM by Trippy »
jpark
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Reply #49 on: December 23, 2005, 07:18:11 AM

Just because lots of people play WoW doesn't mean they all like the graphics - it just means the graphics don't drive them to quit. Although I think most people are at least OK with the graphics.

As far as EQ2 goes, I don't think graphics are big value, it's more the graphics engine - which is silly. Only programmers care about the engine, users just care about what they see on the screen. But they spent a lot of time talking up their graphics technology.

Maybe we are on the same page.  The graphics is always a critical variable in any of these games - if you want to say WoW graphics are passable to the user base - I can go with that.  The trade-off is huge:  reduced zone lag, wider system specs... The risk blizzard took in relying on the simple graphics it did has paid off enormously.  Kudos to their guts and saavvy.  On the other hand..

Your second comment confuses me.  Not following.  How are you distinguishing the engine from the graphics?  Are saying that neither was a main value proposition in promoting EQ2?

"I think my brain just shoved its head up its own ass in retaliation.
"  HaemishM.
jpark
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Reply #50 on: December 23, 2005, 07:19:30 AM

The only thing going for the Newbie Isle was its compactness. Virtually every other lame idea in the game at launch was represented on that Isle, only in a smaller dose.

Maybe that made all the difference.  Did you enjoy Newbie Isle than the rest of the game?

"I think my brain just shoved its head up its own ass in retaliation.
"  HaemishM.
Margalis
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Reply #51 on: December 23, 2005, 11:06:14 AM

Your second comment confuses me.  Not following.  How are you distinguishing the engine from the graphics?  Are saying that neither was a main value proposition in promoting EQ2?

When EQ2 was in development they spent a lot of time talking about the graphics tech - how it would scale in the future, about the different shading methods and polygon counts and all those sorts of things. That isn't really the same as actual art design or what the finished product looks like. You can have all the awesome shaders in the world and if your modellers make crappy looking models they're still crappy.

What I'm saying is it seems to me the EQ2 guys were so excited about the tech they didn't realize that tech doesn't make good graphics on it's own. In the end the graphics are nice but I say FFXI is much better, even though it technically is much simpler.

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Sky
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Reply #52 on: December 23, 2005, 12:08:16 PM

Exactly so, Margalis.

shiznitz
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Reply #53 on: December 23, 2005, 12:38:39 PM

Here is a list of things that a level 30 player sees all the time that a newbie player should see:

1) Horses
2) Flying carpets
3) snowballs (yes, a "seasonal" item but goddamn are they fun)
4) illusionary forms - I loved when I completed the orc bone collection
5) Many more mob models: centaurs, giants, drakes, etc.

I didn't see anything remotely draconic in EQ2 until I went to Lavastorm, a 40+ zone. In the intro movie, a dragon attacks your boat. This should be something you fight on newbis isle, not some orc boss.

I have never played WoW.
jpark
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Reply #54 on: December 23, 2005, 06:54:39 PM

Your second comment confuses me.  Not following.  How are you distinguishing the engine from the graphics?  Are saying that neither was a main value proposition in promoting EQ2?

What I'm saying is it seems to me the EQ2 guys were so excited about the tech they didn't realize that tech doesn't make good graphics on it's own. In the end the graphics are nice but I say FFXI is much better, even though it technically is much simpler.

Agreed.

"I think my brain just shoved its head up its own ass in retaliation.
"  HaemishM.
jpark
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Reply #55 on: December 23, 2005, 06:57:59 PM

I didn't see anything remotely draconic in EQ2 until I went to Lavastorm, a 40+ zone. In the intro movie, a dragon attacks your boat. This should be something you fight on newbis isle, not some orc boss.

This may come back to zone design.  In EQ there were lots of things contained in many zones 15-20 levels higher than the intended level range of the zone.  These specials were either part of quests or comp sites that higher levels would return to the zone specifically for.  I think that is missing from EQ2 - zones that simultaneously serve the high levels and the low levels - giving them an excuse to traffic by each other.  It really adds to that sense of community.

Once again - another lesson EQ2 could learn from EQ.

"I think my brain just shoved its head up its own ass in retaliation.
"  HaemishM.
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Reply #56 on: December 23, 2005, 09:06:31 PM

The only evidence I ever put forth was that for every RTS or dungeon crawler on the market that sells well, Blizzards games sell 10x that many. I think the AoE series (+ AoM) sold something around 16-18M. That's all four games. It would not surprise me if Warcraft III alone sold that many. I'm not saying that there aren't people who aren't necessarily Blizzard fans playing Blizzard games. I'm merely saying that the Blizzard Fanboi crowd is large, just as there are a lot of people who only own a Gamecube as their main console. Or people who are Apple Macintosh only. Also, remember, there are still lots of gamers with Macs. Every Blizzard game, afaik, runs on a Mac. What other MMOGs run on a Mac? Everquest 1? Whoopty.

Blizzard does true multiplatform development… …can argue chicken/egg, but correct, they have been kings of RTS market and now MMOG market.

Other MMOG that run on Mac platform (not counting amateurish homebrew offerings and/or browser based ones, i.e. Runescape…)

* ATITD
* Shadowbane
* WWII Online
* EQ1 at one time, but was never fully supported, and got yanked not too long after a long delayed port

"There must not be a God because a demon hand didn't burst out of the ground, reach into Jindal's anus, and pull him inside out before dragging him into the shit-filled sodomy pits of Hades." If you read that and thought, "Well, this is a reasonable person who should be treated with respect," then perhaps it is your anus that needs a hellclawing. ~The Rude Pundit
Kageru
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Reply #57 on: December 23, 2005, 10:56:00 PM


In general the people who adore EQ2 graphics seem to equate a MMORPG to some sort of video card stress test.
The graphics in EQ2 have always looked like blocky, ill-proportioned, marionettes with wildly excessive textures laid
over them. And most of those textures and surface maps were dropped before launch. It has no style, and no "cool"
about it. And this is my perception off ideal screenshots, by all accounts once scaled back it degrades at a dramatic
rate.

EQ2 has no soul. I've read Gallenites postings and his obvious earnest desire to make the game better shines through
clearly, but these "reasons to play" should have been woven tightly into the design phase, not patched in after.

Is a man not entitled to the hurf of his durf?
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Simond
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Reply #58 on: December 24, 2005, 01:53:18 PM

In other words, people who play WOW do so because they are Blizzard Fanbois.  The user base underpinning wow does not represent actual market expansion for this genre as a whole.  That's what your saying...

Correct. I do not believe that the userbase should seriously be considered as potential customers for games not made by Blizzard. And I'm fairly certain many developers agree with me.
These would be the same developers that thought the MMOG market had reached a population plateau prior to WoW's release, yes?

Edit: Tenses > me.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2005, 01:57:07 PM by Simond »

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Hartsman
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Reply #59 on: December 24, 2005, 06:50:11 PM

One quick comment...

Re: Why Trial is limited to the island.

Download size (and the barrier of a full game download) is the only reason.   We have a compacted build that only has the assets required to run the boat and the island zones and doesn't update frequently, to allow for a faster download for those who get it online, and less patching for those who pick up a freebie disk in the store.

Once we have the new newbie experience in place in January, it may be time to re-evaluate that.  For now, though, the significantly compacted build seemed to be the smarter call.

- Scott

schild
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Reply #60 on: December 24, 2005, 06:57:42 PM

Well then, on that note, why isn't every area of the game as tight knit as the island? I mean that place is a self-contained game on it's own.
Strazos
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Reply #61 on: December 24, 2005, 11:44:40 PM

I seriously second that sentiment. It's very tight, yet quite diverse. You have the little village, the goblin camps, the bigass goblin tree, the grove of trees with a graveyard tucked away. Then you have the coastal areas, and....well, I could go on, but you get the point.

If every zone in the game was like this, it would be Great. Unfortunately, at least to me, most, if not all, of the zones just seem big - prohibitively big really. Zones such as the Commonlands, Nek, or Thundering Steppe just seem so large, and have what seems to be Lots of unnecessary space. For instance, take the gulches around the entrance to Varsoon's for instance. Why the hell are they so big? I don't see the point really. They had a lot of resource and mob spawn points, but other than that, no Point or Aim or Design Goal.

In short, it just seems to me that the zones are just big for the sake of being big. This tends to make things boring for some people.

Fear the Backstab!
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jpark
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Reply #62 on: December 24, 2005, 11:45:46 PM

To be clear - I think a number of us see the compact nature - in terms of landscape and quest actiivity - of Newbie Isle to be good.  It's too bad the rest of the game did not behave the same way.

EDIT:  Strazos post already clarified this.  I liked this other comment in particular:

In short, it just seems to me that the zones are just big for the sake of being big. This tends to make things boring for some people.

I recall the zone design for Everfrost in EQ. That was great - it was a big zone - but with some very compact and interesting sub regions to it.  Not sure if too much resources required - but a redesign of some early zones like Steppes, commonlands and Antonica might pay off.  It would be cool to see the self contained and rich nature of Newbie Island repeated in other zones.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2005, 11:52:25 PM by jpark »

"I think my brain just shoved its head up its own ass in retaliation.
"  HaemishM.
Strazos
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Reply #63 on: December 25, 2005, 12:32:27 AM

One idea could be to almost make zones within a zone. To go way back, some of the zones I liked the most in my early EQ days were the East and West Commonlands, and the Oasis of Marr.

At least to me, each of these zones had at least somewhat distinct, focused "areas" within them. EC had the tunnel area, the one gy/ruins area with the ghoul spawn that would whoop newbs, and the orc camps. Maybe not very sophisticated, but there it is. The other zones were much the same, and none of them, I thought, were overly large.

Then I come to EQ2 and get stuff like Thundering Steppes, with spawn areas that seem to have no reason behind them, and long treks through the wilderness to get to places I want to go. It would be better if, pretty much, everywhere in a zone is a place I might want to go at one time or another, for whatever reason.

If I want to see wilderness, I'll go outside, or at least turn the Animal Channel on.

Fear the Backstab!
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jpark
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Reply #64 on: December 25, 2005, 06:32:49 PM

It's ironic given some of these comments when you think about the original marketing of EQ2 as being more "intimate" than EQ.

Actually, what the heck is supposed to be more intimate about EQ2 other than the fact that raid sizes may involve 40 people instead of 70 in EQ?

"I think my brain just shoved its head up its own ass in retaliation.
"  HaemishM.
Fabricated
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Reply #65 on: December 26, 2005, 10:07:45 AM


Actually you can ignore the userbase. I'd say 80% of them are not a possible target customer for new MMOGs coming out. Just like 80% of the players of Starcraft weren't possible target customers for other RTS games. Blizzard is the 800lb gorilla. They were before WoW came out. And they still are and it's not shocking. It's not worth chasing them. They are a fucking anomaly... Any other company pulled all that shit, they'd be hung in town square (at least by the internet). But not Blizzard. They could shit in your cereal and you'd eat it. I don't even need to defend some of the dumb shit they patch, they could care less. 100,000 people disappear overnight from their game, they would probably say they were customers they didn't need and ship an extra 100,000 copies per month.

There's a reason the Diablo and Warcraft Battlechests still sell. And it's not because there aren't better games out.

I don't see how ignoring millions of people suddenly entering the market is good business, even if they are fanboys.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2005, 10:09:35 AM by Fabricated »

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HaemishM
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Reply #66 on: December 26, 2005, 10:31:40 PM

In short, it just seems to me that the zones are just big for the sake of being big. This tends to make things boring for some people.

Well, their character models have bazillions of polygons just so marketing hacks can say they have bazillions of polygons. Why not use the same principle for zone design?

 Rimshot

jpark
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Reply #67 on: December 28, 2005, 09:38:17 PM

In short, it just seems to me that the zones are just big for the sake of being big. This tends to make things boring for some people.

Well, their character models have bazillions of polygons just so marketing hacks can say they have bazillions of polygons. Why not use the same principle for zone design?

 Rimshot

* Shocks everyone by mentioning WoW *

That's one of the things that I unconsciously appreciate in WoW.   A lot of the zones have tight designs with judicious use of topography.  Small zones feel big since there seem to be so many little areas you can wonder into.

Maybe EQ2 could use the late Carl Sagan in their marketing campiagns "Billions and billions".

"I think my brain just shoved its head up its own ass in retaliation.
"  HaemishM.
Strazos
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Reply #68 on: December 28, 2005, 10:41:31 PM

Personally, I felt a lot of WoW zones were still a bit on the large and annoying side. Ashenvale, I'm looking at you.

Fear the Backstab!
"Plato said the virtuous man is at all times ready for a grammar snake attack." - we are lesion
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shiznitz
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Reply #69 on: December 29, 2005, 09:49:47 AM

Yes, EQ2 zone design lacks the charm of EQ1 zone design. Where are the zones like Unrest, Befallen and Najena? The dungeons for 30 and under players from Qeynos include a sewer with 3 levels (Down Below, Vermin's Snye, Crypt of Betrayal are virtually identical except for the mob levels), a ruin with 3 levels (Stormhold is 80% skeleton and zombie) and a dungeon whose walls are brown clay with lots of skeletons and golems, some spiders, bats and slimes (Ruins of Varsoon.)

I have never played WoW.
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