Five Things That EQ2 Does Better Than WoW

"Eeeya!" Thumbs up for EQ2

"Eeeya!" Thumbs up for EQ2

Professor Syp (a wise man indeed but I have a mild inclination that he’s not a real professor) issued a general call today for bloggers with experience with Everquest 2 to write an article about five features or aspects of EQ2 that are better than World of Warcraft. Being a EQ2 fanboi, how could I refuse? Name five things? Easy! I could write ten. But I won’t.

Note: in the interest of continuing to explore the multicultural aspects of MMORPGs, I’ve decided to number each reason in a different language. Bonus points and imaginary high-five to anyone who can identify all of the languages.

Uno: Open Dungeons

I harp on about them quite a lot but open, or public, dungeons are an amazing feature which World of Warcraft is completely devoid of, totally to it’s determent. Instances are all very well but they limit social interaction and the randomness of interactivity that creates the spice of life. Some of fondest memories come from open dungeons in EQ2 like Fallen Gate, Runnyeye, Permafrost, Castle Mistmoore and Karnor’s Castle. Open dungeons + PvP = a lot of fun.

Ni: Mentoring

So, the most popular MMORPG of all time allows low level players to gain experience whilst grouped with those at the level cap? And they exploit this ability so they can be quickly “boosted” through instances to accrue easy experience and jump levels? And there’s no such feature as mentoring e.g. the ability for a high level player to reduce their level to a low level friend and thus be able to group and play properly with them? Riiiight.

Dos: PvP Servers

Battlegrounds are fun but the PvP servers in World of Warcraft downright suck unless you enjoy being mercilessly ganked by level 80s in full raid gear constantly as you struggle to level up. The EQ2 PvP server, Nagafen, offers the best faction vs faction PvP I have ever experienced. It limits the attackable level range based on what zone you’re in thus making combat fair, it offers good experience and rewards thus actively encouraging people to do it, and, best of all, taunt actually works thus making proper tanks a valuable component of a PvP group!

Fünf: Voice overs

Voice overs may require a lot of hard work but they add a ton of immersion to a game. Don’t believe me? Just create a character and walk around Freeport and you’ll never think that Stormwind is “busy” or “full of character” ever again. Oh and stop by Boomba on your way into the Commlands. Incredibly funny and a bit of nostalgia in the mix.

Fare: Shinies

Everquest 2 is with no doubt the ultimate collectors game. It has little shiny sparkles called, um, shinies randomly scattered on the ground throughout the land and they can be picked up by anyone to reveal little items that can be added to Collections. Complete a collection and you’ll be rewarded with some experience and sometimes an item or other reward. Be warned though: shiny gathering is highly addictive, very competitive, and has been known to cause the wipeout of many a group, usually right after someone can be heard saying, “oooh, shiny!”.

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Related Posts

  1. Open Dungeons
  2. Mid-Level Blues
  3. Grouping Is Where The Fun’s At
  4. Quests – The Biggest Grind
  5. MMO Communities


  1. Joe says:

    Dos is spanish for 2, not three, and Funf is 5 is german, not four. 1 in italien, 2 in japanese, 2 in spanish, 5 in german. stick to plane 1,2,3,4,5.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Psst… I think that was the joke.

  3. Grimfire says:

    I agree with you on all points. In fact, it’s made
    me quite nostalgic. I may have to fire up my old account. I also really enjoyed the crafting in eq2.

  4. Carson63000 says:

    I loved the collections in EQ2, that was probably the feature that most grabbed me as someone who had previously been playing WoW.

    I’m not sure it was a great idea to allow you to sell collectables though.. I thought maybe it would work better if collections were a personal thing rather than something you could finish off by spending up at the AH. Even though, as a totally new player, I made stupid money by selling some lowbie collectables that I found in the first zone.

  5. Rose says:

    Nice list. I had a massive arguement with my other half yesterday. My side of the arguement consisted of how rediculous it was for WoW not to allow you to see what quests you have completed. His said it was rediculous that I didn’t remember what quests I had done.

    I think it’s rediculous that we only ever argue about MMO’s… lol

  6. Liu: More races = more fun!! Never seen so many different species available to play and custom in any other game than everquest 2! First game where it was actually impossible to see a toon looking same like you do!

    Sieben: Tons of different classes! Alright almost the same argument like above but still I want to mention it! And in pvp group action every class is needed in a group as well as in raids!

    ba: Connection to everquest 1 – that means a history one can follow! I was so excited to see Neriak again when it came out in EQ2! Since history of Norrath tells us all cities beside Qeynos and Freeport were shattered…alright, it would be quite ridiculous for WoW to join the EQ history (lol) but still I dont see a red line through WoW.

    Jiu: No battlegrounds! One can pvp almost everywhere without fearing higher lvls ganking you (like our Mr. Wise already mentioned). But I think that faction PvP is what puts the sparkle of life into a game: Hunting outside of Qeynos/Freeport those little rats was always thrilling because I had to look out for enemies…and with my weak spells or powers I had to run and hide behind a guard otherwise I would have lost my first fight. But also in higher lvls I had to look out for enemies which where keen to kill me while hunting.

    ten: EQ 2 has Christopher Lee (!!!) speaking as Lucan to you in Freeport and Heather Graham(wiiih) speaking as Antonia Bayle ruler of Qeynos!! That owns everything!! ;) Also SOE had an orchestra which played all sounds in the game!! Thats just smashing!

    • Gordon says:

      Oooh another great few points! WoW is starting to get more races now but I think EQ2 has a lot more original ones like Iksar and Fae. Definitely agree with you on the classes front. Although I really like the Talent system in WoW the classes are pretty much your bog standard fantasy ones with no surprises.

  7. Bronte says:

    I don’t get the shinies thing (sorry never played EQ)… :(

    • Gareth says:

      They are small glowing things that you occassionally find in a zone, you gather then up and they might be one of the ultra valuable ones or not. Often you might find too a mob standing on top of one or patrol over it :)

      In some zones they might be hidden in objects too, here they reward the observant I think.

  8. Kiseran says:

    Would you care to explain the part about Open Dungeons? I’m a World of Warcraft – Player with no prior experience and it doesn’t seem an obvious thing to me. Sure, meeting others is nice. But my foremost goal when going into a dungeon is killing things and the presense of other parties mean that those things might be already dead. And it should be a major bummer to fight your way to some boss only to see him already dead, isn’t it?

    • Gordon says:

      Well, all the mobs will constantly respawn after a few mins so usually you can circle back and find the one you need. Of course, it does lead to “camping” bosses which is one issue why developers avoid open dungeons but honestly I never found it to be much a problem in EQ2.

      The two big benefits in my view are that firstly, you can keep going as long as you like and secondly, bumping into other groups and interacting with them is part of the fun and helps make you feel like you’re in a true, vibrant online world not just a glorified arena.

      • SmakenDahed says:

        Camping mobs in EQ2 wasn’t really a problem because gear is so easily replaced, in fact, you get upgrades at least every 10 levels thanks to the tier system.

        Camping named/bosses was only worthwhile in EQ1 because you’d often wear gear for longer periods of time. I still remember some level 50s had crafted gear from the twenties (namely because it took them a long time to get the full suit and there was little else better outside of rubicite or the random drops from Fear – assuming one of the other 72 people didn’t need it hehe).

        I do miss open dungeons for sure and forgot to mention that over at Ysh’s but I don’t think I could ever go back to having only open dungeons. I like some of the tailored nature of what is available in WoW. To be fair, I felt like they lost the value of instances a bit in TBC (at least the instances I ran) but seemed to remember it in WotLK.

        • Gordon says:

          Yeah, good point about the camping. I think the whole system worked very well and open dungeons were great. Most of the time the spawn rate was just right and groups didn’t fight over bosses although occasionally you’d bump into some a-hole we just wanted to argue :) Hence the spice of life ;)

    • Gareth says:

      WoW used to have a couple of areas that sort of were the open instances, there’s one with trolls in the hinterlands and another with dwarves near Tarren mill. These had elites in and a few sort of bosses, but the bosses didn’t drop anything special, they just had a slightly higher chance to drop something.

      But they made most non-instanced mobs non-elite a few patches ago which is a real shame as its something that I used to enjoy and supports group play.

      In EQ2 I’ve had some great times in an open instance, you could be two levels down in the depths of Stormhold but wander into a party of adventurers going the other way. I’ve even been in a small group that teamed up mid dungeon this way, yes its possible to camp a boss like this (although wandering patrols would be a hassle in many areas), but waiting a long time for something isn’t a good use of your time when there is so much else to do.

      Hence its never done for anything short of a outdoors raid boss that might appear on a special occassion, most raid bosses like this take a long time to respawn (WoW has a few like the world dragons).

      • Gordon says:

        I think I really learned to adore open dungeons when I was a PvP server in EQ2. Nothing quite like the thrill of being attacked when in the midst of taking down a boss or tracking your enemy through the depths of a dungeon and then annihilating them :)

  9. Renti says:


    That’s exactly the point. Nothin’ better than walking into an open dungeons, seeing multiple groups, knowing people are waiting and trying to loot or complete some quest, and since PVP is enabled and groups get competitive, for all hell to break loose! This is what makes a game, how can I say, nostalgic?

    See, people love EQ2 and people love WoW.

    But one thing that makes games like eq2 great is how memorable and nostalgic the experience can be after a while.

    Just like EQ1… Getting across a continent, to make it to some estranged cave, to see a boatload of people geared up and ready to do battle only to have you and your group wiped made it so much more… How can I say, fun? The risk, the actual feeling of loss and the actual feeling of having to travel and etc etc… It makes you feel like you live in a real, breathing world! That is the purpose of it.

    Sadly, commercialism and capitalsim,(which arent bad things), dominate the market. Most people, and by most people I mean casual gamers, don’t want to become frustrated with these things, don’t care to much for deep socialization, or for involement in a role play scenario. These things aren’t bad, it’s just the product of a “Halo/Oblivion/Grand Theft Auto/Console” gamer generation.

    There is some sort of nostalgia to it. Matter of fact, I’m in Miami, it’s cold (FINALLY!) outside, and it brings back found memeories of me 10 years ago asking my father to borrow his debit card to play EQ1 on some crappy dialup. Getting wiped by a mop of laughing skeltons with a group of friends truly brings memories…

    Umm… So yeah… Point is. Some people are casual, like easy fun. This will always be the more popular monkey making game. That is WoW.

    Some games will be fore the more intensive player. That is EQ1.

    Then some games will be for the more intensive player but will get taken over by a company who realizes there is more money in the casual system, will duck its more intensive player and shatter pre-beta players dreams.


  10. MrGrimme says:

    1) Instances are the fix to the open dungeon problem. ZToo many players inside = total anarachy, griefing, mob training and so much more. While you claim thats the perfect place for PvP, most would clam thats the LAST place you want to PvP. Open dungeons are NOT an advance they are what we came from.

    2) In WoW, Mentoring is simply not needed. Leveling is so quick and easy that I can play with anyone I want to at almost anytime I want to ( one must sleep after all ) And with the Refer-a-friend program, my friend will be max level so fast, that the only instructions I will be giving him is how to get geared up for end game content.

    3) I agree.

    4) Yes, EQ2 innovated with voice overs…so what? Theres a reason it doesnt have 11 million subscribers. Its called game play

    5) LOL seriously? Thats called rares and they were in Ultima Online back in the 90’s. EQ didnt innovate anything there.

    your score 1/5

    thank you for playing. We have some lovely parting gifts for you.

    • Gordon says:

      I think open dungeons are highly underappreciated. The problem with the WoW gameplay is that is end up soloing in the open world and just running instances with groups. It’s like playing one big, solo player game with glorified chat rooms.

      And mentoring may not be needed, I mean very few features are actually “needed” right, but it’s a great feature that really would add a lot to the game.

      Kinda agree with the voice overs thing – it’s not the end of the world and gameplay is a lot more important but it’s a nice feature nonetheless.

    • Gareth says:

      1) I’d disagree, its a conscience decision to make a dungeon instances or open in EQ2 and its not because the zone resources are too high, where games support them (like Vanguard) they are a feature.

      2) That’s a fundamental design difference with WoW, /following someone through a dungeon to level and get powerful items is something WoW players I guess like, in my time in the game I found it very boring and non-immersive.
      For me as a EQ2 player I want a challenge, as the content in EQ2 is designed not to be trivialised as you level past it (unlike WoW) then mentoring is great. I can have a challenging instance with low levels, that’s something WoW totally lacks.

      4) Game play and voice overs are a different thing in my book, role playing and immersion are something though that I think EQ2 has an advantage over WoW in (again that’s related to 2 – not trivialising the world). Actually on voice overs I’d not put it as an exclusive to EQ2 since WoW has a few and are normally well done, but I guess EQ2 uses them more hence its sort of valid.

      5) They might not have invented them, but the question was “Name five things better then WoW”, so I think Gordon is valid here in that its something they do better then WoW. Rares though are a different thing in EQ2, you get them from gathering and they add a lot of depth to trade skilling, something that is much better in EQ2 too :D

      • Gordon says:

        Most of my points are no doubt very subjective. I guess they are my personal feelings and no doubt others will disagree. At the end of the day though, the whole concept of “good” or “bad” varies from person to person :)

  11. Wolfshead says:

    All very good points!

    I only made it to my early 20’s in EQ2 before I quit. There were no open dungeons to my knowledge which is a shame as I never got to experience them. I wonder how many people give up on MMOs because they fail to offer interesting content to levels 1-20?

    However I was also very disappointed with EQ2’s instanced dungeons as they are not soloable. Every time I encountered one, it became a roadblock for me (and my quests).

    I still love Norrath. EverQuest will always be my first and only true love. WoW is just an expensive hooker. I hope SOE finally gets it right with EQ3. :)

    • SmakenDahed says:

      I think you’re mixing up the ‘instances’ and ‘open dungeon’ jargon (I blame WAR). All dungeons were instanced in EQ2, they just didn’t have a lot of ‘private instances’ like all WoW instances are private. They’re open to the public – though there were some solo instances. By open dungeons they simply mean it’s not just for you and your groupmates to play in.

      By level 20 you should have had access to Black Burrow, Wailing Caverns or Crushbone, depending on where you started. If you were adventurous you might have done Varsoon’s or that other dungeon in Commonlands that I can’t think of. Techinically, the sewer levels were considered ‘open dungeons’ as well.

      I think the Sarnak starting area lacked a dungeon – so if you started there, you were out of luck. :(

      • Gordon says:

        Yeah, technically everything is instanced in EQ2 I suppose – even the overland zones. I guess I just refer to the ‘private instances’ as ‘instances’ because that’s what my guild always called them. ‘Open/public dungeons’ were just called ‘dungeons’. It’s all a throwback to the original EQ for me… although games like WoW and WAR have indeed screwed up the terminology :)

  12. Jormundgard says:

    WoW had a few zones similar to open dungeons, like the Troll temples in the Hinterlands or the Scarlet Crusade cathedrals in the Plaguelands. I remember slogging through those and coming across people like myself, who had no right to be there, and joining up with them out of necessity. The mass abolition of elite overworld mobs and the XP inflation has killed off such areas though. I wish they had developed those subzones further though.

  13. Justin says:

    I’ve been pretty disappointed in how trivial content in WoW has become. There is a fine line between casual-friendly and casual give-away, and I think they crossed it.

    I was an original EQ player, and a long-time WoW player, and I will say this for EQ. I’ve never felt as in awe in an MMO as I felt that first time seeing all these players in Kelethin. I also will never forget the trains of Dark Elves in Mistmoore and Crushbone. While too much of that can lead to a bit of frustration, I have to admit that fear and excitement of the NPC’s you’re killing is lacking in most WoW kills.

    WoW’s current philosophy is that only the current end-game content should be hard, and everything else should be made trivial.

  14. Justin says:

    I would also add that this WoW strategy does likely appear to hard-core games (they still get their tough content) and casual players, but I consider myself somewhere in the middle. I like tough content, but I don’t want to have to dedicate my life to the game to get it. For people like me, the challenging content is out of reach, while the rest of the content has become too trivial for me to find interest.

  15. Derp says:

    EQ2 can’t carry WoW’s jockstrap in the opinion of most normal players.

    Those of you that talk about how great EQ2 is, I played it for three years of my life and I’ll tell you some of the things that WoW is far superior to it. Please note that I quit right after the RoK release, so maybe a lot has changed.

    1) LOOT. I remember running dungeons in KoS and we were lucky to get a Treasured item (equivalent to something between an uncommon and rare item in WoW or green/blue) from a boss mob. We raided some big floating eyes I think somewhere around Nektulos forest and they dropped only like two Hand Crafted (lol) Items. In EQ2 everything is group intensive, the quest rewards for mostly all solo quests is absolute trash… so if you want to solo, you can for a lot of it, but don’t expect anything other than piss poor gear.
    2) It’s hard to make money in EQ2. I made the most money by selling collection quests items on the AH or lucking out and getting rares from gathering nodes. However, decent gear (especially weapons) cost many, many platinum so these methods of increasing ones bankroll just don’t cut. Crafting was complicated and unless you wanted to spend days at it… but still you were never guaranteed to make a great item unless you got lucky. I think the first time I died crafting something in EQ2 I said screw this. In WoW making money is not a problem. You can mine and collect herbs and you’re good to go.
    3) Last time I checked EQ2 did not have any kind of dungeon group finder tool. Unless you’re close to or at max level good luck finding a group to do dungeons or heritage quests.
    4) I played a ranger, loved it. Then KoS completely wrecked my character with that nerf. Even to this day (like 7 years later) I still have not forgiven SoE about that. I’ve heard that they are better now, but after playing a hunter in WoW I’ll never go back to a damn ranger.

    The fact is, even though the story and probably most of the zones in EQ2 are superior to WoW, it’s just not as fun for the casual (i.e. majority of) players because of some of the reasons I just mentioned.

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  17. MiniTool says:

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