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.
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.
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!”.