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Friday, November 05, 2010

Question and Answer

7 comments
"As a returning player what do you think could be added to EQ2 to make it better?"

This was the question that Jahf asked me on my recent return to Norrath after an extended period away (around 3-and-a-half years!). It wasn't a question I was able to answer straight away. It required a little thought, and I needed to play the game for a while before I could see what might be missing.

After a few weeks back in game I now feel I can at least start to answer Jahf's question.

First of all I'd best explain where I'm coming from with my answer. Obviously this is completely subjective and based on my own preferences. I've never been a min-maxer or a hardcore raider, so my answer was never going to be about itemisation or new raid mechanics. I enjoy exploration, role-playing, crafting and similar activities, so that has informed my comments.

I'm a big fan of "fluff" content, and this is something that EQ2 does extremely well. Customised armour, housing content, and emotes are all things that have a good basis in the game already, but I would welcome more of it (I know other players would disagree and claim such things take away from serious development time, but these things are just as important to me as a new raid is to others).

One area I think the game could move on in the future is in the development of player-created content. I'm not talking about designing dungeons and the like, which requires serious quality control and balancing, but more light content. One excellent example of the sort of thing I mean is the superb player music system in Lord of the Rings Online. I had all sorts of fun in that game composing music for a full band to play at in-game events.

Other player created content could include hobbies such as weaving or painting, basing the appearance of created items on screenshots for example. It would have to have a basis whereby only game-created screenshots could be used of course.

I don't know how much help is available to people who create and run player events on the servers. I know that in LoTRO there is a team of GMs who will assist in events, creating temporary items and scenery for festivals, weddings, and so on.

The idea of creating community centres in game is another thing that could be looked at. Taverns are an appropriate lore-friendly place to host games (why can you not play the Legends of Norrath card game around a tavern table for example). Add in games of chess, darts, player created performances and other such things and they might succeed in bringing people together.

Oh, and can we please have the ability to sit in chairs?!

Ok, so those are some of my initial thoughts. I have to say that a lot of content has been added to EQ2 in my time away, and they have done a good job of minimising the grind (no more three hour waits for the Lightbringer Wisp! Yay!). I do think they have gone too far in some respects - travel is now too easy for example. Right now there always seems to be more to do than I have time for, which is a great thing.

This may be a topic I return to at a later date, once I have spent some more time with the game.

7 comments:

  1. Awesome reading your thoughts Mere, I've never had any of the same yearnings but now that you've listed them I'd really like to see them in game.
    The darts & chess would really be fun.The Player made music & items based on screenshot ideas blow my mind, I'd love to do those.

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  2. The player music in LoTRO was a great system, and lots of fun. To be honest, as far as the traditional MMO elements go there is not a lot they can add - there is already so much to see and do!

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  3. I LOVED the music system in LOTRO. Awesome.
    There is one part of EQ2 now that you may not be aware of Mere, and that is player created books that you can pop in your library. You can buy blank books from the broker (or craft them I think) then simply fill out with yummy goodness. Some folks put theirs on the broker, but definitely worthy of some research. There is even talk of secret roleplaying events being crafted through stories and there have been some mysterious 'clue' type books released. Stargrace over at MMOquests.com collects them and has made a library of player written works.

    http://mmoquests.com/player-written-books/

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  4. Oh, I forgot to mention..the thing I miss most about fluff content is...NOT BEING ABLE TO SIT OR LIE DOWN!! It drives me crazy!!

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  5. Whilst drafting another (large) blog post I've realised I missed something out - guild wars. My thoughts on that in the forthcoming post on MMO communities.

    I had no idea about the player created books - that's fantastic. Going to go read more about them :)

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  6. There's a 2 minute long /flirt emote for female characters, yet you can't sit on a sodding chair. Madness.

    Aside from fluff, I'm still waiting for news of proper next generation stuff in upcoming (and existing) MMOs. There's far too much copy and paste going on at the moment, with so much money invested in MMOs that companies are terrified to venture too far from the well-trodden path.

    For example, I think a change in MMO combat is well overdue. This is the second decade of the 21st century! Why am I still tapping 1.. 2.. 3.. etc on my keyboard at the Big Nasty Dragon? Let's have console remote style controllers so we can swing our greatswords at it instead! Or wave a spell pattern in the air to cast, or even duel wield remotes if you like being stabby stabby classes.

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  7. Great points Arifel!
    I am waiting for a cross between Wi controllers and LARPing in my living room :)
    Although things can turn nasty with too much interaction..remember the game 'Better Than Life' from Red Dwarf ;)

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