Friday, September 3, 2010

If you don't have anything nice to say...

I know it's been getting more and more quiet around here. But honestly when I feel like saying something lately, it's just not been anything positive, so it's best left unsaid. I didn't want to turn this into some grumpy ramblings blog. Oh but what the heck.

I've been back to EQ2 for a couple months now just in time for the new FTP update. I played through the expansion, which felt like something that was quickly thrown together in a couple weeks. The zone is very small with quests mindlessly running back and forth to the same spot to kill the same mob multiple times. And there weren't enough quests to get you to the next level cap, so there is some grinding required for a few levels. The appearance of the items, even Legendary and Fabled, were just re-used graphics from the low levels. Gone are the neat cloaks and glowing weapons. Those are only in the Marketplace now.

EQ2 has always had a different approach to spells and abilities compared to other games. Along with armor, your spells also need to be upgraded. You get an Apprentice version of your ability automatically when you level, and this gets upgraded to better versions either via crafting or drops. So it used to be that when you dinged, your new Apprentice spell would appear in an empty spot on your hotbar as a reminder you have a new spell to upgrade. But this was changed so now the Apprentice version overwrites your Master version from the previous tier. Definitely not a fun thing to lose your best spells in the middle of a large fight and have to find them again in your spell book. But this was done to help the players on the free to play server who can't upgrade their spells anyway. And I won't get into the UI and merchant changes, and removal of experience potions from veteran rewards to help promote their Marketplace further.

Taken individually, some of this stuff you could just suck it up and get used to, but when they're all lumped in together, the community has not been pleased. I thought the feedback thread when Station Cash was introduced a couple years ago was huge. But that's nothing compared to the feedback from these particular changes.

And then there's Final Fantasy XIV. I had been testing since Alpha but passed on the open beta as I was having to force myself to log in to test. Even though they made the mouse eventually usable along with some other positive changes, it felt like I was playing an interface game rather than an MMO. Everyone has probably heard all about the number of steps involved to perform the most simplest of activities, so won't rehash it here. Pretty world, but otherwise a huge disappointment.

And there are my grumblings for the day. Still waiting for Rift and Guild Wars 2.


Yeebo said...

Ahh, just destroyed a long response.

ADD version

Been enjoying EQ2X quite a bit on silver.

Everyone can upgrade spells at least to adept, silver up to expert. The free master level spell upgrades at certain levels are also still in place. It's not that free's can't upgrade. I think it's more that SOE assumes free players won't know how to upgrade abilities and would be too dense to replace an old spell with a newer version in their rotations.

Impressions I've read of FFXIV so far have not impressed.

Bhagpuss said...

I've been playing EQ2X almost obsessively since it launched. I'm playign on a new Silver account and I love it.

My "Live" server has always been Test, so I had the new UI/Spells etc a month before the recent GU. I think they are all a huge improvement. I love the new spell effects, which seem to me to be much more "magical" than the old ones.

Off to log in now for the start of Double XP weekend!

Oh, and on FFXIV, I agree completely. I think there might be a great game there some day, but I'd give it a year or so befor eit emerges.

Gazruney said...

I also used to be regular subbed player to EQ2 untill SF bored me to tears after 2 weeks he he.
Loving my silver sub and have plenty of players to run with on Freeport server ( 1-70 content is EQ2 Nirvana to me)

I also am looking forward to Rift very much /crosses it's a good one.