SilentSpectre
2005-05-18T13:46:51Z
It's been more or less 6 months now since the 2 big boys of mmorpgs have started duking it out, and as I play both I thought I'd drop my 2 copper pieces in here and offer my opinions on them:

EQ2: still gorgeous to look at, and I'm interested to see what the game will look like with the graphics turned all the way up. I'm hearing that 512mb cards don't help as much as they were supposed to, but I'm hearing the same thing across the board even in Doom 3, which leads me to believe this could simply be a driver issue.

The first expansion pack is due to be announced any minute and this is a BIG thing because WoW is still trying to get things in they promised at launch (back before they realized they couldn't launch with all this stuff they didn't have finished, and still be able to get into a window with EQ2). Basically at this time EQ2 is in a big fix/moving forward/refining mode which makes expansions and their adventure pack system a good idea. This is in sharp contrast to WoW where they are STILL dealing with server lag issues, network problems at their data center, bugs in server code, etc...the list just goes on.

In regards to EQ2's visual appeal, it's still a fairly standard landscape, just gorgeously rendered. You're not going to find some of the cool, off-the-wall stuff you'll find in WoW in EQ2. Just think of any of the gnome or goblin stuff in WoW and you'll know what I mean. Eq2 has it's own charm, but it feels much more generic.

WoW: The biggest problem with WoW is still the community. Trying to find a good group can often be an excrutiating venture, and I wish my ignore list was much larger. I put people on ignore for spamming, being a total jerk, or just not knowing wtf they're doing in general. Sadly I filled my list here the first week, and could probably fill it daily even using my level 45-60 chars.

following this would be the lag, and the horrible UI, which is made worse because Blizzard endorses all kinds of mods which are a real mixed blessing. I can't tell you the number of spybot/virus scares this has stirred up all because the UI is a decade old. IT DOESN'T EVEN FREAKING USE WINDOWS!!! Hello, things like moving bags around, or placing elements has been a standard UI function in PC RPGs of all kinds for at least 5 years now. To just toss the UI to end users because you didn't devote more than 15 programming hours to it is shameful.

WoW does have it's charms, such as the crazy art direction, and some of the instances are genuinely fun but it's mostly in the cool monsters to fight, not really in the challenge department. Oh the game does have challenge, but fighting the few high end mobs requires more mob tactics with very basic planning and not much else. This might be a good thing because it's really hard to find people who can even understand basic concepts like "I'm the priest wearing cloth armor, and you're the paladin in plate...how about YOU go fight the mob and get it ticked off at you, and I'll stand back and heal because I'll die a lot quicker if I get hit than you".

Like I said, the community is just horrible, both on and off pvp servers...bar none the worst community of any mmorpg I've ever played, including EverQuest Online Adventures, which was godaweful allaround when I played it.

The game still has several technical issues, many server side, and Blizzard is scrambling to add features like the Hero Class, and a new PvP system called Battlegrounds (think Battlegrounds for DAoC but with more variations and depth, but not a whole lot more), both of these were supposed to be core features.

So where did the companys go wrong?
SoE: released the game to soon and in a very buggy state. The launch was pretty rough for many users. To their credit and perhaps due to their experience with MMOs, they did iron these things out very quickly.
WoW: the community they've attracted is easily the worst in any mmo I've even heard of. The 'net code and/or server side needs lot of refinement, there are still some bugs to catch, and a lot of core features aren't in yet, even half a year after launch, and some of them are on the distant horizon. WoW was released prematurely as well, but it was in a slightly better shape than EQ2, and it should have been easier to fix and get running, but so far they've been dogging it. My guess is that SOE's experience in releasing half baked products has taught them how to recover quicker, and for whatever reason mmorpgs are generally released in a miserable state and fans complain but that's about it. Sadly the failure of a law suit against Origin seems to have set a precedent against law suits to get these companies to behave and not treat customers as beta testers. Anyhow WoW needs to do whatever it takes, hire more staffers, etc...to get the stuff in that they're missing and do it quickly before they lose too many customers. They've got a huge user base and they're basically losing out on the chance to sell an expansion because they haven't even come close to meeting the core promises they made at launch bout stuff getting added.

Both SoE and Blizzard screwed up big time with high end content, which is stunning on SOE's part because they've done this a few times with the same results, and on Blizzard's part because they openly commented on SOE's failure in the past, and mentioned that they had a PoP-like raid tiering system which is nowhere to be found, as they scramble to add more and more high end dungeons to the game.

Anyhow, my current verdict is:
EQ2: worth buying. Great game, great graphics, great community...you'll need a high end system, and you can look forward to lots of new content on a regular basis, but you'll have to pay for it. Solid A-
WoW: I'd hold off for a while...I can't suggest buying a half complete game. That said WoW runs on most pocket calculators (haha just kidding, but it runs on almost anything, including a mac!) and with some visual tweaks it's not too painful to look at. The UI has to go, and there are some setting changes needed to get the best looks out of it, but it's just not complete, and still lacking in stabiltiy. The servers are still down about 5-6% of the time either for routine upkeep, or emergency. That's a pretty rough figure, when EQ2 is about 1/2 or so of that. I'll give WoW a solid C+, good, but needs more work. The sad thing is that the work is coming at such a slow pace that SOE is looking like they're going to burry WoW in terms of content in the next 12-18 months.

So if you're an mmorpg nut and looking for a good ride, grab EQ2 unless your computer can't handle it. If your computer can't handle it, on principle alone I'd suggest staying away from WoW and getting an upgrade instead, then buy EQ2 or WoW later. I'll give a state of the mmorpg nation in another 3 months or so and we'll see where things are at then, perhaps Blizzard will have sorted out some logistical problems and be back on track.
sacula
2005-05-18T19:24:03Z
i agree with everything you said about WoW. i tried to get into it because my friends really like it alot, but man the people that play world of warcraft are so obnoxious and annoying i just couldnt stand playing it. Add in the amount of times i would get disconnected for no reason, the amount of times their scheduled maintenance went more than 12 hours overtime..... it was just poorly run, and the community was awful. I agree 100% with you.
BrianPage
2007-06-24T04:22:26Z
Rofl, the WoW community isn't anywhere near as bad as you make it sound. I've been playing WoW for two years now, and yes I do notice the spammers / jerks / bad players, but I can honestly say that those people make up 30% of the WoW population. Finding a group is much easier now with the new LFG system, and how can the UI be horrible, when there is a large database of AddOns. WoW has an extremely flexible UI system thanks to these addons. I've never gotten a virus / spyware from any addon I've downloaded, maybe you should try curse-gaming.com.

BC has improved on a lot of the technical issues WoW used to have, yes maintenance does extend for longer periods of time than they say, but I'de rather them fix the problem and take as long as they need, rather than playing on a half broken server...Server lag is at an all time low unless your computer sucks...

All in all, WoW is one of the most engaging MMORPG's to this date, and in my opinion it blows EQ out of the water in all aspects...However, I hear Warhammer Online is going to be crazy

P.S: Yes, I do realize this topic was started a month ago, haha
Frags
2007-06-24T09:16:38Z
Actually the Thread was started 2 YEARS ago. EQ2 is horrible and does not hold the charm that EQ1 had and still has with it's devotees.
Burning Crusade is by far 10 times better then ANY expansion SOE has EVER brought out. I'm not talking about the ones Verant brought out. SOE is THE real reason that their mmoprgs lack the appeal WoW has. THEY DON'T LISTEN to their customers !

Also, look at what SOE did to Vanguard.
BrianPage
2007-06-24T16:33:59Z
Oh damn, my bad haha! Yup BC is the best mmorpg xpac ever created
Grahf
2007-06-25T00:54:48Z
Today's MMO's are getting boring anyways. So... anybody want to pony up some cash for my 11.5K HP, 330 resilience, 900 spell damage shadowpriest? J/K, I'd never sell my zombie.

Blizzard has taken a lot of the enjoyment out of the game for the more hardcore of its customers. The PvP gear is just retardedly easy to get for how good it is. The items are on the same level as what is coming out of Black Temple. Money is easy with daily quests. Probably just going to let my subscription go out this month, season 2 arena rewards aren't even all that impressive. Someone could skip an entire season and come back still competitive. Maybe MMO's will be fresh again in a few years after WoW and its clone die off. Maybe then the market will go back to specialization rather try to be a game for all audiences at the same time.
SilentSpectre
2007-06-25T18:51:14Z
I'm with you G. Instant gratification is the name of WoW's game today. We now have an answer as to what one gets when they allow an audience of prepubescents dictate what goes in an mmo. Devs need to snap out of it and understand that the customer isn't always right, and might make poor suggestions based on the fact that while they talk a good talk, they ultimately have no idea what makes a game fun in the long term.

V:SoH might change that if the darn thing ever reaches beta quality.
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