Everquest Mysteries

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Daidraco

Trakanon Raider
2,506
548
11d 17h 13m
This is what happens when a game goes way too damn vertical in expansions rather than realizing there is a limit to vertical growth before it becomes stupid. They should have expanded this game with a horizontal design after the Planes of Power expansion, and never gone vertical again.

By that I mean, there should be a maximum HP/MANA/DAMAGE/LEVEL/ETC that you can physically get to in the game world. This goes for both the players and the monsters. Beyond that point, the game is no longer a virtual world, and instead is a multi-player online game.

A horizontal design would involve adding other ways of progressing such as gaining certain banes for your weapons, armor, and spells that affect a particular type of monster that is new in the expansion. That way, your hp, mana, and damage output does not grossly out weigh the existing content, but in order to progress through the new content, you have to gain skill and equipment that will effect those new encounters.

I hope that some day, some developer will realize that to make a true convincing virtual world game requires creating a solid rule set for the world itself that no monster nor player can break. This is why original EverQuest was so good. The mobs were snarable, rootable, charmable, and slowable. The players were as well, and it was not out of the ordinary for a monster to snare, root, charm, or slow a player. It was the monsters and the players interacting in the game world following the universal rule set of that virtual world. Then they started balancing crap, and all of a sudden monsters could summon you to them and such for which broke the rules of the game's universe which destroyed the virtual world aspect of the game.
Thats one way to put it. To me, they just saw WoW take a lot of their players and their answer was to mimic WoW and change the game to be more casual friendly. When that wasnt what a lot of .. at least vocal.. players wanted at all. If they wanted WOW mechanics, they would have just played WoW. So the overall identity of the game was lost, and since that point the focus of the game has been anything but what made EQ fun to play. Leveling up in EQ has changed so much that the fun, the investment, the danger.. is just gone. The mystery, which this thread is about - is a sad memory of the launch years of EQ. Raiding has changed so much that the way its done.. matches wow, and the social aspect that was formed through Fear, Hate, ToV etc. was lost. Much less, things that they should have updated with time.. such as the UI.. have become gluttonous and atrocious looking.
 
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yerm

Ahn'Qiraj Raider
3,033
5,798
44d 10h 37m
This is what happens when a game goes way too damn vertical in expansions rather than realizing there is a limit to vertical growth before it becomes stupid. They should have expanded this game with a horizontal design after the Planes of Power expansion, and never gone vertical again.

By that I mean, there should be a maximum HP/MANA/DAMAGE/LEVEL/ETC that you can physically get to in the game world. This goes for both the players and the monsters. Beyond that point, the game is no longer a virtual world, and instead is a multi-player online game.

A horizontal design would involve adding other ways of progressing such as gaining certain banes for your weapons, armor, and spells that affect a particular type of monster that is new in the expansion. That way, your hp, mana, and damage output does not grossly out weigh the existing content, but in order to progress through the new content, you have to gain skill and equipment that will effect those new encounters.

I hope that some day, some developer will realize that to make a true convincing virtual world game requires creating a solid rule set for the world itself that no monster nor player can break. This is why original EverQuest was so good. The mobs were snarable, rootable, charmable, and slowable. The players were as well, and it was not out of the ordinary for a monster to snare, root, charm, or slow a player. It was the monsters and the players interacting in the game world following the universal rule set of that virtual world. Then they started balancing crap, and all of a sudden monsters could summon you to them and such for which broke the rules of the game's universe which destroyed the virtual world aspect of the game.
There are ups and downs to a horizontal approach. Having stats come towards a max and stop inflating is great for creating a starting point to work end game off of, makes balance easy, and makes catching up (one of eqs worst flaws) much much easier to do.

The downside is it also caps long term character progression and the sense of investment in it. Your work in one area isn't meaningful beyond it, therefore your time spent or skill in defeating raids doesn't translate into a feeling of reward beyond that area/theme. A new expansion launches, suddenly you and your piles of vampire banes and bloodsucking resist from last expac, and godslayers and deity resists from the prior, and 4 arm alien bane and resist from before that, all just collect dust. The hours you spent getting all the holy water tradeskills and raiding for your werewolf slaughtering class weapon? You are no better off than the scrub who quit for months, because horizontal gameplay.

Believe it or not, eq is SLOWER than the glory days in terms of character advancement. They balance increases per expansion and I forget what it is but devs have talked about it, they go for I think it was around 20-25% per expac. Compare that to the old days - classic to kunark, kunark to velious, you might literally double gear stats. Luclin gear didn't but aas sure did. Pop took it even further - time gear 50-100% better stats and more aas too! A time geared and aa'd 65 character would be literally several times more powerful than a no-aa vp geared one.

The real problem is that 20 years is a long time to have continual feelings of character investment being rewarded. I don't play live, but 200/20 weapons, 2000/20 in a decade, they don't make me blink. Going from 34/40 (phara dar) to 53/33 (gboc in potime) is roughly doubling the weapon ratio in the course of 2 years. If you search 2handers and compare to expac launch dates, you will find that weapons do not double in power in just 2 years, or just 3 expacs, or just 5 levels. Eq actually took a more moderate approach and the side of gearing staying relevant longer, compared to games like wow, where nothing lasts multiple years/expacs.
 

Rajaah

Golden Knight of the Realm
203
310
4d 15h 55m
This is what happens when a game goes way too damn vertical in expansions rather than realizing there is a limit to vertical growth before it becomes stupid. They should have expanded this game with a horizontal design after the Planes of Power expansion, and never gone vertical again.

By that I mean, there should be a maximum HP/MANA/DAMAGE/LEVEL/ETC that you can physically get to in the game world. This goes for both the players and the monsters. Beyond that point, the game is no longer a virtual world, and instead is a multi-player online game.

A horizontal design would involve adding other ways of progressing such as gaining certain banes for your weapons, armor, and spells that affect a particular type of monster that is new in the expansion. That way, your hp, mana, and damage output does not grossly out weigh the existing content, but in order to progress through the new content, you have to gain skill and equipment that will effect those new encounters.
Yeah, I've been telling people this kind of thing for years. MUDflation (as it was called in the 90's) gets obnoxious, and having to do continual rebalancing "squishes" ala WoW isn't much better because it feels like a step back every time it happens (even though it isn't really). I agree with you completely except that I'd have stopped level/gear inflation around level 70. The game was very well balanced circa OoW and I think the devs knew that because they took years to raise it to level 75 (and gear didn't go up in stats by that much in the 70 expansions as they added auras and Circle and things like that).

EQ also tried to do horizontal movement with Luclin. AAs and farming bane weapons became the order of the day rather than more levels, and it was great. Edit: It's true that banes collect dust after the fact, so the solution there is to have things like that continue to be useful (like auras or Circle clickies). Have it be a good amount of work to put together a high-tier Dragonbane or Giantbane weapon and have that be useful for future expansions as well as the current one.

On Phinny we're in the HoT->RoF corridor where every expansion is a 5 level increase and it's just annoying to have to stop AAing to grind out 5 levels every time an expansion drops. It takes what is otherwise a really exciting week (an expansion launch) and puts the damper of an extended power-grind on it before you can get back to fun content like gaining AAs or working on new quests.

Ideally, a game stops at a nice round level number like 100 (or 70, I guess) and new expansions just introduce new AAs and abilities that expand what the player can do rather than levels or equipment with huge stat bumps.

Another thing about levels and gear inflation is that they completely trivialize earlier expansions. I liked that during the level 70 era of EQ, or at least at the end of it, there were five "current" expansions that were worth playing in. GoD, OoW, DoN, DoD, PoR. Lower-tier guilds and people on the come-up also had things worth doing in PoP. Putting aside that a couple of those are subpar expansions, the point is that the world was big. If you release an expansion that obsoletes previous expansions either with levels or gear, then the world is as small as the current expansion, as seen in most of the 75-115 era.
 
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Xadion

Silver Baronet of the Realm
8,481
10,861
52d 17h 34m
EQ did imo a good job of keeping, at least the previous past- high high end raid stuff viable until you got to "mid" or "high" raid stuff.

Because you mention 2hs.

Vulak and Tunare 2h weapons - axe and flamberg are better or equal to almost all raid 2h's till you reach "end" Ssra with the Cursed Cyce = Goldenrod, Emp Ssra 2h and Seru 2h. They are also better than "standard group tier" POP stuff
 

Ukerric

Bearded Ape
<Bronze Donator>
4,862
3,925
35d 15h 59m
EQ did imo a good job of keeping, at least the previous past- high high end raid stuff viable until you got to "mid" or "high" raid stuff.
It's actually very simple. Every content tier slide down one rung per release. Your high-end raid ends up low-end raid next expansion, which ends up good group next expansion, which is random PUG group the next one, which becomes nearly soloable the one after.

WoW ended up making the first half occurs between patches, and the latter between expansions, which took 2 years instead of 9 months for EQ.
 

Chukzombi

Vizconde de Plata del Reino
39,978
102,415
137d 54m
there have been 25 expansions in the last 20 years. 25 rungs is going to be a lot.
 

Daidraco

Trakanon Raider
2,506
548
11d 17h 13m
there have been 25 expansions in the last 20 years. 25 rungs is going to be a lot.
..And really... be honest... How long does it take to go through each expansion? If you honestly accounted for time to level, you would get through 95% of the leveling between all content before starting to "slow" down. Even then, slowing down is an after-thought. We all know that the current EQ model is disguised behind a grind wall of AA points.
 

Chukzombi

Vizconde de Plata del Reino
39,978
102,415
137d 54m
..And really... be honest... How long does it take to go through each expansion? If you honestly accounted for time to level, you would get through 95% of the leveling between all content before starting to "slow" down. Even then, slowing down is an after-thought. We all know that the current EQ model is disguised behind a grind wall of AA points.
i hit 110 about 2 months ago and now have about 20,000 AA, i am still considered average in gear and AA. i would need to raid regularly and gain another 15k AA to be anywhere near being "caught up" with all the expansions. thing is, when people do get "caught up", they tend to burn out and quit the game. the same will likely happen to me, i play casually right now and am prolonging that day. new expansion is slated for this fall, it might bring people back, but for how long til they get caught up again to that exapnsion is yet to be seen, less than a year or 6 months or 3?
 

Borzak

Naxxramas 1.0 Raider
15,739
14,399
83d 22h 8m
I remember when AAs first came out and I mentioned that soon guilds would require X amount of AA to join. A lot of people were like nah. LOL. Took about a day, at most.
 

Chukzombi

Vizconde de Plata del Reino
39,978
102,415
137d 54m
I remember when AAs first came out and I mentioned that soon guilds would require X amount of AA to join. A lot of people were like nah. LOL. Took about a day, at most.
i think it took Magister a few weeks to make them a requirement. for all new recruits and current members. well we wouldnt deguild you if you were already a full member, but you would be getting torn up at raids and you would be pretty fucking useless in a lot of boss encounters. AA really made your average raiding guild into a very good raiding guild. just the innate run speed, underwater breathing, combat agility and combat stability would rock your char.
 

Borzak

Naxxramas 1.0 Raider
15,739
14,399
83d 22h 8m
I played a ranger and right off we required 27 I think it was to get Archery Master to sit back and plink with the disc that I forgot the name of.
 

Tuco

I got Tuco'd!
37,141
57,183
54d 21h 29m
In live EQ once you get caught up with AAs, keeping up with AAs is of secondary consideration each expansion release. By the time you finish hunter (kill all named), challenger (do all the special bullshit for each mission) and collections (find bullshit in the world) you're almost certainly going to get all the AAs in an expansion.

They also autogrant up to the last few expansions, so you only need to get a few expansions of AAs. It's still a large number, but the critical AAs really aren't that many. Once you get them taken care of the drop off in importance of each AA drops off pretty quickly.
 

Chukzombi

Vizconde de Plata del Reino
39,978
102,415
137d 54m
In live EQ once you get caught up with AAs, keeping up with AAs is of secondary consideration each expansion release. By the time you finish hunter (kill all named), challenger (do all the special bullshit for each mission) and collections (find bullshit in the world) you're almost certainly going to get all the AAs in an expansion.

They also autogrant up to the last few expansions, so you only need to get a few expansions of AAs. It's still a large number, but the critical AAs really aren't that many. Once you get them taken care of the drop off in importance of each AA drops off pretty quickly.
i have about 23k AA now and i am still working on "important" stuff like better melee, heals, and mana. i mean if i didnt work AA and just let everything autogrant, i would be fine to be a warm body at a pickup group, but for a quality dungeon crawl where things may go sideways at any moment. no, thats not good enough and shame on you for thinking it is.
 

Chukzombi

Vizconde de Plata del Reino
39,978
102,415
137d 54m
1. It's good enough.

2. By the time you finish an expansion you'll have a ton more AA and will be dumping shit into Enhanced Reformation and tradeskill AA.

3. When you max out your eq:The Burning Lands Chase Items and The Tears of Alaris you'll have the kind of standing you need to talk to me about wasting time on bullshit.
i thought we were talking about AA, you moving the goalposts?
 

Tuco

I got Tuco'd!
37,141
57,183
54d 21h 29m
i thought we were talking about AA, you moving the goalposts?
Nah i set them here.

By the time you finish hunter (kill all named), challenger (do all the special bullshit for each mission) and collections (find bullshit in the world) you're almost certainly going to get all the AAs in an expansion.
 

Chukzombi

Vizconde de Plata del Reino
39,978
102,415
137d 54m
Nah i set them here.
i have done several hunters sets and am working achievments/collectables, but i havent gotten hardcore into them because i am still working AA and upgrading gear. i retired EQ in 2003 and only came back to the game in May. lots of catching up still to do. plus i am in a very inactive guild so i have to do all this solo or part of a group. which is fine, i have turned down offers to join the top raid guilds on Emarr, but after all the shit i went through back in the day and all the fucking guild drama i saw in "a top guild on the server" i really want no part of that. at least thats what i tell myself.