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Zugg Posted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 6:47 pm
The WoW, EQ2, and other MMORPG topic

Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:33 pm   
Well I had a weekend binge of Conan .... hit level 30. The zones can look really amazing, and from what I've seen, they're pretty huge too. Spent most of my time in Khopshef Province which is massive, I have my draw distance maxxed out to 3.5 kilometers, and you can't see from edge to edge. Lots of running around, which I actually like a lot - in EQ2 it's all portals and griffons and takes away a lot of the immerson I find. Mind, in EQ2 there were very few places that made me want to stop and take in the view, where as in Conan I often stop and pan the camera around just because it looks so good.

The level of detail on some things is really amazing too, I found a girl who had been sacrificed on an altar, and the textures were so crisp you could see the runes that had been carved on her as part of a ritual, it was very cool (although not for her, I'm sure). The quests are neat too, if you take the time to read them (I have a nasty habit of half the time clicking through at times)... I mean yes, there's still the instances of the "get me 10 rats tails" quests, but it's more like "Person X has done Y to me, I want you to get the venom from a dozen snakes so I can poison him"... which I think is a much more fun reason for collecting stuff. Or at least when the captain of the guard is too lazy to do his own dirty work you can tell him in as many words Very Happy

We also hit our first "Epic" (group) level dungeon, that was a lot of fun too. Group combat can be a real mess, with people (and mobs) getting flung about by knockback, agro issues, and the like. One thing that really bothers me is being unable to pull a single mob at a time, so sometimes you have to sprint off because instead of the normal 2-3 you get 5-6 hehe. In solo I find it especially difficult - I play a Herald of Xotli as my main toon at the moment, and maybe it's my gear, or maybe there's a strategy I'm missing, but I'm very lucky to kill 2 mobs the same level as me, if I get 3 I get owned. I was doing my level 30 storyline quest and the strategy I ended up adopting in order to complete it was "pull 3, try to kill one, die, pull 2, try to kill one, die, pull the final one, go to the next group, pull 3 ... etc". Ended up being very frustrated and getting rather vocal with the computer.

Anyway, on the whole still loving the game despite a few niggles (and the 20 odd /bugreports I've sent so far). But as far as MMO's go, this seems to be a lot more playable than EQ2 was at launch. I would say there's possibly a good future in this. I have seen a LOT of EQ2 guilds forming up on my server too, I wonder if Sony have any players left.
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Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23379
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:09 am   
Nice to hear that there is still a story quest. I liked the mix of night/day in the starting area with the nightime destiny quest stuff.

I also played a bit this weekend, but I only got to lvl 22. At least I got to go out and see some of the real zones. Mostly in Connail Valley (or whatever its called). I agree on the amazing vistas. The graphics in this valley with the surrounding mountains is really stunning. I played with my settings a bit more and I'm getting almost a Full setting with still 30 FPS. The only thing I had to turn down was the anistopic filter level (sp?). My 8800 actually has better framerate with the 3.0 shader rather than 2.x or 2.0. I'm also running on high-textures now...they definitely make a difference. Also full shadows, which also makes a big visual difference.

Anyway, I'm still enjoying all the quests. It's definitely important to read the text. I don't miss the voice acting of the first 20 levels much, but I do have to remind myself to read all of the text...sometimes I also click a bit fast ;) I'm a bit mixed on the back-and-forth travelling right now. I can see where a mount is going to be useful. I definitely agree that EQ2 has too much "teleport" travel, but it really needed it too. I'll have to wait and see how I feel when I get further away. There needs to be some sort of travel system for really long distances I think though.

I'm a Guardian, because it's probably the easiest to solo (I like easy, at least to start). I can easily handle 3 same-level mobs. More than that gets a bit dicey, but I'm still learning which combos are best. A lot of Guardian combos are for controlling aggro in a group, so I'm not using them much for solo. Fortunately, dying isn't too much of a problem so far :)

The gear/loot is better than I had heard. I'm finding it to be a good balance between the loot-heavy WoW, and the non-loot SWG. I've already upgraded my quest gear from the lvl 20 destiny quest line, and my bag gets full of stuff to sell pretty easily. Will need to find the vendor to get a bigger bag at some point, although I understand they are expensive.

Still liking the combat system, and that is what is keeping it fun for me. It's a very satisfying way to blow off some stress and vanquish some mobs. But it's still pretty similar to other MMOs in that you are mostly just killing stuff. I always liked the other stuff in Vanguard with diplomacy and crafting. So I'll have to see what else opens up at higher levels (like crafting and PvP stuff). Otherwise the gameplay really isn't all that different from WoW (get guests, kill stuff, gather loot, repeat).

This is *definitely* more playable that EQ2 was at launch (and I probably don't even have to mention Vanguard). I think SOE is going in a different direction these days. I heard that Agency was going to be free, but with pay-for-equip business model, and a PS3 console version. Same with their Free Realms game, which seems aimed at kids. Their new Pirates MMO was crap...totally monotonous (and they never listened to beta feedback, which always annoys me). So maybe SOE has given up on the mainstream MMO market.

Anyway, it's good to see FunCom doing something right for a change. The MMO market is definitely in need of some new games, and the bar is pretty high these days. Just launching something of this quality is very tough. It will be fun to see where they take it in the future, especially if it continues to get more players.

But I also hope that Blizzard has been putting a good chunk of their millions into something new too. They are a smart company and should be looking at the future. What they do with WoW will be interesting to watch. I think SOE did a poor job with EQ2 compared to EQ1 and dealing with their existing player-base. I want to see Blizzard to something better. There are a lot of bored WoW players out there and I'm not sure how long they can go with expansions.

I did see a really funny OOC chat tonight. Someone said "Someone should make a text-based MMO". The reply (not by me) was "They already have...they are called MUDs and they will ruin your life.". Heh...well said ;)
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