EverQuest II: A Different Take on Heroic Characters

The concept of heroic characters may sound cool, but Dalmarus still isn’t sold on the idea.
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week, our Editor-in-Chief wrote a piece about href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/features/opinions/why-all-mmos-need-eq2s-heroic-characters">why
EverQuest II’s new heroic character feature should be in all
MMOs. The
feature allows players new and old to either create a decently-geared
level 85
character from scratch or upgrade an existing character to that level.
Both get
some AA’s and a flying mount as well. Sardu thought it was a
great idea, but I’m
here to explain why I’m not 100% onboard with the whole

the surface, I think there are some relatively cool
ideas about being able to get a high level character right off the bat.
biggest advantage this gives to players is the ability to hop into the
game and
play with their high level friends that have already been playing for
some time.
The addition of this many high level characters showing up on each
server has
also been a huge boon for guilds all around the world. Whether they
previously lacking specific classes, or members were tired of playing
current main, they can now get high level characters to join their
raids in the
blink of an eye. 

I haven’t played a Necromancer since shortly after
launch, that’s what I picked for my heroic character freebie.
I appreciate that
the team took the time and effort to create a heroic UI system that
tries to
ease you into things, but I couldn’t take only having one
hotbar for very long.
If you want to load up the full UI they created, use the following
/load_heroic_ui necromancer – replace the class name with
whichever is
appropriate for your character.

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biggest concern lies in the realm of knowing how to
play a character effectively. I’m not looking to hop into a
raid within the
first day of playing, but at the same time, I don’t like
feeling as though I’m
doing little more than button mashing. I’m slowly learning
the more intricate
aspects of my spells. After playing around for a couple hours, I
don’t feel
completely lost, but I’m still not efficient by any means. 

returning to a game I haven’t played in years, I’m
the type of player that likes to start up a new character for at least
a short
time, just to get the hang of things again. I had a level 52
Necromancer on a
now nearly dead server, so I started a new Beastlord back in August. I
think much about it when I initially heard about the heroic characters
and didn’t care about them right up until they went live with
the latest game

Beastlord had just hit level 74 when the latest update
went live. I was only 11 levels away from where my new heroic character
started. Do I continue playing my old character that I’ve
been logging onto for
two months? Do I set aside the character that has been with me through
the dark
corners of Neriak, battled the sand giants in the desert Sinking Sands,
or went
hand to hand with the Drachnids of Kunark? I have a connection with
character because of the challenges we’ve overcome. I was
with this character
when they were terrified and wet behind the ears. I saw them
transformed into
force of nature, tempered with the experience of our adventures.

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I’m being asked to drop them and pick up this new
character that is not only extremely powerful, but is even more so than
character I had. The problem is that I don’t have any
connection with this new Necromancer.
I have no ties. I don’t care about their wellbeing or their
health. As a
result, rushing headlong into a dangerous situation becomes more about
whack-a-mole with video game monsters than it does about feeling like
having an exciting adventure. 

this were any other game, I have no doubt that I would
be in the minority here. Most players would just care about getting a
level character and never look back. They look at the screen and see
more than a digital set of numbers that now allows them to skip tons of
“useless” content. This isn’t any other
game though and it’s not any other
franchise. This is EverQuest and as such, I’m sure there are
plenty of players
out there that want to connect with their characters. 

agree with the EverQuest team in that players
need a way to quickly hop into a game and be able to play with their
Rather than giving them a character that starts out so far into the
game, I’d
like to propose a counter idea. Instead of starting players near the
end, why
not give them a massive experience boost? This could allow them to go
through content
quickly, but still learn each individual class skill as they came. It
also allow them to create an emotional bond with their characters. As
as friends are when it comes to player retention, I think a character
bond is
equally important.


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