Can you believe it’s been 10 days since the official reveal
of EverQuest Next? Since then we’ve been sharing every piece
of news we can (keep
up with all of it at our sister site, EQ
!). While a lot has been
revealed, there are still plenty of things
we still have to wonder about. One of those items still surrounded in
is the mob consideration system.
In today’s MMORPGs, it’s easy to determine how
monster is with a quick glance because it seems every game on the
you the exact level of the mob in question just by clicking on them.
that are slightly stronger than their equally-leveled brethren, they
get a moniker of “Veteran” in front of their name.
The truly powerful tend to
get something along the lines of “Champion”. To me,
this takes out all the
sense of mystery and adventure I think needs to make a serious return
Do you know what our consideration system was back in the
day? A color coded system that wasn’t difficult to decipher,
but had plenty of leeway
in it. Though it’s changed in the current version of
EverQuest (the change made
in 2006 added a couple of additional color levels), the system still leaves
guessing. Here’s a quick break down of how the system works
- 16 levels or more below your level
- 11 to 15 levels below your level
- 6 to 10 levels below your level
- 1 to 5 levels below your level
- Same level as you
- 1 to 3 levels higher than you
- 4+ levels above you
Grey mobs wouldn’t give you any experience points, and XP
progressed upwards from there. When you either right-clicked a mob or hit
you had it targeted, the con system responded back with a few
of information. It would tell you how the mob viewed you
dubious, threatening, ready to attack, etc.), let you know what color
was by printing that sentence in the appropriate color, and give you a
flavor text to let you know your chances (“looks like it
would wipe the floor
with you”, “what would you like your tombstone to
say”, and more).
When you were hunting solo back then, a blue mob was a
decent challenge. A yellow mob was very difficult to take down, and a
would be nearly impossible depending on your class and personal skill
Think about that in comparison to today… a mob that was one
level above you was
a serious challenge that very often did not work out in your favor. In
games, they’re all pushovers at that level difference.
That’s all well and good, but so what, right? The system
had a little flair and color to it. Whoopee! Actually, yes –
it was a big deal.
Why you ask? Because of that little category colored red. See what it
there? 4+ levels above you. That means if you were level 15 and you
mob that was level 19 or a mob that was level 50, they both came up
exact same text. Anything coming up red was to be avoided at all costs
were soloing or out in a pair, but reds were regular hunting fodder for
groups because they were great experience.
In areas that had permanent hunting spots, such as Lower
Guk, Sol A, and the Overthere, it wasn’t so much of a big
deal, because players
knew what level they needed to be and which mobs to tag since they were
continually hunted so often. That’s not true of many, many
other zones in the
game though. Especially the first time you and your friends decide to
exploring a new zone you’ve never hunted in. Now
you’re in a whole new realm of
trepidation and excitement as you take your chances out in the world.
sudden, you don’t know if that red-conned ghoul in the
distance is 4 levels
above your character or 30.
“All you have to do is just hunt where there are whites
and yellows and slowly branch out though”. That sounds good
in theory, but this
all comes back to one of the things that truly made EverQuest brilliant
game mechanics. Remember how I talked about how EverQuest was famous
for planting super-high level mobs in lower level zones
Oh yeah… they did
it a lot. It’s because of this that you were always on your
toes in a new area.
And I loved it!
One other final aspect of the consideration system to
also keep in mind was that not all mobs were created equal. It
very often (and very well may have been a bug in the system), but
would run into mobs we all referred to as
“under-cons”. This meant that even
though it may come up as a blue when you con it, the damned thing would
like a Mack truck or have a killer damage shield protecting it so your
would get chewed through like nothing as they’re trying to
melee the mob unless
a caster was able to cancel the shield. These made for some
moments of glorious victory or gruesome death.
Another factor that added to the thrill of combat,
especially during dungeon crawls, was that most mobs wouldn’t
stand there and
let you bring them to zero health – they’d get up
and start running away before
that happened… normally right into the path of their friends
which then joined
the fray. But of course, that’s a topic for next week!
you wait for next week’s piece, catch up
on any previous
articles you may
have missed! If you’ve got questions, old-school aspects
you’d like me to
cover, or anything in between, shoot
me an email or hit me up on