"Why not WoW?"
What does EQ2 still do better than any other MMO?
by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
World of Warcraft is widely regarded as the most popular MMORPG in
the world (excluding Asia for you Lineage fans) so obviously it has
setting the standard for recent MMO's and is the biggest.
Something I see frequently on the EQ2 forums that bugs me to no end is
people attempting to determine which game is better.
People, they are different games, which share similar mechanics because
they are MMO's. Every game uses ideas from other
other games because....brace yourself....they work. I
couldn't blame SOE for taking an idea from Blizzard, anymore than I
could blame Blizzard for taking an idea from NCSoft. So
what makes EQ2 so great? Now I'm not going to sit here and
arrogantly declare how much I know about MMO's. I've played
Ultima Online, Everquest 1, Starwars Galaxies, Horizons, and most
importantly World of Warcraft. What does that mean other
than I can to talk about the old days of riding a boat for a half hour
to get to Freeport (that was the way it was and we style="font-style: italic;">liked it)? Not much
really, however I think there are a few areas
I think Everquest 2
is head and shoulders above other MMO's.
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
One of the most noticeable areas where Everquest 2 excels in is its
graphics engine. Advanced well beyond any other released
MMO, it renders objects in a crisp realistic manner. When reading
a few EQ2 vs WoW articles from other gaming companies I did notice one
or two actual gave WoW the edge in graphics. I'm not sure
what they hoped to gain by ramming their nose up Blizzard's tail but I
do know I've found it baffling. I've provided two images
||The first image we see is of World of Warcraft taken at the highest resolution possible.. Bright, vibrant, and a little on the creepy side Blizzard has worked with an engine a that focused on graphics less realistic looking but more colorful. The ground textures are very easily distinguished, there are no shadows, and ground foliage is non-exsistant. There are no distinguishable clouds and the lighting in comparison is horrendous. Speaking of the lighting, what is unusual about WoW is that the days run in real time. This means, if you're playing at 2AM it's going to be nighttime. The lighting at night falls short however and feels less like night and more like you need to adjust your gamma.|
||The second image we have is that of Everquest 2. The background of this shot shows clouds and complex lighting, like dusk settling over the land. The rendering distance extends well into the distance. You can also see reflections in the water and the stream on the left side of the screen actually flows out into this small lake about where those two gnolls are standing. Those particular gnolls just kicked the crap out of me while I was getting this screenshot so when I'm done with this article, their deaths will be swift. We could get into renders, shaders, and buffers but the problem with that is I'd have to actually be able to explain what all that does. I think it's pretty easy to tell EQ2 well edges out any competition in the graphics department.|
Things to See and Places to Be
The premise that keeps us all playing these MMO's is the
of that "treadmill" with reward and punishment based on
performance. We don't like a plain treadmill though, we
want one that requires us to wait an hour for a creature to
spawn. Maybe a visit to 12 different locations surrounded
an army of Goblins or gathering 200 resources at a painstakingly
slow place. Regardless of your choice, well written and
placed content is critical to the continued interest of the player.
This is something I think EQ2 has done better than any other game
seen in recent days. There are quests by the hundreds to be
done and I've rarely found myself without a completely full Quest
Journal. There are also a number of zones. The old
world does at times feel a bit small and constrained but the new Desert
of Flames expansion has added huge areas to explore Rewards
more stuff to kill than some First Person Shooters, Everquest 2
countless hours of things to see and do.
Please note, I'm not saying other games (especially WoW) have done a
poor job with this. WoW in particular when I played, however was
sorely lacking in expanded content and has only recently announced an
Who are the People in your Neighborhood?
Community is a crucial part of any MMO. All the pretty
all the cool uber items, all the pvp, and all the quests in the world
cant help an MMO with no community. Its the people that make it
what it is. Without the people, you can just play any single
player game and have the same effect.
EQ2 has a rather unique community. By and large an older
more mature group of players frequent EQ than other MMOs. This
is due, in large part, to the nature of the game. Its more
cerebral and less go forth and slash than other games, and therefore
attracts a different crowd. Additionally, the developers and
community managers work together to keep a thriving community running
on the game message boards. EQ2 has a whole forum devoted to
building community. Or at least, thats what its been turned
The people you play with are what keep you coming back to the
game. Through all the changes, nerfs, combat revamps, and general
angst of a growing game, its a healthy thriving community that keeps
you coming around. A close knit guild, a regular group, even just
one good friend you log on to see, it makes a world of difference for
To sum it up, all MMO's are different in fundamental ways, and appeal
to diverse groups of people. But for me, EQ2 is the best for the
things I've described and many more that I can't possibly begin to
list. Can I play other games and enjoy them? Sure.
But EQ2 is always going to be my favourite.
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