SLiDE: I can certainly understand messing around with other classes. I can't seem to break level 45 with my warlock and continue to roll new alts. Perhaps it's because of my short attention span. Ooooh look, a shiny! :: gets up and runs to get the shiny ::
How balanced do you think the game is right now in regards to class?
Aggro Me: I’m not that knowledgeable about the state of class balance. I would like to see Wizzie dps be a little higher in relation to Scouts but I don’t think it’s a major problem.
SLiDE: :: looks around nervously :: Don't tell that to the Rangers. Is there a particular zone that you just can't get enough of?
Aggro Me: Everfrost is probably my all-around favorite zone.
SLiDE: Yeah, it's really cold there. I know some guys that like to dive into the water topless and tickle the sharks. It's kind of strange. If you were given the chance to add just one thing to EverQuest 2, what would it be?
Aggro Me: Wow, I’ve suggested so many things in the past year that it’s hard to pick one. A lot of my suggestions have actually been implemented (though not because I made them I’m sure). If you asked me a few months ago I would probably have said better armor model persity. But for now I’ll go with a suggestion I made recently: a form of in-game DKP tracking. It would just make my life a whole lot easier. Oh, and my hatred of the Station Exchange program is well known so I’ll add the fact that they should drop it and admit they made a mistake.
SLiDE: DKP tracking would deffinately make life easier for guilds, raid guilds in particular. Where do you think EverQuest 2 stands in the world of MMOGaming?
Aggro Me: That’s an interesting question. It’s kind of weird how SOE was the unchallenged master of the MMO domain during the Everquest glory days and now they have become the underdog. WoW’s subscription numbers totally blow them away. Now, WoW is a great game but I don’t think it is necessarily as much better than EQII as the subscription numbers would have you believe. If it’s better at all. But, I think it’s good that SOE is the underdog because the EQII team seems to be working very hard to add new content and make positive changes. I believe the EQII player population will continue to grow through 2006.
SLiDE: So you got the chance to check out Kingdom of Sky early on somewhat of a... oh, let's call it a media tour. What did you think of the KoS expansion after taking the tour?
Aggro Me: The graphics are astonishing and I think most players will be favorably impressed. I also think the Achievements will add a new dimension to the game. I can’t fully rate the expansion without playing it for an extended time but right now all signs point to success.
SLiDE: On that note, let's move on to a recent bit of community news that raised some eyebrows. After reading the Penny Arcade article, comic and your response to both, I asked myself "Is this going to hurt PA or Sony more or is it just another drama filled blip on the map in EverQuest 2 community news?" What do you think?
Aggro Me: Well, it will probably end up helping SOE, only because there was a link to the trial on Penny Arcade. There was also a link to the Penny Arcade piece from the main page of WoW, so who knows? Perhaps some WoW players will end up trying the trial and judging the game for themselves. It would be sweet irony. That doesn’t excuse what I felt was the overly personal attacks Penny Arcade made and the bias I perceived they had in relation to their work on the Official WoW Strategy Guide.
SLiDE: Do you believe that the blow dealt by Penny Arcade is an indication of where journalism's integrity is headed or is it just a poor move made by a couple of guys who have something to learn about proper etiquette?
Aggro Me: In the end I think it was probably just a couple of guys giving their opinion, just as I gave my opinion in response. But, I think it raises some questions that will become more important in the future. Neither I nor the Penny Arcade writers are bound by the journalistic code of ethics. But maybe that’s something we should aspire to, at least to some degree. There’s a lot of talk about bloggers’ rights, but what about bloggers’ responsibilities?
If I did freelance writing work for SOE, Blizzard or NCSoft, I think it would be important to share that with my readers. I get email requests on a weekly basis requesting I link to peoples’ products or services in return for money. Of course, I never respond to such emails, but what if I did? Wouldn’t that betray the trust I have with my readers?
I guess since I’m being all high and mighty about financially motivated bias, I should state that I do own stock in a Korean MMO company whose shares are publicly traded on the Nasdaq. But since they don’t have any games which are played in the English speaking part of the world, I don’t think it is a conflict of interest. If they release games to the American or European audience I will have to reevaluate. Please don’t consider that investment advice because it isn’t. And even if it was you shouldn’t take investment advice from an EQII blogger.
SLiDE:While there is no actual written code for bloggers, as we're calling it, I think the line becomes finer as the popularity grows. Etiquette may not be as black and white as some see it.
Last, but not least, I ask you a question that I struggle with daily... Pirates or Ninjas?
Aggro Me: Ninjas. Definitely ninjas. The Aggro Me Elite Ninja Death Squad would have my head if I answered otherwise. Also, check out the latest story on the Dr. McNinja webcomic for proof.
Well, that should do it. Aggro Me, I thank you again for taking the time to sit down with me and answer those tough questions. The last obviously being the most important. Next time do you think we could do the interview without the Ninja Death Squad poised to attack? I get nervous enough as it is.
If you haven't checked out his blogspot yet, I encourage you to visit http://aggrome.blogspot.com/.
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