Where are We Going?
by: Tony "RadarX" Jones
In the classic family film Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (not that Johnny Depp freak show), there is a scene where everyone climbs into a boat on the chocolate river. As they enter a dark tunnel Gene Wilder begins a disturbing tune highlighting the fact they have no idea where they are going. "Not a speck of light is showing, so the danger must be growing. Are the fires of Hell a-glowing, is the grisly reaper mowing?"
Do you ever feel like EverQuest 2 is that boat? Do you know where it is going?
The game is entirely different from 2005 and for the most part the changes were warranted, despite what many of the masochists claim. The game is now easier to play and the fun factor was increased. As the competition in the MMO market increases and people come and go, what can we expect the future to bring us?
Adventures Packs Absent
Adventure Packs, small injections of content were reasonably priced around $5. Did it work? Did people purchase it? Three were made and they did see some success, but because of their secluded access, there isn't much of a reminder of their existence. Fallen Dynasty for instance has a few quests to supplement the climb into Tier7, but honestly between Kingdom of Sky and Echoes of Faydwer it's easy to only spend a day there at the most.
With no news of one even in production, I think it's safe to say the idea has been more or less shelved. Why? Was the production cost getting too high for the return they saw? Was it not popular enough to justify the resource allocation?
While the idea of micro transactions is still being experimented with industry wide, every item sold as one must have consistent value associated with it. Let's be honest, content is like fast food. You can only have it so many times before it starts to hurt.
Free Stuff Forthcoming
An unusual shift in EverQuest 2s content release has been to add new zones to the existing game at no cost. A great recent example was the addition of the Unrest instance which provided everyone with hours of entertainment. Yes I know, you could argue it shouldve been released with Echoes of Faydwer, but those extra months allowed enough polish to make an almost flawless adventuring experience.
The next update will add a new mount, and rumors of a new race and city could be coming soon. Deathfist Citadel was revamped, and more of The Swords of Destiny quest is added monthly as well. Is the content coming fast enough?
Many would say no. Theyve done Unrest, Castle Mistmoore, Crypt of Valdoon, and Obelisk of Blight dozens of times. They scoff at the Deathfist Citadel revamp (even though it was sorely needed), and groan at collecting 50 statues for the Swords of Destiny. What do you tell people who have 2 or 3 level 70 characters to do?
In this humble writers opinion, you tell them nothing. Its been 2.5 years since launch, and if youve stuck it out this long youve gotten your moneys worth. No, Im not saying you should quit nor am I saying SOE is releasing enough/too little/too much content. I just propose that if you examine how long ago you began playing, how much time have you dedicated to Norrath? How many quests have you completed, epic mobs killed, pieces of gear replaced?
We all are sitting on the edge of our seats awaiting news of an expansion. Its obvious SOE has changed how frequently they produce them, so when is the next one coming? Will it be annual now? Normally in May wed hear something from E3, but that has moved to July so there is no telling.
I guess our best bet is to sit tight in the boat and let the rowers keep on rowing, because they aren't showing any signs of slowing.
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