EQ2 isn't WoW. WoW isn't EQ2. Shut up and be happy.
May 24, 2007 15:27:12

Every so often this topic comes around and stirs people up. EverQuest 2 vs WoW. Usually the question asked is: why doesn't EQ2 have WoW's subscription numbers, because it is clearly better?

What arguments are given for EQ2 being better? There are two primary ones:

1. Looks prettier (Yes, but it is tough on machines.)
2. Deeper game play (Translates to longer level curve, more content, tougher quests, more classes and so on.)

Both fair assessments. The graphics are prettier, or at least more advanced. This is a matter of personal taste, but most would agree that EQ2's graphics are executed with a bit more grace and detail (read: skill) lending them an edge in the pixel wars. The deeper game play argument is also a matter of opinion. It depends on how long you plan to play one game and how much trouble you want to encounter on the way to 'the end'. Nevertheless, the MMO community at large can agree that these two points are largely true and favor EverQuest 2.

On the flip side arguments for WoW include playable performance an all PCs, WoW solos well, and the "My Friends Play WoW"-factor. Fair enough. For the record, I've invested over 400 hours in each of these titles and enjoyed them both, and yet, WoW receives its fair share of criticism from me, while EQ2 enjoys my near-constant praise - even when I'm not playing it. Here are the questions that need to be answered:

1. Why do I prefer EQ2?
2. Why is my preference ultimately a moot point?

I know exactly why I prefer EQ2. It is because I'm old enough to be considered old school when it comes to MMOs. (You can tell you're old enough if you remember the Ballad of the Starcrossed Miner.) Members of my generation of games (generations so narrow they must be sliced with laser beams) have a distinct preference for games requiring patience, careful study, and a structured approach. WoW has elements of the play styles I prefer, but EQ2 has more of that. Clearly, EQ, Ryzom, Vanguard and EVE Online have even more of the qualities I prefer, but those titles all lack the polish (argh) and/or excitement of EQ2. The majority of EQ2 fans probably feel the same as I do. The majority of EQ2 fans probably feel that EQ2 is a nice balance between the accessibility of WoW and the grind of the original EverQuest.

The majority of EQ2 fans seem upset that WoW is insanely more popular. Somehow, this relative lack of popularity causes them discomfort. It's an ego thing. People can't stand being in the minority because they know that given a room full of gamers they'd be defending their game from a weaker position. If this "room full of debating gamers" scenario became a reality, EQ2 players know that some WoW player would ultimately hurl the down the "8 million players" card and then the WoW players would laugh and laugh. Snort of 'noob' would be heard all around and the EQ2 squadron would simply stew quietly with no available retort.

Reminds you of high school doesn't it? Let me take a wild guess... you, dear reader, did not quarterback the football team in high school, right? And I'm guess you didn't get voted Home Coming Queen either, right? Track star? State wrestling champion? Nope? Okay, try this? Drama club? Peer helper? Ah ha! I see a math tutor or two out there. Do you see where I'm going here?

Why why why do you want your favorite game to be the most popular? If it was the most popular, you'd probably start to not like it anymore because all of us geeks/nerds/gamers/goths/outsiders/readers/thinkers/Cheeto-eaters/etc aren't particularly interested in things that the mainstream audience prefers. It isn't that we shun the popular, it is simply a matter of us wanting something a little more ... involved/artistic/elusive/difficult. I know why you think you want your MMO to be top-dog. It's because everyone wants to belong and have some bragging rights. It is understandable, but give this some thought, and consider if it really matters to you that the MMO you play isn't the most popular one. Does it hurt your experience? Does it make you sad on rainy days? I doubt it does. In fact, the reasons you enjoy it are inextricably tied to the reasons that it is 2nd fiddle, or 5th, or 35th.

So boot up your niche MMO (or not so niche in the case of EQ2), thumb your nose at the mob mentality and go have fun.

Submitted by Brent on May 24, 2007 15:27:12 CST (comments: 13)


Comments:


'Nice post' by Cameron
Submitted on 2007-05-24 16:24:43 CST
Haha. Hot topic today, eh?

I think it's interesting that you can totally tell what "MMO era" someone started playing in just by listening to them talk about what they like or don't like about given games.



'My obligatory EQ2 comment... ' by sifo
Submitted on 2007-05-24 17:09:02 CST
I always have to comment when it comes to an EQ2 article. I feel WoW somehow worked up a perfect storm of hype that continues today. I read several PC gaming magazines monthly and am utterly amazed at the continuous amount of coverage that WoW gets. You'd be hard pressed to find an EQ2 article in any magazine except around the time when an expansion is due out. WoW has an article or at least a mention in every issue every month it seems. I think the gaming press is blind to the goodness of many other MMOs due to the beast that is WoW. Before WoW, EQ2's subscription numbers probably would have been considered a great success. Now every new MMO is doomed to be unfairly compared to WoW. Lastly, in one magazine, I saw Vanguard rated as "better than EQ2, worse than WoW." I am sure there are some people out there who truly believe that but I think I could count them on one hand. Great article!


'In Summary "High School Never Ends"' by DarkenedKnight
Submitted on 2007-05-24 17:14:44 CST
As someone who lived and breathed EQ2 since launch and has recently switched to WoW I would have to totally agree with Brent on this post. I'm sure my school was the same as many others (at least I think so.. been awhile). There was always one sport that was the most popular and if you couldn't play that one.... well you could join one of the others but really you were just considered sub-par after that.

Public opinion is very important to many people, young or old. SOE looks to of realized this lately if the recent PR spin is any indication.



'The power of the many' by fl1pper
Submitted on 2007-05-24 20:25:30 CST
I've played WoW for 2 years. In a phase when I was bored I tried EQ2. In my opinion EQ2 is a vastly superior game (don't get me started on how good crafting is) but I still went back to WoW. Why? Because my guild is great, my friends and work colleagues play WoW and I couldn't convince them to switch.

The "my friends play WoW factor" that you mention is key to why EQ2 is not as successful as it should be in my opinion.



'It's not a guild thing imho...' by scytale2
Submitted on 2007-05-25 04:14:46 CST
...there's a lot more to it than that.
I had a great guild in EQ2 and WoW and always plenty of people to play alongside. Here are the reasons that, for me, are a problem in EQ2:

1. Performance issues. I suspect most MMO commentators don't get this, because they have superior PCs. I have an average PC and I get a lot of lag on EQ2 and the lowest settings look really bad. Most WoW players have worse PCs than I do.

2. Lack of realism. EQ2 looks nice (when you crank up the graphics) so this isn't it. However, the encounter lock and the wealth of group mobs all add to the lack of realism/immersion that the game has. Somehow it feels more like a game than a world.

3. Inferior combat. Imho this is a big one for EQ2. Combat skills are dreary. Even heroics don't add any real spice. Let's take an example. In WoW you sheep, in EQ2 you root with chains. Sheep graphic is far better and more fun. In EQ2, there are probably 10 skills which all do this chains thing, for various lengths of time or with a small DOT; this causes a lack of differentiation between skills. There are just hundreds of skills, with similar graphics and do similar things. The other reason, of course, is that with the performance issues on most systems, bringing skill to combat is difficult and I believe even the skill system chosen is geared around being playable (but not fun) on slow systems.

Anyway, that's about it. Content and crafting is better, but good content doesn't make up for inferior gameplay. Even LOTRO's combat is more intuitive than EQ2. Problem is that EQ2 have got themselves stuck in a rut with this system. They can't change it because so many people have invested hours in Master level versions of their skills. An NGE, whilst best for the game, will cheese off too many players. They must know they have this gameplay issue and this is the reason they areflooding the market with expansions to solve it and new sexy player races are ideal to keep the players coming back for more too. I think EQ2 are on a precipice unless they change this combat system to something which is simply more fun.



'I agree with scytale2' by Nezrak
Submitted on 2007-05-30 12:35:25 CST
The coolness concentration in WoW makes a difference.

It would be too hard to have both the variety and the coolness. I think EQ2 offers the variety a bit more than WoW. You might feel more unique in EQ2 tho.

A lot of wow players don't want to be unique, they want to be the most powerfull possible. Most people are power gamers, and only a few likes to be different and inferior. Different and unique call the RP-IC gamers in ourself, and the Power gamer call the "OOC gear and perfection" kinda of chat, that you find a lot in most WoW Servers.

-> Most WoW players like the WoW community



'Cheeto-eaters' by CowNoseThe50PoundCat
Submitted on 2007-05-30 13:37:08 CST
Lol that made me remember my high school days.

See at my high school there where these mexican gangsters who would be eating hot cheetos most of the time. (At least one of them always had a bag, often more then that)

Well on my bus the black gangsters would always make fun of, "those cheetos"



'Great Article ' by Broomie
Submitted on 2007-06-01 12:57:32 CST
I played EQ2 for two years (since Launch) and then after several job promotions and lack of time switched to WOW. I am eating crow now (I used to be a WOW hater!) as I simply like the combat/encounters/gear/talent system in WOW far better. I sure as heck miss my lovely WFP six room apartment and all that rare furniture I had made for it :( But I Digress. I think another reason some people want their game to be the most popular is the fact that popular games bring in more players. And with that, better chances at groups for alts and guild recruitment. In the case of EQ2 I remember guilds going without certain classes for months due to the fact there simply were not enough players of that class out there.


'People need to forget about how big WoW is' by Earley
Submitted on 2007-06-01 13:21:36 CST
Constantly comparing your game to WoW is a big problem these days for developers. It ignores the reality of modern MMO gaming - that WoW has proven that graphics have a lot less to do with it than you might think -- make your game accessable and easy to learn, provide plenty of social opportunities, and do your best to make the lore interesting, and people will come.

I would add that we need to develop technologies that allow people not only to dye their own armor and the like, but to allow players to CRAFT THEIR OWN ITEMS or adventures. Anyone but me remember MUDs? Ryzom or SWG episode 6 anyone? This, and integrating these MMOs into our phones is the future.



'EQ2 is WOW without the Salt' by Saylah
Submitted on 2007-06-05 20:08:39 CST
I've always liked EQ2 but never play for more than a couple of months a year. So much of what I want in an online experience is in EQ2, yet it's missing something really essential. There's an element of excitment, verve and well, salt missing from EQ2. Personally, I'd love to see EQ2 brimming with half the players of WOW. Like good people, it's hard to see something good not rewarded in whatever the current fashion is, which at the moment are subscribers.

As much as the game itself is important, unfortunately so is the population to me. I dont want to wander empty landscapes or take hours to find people to complete required group quests. I also enjoy crafting and a small or stagnant population won't have the economy to support a crafting whore.

So my personal preference for playing a more popular game is not so much to be with the "in crowd", as it is to have the numbers to needed to support the content, economy and socialization aspects of the game. I'd take a okay game with a large population over a great game with too few players. because the lack of population will at some point hinder my game play.

@Earley - as much as I'd love to see such a feature, i think the masses have spoken. Crafting, Guild Halls and Housing have already existed in older games and their lack of presence in the newer games is telling. I don't think the masses are looking for the same level of immersion that some of us are, and no one is looking to build to the niche RP/immersion crowd at the moment. Especially not when they have visions of 8M subscribers in their heads. :-(



'My Opinion' by roblinb
Submitted on 2007-09-06 05:35:46 CST
I played EQ2 for almost 3 years, and WoW for about 1 year so maybe I can chime in with some good and bad points for each game. I'll go with 3 good and 3 bad points that I feel are strengths/weaknesses for each.

WoW

STRENGTHS -

1) Gameplay. World Of Warcraft is incredibly easy to pick up and learn with no prior MMO experience. Every class has intelligent skill progression, and no class is incredibly overpowered. Some may be more popular because they're a little easier to solo with but generally speaking no class "sucks" for even the most casual player. WoW doesn't make learning to play a class difficult, as long as you can read and realize that every two levels you should upgrade skills, which is a major strong point of this game.
2) Longevity. WoW is popular because there's a TON of stuff to do. Loads of instances, raid areas, and solo zones galore. It's player-friendly and just plain fun. It's not hard to get groups on any server because of the massive player base. Burning Crusade (the expansion) really invigorated the game, and there's a lot of happy campers.
3) Support. Blizzard seems to actually care about its customers. The same cannot be said for Sony Online. Blizzard realizes that customer care is a big part of keeping their paying customers around.

WEAKNESSES -

1) Silly community, especially on the Alliance side. Compared to EQ2, the community in WoW is extremely immature. I am not the first person to say this, either.
2) Lack of challenge. Instances are easy with a semi-competent group, and really only the raid zones are moderately difficult. As a result, player skill drops because of the rapid advancement and super easy solo quests. People were level 70 within days of the Burning Crusade expansion... and it was more than just a few players. Also, almost any class in WoW can solo an elite mob with little fear of getting killed as long as you have decent gear. Granted, the ease of play is refreshing, but to some (me) it's just a little to easy.
3) Heart? WoW just seems to be missing something that EQ2 has. I'm calling it heart, because it's cartoony and fun but there's no real sense of underlying struggle between good and evil. It all appears to be status quo and one time when I played 5-6 evenings per week for about 3 months I don't remember a single world event.

EQ2

STRENGTHS -

1) Deep, immersive story. EQ2 has the good old "Heritage Quests" for good items that are mini epic stories in themselves. The world is very alive and very much wanting to tell you about all kinds of neat and interesting things.
2) Beautiful environments. I don't think any current MMO can match EQ2 for slick graphics and pretty effects. These don't bode well for raids, but for doing solo quests it's a pretty world to run around in.
3) Solid guilds that are truly close. I was only in one guild in WoW, so I can't comment on guilds in that game... but in EQ2 most of these people have been in the same guild for years and as a result grow close and truly enjoy each others company. I haven't played EQ2 in over 6 months now, and I actually miss my guild. We had that much fun.

WEAKNESSES -

1) Nerfing. Sony ruins classes with their horrible nerfs. For example, the Kindom Of Sky ranger nerf. Coincidentally my main was a level 60 ranger. I could barely beat same-level mobs after the nerf. Yes, rangers were overpowered before the nerf, but Sony is known to rip classes down without any consideration for the players.
2) Drops. Drops are horrible in EQ2, you can go an entire instance with only a handful of chest drops and you probably won't get anything for your class. Raids are a bit better, but you can beat a X4 group mob and it might not drop anything. Yeah.
3) Small population. It's hard to get groups, especially pickup ones if your guildies aren't on. It's not as bad on the PvP or RP servers, but it's still nowhere near as easy as it is in WoW.

So which game is better? Arguably EQ2, but WoW is more fun and enjoyable for most casual gamers.



'My Opinion' by roblinb
Submitted on 2007-09-06 05:40:46 CST
I played EQ2 for almost 3 years, and WoW for about 1 year so maybe I can chime in with some good and bad points for each game. I'll go with 3 good and 3 bad points that I feel are strengths/weaknesses for each.

WoW

STRENGTHS -

1) Gameplay. World Of Warcraft is incredibly easy to pick up and learn with no prior MMO experience. Every class has intelligent skill progression, and no class is incredibly overpowered. Some may be more popular because they're a little easier to solo with but generally speaking no class "sucks" for even the most casual player. WoW doesn't make learning to play a class difficult, as long as you can read and realize that every two levels you should upgrade skills, which is a major strong point of this game.
2) Longevity. WoW is popular because there's a TON of stuff to do. Loads of instances, raid areas, and solo zones galore. It's player-friendly and just plain fun. It's not hard to get groups on any server because of the massive player base. Burning Crusade (the expansion) really invigorated the game, and there's a lot of happy campers.
3) Support. Blizzard seems to actually care about its customers. The same cannot be said for Sony Online. Blizzard realizes that customer care is a big part of keeping their paying customers around.

WEAKNESSES -

1) Silly community, especially on the Alliance side. Compared to EQ2, the community in WoW is extremely immature. I am not the first person to say this, either.
2) Lack of challenge. Instances are easy with a semi-competent group, and really only the raid zones are moderately difficult. As a result, player skill drops because of the rapid advancement and super easy solo quests. People were level 70 within days of the Burning Crusade expansion... and it was more than just a few players. Also, almost any class in WoW can solo an elite mob with little fear of getting killed as long as you have decent gear. Granted, the ease of play is refreshing, but to some (me) it's just a little to easy.
3) Heart? WoW just seems to be missing something that EQ2 has. I'm calling it heart, because it's cartoony and fun but there's no real sense of underlying struggle between good and evil. It all appears to be status quo and one time when I played 5-6 evenings per week for about 3 months I don't remember a single world event.

EQ2

STRENGTHS -

1) Deep, immersive story. EQ2 has the good old "Heritage Quests" for good items that are mini epic stories in themselves. The world is very alive and very much wanting to tell you about all kinds of neat and interesting things.
2) Beautiful environments. I don't think any current MMO can match EQ2 for slick graphics and pretty effects. These don't bode well for raids, but for doing solo quests it's a pretty world to run around in.
3) Solid guilds that are truly close. I was only in one guild in WoW, so I can't comment on guilds in that game... but in EQ2 most of these people have been in the same guild for years and as a result grow close and truly enjoy each others company. I haven't played EQ2 in over 6 months now, and I actually miss my guild. We had that much fun.

WEAKNESSES -

1) Nerfing. Sony ruins classes with their horrible nerfs. For example, the Kindom Of Sky ranger nerf. Coincidentally my main was a level 60 ranger. I could barely beat same-level mobs after the nerf. Yes, rangers were overpowered before the nerf, but Sony is known to rip classes down without any consideration for the players.
2) Drops. Drops are horrible in EQ2, you can go an entire instance with only a handful of chest drops and you probably won't get anything for your class. Raids are a bit better, but you can beat a X4 group mob and it might not drop anything. Yeah.
3) Small population. It's hard to get groups, especially pickup ones if your guildies aren't on. It's not as bad on the PvP or RP servers, but it's still nowhere near as easy as it is in WoW.

So which game is better? Arguably EQ2, but WoW is more fun and enjoyable for most casual gamers.



'My Opinion' by roblinb
Submitted on 2007-09-06 05:46:44 CST
I played EQ2 for almost 3 years, and WoW for about 1 year so maybe I can chime in with some good and bad points for each game. I'll go with 3 good and 3 bad points that I feel are strengths/weaknesses for each.

WoW

STRENGTHS -

1) Gameplay. World Of Warcraft is incredibly easy to pick up and learn with no prior MMO experience. Every class has intelligent skill progression, and no class is incredibly overpowered. Some may be more popular because they're a little easier to solo with but generally speaking no class "sucks" for even the most casual player. WoW doesn't make learning to play a class difficult, as long as you can read and realize that every two levels you should upgrade skills, which is a major strong point of this game.
2) Longevity. WoW is popular because there's a TON of stuff to do. Loads of instances, raid areas, and solo zones galore. It's player-friendly and just plain fun. It's not hard to get groups on any server because of the massive player base. Burning Crusade (the expansion) really invigorated the game, and there's a lot of happy campers.
3) Support. Blizzard seems to actually care about its customers. The same cannot be said for Sony Online. Blizzard realizes that customer care is a big part of keeping their paying customers around.

WEAKNESSES -

1) Silly community, especially on the Alliance side. Compared to EQ2, the community in WoW is extremely immature. I am not the first person to say this, either.
2) Lack of challenge. Instances are easy with a semi-competent group, and really only the raid zones are moderately difficult. As a result, player skill drops because of the rapid advancement and super easy solo quests. People were level 70 within days of the Burning Crusade expansion... and it was more than just a few players. Also, almost any class in WoW can solo an elite mob with little fear of getting killed as long as you have decent gear. Granted, the ease of play is refreshing, but to some (me) it's just a little to easy.
3) Heart? WoW just seems to be missing something that EQ2 has. I'm calling it heart, because it's cartoony and fun but there's no real sense of underlying struggle between good and evil. It all appears to be status quo and one time when I played 5-6 evenings per week for about 3 months I don't remember a single world event.

EQ2

STRENGTHS -

1) Deep, immersive story. EQ2 has the good old "Heritage Quests" for good items that are mini epic stories in themselves. The world is very alive and very much wanting to tell you about all kinds of neat and interesting things.
2) Beautiful environments. I don't think any current MMO can match EQ2 for slick graphics and pretty effects. These don't bode well for raids, but for doing solo quests it's a pretty world to run around in.
3) Solid guilds that are truly close. I was only in one guild in WoW, so I can't comment on guilds in that game... but in EQ2 most of these people have been in the same guild for years and as a result grow close and truly enjoy each others company. I haven't played EQ2 in over 6 months now, and I actually miss my guild. We had that much fun.

WEAKNESSES -

1) Nerfing. Sony ruins classes with their horrible nerfs. For example, the Kindom Of Sky ranger nerf. Coincidentally my main was a level 60 ranger. I could barely beat same-level mobs after the nerf. Yes, rangers were overpowered before the nerf, but Sony is known to rip classes down without any consideration for the players.
2) Drops. Drops are horrible in EQ2, you can go an entire instance with only a handful of chest drops and you probably won't get anything for your class. Raids are a bit better, but you can beat a X4 group mob and it might not drop anything. Yeah.
3) Small population. It's hard to get groups, especially pickup ones if your guildies aren't on. It's not as bad on the PvP or RP servers, but it's still nowhere near as easy as it is in WoW.

So which game is better? Arguably EQ2, but WoW is more fun and enjoyable for most casual gamers.




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