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Lessons from EverQuest that new Devs should take to heart

ketzerei84ketzerei84 Boston, MAPosts: 67Member Uncommon

I'm currently (re?)playing EQ1 on the Fippy Darkpaw progression server, which is reminding me of how things in the "current" era were back on live EQ. Fippy is at the point I like to call "The Era of Marginal Upgrades". This was a point, back in oh 2005-2008 where EQ1 regained a lot of its former subs and even gained some new ones, so what precisely is it that EQ DID in this era?

There were 3 expansions in a row with no level cap raise. Everyone was 70 for these expansions. The four expansions prior to it were both level 65. It should be noted that alternate advancements(which are most akin to planar attunment in RIFT these days) WERE added with most, but not all, of these expansions, and so were new spells for every class. So in order these expansions were:

Lost Dungeons of Norrath (LdoN) - 65 - No real end raid, just several, this was the introduction of instancing to EQ1.

Planes of Power (PoP) - 65 - End Raid: PoTime (Time)

(Note) Legacy of Ykesha (LoY) was released somewhere in here, I think after PoP and also was level cap 65, however it wasn't much in the way of a raid or group expansion, more of a storyline release allowing a new player race and adding in some low level armor quests for new players.

Gates of Discord (GoD) - 65 - End Raid: Tacvi

Omens of War (OoW) - 70 - End Raid: Citidal of Anguish (CoA)

Depths of Darkhollow (DoDH) - 70 - End Raid: Demiplane of Blood (DP)

Prophecy of Ro (PoR) - 70 - End Raid: Deathknell (DK)

So during this period Group gear lagged slightly behind raid gear, a good group geared player could enter into raids and function as a valuable member of the raid. A player in Time gear could tank/dps/heal Tacvi, a player in Tacvi gear could tank/dps/heal CoA, etc. Progressional raid content, such as the MPG Trials required to access CoA, had gear equivalent to the last expansion's end raid. So MPG trials dropped Tacvi level loot. Blood raids, required for demiplane access, dropped CoA level loot.

Not only that but instanced group gear was equivalent to raid gear from 2 expansions before, giving casual players a solid upgrade path in order to prepare for raids. DoDH group gear from hard missions, for example, rewarded Tacvi level loot(or close to Tacvi level)

There wasn't a huge power gap between these expansions! Tacvi loot was 275 health/mana/endurance with secondary stats and mods like attack and accuracy. CoA loot had upgraded secondary stats and mod2s and 300 h/m/e. DP loot was 330 h/m/e with upgraded secondary stats and mods.

One of the biggest gripes that WoW players have had over the years is that the second a new expansion launches their raid gear is crap, replacing end-game raid gear with quested greens from the first zone of a new expansion is demoralizing, and creates a massive power gap that turns returning players away. On the other hand, the minor power gap between expansions during this era in EQ1 made it one of the most popular raiding eras and encouraged old players to return and new players to join in. Just how popular can be seen by the fact that Fippy Darkpaw is the highest population EQ1 server, and has been reported to have a higher population than any EQ2 server.

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Comments

  • ArclanArclan Chicago, ILPosts: 1,494Member Uncommon

    One reason WoW has maintained much higher sub levels than EQ, is the time between expansions, I think. Each expansion alienates a portion of players who perhaps feel they aren't 'keeping up.' With EQ this happened every six months. In WoW this happened every twenty-four months.


    EQ literally alienated 99% of its players. Smart move there SOE.

    Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
    In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
    Originally posted by adrikthorsen

    Just how popular can be seen by the fact that Fippy Darkpaw is the highest population EQ1 server, and has been reported to have a higher population than any EQ2 server.

    im not saying you are wrong

    but ive never seen SOE make any commentary about EQ populations vs EQ2 populations

     

    2 years ago

    SOE did say Freeport was the most popular server between both games  (march 28 2011)

    http://eq2wire.com/2011/03/28/splitpaw-unrest-top-new-hardware-reqs-freeport-eq2x-now-largest-server/

    but that was before both EQ1/EQ2 both went ftp

     

    Fippy launched 02/15/2011

  • Darkarai79Darkarai79 Jacksonville, FLPosts: 39Member
    i have played WoW and EQ1/2, have raided and done so much grouping. i do prefer EQ1 and 2 over WoW only because the people in wow seem to have a mind of if your not hardcore GTFO lol so that ruined it for me. eq1 and 2 ive never had an issue with.02 cents. expenasion wise. i think eq1 has done a splendid job up to PoP. after that nope not at all. in EQ2 when bought the new Velious expansion pack, i was stoked i just finished the last Xpac and then all of a sudden i had trouble fighting trash mobs until i got a piece of gear fro ma random quest ? thats where eq2 kinda sucked. EQ1 is getting that way too i hear. 
  • xalisxalis Las Vegas, NVPosts: 15Member

    That was one of the many things i liked about EQ1 is that gear didn't have a huge jump in power between expansion atleast not as much as most games now. Take WoW as a example which is now on it's 4th expansion when i started raiding MC i had around 6k HP now raiding in MoP i now have 700k HP popping cooldowns i can hit 1.1 Mil HP. 

  • sirphobossirphobos Ames, IAPosts: 614Member Common

    Everquest didn't always raise the level cap, but at the same time, they were on a six month expansion cycle for several years, and even in non level cap expansions, you had countless new AAs to get.

    I will agree with the person about the smaller power jumps between expansions though.  I miss the days of new content not immediately trivializing all old content.

  • isslingissling San Francisco, CAPosts: 157Member Uncommon

    And go back to having many diffrent types of class's. And npc class guild halls so you can have an instant connection to your class with class quests if need be. Nothing like having to sneak down to the sewers where they put your class hall because you wanted to be a necro with a good race and the rest of the city can't stand you because of it.

    Real factions and so on and so on and so on.

  • kjempffkjempff AarhusPosts: 883Member Uncommon

    Going through all wow expansions, it was so painful to see the first (exxagerated) green item in a new expansion would replace your hard earned raid gear.

    In eq some gear would last years, some gear would be replaced by raid gear eventually, but almost never would an expansion outdate all your gear right away. Often you would do hard quests or farms in zones that were several expansions behind, as max level and not only while levelling.

    In eq gear meant something because it was hard to come by and its value lasted considerable time, and thereby the experiences you had while obtaining it also meant something.

    If you are a game dev now, you probably spend your time beeing serious, and not loose you life with eq as is needed to understand these things and "take to heart" haha haha.. why are no one laughing ? /cough.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,752Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Arclan

    One reason WoW has maintained much higher sub levels than EQ, is the time between expansions, I think. Each expansion alienates a portion of players who perhaps feel they aren't 'keeping up.' With EQ this happened every six months. In WoW this happened every twenty-four months.


    EQ literally alienated 99% of its players. Smart move there SOE.

     SOE always gave the impression back then that they were in it for a money grab....Several of the expansions felt like nothing mroe than a big patch that SOE was charging their customers 30 bucks a pop for......My final straw was OoW where the game started to feel like it was really getting out of hand as to what I liked......I was so burned out on the p2p model after this that I only did it a couple more times (in iother MMOs) and then never again after that......

  • ChakaCanChakaCan San Antonio, TXPosts: 22Member
    Originally posted by kjempff

    Going through all wow expansions, it was so painful to see the first (exxagerated) green item in a new expansion would replace your hard earned raid gear.

    In eq some gear would last years, some gear would be replaced by raid gear eventually, but almost never would an expansion outdate all your gear right away. Often you would do hard quests or farms in zones that were several expansions behind, as max level and not only while levelling.

    In eq gear meant something because it was hard to come by and its value lasted considerable time, and thereby the experiences you had while obtaining it also meant something.

    If you are a game dev now, you probably spend your time beeing serious, and not loose you life with eq as is needed to understand these things and "take to heart" haha haha.. why are no one laughing ? /cough.

    I still remember the names of  pieces of armor and how I got them - And they lasted for years on my character.

  • jmcdermottukjmcdermottuk LiverpoolPosts: 976Member Uncommon

    This 6 month thing for expansions. EQ is 14 years old and there have been 19 expansions, not 28, so clearly they were further apart than 6 months. My recollection is that they were closer to 9-10 months apart, which gave you time to clear content and didn't have you sitting around for over 12 months doing the same stuff over and over like WoW does.

    And as other have said, the level of gear was a lot closer so you didn't feel like you wasted all that time getting your upgrades only to have them trivialised as soon as an expansion came out.

    I think the OP is spot on.

  • William12William12 Saint paul, MNPosts: 680Member
    GOD was suppose to be a 5 level increase but was rushed so the level increase was scrapped there are several quotes from devs talking about it and that is why the expansion was EXTREMELY hard they removed the levels but never retuned the content.
  • William12William12 Saint paul, MNPosts: 680Member
    Originally posted by jmcdermottuk

    This 6 month thing for expansions. EQ is 14 years old and there have been 19 expansions, not 28, so clearly they were further apart than 6 months. My recollection is that they were closer to 9-10 months apart, which gave you time to clear content and didn't have you sitting around for over 12 months doing the same stuff over and over like WoW does.

    And as other have said, the level of gear was a lot closer so you didn't feel like you wasted all that time getting your upgrades only to have them trivialised as soon as an expansion came out.

    I think the OP is spot on.

    Everquest was a 6 month expansion release schedule up until TBS.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EverQuest#Expansions

    As you can see sometimes it was only 3-4 months before a new expansion, BUT if you played you know that the 2nd expansion was always smaller and was not the level increase expansion it was almost always a continued storyline with new raids/zones/spells.

     

    Level increase expansions post GOD were

    OOW, DOD, TSS,  SOF, SOD, HOT, VOA, ROF (note UF was on the yearly cycle but was not given a level increase and it proved to be a huge mistake).

     

    With that said if you went to or watched SOE Live last year in vegas they said ROF is the last EQ expansion that will be released in this way future content will be released as content patches there will not be anymore "Expansions" as we know them now but new content added more often but in smaller doses.

  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Talahasee, FLPosts: 2,556Member
    Originally posted by Arclan

    One reason WoW has maintained much higher sub levels than EQ, is the time between expansions, I think.

    Also the fact that it has waaaaaaaay larger advertisement budget, is a thousand times easier, and a few other things.

    The lesson we can learn is that tierred raiding is a horrible idea, as is instancing.

  • Trudge34Trudge34 Stevens Point, WIPosts: 392Member Uncommon
    I thought maybe the lesson to be learned there is that if you give the players a world, they'll make a game out of it. There's been plenty of discussion about it on other threads, but there were many things the players implemented that the devs did not see coming when they released the game.

    Played: EQ1 (10 Years), Guild Wars, Rift, TERA
    Tried: EQ2, Vanguard, Lord of the Rings Online, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Runes of Magic and countless others...
    Currently Playing: GW2

    Nytlok Sylas
    80 Sylvari Ranger

  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIPosts: 2,607Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by adrikthorsen

    One of the biggest gripes that WoW players have had over the years is that the second a new expansion launches their raid gear is crap, replacing end-game raid gear with quested greens from the first zone of a new expansion is demoralizing

    Yeah, that hasnt happened since TBC, and it was MC gear being replaced by first zone greens. But, well, who needs facts? Facts dont exist on the internet anyway.


    Also, Blizzard made expansions reset gear progression because of EQ1.


    Blizzard saw that requiring players to do raids from previous expansions to be viable in the current expansion was stupid. It made bringing new players up to the current raid very hard and time consuming.

    So, why would a new max level player go through weeks or months of old content so he can be allowed to do the new content which he spent $30 on?


    So what if a vocal minority complain about losing their position of power and their "hard earned" epics.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by DavisFlight
    Originally posted by Arclan

    One reason WoW has maintained much higher sub levels than EQ, is the time between expansions, I think.

    Also the fact that it has waaaaaaaay larger advertisement budget, is a thousand times easier, and a few other things.

    The lesson we can learn is that tierred raiding is a horrible idea, as is instancing.

    And the fact that it does not have horrible camping. it is actually polish and fun, and not requires the dedication of a full time job.

    The lesson we learn is that instancing is great .. and hence many games are using it.

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
    Originally posted by William12

    if you went to or watched SOE Live last year in vegas they said ROF is the last EQ expansion that will be released in this way future content will be released as content patches there will not be anymore "Expansions" as we know them now but new content added more often but in smaller doses.

    i dont recall them announcing that  and SOE recently gave an interview to this site 2 months ago

    EverQuest Interviews: 19 Expansions Strong

    there was no mention of ROF being the last expansion

  • ArclanArclan Chicago, ILPosts: 1,494Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by DavisFlight Originally posted by Arclan One reason WoW has maintained much higher sub levels than EQ, is the time between expansions, I think.
    Also the fact that it has waaaaaaaay larger advertisement budget, is a thousand times easier, and a few other things. The lesson we can learn is that tierred raiding is a horrible idea, as is instancing.
    And the fact that it does not have horrible camping. it is actually polish and fun, and not requires the dedication of a full time job.

    The lesson we learn is that instancing is great .. and hence many games are using it.


    Not to derail the thread, but we can all agree that WoW got it right. If game companies get their heads out of their asses and analyze precisely what factors drive WoW's success, they might be able to compete.

    Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
    In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit

  • Raithe-NorRaithe-Nor Moscow, IDPosts: 315Member
    Originally posted by Arclan

    Not to derail the thread, but we can all agree that WoW got it right. If game companies get their heads out of their asses and analyze precisely what factors drive WoW's success, they might be able to compete.

    Competing might be a little tough when the primary factors are:

    1) Being released in 2004 with graphics that are marginally good in 2013.

    2) Following on the heels of multi-million-sale products named Warcraft, Warcraft II, Starcraft, and Diablo I/II

    3) Being used as a social networking site for geekier rural/suburban teens before Facebook developed its gaming avenues.

    Everything that mmorpg.com forum participants pick out about the successes of former eras is completely wrong.  Take this thread as an example.  Releasing expansions/patches without endgame progression has KILLED several different MMOs which I could name if I thought it was relevant.  Having character progression be endless is a staple of nearly EVERY roleplaying game that has EVER existed.  Many of those are stellar successes.

    This thread is just a casual powergamer's lament that he doesn't have enough time to compete with the truly lifeless, yet feels out-of-place in the "just here to have fun" community.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Raithe-Nor

    2) Following on the heels of multi-million-sale products named Warcraft, Warcraft II, Starcraft, and Diablo I/II

    So you think titan will have this condition for success?

    It certainly will following the heels of multi-milion-sales produces named Diablo 3, Starcraft 2 WoL and Starcraft 2 HotS.

  • DewmDewm Soldotna, AKPosts: 1,341Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Raithe-Nor

    2) Following on the heels of multi-million-sale products named Warcraft, Warcraft II, Starcraft, and Diablo I/II

    So you think titan will have this condition for success?

    It certainly will following the heels of multi-milion-sales produces named Diablo 3, Starcraft 2 WoL and Starcraft 2 HotS.

     

    I think that Titan will be a huge success.

     

    even if 50% of the current WoW players decide to try this new mmo, they'll still have 4-6million subs right off the bat. Not to mention other people trying it who didn't care for WoW (myself included) another 500k. Plus the chinese gold sellers another million..

     

    So yeah, I would honestly be supprised if Titan didn't have 5-8million subs on launch day.

    Please check out my channel. I do gaming reviews, gaming related reviews & lets plays. Thanks!

  • XthosXthos Columbus, OHPosts: 2,628Member

    I hope EQN will get away from more instancing, and back to some more open world dungeons and such, I would be fine with even a 50/50 mix, just getting tired of all the instancing in mmos, making them more lobby based games than mmos....Some people love it, but if EQN is supposed to be more sandbox, I think this is a logical thing, to get away from making it over instanced.  I would be fine with them having AAs at launch even, and much slower leveling than their is currently...No need to have hell levels again (2x xp to get through), but I wouldn't cry if they did, but it would probably be more limiting than they want to be.

     

    It will not be long, in mmo terms, 3.5 months and we will be seeing something.

     

  • RydesonRydeson Canton, OHPosts: 3,858Member Uncommon

         As much as I understand where the OP is coming from, for me PoP expansion was the beginning of the end.. I do not believe in instant travel and thought the whole book thing was silly..  In addition there were too many changes coming down the pipe that were basically nerfing, or homogenizing the classes.. Too many whiners wanted to do everything from healing, kiting and CC'ing all in one class.. SOE caved in and the there went the game..  I further believe that instancing caused more harm, then good to the playing community.. Toss in the tier progression, and you created drama within guilds and friends because the game started to trun from being "inclusive" to "exclusivef"..  Sorry, you are not unlocked to play this zone.. good bye..

         I'm a huge EQ fan, but but and more buts.. the SoL expansion was the last best thing I saw before I pressed the cancel button on subscriptions.. Could EQ make a come back?  Sure if they have the desire to do so, but I don't see SOE putting a dime in this game, especially if EQ Next is coming soon..

  • Monamia222Monamia222 pineville, LAPosts: 53Member
    But the drama and the exclusivity made for a reason to strive to get better.  A person had things to work toward and it was hard to advance.  Content lasted a lot longer then.  One thing I miss now is the way the vendors were.  When a person sold something it showed up in the vendors inventory for sale.   Also, crafting had value before the expansion that released potion vendors.

    image
  • ShakyMoShakyMo BradfordPosts: 7,207Member
    I like EQ pve compared to this post wow, everyone sat in cities queueing to go guild only instances setup the endgame.

    But I prefer daoc and ac pve more as its a tad less elitist and way less hamster wheel with the gear progression. Also crafted gear didn't become obsolete in those two games.

    I think if the EQ expansions had been more horizontal and less vertical like the daoc expansions I would have enjoyed EQ more.

    I like AA though. A good themepark mmo should have both EQs aa system for pve AND daocs RR or planetsides cert system for pvp.
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