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I'm 26 and at the time I was like 18 when EverQuest 2 came out. I left school, had my first love and was discovering the world for the first time on my own. So this MMO really resonates with me more than any other. Sadly relationships end and you cannot play old games or view/listen to any sort of media without being reminded. Maybe I'm bitter but I always like to leave that stuff in the past, however that had no impact on why I don't like EverQuest 2 as I had major problems with it since the start.
What I really loved about the game was how immersive the starting point of the game was without ruining the feeling of an MMO like say AoC or any other modern MMO did. I loved out all the voice overs were done in game with dialogue options and not feeling the need to pull you in some stupid cutscene. It was so amazing and breath taking to see cities like Freeport and Qeynos done back then, this was even before WoW, though they probably hit beta at the same time. Every MMO before WoW was so different from the last, they were all so unique to each other that I loved them all for different reasons. I'm not blaming WoW for anything, I loved that game back in late 2004 and 2005 before Blizzard ruined it later on. However we lived in a time where every MMO was unique, developers weren't trying to appeal to the masses.
I loved the atmosphere EverQuest 2 brought and I loved the music, my god it was so amaing. It just drew me in because at the time Quests were not all that common in MMOs and EverQuest 2 had some unique quests, even more so than WoW for their day, I remember doing some really fun puzzles back then, it wasn't just killing 10 rats in EverQuest 2 like WoW was. However you couldn't level all the way through on quests in EverQuest 2 on your own, you had to group. In fact past like level 13 you had to group for pretty much everything and I loved it, I loved it in beta because there were always people on. You'd be sitting down in CL or Antonica with your group, resting for a few mins and chatting, it was so social. These are such small mechanics, that developers now seem to think are annoying and "streamline" them. However SWG had a lot of these small social mechanics that had a huge impact on the game and a negative impact when SOE kept removing them one by one each patch.
Sadly however after CL and Antonica the rest of the zones weren't good, it was like they rushed them to release in typical SOE fashion. The previous ones were so perfectly done from The IoR to the two cities and the quests in and around them to CL and Antonica and then suddenly it went to shit. Every single person I knew quit around level 20-30 when TS and Nek hit, though Nek wasn't too bad, TS was the most bland zone ever!
The major problem though was again in typical SOE fashion, they released far too early, people aren't as forgiving as they're when they don't have to pay for a beta. So what happened is everyone quit really fast and we were left with a beta sized population spread out over like 30 or 40 servers, it was crazy how many they had. What I don't get is why there were that many as in beta there was one server and they just kept on cloning zones over and over... why didn't they do this for the released? So we were left to play on empty servers which sucked and so more people quit including myself because it was no fun alone.
Sadly SOE never understond this and they decided to dumb the game down, make it easier for solo players, instead of bringing the community together. Now the game is basically WoW, everything I see in EQ2 just comes from WoW. People claim it doesn't and EQ2 is the original one or whatever....... don't insult EQ2, it used to be a much better game and a different one. All SOE have done is added in a load of generic kill 10 rats quests now which you can easily solo 5-10 mobs on your own, put quest markets over everyones heads and even the UI just mimics WoW now.
I so loved EQ2 back in the day, I had so many fond memories of the beta before SOE rushed it to launch and killed it. EQ2 was my first MMO love if you'd put it as cheesy as that and SOE just butchered it. They have a history of that........
I played EverQuest back in like 1999-2001, I was very young like 13 or whatever and it was my first MMO, I tried UO but I cannot count the little time I put into it as my first. I loved EverQuest and that was why I was so excited for EQ2, however SOE left me bitter with the expansions they seemed to churn out and ruin the game. PoP and Luclin is when I quit, they just took the game in some fast travel, instanced direction I hated.
I played Planetside and SWG and loved them both but again SOE ruined them, Planetside had CC and BFRs, then dropped support. SWG had stupid constant attention on fixing Jedi, JTLS which ruined travel and killed the social part of it, the CU and the NGE.
When I think about it SOE have made all my fave MMOs but WoW and EVE and they've ruined them all. Blizzard ruined WoW for me by turning it into some fast travel MMO, killing the world and now PVP only exists in battlegrounds. EVE I just got bored of, however CCP are the only company who can manage their MMO, they seem to understand what their game is all about and don't want to try and dumb it down for anyone, I respect that.
I'm just so bitter though over what happened to EQ2 and I'm bitter over why SOE never seems to learn, they're even driving Planetside 2 into the ground as I speak. I really cannot see Planetside 2 lasting the year, all my friends have quit and the servers where I have characters on are always low, there are never any big battles. Whenever I view the forums, the same problems of a non existant meta game, poor base design, boring weapons, no tutorial, poor UI etc etc. keep coming up!
SOE love to innovate in the genre, they love to make good MMOs, even the failed UO tried something new, sadly SOEs post release support sucked again. The weird thing about SOE is their pre release content is amazing, however after release the content seems to suffer, it suddenly feels like it was made by 10 year olds. It really feels as if SOE move all their developers but like 2 people on and they struggle to make content so they copy and paste a lot of art work in the game and try to pass it off as new content.
I'm still so bitter over what happened to EQ2, I'd love a classic server to experience how it was like in 2004 again. I was surprised going back to WoW Vanilla how much harder the starter areas were, you could actually die back then, where it is impossible in MMOs today when it comes to PVE. The IoR boat ride really made me think how this was the start of a new immersive MMO, then SOE did nothing with it, even removed it and we saw nothing of that quality in the rest of the game lol.
Bah I hate you SOE lol.
Edit: Though I have to say the most amazing moments were always listening to the in game music like IoR or Qeynos and just starting playing at 6pm, ignoring my G/Fs calls, pretending I was asleep and then playing right until 6am lol. I'd fall asleep, wake up around 4pm, have something to eat, wash and whatever and do it all over again. Just amazing grouping memories in that beta, I miss armour quests, I miss The Fallen gate and I miss all those voice overs and quests in the cities which seem to have gone in the current version. I know this was after launch but those FrogLok quests as well were amazing, they were puzzles and summed up the amazing depth of EQ2s quests compared to other MMOs... sadly SOE ruined it.
Edit: I'm also pissed off SOE dumbed down crafting in EQ2, it sucks now......