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I have a serious question. But first I was to stress that I don't necessarily believe "grinding" is fun, but it may seem so based on a what I write.
I was really trying to think about what I loved from EQ1 and EQ2 (unlike most I played both heavily and enjoyed both heavily). I loved camping certain mobs with my buds in EQ1 (Dervish camps, anyone?). I loved dungeoneering for the exp, the fun of the kill, the loot, the levels, the new spells and abilities. I loved raiding for the same reason. I loved named NPCs and the excitement of when they popped. I simply loved the adventure of the games, the clear roles, and progressing my character in power and fortune. I was never a HARDCORE raider, by any means, I still liked doing these things at my leisure.
So now EQN comes along. It has NO levels. No raids to speak of, no stats on gear, no vertical progression. Am I missing something here? I'm supposed to go out and explore to get all these classes and then progress these classes. Uh, what if I only care about a few classes, or want to even be a purist, and JUST play my Necromancer? What am I working for, exactly? Why do I enter a dungeon with my buddies to not gain experience, levels, or loot with stats? Is it PURELY cosmetic? Things will start to look cooler as I grow in tier? I feel like they removed some of the basic building blocks of a fantasy mmo, and I'm kinda lost.
I love the new AI, and I'm sure I will participate in some really cool dynamic event and rallying calls...... but then, after a while... for what? No exp, no levels, no loot with stats..? It seems after a very short time, I'm just gonna bugger out (not terribly too dissimilar to what happened with me and GW2).
The destructible thing is cool, but really.. I never saw myself so much of a miner or digger or caver in my fantasy mmo. I am constantly going down. Further and further down... for what? No exp, no levels, no loot with stats?