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....but it's really not. There are just SOME things from old EQ1 I wish were back in modern MMORPG's. Notice I capped the word some, not everything.
This will sound dorky, and it is, but I loved to get lost in the EQ world. Not "OMG, where the hell am I?!?" lost, but saturated in it, become another person/character in another world, and EQ1 did that for me unlike any MMORPG I've played since then. It was alive, and it allowed me to escape the drudges of RL and imagine, just as tabletop games did (Personally played D&D and Rifts).
Personally, I didn't RP much in EQ1...I did a bit, but not as much as many others did. But I LOVED that others did, and it didn't bother me at all...it actually immersed me even more in the environment.
What set it apart from almost all MMORPG's today, or at least the ones I've tried, which is A LOT of them is...
*(I'll address each colored section in regards to modern MMORPG's at the end of the EQ1 love blathering)*
- The huge open world ( I say open, although most of us know it was zoned...but still vast open expanses within those zones). A lot of zones had large level ranges, adding to the danger and excitement. I recall many times traveling and running into red mobs well above my level range...in the middle of zones meant for my level range.
- Quests/Epic Quests. The quests...most of the time, gave little detail. It made you have to find the location. Epic quests were just that...EPIC! You needed a good Guild, or group of friends to do parts of it to get a step closer to receiving your Epic Weapons for your specific class, which, took you all over the world.
- The danger. And there was plenty of it, despite what some may say. Get through Kithicor forest at night in one piece, Highhold Pass, Paludal Caverns, Crystal Caverns, Desert of Ro, and MANY other places in EQ1 then tell me there is no danger. Hell! Corpse runs!
Sure, they could suck at times...but if you knew the areas and were in trouble, you knew where you could go to die (if it was going to happen) to make the corpse run easier on yourself. Things like corpse runs, or even just barely being into a level and dying...hence de-leveling...making gear you may of been wearing suddenly unwearable made you think about your actions more.
- This is the biggest one of them all on this list...the COMMUNITY! It actually had one. People knew each other. Players that caused issues were know throughout the server via word of mouth, and usually blacklisted from anything and everything. They straightened up, or left the server eventually. Yeah...there were those that didn't care and still acted a fool...but really, nowhere near to the level in today's MMORPG's. I still have friends, yes...friends I stay in contact with from my EQ1 days. Even play other games together.
It was pretty cool to see players make their own vendor areas (Prior to the Bazaar) like in the tunnels between Desert of Ro and East Commonlands and peddle their wares, or even just sit around and chat.
"Selling bat wings at T1! 10cp a stack!"
I use to sit with my high level in noob zones, like Kelethin and shout I was giving buffs at a particular spot. I didn't charge money, but did it to be nice. Give away armor and weapons, beneficial foods and potions...even have games to get them as rewards. And MANY people did things like that, all the time.
Groups were essential. yeah, you COULD solo in EQ1...despite what some may say, but grouping was where it was at. I made a lot of good friends in groups. And it was a nice change of pace to have meditation periods to regain mana/health and just chat amongst yourselves about whatever.
- Leveling. Leveling took awhile in EQ1. Hell, I played religiously for 5 years...it took me my first full year to get to the level cap. Now yeah...starting a new character it became easier and faster to level up...but it still took time. And because of that...higher level characters were given a lot of respect and looked up to for advice, etc. it took a LOT of time and effort to get there.
- The travel. Believe it or not, I liked the long travel times. It made the world feel vast. You learned short cuts and the safest ways through zones. There were some quicker ways to travel (Pre-PoP)...like Spirit of Wolf (SoW), or a wizard teleport, but beyond that, you were hoofin it.
Which btw...was another great aspect...player/class specific beneficial spells that weren't necessarily a necessity, but a convenience that were sought by other classes. And it lent to the intrigue of playing particular classes.
These things, for the most part, are missing from modern MMORPG's. And personally, I feel this is why they fail to attract and retain players. Modern MMORPG's (Most, not all)...
- World. Yes, some DO have large worlds. But they are on rails for the most part. You are funneled from one area to the next...almost in a straight line. You are told exactly where to go and what to do. And even given map GPS in most cases, doing away with the excitement, intrigue, and satisfaction of discovery. But this is also hampered by another aspect...travel, which I'll get back to further down the list.
- What can I say about this. They really haven't changed a whole lot. You still have the "Collect X amount of this", "Kill X amount of that" types to this day.
However, as I said above, the one difference is the stories behind them, and the scale of them. Now a days, you get a quest and the area needed is within spitting distance. Quests feel like a necessary evil just to level to get to "endgame" (Another subject for another thread), or just an after thought. Where are the Epic quests that make it feel more RPG?
- There is danger in today's MMORPG's, but not quite like the EQ1 or even UO days. You can take on multiple mobs with little trouble now a days. And most possible danger is negated by the various fast travel modes available. I just don't feel, personally, the level of danger in today's MMORPG's are on par with EQ1, and especially the UO days.
- Community. Almost non-existent in modern MMORPG's. And this is for various reasons I feel. First is the huge level of soloability present in them. You don't need anyone to do almost anything. IDK how many times I've looked for groups and couldn't find one. But then discover I didn't need one after all when I am pretty much forced to go it alone. This also goes with the "danger" area. There isn't much when you can do this...I mean solo with such ease. Even when you do manage to get a group...no one talks, or talk very little beyond objectives, the robotic tactics to take down whatever you are going after, or to call you a noob, etc if you dare make a mistake. When the objective is met, some even leave the rest of the group in the bad areas and leave the group. FEW ask what other quests members of the group may have to continue on.
Even clans/guilds...or whatever they may be called in a particular game, are nothing more than outlets to get that new shiney. I've been in guilds where no one really helped each other beyond raids or quests. Few help just to be nice, unless there is something in it for them personally. And nearly no one had pride in their respective guilds beyond being "elite" (1337).
- Leveling. An after thought. A means to an end. In most MMORPG's today, you can get to cap in a couple of weeks. Some even within days! High levels are a dime a dozen...so they aren't anything special. This is why in a lot of the MMORPG's today you see massive groups of high levels sitting idle in major hubs. Nothing to do, nowhere to go...and most skipped gobs of content in their race to cap....and are usually the ones complaining on forums or even in-game there is no content. It's crazy!
- Travel. Today's means of travel in MMORPG's is almost completely instant, destroying discovery or the feeling of a vast world.
You know why the world feels empty and useless? Because nearly everyone fast travels,because today's MMORPG's are rat races to get to cap or "endgame"...a term that should not exist in MMORPG's. No one takes the time to appreciate the worlds created for them to play in.
I feel MMORPG's today are not really MMORPG's at all. They are more MMSPG's that companies pass off as MMORPG's. Sure...there are other players you see on occasion, but they are more like AI/fluff than anything else.
Personally? Achievements, stat boards/leader boards, over use of instances and instant travel, over use of soloability (soloing is ok, but wow is it over the top now), emphasis on "endgame", ease of getting to cap, allowing almost all classes to do everything..hence killing the need for interdependence all have killed MMORPG's for me, and I am sure for many other too.
If they could bring back most of the stuff mentioned at the beginning of my LONG post of blathering, but with the elements of modern MMORPG's such as, the UI's, battle (EQ1's was HORRIBLY bland and boring. Hit attack, stand and watch and hope for high hit to miss ratios), graphics, creative boss encounters..amongst many other modern ideas that I actually welcome and love...they would have me for YEARS and I'd happily fork over $15 a month...hell...even $20 or $30 a month if done right.
Ok...now discuss...and try not to troll or name call. This is a discussion board after all and people are entitled to their opinions and ideas....or in this case...dreams.