WoW Launches

The World of Warcraft Community Site (thanks Frans) reflects on the launch of Blizzard's highly anticipated MMORPG in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. The update admits to problems created by the rush of new WoW players, and offers some suggestions on how to circumvent launch issues in the short-term as they work "around the clock to ensure we can smooth out this initial rush, and we will be working through Thanksgiving to address the latency issues that players are experiencing."
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19.
 
EQ2 > WoW
Nov 25, 2004, 15:23
19.
EQ2 > WoW Nov 25, 2004, 15:23
Nov 25, 2004, 15:23
 
EQ2 is the superior game. And I'm surprised to say that. I've played both extensively and I was expecting WoW to be the better. But it simply isn't the case.

First, if you like one and you don't like the other you aren't giving one a fair chance. Both are incrediblely well crafted games with excellent art and systems. At their core they are both the basic MUD style gameplay we've come acustomed to over the years. You kill creatures, gain xp, and advance your character though levels.

The differences lay in the details. EQ2's graphics technology far exceeds WoW. The level of detail in EQ2 provided by shadows, shaders, water effects, real time cloth simulation, and bumpmapping make the world and characters look far more realistic and intensely there than WoW. On the other hand, WoW is cartoony, oversaturated, and designed with an intentionally slanted hand: buildings lie at odd angles, etc. WoW's design is creative, but EQ2 looks real.

In gameplay the two games rapidly diverge in quality. The WoW combat experience is defined as pressing the same key over and over. Even at higher levels, creatures die quickly and little depth of combat evolves. Creatures use the same tactics continually and each creature is effectively the same as the last with a different model. In EQ2, tactics are the name of the game. Creatures can use the same powers as players and you will run into casters that can mez party members and creatures that use special attacks that can be avoided through positioning and proper skill use.

The scope of the two games is readily apparent as well. In WoW, you will always have a very limited set of quests available to you at any one time. Replayability is very limited as each race/class combo has a quest series that is basically the same as every other. In EQ2, you will find thousands of quests and a wide variety of things to do every time you log in. Where quests in WoW are limited to "kill X mobs" "collect X items" quests in EQ2 often send you to foreign lands to explore. Quests in EQ2 come from places you find as well as creatures you meet. You are heavily rewarded for exploring by the environment itself. WoW has no comparable system.

While SOE's reputation for quality customer service is in terrible condition, the quality of the game is incredible. There have been no major server problems that I've experienced since launch. The few quest bugs I ran into early on have all been fixed. WoW, on the other hand, can't keep their servers up.

Finally, EQ2 has an extensive player stat tracking service at www.eq2players.com. It elevates the competition to a new level. So cool.

If you dislike EQ2 simply because of SOEs reptuation you do yourself a disservice. This isn't EQ. It's a very different game. If you are a fan of MMO style gameplay or fantasy games in general you owe it to yourself to play both games and make your own opinion. Play a character in EQ2 to 20 and one in WoW to 20 and then stick with the one that compells you the most.

If you say you like one game and hate the other, I won't believe you. You just aren't giving both games a fair chance. They are both triple AAA, top quality, well crafted examples of MMO gameplay and both will be very successful. As a gamer, I would think you would want to REJOICE over the quality of MMOs that you can pick from now.

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