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Author Topic: Everquest 2 - first impressions  (Read 16508 times)
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ericb
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« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2004, 09:04:45 PM »

Thanks for the posts Abaddon.  I've read through them so far but please use a few more paragraphs in there...those are some long paragraphs.  And keep away damn forum effect.  I feel my resolve weakening.
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« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2004, 09:44:16 PM »

My time with EQ2 has been very impressive so far.  The better system you have, the better the graphics can look, obviously, but that's not what impressed me the most about this game.  Instead, it's the sound, music, and overall atmosphere--the voice acting is just great, the music is epic and powerful, and everything about Freeport (the evil town) is just so grim, depressing, and evil that it's hard not to roleplay right along with it.

I'll say more as I play more.  Right now I want to jump back in.
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« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2004, 10:43:24 PM »

I ended up getting the game yesterday for $40.  Bestbuy has it at that price, and EB price matched for me.

Ok so my thoughts are as follows and I will be comparing the game to WoW, which is what I have been playing since March.  I got a single character through the tutorial and off the starter island.

Install Patch/Process: Advantage EQ2, but to be fair, WoW is a free beta right now and their install/patch process may improve. Anyway.  I was surprised how fast it went for having 10 CDs!  Time to get a DVD drive.  I never used the last disk, no idea why.

So the game patches and all that...the system was very reminiscent of EQ, no Bit Torrent.  THANK GOD.  Blizzard, get a clue.  I get into the game and immediately have a problem due to Zone Alarm and EQ2 refusing to give focus away.  Annoying that this is an issue with many MMOs, but it was easily fixed by putting EQ2 in windowed mode at first and then telling ZA to give the program access.

Created a character.  Started the tutorial.

Graphic Performance.  Advantage WoW.  First of all, the game runs like ass for me.  XP 2800+/1gig/X800 Pro.  I realize my CPU is getting long in the tooth...but the performance I get is dogshit.  1280x960, tons of chop and that is with details turned down.  WoW is much, much smoother at that res with all settings maxed than EQ2 is with no settings maxed.  It got better when I got off the ship, but it gets worse in group combat situation.  I think this will be a huge stumbling block for SOE.

Graphics look/style/etc.  Advantage WoW.  This is highly subjective of course, but I was floored the second I got into the WoW world.  Not so in EQ.  The ship was generic.  The character models remind me of Morrowind also which is a very bad thing.  Onto the starter island, things improve some.  The water effects are very nice, both in and out of.  The monster models are disappointing though.  Animations are not bad, but there are a lot of broken ones.  My DE female almost never 'holds' items properly when she is crafting.

Sound. Advantage EQ2, close though.  WoW has better music by far.  EQ2 has better environmental sounds, and of course the voice acting.  I cant say I sat and listened to all of the voice acting, but it is still a nice touch.   I thought all NPCs were supposed to have it though, that wasnt the case for me.

Interface. Advantage WoW.  Again this is subjective, and I am definitely biased having months and months of familiarity with WoW and only a few hours spent in EQ2.  I missed the minimap from WoW, and setting up the UI was not inutitive for me.  It took me way too long to figure out how to change the default chat channel (its not in chat options...) which is inexplicably set to OOC at the start.  The manual did have this info though.  Targeting seemed wonky, especially when dealing with Grouped mobs.  Cycling through them was a pain since it highlights the whole group.

Combat.  No decision.  I just dont have enough time in EQ2 to make a call on this.  I can say that right now, WoW combat seems to be more exciting.  The lame performance I am getting has something to do with that I am sure.  The HO wheel is an interesting concept, but implemented poorly.

Race/class/balance.  No decision.  WoW is definitely not ready for primetime here.  Is EQ2?  I am not sure.  I do know that offering 16 races, 24 classes but only FOUR character slots is frustrating as hell.  I played with the Mage, and I like how you get an ability each level and you dont have to do anything like pay or go back to town to get it.

Quests. Draw.  Both games do a good job of focusing the game play around quests.  This helps to break up the tedium of typical XP grinding.  I do like how in WoW you can easily see who has a quest for you, as opposed to having to actually hail every NPC.

Gear/equipment.  Draw.  Both games have item decay now, bleah.  I hate that and think its stupid.  EQ2 seemed to dole out the 'magic' items more liberally, but the stats on them had a pitiful effect on my character.  +2 int gave me a whopping 1 extra Power.  I like bind on equip (attune in EQ2) and hard/soft level caps for gear in both games.  I dont like bind on acquire in either of them.

Tradeskills.  No Decision.  Havent seen enough of EQ2 to make a call.  On the plus side, crafting has a mini-game feel to it.  On the minus side, it takes way too long to make even the most basic of components.

Pacing.  No decision.  The leveling in EQ2 seems very slow compared to WoW.  Its really too early to make a call though.

After the recent changes to WoW, and my decidely neutral impressions of EQ2, I may be sitting on the MMO sidelines a while waiting for one of these games to get where I want them to be.  I will stick with EQ2 during my trial month at least.  I am also upgrading my rig in a few weeks, so that ought to change my perception some.

olaf
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« Reply #43 on: November 10, 2004, 10:52:36 PM »

Quote from: "Lockdown"
Quote from: "Daehawk"
Quote from: "Hamlet3145"
One thing to know about the "locked" encounters:  if the player fighting the mob yells for help you CAN heal them.


Yeah but if you yell for help that resets the fight encounter and you get no exp after wasting your time.


Daehawk - I don't understand what this means.  You get no experience?  

So basically you make a choice?
Possibly die and incur debt... or call for help, probably live, but lose all experience for the fight.

Am I interpreting that correctly?

- - - - - -

On a side note... I wonder if deciding between WoW and EQ2 is going to boil down to people wanting to be able to solo effectively or not.   :?:

I am looking forward to tonight to get more of a taste.  I read on O.O. where there actually IS some character differentiation starting at level 8.  That is encouraging.  

LD


Yep thats right. Stay quite and maybe get your exp or maybe die...yell for help and get zero and I believe thier health resets to full.
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« Reply #44 on: November 10, 2004, 11:12:46 PM »

Well, I like the locked combat thing.

This is the problem.  People buy two accounts once they get that shaman or cleric or whatever high level, and mass produce what ever type of character they want.   They two box, and their newb can defeat things solo they should never be able to, getting great exp.

PL characters was destroying COH for me. (Although this was accomplished through the sidekick feature)   Sounds like EQ2 has fixed it, which is a good thing.   PL sucks...   I am glad someone can help you, but you dont get the exp.   IF you couldnt kill it without help, you dont deserve the exp.   Be glad you dont loose exp for attacking something you cannot handle.

In High Level eq, peeps that quit give that 50 shaman to a friend.  That 50 shaman will set outside the group, buffing/healing/debuffing.  Allowing the group to kill things they shouldnt be able to.   Why have a enchanter, if you can KEI the group with a buff BI***?
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« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2004, 11:19:48 PM »

Well I was considering this but after Olaf's post about his rig getting chop I am really concerned. My rig is:

2.4 gig processor ( Celeron )
512 DDR 2100 ram
Gforce 4 128 4200

Can anyone tell me what kind of performance I might get with this system???

Also....WoW runs perfect with all settings set to high and res set to 1024 by 768. With my set up.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions.
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« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2004, 12:27:23 AM »

To be honest, it will run but you will need to tweak some settings.  I am suprised at your performance Olaf, as you have same ram, superior vid card, yet I can run at 1600x1200, high detail with no system lag at all.
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« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2004, 12:33:43 AM »

Thanks Arkon, thats some good news. I really want to play this.
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« Reply #48 on: November 11, 2004, 02:56:41 AM »

Quote from: "Vindel"
Well I was considering this but after Olaf's post about his rig getting chop I am really concerned. My rig is:

2.4 gig processor ( Celeron )
512 DDR 2100 ram
Gforce 4 128 4200

Can anyone tell me what kind of performance I might get with this system???

Amazingly badly unless you choose a low resolution and High/Very High Performance.  EQ2 is the devourer of systems.

That's a shame, really, because it's shaping up to be a deep, interesting game.  Of course, I'd still rather be playing EQ2 at 20FPS than World of Warcraft at 60FPS...

And I have yet to have put a SINGLE person on my /ignore list.  My WoW /ignore list grew by AT LEAST five people a day.
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« Reply #49 on: November 11, 2004, 04:01:04 AM »

Just ordered my copy.

Some comments of your experience after leaving the noob zone would be really nice. Are the quest getting repetitive? Is it still fun after the initial newness factor? Is there enough variety in the ennemies and in the dungeons?

Thanks a lot for the previous comments, helped me decide to finally buy it!
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« Reply #50 on: November 11, 2004, 04:27:05 AM »

Grabbed it tonight and started playing.  Currently kicked off and can't log back in (network timeout.)

Graphics started out kind of blah, worse then WoW.  After playing with some of the settings, they look good.  I can't get a gage on much though, only played a bit.  I finally really started appreciating WoW's graphics earlier.  I think WoW kills EQ 2 for animation so far.

A couple questions..
- I started off on Crushbone, playing a dark elf for now.  How do I find the Wanderers?

- Does race really matter in this game?  I know it did in EQ, but do the 5 extra int points really make it worth playing a dark elf mage vs a human mage or another race?

- Anyone else going to be playing evenings on Crushbone and want to hook up?
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« Reply #51 on: November 11, 2004, 04:34:27 AM »

Well, if you want to check out some low system specs, and everything has been running fairly well, look at mine:

1.7 GHz P4
64 MB GeForce3 Ti 200!
512 MB RDRAM

For the most part, it looks pretty good to me, although I am planning on upgrading my machine pretty soon, as it would be nice to see it in all its glory.  My main problem is deciding what machine to upgrade too.  I do have it set on High Performance, but it really isn't bad.

Oh, I've also been kicked at the moment, so I think something is up.
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« Reply #52 on: November 11, 2004, 04:46:23 AM »

Many of the servers are currently down--Crushbone included.
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« Reply #53 on: November 11, 2004, 04:47:43 AM »

Quote
Many of the servers are currently down--Crushbone included.


I am probably missing an obvious link, but is there a server status page?  I can't find one.
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« Reply #54 on: November 11, 2004, 04:58:50 AM »

Quote from: "Scott"
Quote
Many of the servers are currently down--Crushbone included.


I am probably missing an obvious link, but is there a server status page?  I can't find one.
No, but there's a post on the forums:

http://eqiiforums.station.sony.com/eq2/board/message?board.id=stat&message.id=8
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« Reply #55 on: November 11, 2004, 06:57:02 AM »

Quote from: "Scott"
- Does race really matter in this game?  I know it did in EQ, but do the 5 extra int points really make it worth playing a dark elf mage vs a human mage or another race?

Sony designed this game to allow all races to be all classes. Yes, there are stat differences, but based on my time in beta, stats made very little difference (as that +2 int item gave you a whopping 1 extra MP at level 15).

There are some exceptions though. Don't make a Troll or Ogre Mage and expect to be an awesome mage (30ish Int difference in just starting stats between low/high), but beyond that, any race can be any class.

Just watch out for those Gnome Monks. biggrin
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« Reply #56 on: November 11, 2004, 08:17:14 AM »

Quote from: "Arkon"
To be honest, it will run but you will need to tweak some settings.  I am suprised at your performance Olaf, as you have same ram, superior vid card, yet I can run at 1600x1200, high detail with no system lag at all.

That is odd, but chalk it up to subjective opinion I guess.  Without somekind of a built in benchmark (I wish all games had this) there is no way to objectively convey how a game runs on a message board.  FRAPs is ok for testing your own changes, but still not up to the task of comparing systems across the ether.

All that being said, I went back tonight and messed with settings, drivers, and everything in between.  I am 100% convinced that short of new hardware, there is nothing I can do on my end to resolve my performance issues with the game.

olaf
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« Reply #57 on: November 11, 2004, 11:47:28 AM »

Olaf...the problem may be your ATI card.  Most new games seem to always have trouble with ATI cards when they come out especially if you're using the newest drivers.  I know some other people in the main forum have also complained (that have ATI) and it seems most people on here that have NVidia cards are loving it even with lower CPU/memory hardware.  Maybe some conflict or a ATI fix coming soon?
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« Reply #58 on: November 11, 2004, 11:50:06 AM »

Well, in beta there was a way to see FPS and at 1600x1200, high detail I was steadily getting 30fps.  If you have not tried, many people with ATI cards during beta saw a nice performance increase using the omega driver set.
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« Reply #59 on: November 11, 2004, 12:27:51 PM »

Servers still seem down, or at least back down this morning.  Feels like the EQ1 launch to me...
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« Reply #60 on: November 11, 2004, 01:47:09 PM »

I am back to report my impressions after day two.

Background:  I spent most of the night watching my friend take a Scout class around the island and show me little things I had missed.  Since Mike is also in the WoW Stress Test/Open Beta, we also did a quick comparison to WoW after playing some EQ2.  Following are my follow-up impressions to my initial impressions:

1.   Graphics/Animations:  A couple things here.  I must say the more I see EQ2, the more the graphics grow on me.  I have heard this mentioned before by someone, and now I understand it.  The monsters look very good in general (spider), although some still look too stiff (like the deer for example).  Mike’s scout was using a short sword of some type and an axe he found after killing a beastie (who knew deer carried axes!?!)  As incredibly impressed as I was yesterday with the animation of the bo-stick… I am just as unimpressed with the animations of the axe.  Frankly, they stink.  The sword animation wasn’t bad though.  His scout would sometimes swing, and other times thrust, which I thought was pretty damn cool, albeit minor.  He had a special attack (early level one) that made his weapon “glow” when he attacked.  Sort of odd, but kind of cool nonetheless.  Here is the weird thing, and see if anyone can understand where I’m coming from on this…  In WoW, when you do a special attack (like eviscerate for the rogue), and there is a glow to your hands, it is not a big deal because of the cartooney graphics.  It’s sort of like WoW doesn’t take itself too seriously.  But in EQ2, because it is so much more “realistic”, the glow of the special attack seems out of place.  Whatever… it’s no big deal, so never mind.  The animations are truly a mixed bag.  The deer attacking you looks horrific.  Yes, horrific.  It is so stiff, and so lame; I am half tempted to call the animation-police on SoE.  However, when things die, especially certain animals (spider), the animation they go through like turning over, convulsing, and then expiring, is just fantastic stuff.  Comparatively, the   animations in WoW are somewhere in between.  The staff animation is too fast and not nearly as cool.  But my Dwarf Warrior swings his axe with great animations.  The spell animations in EQ2 (so far, and especially the slower ones) are better than WoW.  And since I really like casters, this is a biggie for me.   O.K… so I was no help here at all.  Just posting thoughts is all.  But I am telling you, if you buy this game, please make a half-elf just once and activate the infravision so you can see the effect.  It is too cool to describe.  Ultravision is pretty neat too, but not nearly as cool as infravision.

2.   Quests/Interface:  For some reason, the quests in EQ2 “seem” more varied than in WoW.  Are they in reality more varied?  I don’t know.  But they seem that way.  Obtaining quests in WoW is easier though.  I agree with the above poster on that.  Although again, it’s not too big a deal.  The initial interface in WoW is better than in EQ2.  However, the interface of EQ2 is so damn customizable, I am not sure it doesn’t win in the long run if you take the time to set it up the way you want it.  Mike really customized his by resizing windows, moving them all around, changing the opacity, etc… which, when he was done, really worked well.

3.   Misc. Stuff:  Mike showed me the waypoint and tracking system with the “glowing umbilical guidance thread”.  This again takes away from the “realism”, but is super duper cool.  My character didn’t have a tracking skill, so maybe that is unique to the Scout.  Basically, pick a creature, object or NPC off of a list of them that are in the area you are in and hit the button.  Up comes the “glowing umbilical cord” to lead you exactly to where you want to go.  It’s really hard not to admire the concept and implementation of this feature.  It is cool.  Absolutely no problems with lag or disconnects for us.  The camera seems alittle more "jerky" as compared to WoW's ultra-smooth camera, but I'm not sure how big a deal that really is.

4.   Characters/Skills:  We were able to compare a 5th level Scout in EQ2 to a 4th level Rogue in WoW.  As you might expect, the WoW rogue is a lot more fun to play, and has more stuff he can do.  The EQ2 rogue, even at 5th, is quite boring.  However, who judges a games of this magnitude on 5 levels?  Noone.  But, if this is a precursor (or sign) of things to come, maybe it is worth at least thinking about.  I have heard that in WoW, a 40th level Warrior has 18 combat options in the Battle Stance alone!!!!  Will EQ2 have this diversity?  I have absolutely no clue.  I hope.  

5.   Final comments:  I still hold to my initial thoughts that EQ2 is for the player who wants to play slower and wants a more “hardcore” experience.  The community seems to be more mature (at least right now).  I really think soloing in EQ2 is going to be a problem though.  However, if EQ2 can be considered “too hard”, then assuredly, WoW can just as easily be considered “too easy”.  What do I know though… it could all change as you get higher in level in both games.  The locked combat problem I had is wearing off though.  If you really want to heal someone that’s not in your group… just wait until he’s done with combat, then heal him.  I’ll tell you one thing… most people are VERY appreciative when you do this, which is cool.  It just sooooo takes away from the “realism” factor.  I can watch a fight, but can’t cast a spell on the fight.  I understand the whole kill stealing thing, so I don’t need people to explain it to me.  I am just saying someone somewhere needs to come up with a better answer to this.  It’s lame.  Have I come ANY closer to making a decision of which game is for me?  Nope.  I like them both.  If forced to make a decision today, I would lean toward EQ2, except for two concerns.  1.  Will my “Druid-Bob” be different enough from my friend’s “Druid-Bill” at 20th level?  Is there enough customization in EQ2?  2.  Can I effectively solo if I want to?  Will there be too many things I can’t do without a group for those days I want to be on my own?


Until day three,


LD
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« Reply #61 on: November 11, 2004, 01:54:01 PM »

The EQ2 box includes the traditional free month, right? I only ask, because none of the online shops I looked mentioned this (not even Sony's own).

I don't even have much time for MMORPG games at the moment, but I could get EQ2 for $30, so I'm tempted to give it a try if that includes the first month.
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« Reply #62 on: November 11, 2004, 02:02:05 PM »

Quote
The EQ2 box includes the traditional free month, right?


Having just picked this up yesterday, I can verify that yes, the first month is included.  I haven't had a lot of experience with the game yet, but I'm an old EQ player (played more on than off for 4.5 years or so).  I'm really enjoying it so far, but I haven't had enough experience with it to really recommend it highly.  I expect I'll love it - I really enjoyed EQ over all - but after one night it's hard to tell....so far so good, though.
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« Reply #63 on: November 11, 2004, 06:02:15 PM »

Quote from: "Scott"
Servers still seem down, or at least back down this morning.  Feels like the EQ1 launch to me...


The eq2 launch was not AO bad IMO but it was far from ideal.  The game application problems are understable, although you would hope they could prevent them, but the login server problems they are having are not understandable.  How different is there login system from all their other games?
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« Reply #64 on: November 11, 2004, 07:04:03 PM »

Quote from: "shang"
The EQ2 box includes the traditional free month, right? I only ask, because none of the online shops I looked mentioned this (not even Sony's own).

I don't even have much time for MMORPG games at the moment, but I could get EQ2 for $30, so I'm tempted to give it a try if that includes the first month.


$30? from where?
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« Reply #65 on: November 11, 2004, 08:10:29 PM »

Damn forum...I had no plans to get this.  Now it's installed and I'm getting ready to play for the first time.  Any CG guilds or preferred servers yet?
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« Reply #66 on: November 11, 2004, 09:08:03 PM »

I havent tried the Omega drivers.  I did try three different official Catalyst drivers though, no luck.  The 4.11s ought to be released soon, maybe they will improve performance.

Honestly though, I think there are bigger problems than just a driver issue.  Looking at the tech board on the station, there are plenty of people reporting poor performance with 6800GTs and other nvidia cards.

olaf
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« Reply #67 on: November 11, 2004, 09:43:15 PM »

Quote from: "olaf"
I havent tried the Omega drivers.  I did try three different official Catalyst drivers though, no luck.  The 4.11s ought to be released soon, maybe they will improve performance.

Honestly though, I think there are bigger problems than just a driver issue.  Looking at the tech board on the station, there are plenty of people reporting poor performance with 6800GTs and other nvidia cards.

olaf


I have a Geforce 4600 and I was experiencing some problems with the graphics.  So I went to the NVIDIA website, saw that there were updated drivers for November 9th, installed, and haven't had a graphical hitch ever since.
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« Reply #68 on: November 12, 2004, 02:34:16 AM »

These are Day 2 Impressions for me:

I'm really on the fence now.  Before, on the first day, I was really digging it.  The graphics, refugee island, all of that stuff.  But today made me think different.  What I do now is go to different zones in Freeport, accept a bazillion quests (of either the "UPS" kind or "Kill this 10 times") so I have about 40 quests to do, and try to do a couple.  Which is okay, but when I go BACK to the zone it takes me awhile (sometimes up to 5 or more minutes) to find that person again.  I wish they had some sort of Nav-point system on the map or something.  And I see that Nav-Point button, but for every quest I've had it's been greyed out.

Anyways, I progressed my character to level 9, did the random quests to advance my class, and now instead of a Priest I'm a Cleric.  Level 10.

But then I went out to the Commonlands and tried some party leveling.  And that was preeetty bad - had a group of 4 other people.  And I dunno, I guess I'm just not used to the partying system for EQII, but it just seems "weird" to me.  I'm going to try more tonight however.

Will this make me quit FFXI?  As of right now, I don't know.  I was thinking this was going to replace that, seeing as how I don't want to do two MMORPGs, but we'll see.
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Scott
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« Reply #69 on: November 12, 2004, 04:53:35 AM »

I broke down and grabbed EQ2 as well.  So far, it is okay.  It is definitely slower moving and more involved then WoW, at least with my experience with WoW.

Graphically, I'm not overwhelmed, and think WoW actually does a better job.  If I had an extremely powerful system, maybe I'd be singing a different tune, but right now I'm not blown away with EQ 2.  It has the potential to grow though.  Everything also feels very stiff.  Great special effects, but the animation doesn't compare to WoW's.  I have one of the Dell XPS 2nd generation machines (3.2ghz, ati 9800) and I can run at high quality at 1200x1024 and it is fairly smooth.

Combat is okay.  There doesn't seem to be the variety that WoW will have.  I have a few spells, great.  At level 10, I become a cleric, another copy of everything else out there.  Hopefully I'll look a bit different.  

One thing that does look good is the group fighting.  It looks like the slower pace of the game makes the potential for a lot more group fighting strategies, which could be cool.  

Anyway, so far, ehh.  At the end of the month, I'll choose between this and WoW, and so far it is WoW.

Quote
Damn forum...I had no plans to get this. Now it's installed and I'm getting ready to play for the first time. Any CG guilds or preferred servers yet?


What server are you on?  I'd love to group with someone to blow through some of the early levels.  Any other CGers doing this?  I am pretty low, and wouldn't mind starting over, potentially on the RP server or somewhere else.
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Fez
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« Reply #70 on: November 12, 2004, 05:04:19 AM »

How has everyone's lag been?  I find that in many of the city residential zones, the lag is pretty horrible most of the time, but when I get out into Antonica or even the Forest Ruin areas it's fine.  I'm not sure if upgrading my computer would even help with the lag issues as it's still there even with all graphics turned down.  Oh well.
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« Reply #71 on: November 12, 2004, 05:51:58 AM »

No problems with lag or performance.  There seems to be a memory leak, but other than that no hiccups for me.

The more divers spells come at higher lvls.  It really isn't until lvl 20 that you start to feel different.  A rogue isn't much different from a predator, but an assassin and brigand, quite different play style.  By lvl 22 which I hit in beta, I needed 3 full toolbars for all my abilities.  Finding NPC's can be a pain, but then it makes you learn the city.  Group leveling can be very fast, and you really could ignore quests if you wanted and still level at a decent clip...

What exactly about the party system feels wierd?  I am more than willing to answer questions.
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Arkon
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« Reply #72 on: November 12, 2004, 06:03:56 AM »

for those having some issues with performance I recommend this thread... very good read....

http://eqiiforums.station.sony.com/eq2/board/message?board.id=tech_support&message.id=3265&jump=true
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« Reply #73 on: November 12, 2004, 06:57:58 AM »

Quote from: "Jeff Jones"
$30? from where?


http://www.dvd.co.uk/  but they only ship within Europe.
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depward
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« Reply #74 on: November 12, 2004, 08:13:43 AM »

Well, played some more tonight.  I dunno, impressions are still that - impressions.  But I did get into a "fairly" stable party (meaning they stayed around for more than 15 minutes) and we did ok killing/leveling.  Though, I don't think my whole blue bar went up to fill in one square the whole day today.  That and towards the end one of my pt members was like, "Let's go to the cave waaay back in the Commonlands!"  And then I died about, oh 4 times, creating a massive amount of xp debt.  But that's alright, because it was an alright time exploring.

Really about all I did today - try to get into some groups to get some xp, do some quests, now I'm a Cleric, and that's about it.

How does group combat seem "weird"?  It's really hard to explain.  Well, it just seems . . . normal?  There's not enough of a dynamic from when you're fighting to when you're not . . . if that means anything at all.  And there are tons of aggro monsters everywhere.  Trust me, I'm not putting down the game at all.  I need to just play it differently then others I have.  But I need to get used to it I suppose.  Maybe it's because I never played Everquest 1?  I dunno, we will see in the next couple of days

**Edit**  Played a bit more after these impressions until I had to sign off at 3am PST due to server matienance.  Things went pretty well!  Got into a better group and had a pretty positive experience.  I also upgraded some spells to Apprentence III spells, seeing as how I have them all at 2.  For all of you mages/priests out there - UPGRADE your spells!  I thought Apprentence II made a difference, but now with my minor healing spell on Apprentence III it makes a significant difference.  It costs a little bit more mp though, but it surely makes up for it with the upped health.
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« Reply #75 on: November 12, 2004, 12:28:55 PM »

I'm in Highkeep right now...it was one of the new servers they opened when the others went to medium and high status.  No lag at all...and not a lot of people on my server which is still nice.  I'm starting as a mage now and it seems like everybody I've seen is playing everything but a mage...something I don't know?  I played for hours and I was the only character casting spells (that I saw).
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« Reply #76 on: November 12, 2004, 01:17:17 PM »

Each server seems different with distribution.  Part of the group dynamic really depends on the size and makeup of the group.  If you go standard fare of nuker, healer, tank and maybe a scout it can be bland.  Throw in an enchanter and see the fun of taking on groups of 5 to 6 enemies with no worries, throw in a few predators and see massive damage flying through the air.  As you level and people get more different abilities it really begins to flesh itself out.

App 3 make a huge difference, as a note you do not have to go in order, you can go from app 1 to app 3 or app 1 to adept 1 and so on.
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« Reply #77 on: November 12, 2004, 01:29:10 PM »

Impressions of my third and last day playing at my friend’s house:

I have made a decision that I still can’t make a decision regarding EQII.  How sad is that?  You know what, I’ll come back to that at the end.

Last night my bud decided to watch me play my Priest while he watched.  So I got a lot of play time in.  I decided it was time to figure out how grouping would go, since I have come to the conclusion that it is practically a necessity in this game.  Being a Priest, finding a group is about the easiest thing on the planet; finding a GOOD group is not quite as easy.  Early on, when I was standing around quasi-roleplaying, I met another Priest who I grouped with for awhile (still on the beginner island).  We did fine.  No real damage output to speak of, but no real fear of dying either.  We handled groups of monsters that were meant for groups of 3 or 4 by ourselves, but it took some doing.  We had to be pretty tactically sound to accomplish those fights without dying.  It was actually quite fun.  After the fights would end, I felt like I really “worked” at it, and accomplished something.  WoW combat (in general) is much, much easier.  I too, felt like I didn’t have a whole lot of options in combat, which surprisingly did not become an issue.  There’s something about the spell and weapon (certain weapons that is) animations that just draw me in.  I think the graphics are fantastic.  

We made our way to the Orc Captain’s cave.  Just us two lowly 5th level priests.  We died twice, both times killing off all his guards and having him down to within a breath of dying.  But alas, we just didn’t QUITE have enough hitpoints of our own to live.  You can only heal each other for so long before you run out of mana.  Anyway, my priest companion had to leave, and so I waited outside the cave for him.  Meanwhile, I met a couple people hunting skeleton pirates outside the cave and watched them fight.  When their battles would end, I would heal them (nothing better to do), and of course made friends, particularly with one barbarian male fighter who ended up being a very cool guy.  He and I ended up grouping together and hunted skeleton guys for a quest he had.  I made it to level 6, and got a Weaken spell.  Aha!  How’s that Orc going to like me now!!!  My new fighter friend wanted to help me with my Orc quest, so in the cave we went.  He was a very “smart” fighter, and together we cleaned up in that cave.  The funny thing is, although he tried his darndest to hold agro, the Orc wanted nothing to do with him!  That Orc wanted the healer dead, and that was that!  I spent most of the fight staying alive while he pounded the snot out of that Orc.  

Once I hit the main big city, I ended up outside attempting to do my citizenship quest.  Lo and behold, I got to see my first Halfling!  They are so cool looking, those little guys!  Anyway, I was getting /tells left and right to “hey, join us!”.  I finally joined a group of two others.  A Fighter and a Scout.  Long story short…  When you group with people that do not take into consideration who/when they attack, you are in for a miserable time!  I was just plain NOT having fun at this point.  You all know what bad groups are like, so I don’t have to go into detail here.  It flat sucked.  Balls.  Big hairy ones.  To think I incurred experience point debt because of those morons is lame.  Oh well, such is life.

So, my impressions of EQ2 have led me to the following conclusions.  I want to buy the game, because I (for the most part) like it, and see the potential it has to be great, great fun.  I in no way think it can fairly be compared to WoW – as I personally see them as so incredibly different.  If someone held a gun to my head and made me choose one over the other, my “desires” would pick EQ2 for it’s potential, but my “safe” bet would be WoW because of the ability to jump in and have a very fun experience without the need of other things having to fall into place, so to speak.

I understand those people that have set groups that they can count on to always be online, and who will always have non-morons to group with – and why they would choose EQ2.  Assuming the spell selection / combat options continue to get more diverse as you level up, and assuming you can begin to differentiate your character from others, I think it’s the obvious choice for those players.  

I also completely understand the players that would choose WoW.  It lacks the character generator coolness, the graphical spell effects, the totally intense feeling of even the most minor of battles, and (possibly) the overall depth of EQ2.  But it makes strides in many other ways, that depending on where you’re coming from, tilt the see-saw back into balance.  

I am STILL undecided as to which game will suck me away to the depths of nerddom.  I certainly can understand why people are split on their choice of game though.  In short, I think they both are great.

LD
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Scott
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« Reply #78 on: November 12, 2004, 03:15:22 PM »

A couple of other things I noticed..

- the interface seems very clunky.  it looks flexible, but feels very boxy with lower resolution icons, and cluttered.  WoW's interface is much nicer, and better looking

- I've noticed a lot of graphical clipping problems in the game.  It starts when I run with the clothes clipping through my legs or other parts of the clothes.  Surprises me that such a visible part of the game to start has problems.
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morlac
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« Reply #79 on: November 12, 2004, 03:44:06 PM »

Having a hard time finding quest NPC's?

Just ask your local guard!  Easy as that.  

Right click a guard and highlight the 'find NPC' option.  Then type in the name exactly as it is ( first and last if given).  If your in the right zone and somewhat close(theres a radious limit) you will be given a waypoint to follow to it.  I'l lusually ask a guard at one ent/exit of zone, if he doesn't know one at a different one usually does, ocassionly I'll have to ask a guad i nthe middle of zone Tongue.
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