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View Full Version : Brad MCquaid's Vanguards for Microsoft, Why all the hype?


ChrisRay
04-25-05, 08:38 PM
I've been thinking for a long time about how people have been hyping Aradune's next product like it going to be the best MMORPG ever concieved. It makes me wonder how many people actually played the original Everquest on release through the first Expansion in the second. It is my opinion that the original Everquest during this time was popular because the game was the only thing available of its kind during the time. Not because the game was terribly enjoyable. Allow me to go over some of the things that the original Everquest did that just really is unacceptable.

1) Death Penalty.

I think death and dying is an important aspect of a MMORPG and that it should hinder your game a bit to make you not want to die. But Everquest 1's death penalty was absolutely horrid. Dying would literally cause you to lose several hours of work and it was immensely frustrating. There were two ressurect spells in game at the time and the only really valuable one was castable by level 49 clerics. During 20+ through 50 if you did not find a cleric you would be SoL and lose several hours of work.

2) Poor Experience Curve

Verant Interactive's poor experience curve was absolutely horrid. They designed the game to get more difficult as you leveled. This was not the problem. But a mathematical bug existed in game which caused certain levels to be absolutely horrid. If anyone remembers the famous "Hell Levels" you will know what I am talking about. This bug existed in the game almost 2 years before the game finally came out.and fixed it. For the longest time it was "Working as intended" which it obviously was not.

3) Exceedingly Poor Class Balance

If you played the original game you will remember how poorly some classes were balanced and done. Necromancers. For instance were godlike powerful for the first 18 months of Everquest 2 and they were able to take on things that no other classes could. Certain priest classes such as the druid were able to kite all the way up to 50 while warriors and paladins were lucky to survive an encounter with the lowest possible blue con they could find.

A warrior would literally take 40 + Minutes to go from no HP to full HP without the assistence of others. Casters had an obvious advantage because their damage scaled much better than other classes. A High level warrior wielding 2 short swords of the Ykesha wasnt even within shouting distance of any casters ability to do damage. This was obvious in any group in lower guk were casters were an absolutely requirement to do anything worth while.


4) Poor Understanding of their own game

If Anyone remembers aradune and Abashi they will remember the number of frustrating posts on the forums trying to get there classes fixed. Mages were told for months that there pets already dual wielded. And really they didnt dual wield until exactly a month before Kunark came out in a knee jerk reaction by Verant and allowing them to equip weapons.

Not to mention the bugged spell drops that existed in game for MONTHS after Kunark was released. People were selling dragon drops just to get there hands on spell that were for levels 51-53 because the spell drop rate was almost non existence. Verant stated that this was "Working as Intended" and spell drops were obviously caster loot. However about 3 months later it was finally fixed and the drop rate was drastically increased.


5) Low Experience in this Field

Brad Mcquaid had what? At most 2 and a half years running a successful MMORPG? A game which was so broken that it would be ridiculed by todays standards with competition? I dunno about you but I dont put alot of faith in his ability to run a MMORPG. While I'm not always impressed with Sony Online Entertainment or Blizzard. I dont see this guy as a mesiah thats going to bring back old school MMORPG gaming. I cant honestly see myself wanting to see the original Everquest ressurected anyway. Considering the horrid problems with that game.

|MaguS|
04-25-05, 09:33 PM
I think Vangaurds will be great, as long as they don't go the WoW and EQ2 way of simplifying everything...

GlowStick
04-25-05, 10:19 PM
Yeah i played EQ not form start, but pre Kunark and stoped after Velious.

Yeah it had tons of bugs, but i rember it as still being hella fun. I tried other MMO's like anarchy online, dark age of camelot and 2 others that i forget the name now and they all sucked the big one. I wnat EQ classic back with all its bugs!

Yeah, never figured what was up with the hell levels, i thought they were inteded to be just that... hell heh.

Elderblaze
04-25-05, 10:48 PM
Yeah even with all it's faults it was still better then EQ2 and WoW /rolleyes

ChrisRay
04-25-05, 11:15 PM
Yeah i played EQ not form start, but pre Kunark and stoped after Velious.

Yeah it had tons of bugs, but i rember it as still being hella fun. I tried other MMO's like anarchy online, dark age of camelot and 2 others that i forget the name now and they all sucked the big one. I wnat EQ classic back with all its bugs!

Yeah, never figured what was up with the hell levels, i thought they were inteded to be just that... hell heh.


You wouldnt be happy playing EQ 1 today. No one would. Unless of course you were a caster. Then EQ 1 was actually playable. But for the rest of the players. It was unplayable half the time.

I remember it being so bad that there were 4 groups in lower guk. 1 Controlling the Frenzied Ghoul, 1 Controlling Lord/Magus, 1 Controlling Sage/Exe and 1 controlling assasin/bedroom area. And from there those groups would take everything the zone had to offer.

Solusek B was the same way. To release a game like EQ 1 today with content like EQ 1 would be company suicide.


Yeah even with all it's faults it was still better then EQ2 and WoW /rolleyes

This comment doesnt surprise me in the bit coming from you. Everquest 1 was a broken game. People remember it so fondly because it was there first MMORPG and it had a "Feel" to it that will never again be had because it was the first immersive 3d MMORPG. I see people who play EQ 2 and WoW today who get the same feeling I got from EQ when I first played it for the first time.

But thats simply nostalgic value. EQ 1 wouldnt be playable by todays standards if the game hadnt massively evolved. EQ 1 today is what it is because of a broken combat system and horrible class balancing ideas from verant that Sony has never been able to recover from. Hello? Complete Heal ring a bell?

Elderblaze
04-25-05, 11:21 PM
I think you are over analyzing a bit. Give em a break it was the very first 3D mmo. I don't think brad would argue that he made mistakes. It's simply amazing that EQ's been around so long and continue's to prosper. No if I game was released today with the same level of quality as the original eq it would not fair so well, unless... it was a completly new genre that no one had done before and extremly addictive and fun.

Regards,
mike

ChrisRay
04-25-05, 11:24 PM
I am just asking a simple question. Despite all the problems and horrible communication from Aradune's Everquest 1 team. Do people seriously think Vanguard is going to be a mesiah of MMORPG's thats going to ressurect EQ 1 style gameplay. I hear this all the time that Vanguard is going to be the savior that brings back oldschool MMORPG gameplay, I simply question that.

EQ 1 has been around for a long time and Sony has done a good job keeping that game prosperous. But I see it as more Sony's success than Verant's.

Elderblaze
04-26-05, 04:58 AM
If what you mean is will they "Re-capture" the mmo magic of a noobie. The answer is no. Once it's gone it's gone. Though I do think EQ2 and WOW are way to easy, and in the case of EQ2 very limited. I hate the way eq2 is so confined it just feels so artificial. I don't much care for the classes either. Many of the new mmo's are a step "back" or in the wrong direction, at least for my style of play. Im not a hardcore raider or anything, but I do like it when you can tell the differnce between a person with skill and a complete noobie. In everquest 1 there are many situations where a person that has alot of skill can prevail, EQ2's locked system blocks alot of this out. Just one example, to split a camp as a wizard you could root one mob, root another on incoming, and finally root the mob beating on you, kill one of them, and gate out of the zone where you are bound, then invis back to the camp and repeat. This is somthing that is not possible in EQ2. There are many situations and strategies like the one I just described. It's one of the many reasons I don't like the new games.

Regards,
Mike

nrdstrm
04-26-05, 03:43 PM
I learned with SWG to take a wait and see attitude on ALL MMORPG's. SWG was WAY overhyped and they shipped a highly flawed product IMO. Now I just try to get into any beta test (yes I actually test, submitt bugs, etc) and see if that game is something worth me investing my time in...
Just My 2 Cents...
Nrdstrm

spirited1
04-26-05, 07:52 PM
Vanguard will appeal to a niche player, not have the wide appeal WoW and EQ2 has. It will be about challenge. Nobody's gonna level to 30 in a week (well, some will), travel will not be instant you'll use boats and any of your accomplishments will be met with a sense of achievement and pride.

People will try it and likely find it too hard/time consuming, especially when compared to the latest crop of mmo's. Sure, original EQ1 had some flawed mechanics (medding w/ the spellbook filling the screen) but it got lots right. Many people cite orig EQ1 with Kunark and Velious as EQ1's finest hour(s) I agree with them.

Vanguard is supposed to be Kunark and Velious without the tedium. I'm backing it as being a stormer.

Elderblaze
04-27-05, 12:23 AM
Hmm.. I don't know if challenge and hardship is particularly "niche" i suppose it's not the same crowd that plays The Sims, but it's not exactly "niche" either. I prefer the term "old skool"

Regards,
Vanta

Ghosthunter
04-27-05, 08:57 AM
I am still enjoying EQ2 and with latest announcement that they will never ever convert an existing server to the exchange I am happy for now.

I never played Wow except in beta, so cannot compare. But as far as EQ2 being easy and trivial. I dont know about that. I think a better word is "FUN"

To me it is all about the journey not racing to the end. I have been playing since day 1, and my wizard is sitll only level 31, and his tradeskill is alchemist which is 50. I actually enjoyed crafting at one point much better then adventuring but now i enjoy both. Anyway I dont rush to the end, I just hit level 31 after being level 30 for almost 3 weeks...does that mean I am a casual player? No becuase I am playing every night for 3-4 hours almsot...it just EQ1 was all about the grind and camping and raiding for that uber item. There was nothing else to do at all.

I just dont get why people say EQ2 is so easy...yeah it is real easy if all you do is just grind day in and day out..but why bother playing if that all you do.


As far as vanguard goes, I dont know I think it all hype. IMO Aradune was not be all end all. When EQ1 came out the only reason it did so well was becuase other then UO that was all there really was out there and in that terms it was a leap forward, but it was plagued with problems and bugs. If EQ2 never came out..and EQ1 came out today like it did in 1999...I am pretty sure it would not have anywhere near as much as a following.


The first few types of a genre always have a nostalgia effect.

Downside
04-27-05, 11:27 AM
EQ1 wasn't the first popular MMORPG, Ultima Online had been out for a couple years, but it was probably the first good MMORPG without free for all PVP, so that probably had something to do with it's attraction.

I played EQ1 from release, through PoP. Stopped when my guild started doing Time. I haven't tried WoW yet, but I am playing EQ2.

From my perspective, things that made EQ1 a great experience compared to EQ2:

HUGE game world, that was spread out enough to make it feel big, and with most zones having a unique feel the reward for just exploring was high(even without cheese XP for doing it). Also, the fact that you could go just about anywhere you wanted, and try anything you wanted, even if it was suicidal. It's one thing to restrict the high level raiding content with access quests or "flagging", but doing so with the low level content just seems like an artificial restriction on your progress and access to content. EQ2's level restrictions on zones and access quests, it feels like your being told when to go here, and when to move to hear, and when to move on to this next zone. It's also terribly limiting to players who don't play every day.

Each race having it's own starting and newbie area to hunt in. The all in one Qeynos/Freeport in EQ2 really dampens the differences between the races. While there shouldn't be much difference in ability between races, there should be a distinctly different "feel" to the lower levels, otherwise why bother having them. The starting cities and newbie zones in EQ1 did a good job of making it feel as if you were playing an ogre, or a halfling. Starting out as an elf "felt" like you were playing an elf. Starting out as one race in EQ2 is pretty much the same as starting as another, other than your character model.

The faction system. While it could be a pain due to the work required to raise, at least it felt like your actions in the world were infuencing your standing in it. While I havent seen everything there is to do in EQ2 yet, I don't see much point in the weak faction system they have in place. And the forced alliance with one city or another just seems like another artificial limitation, and really doesn't make sense for a game not focused around PvP.

Character classes that were actually distinct from each other. Yes they had some issues with class balance. I played a paladin, and the kunark years were rough, just like warriors and rogue's had it bad at release, but the fact that each class was unique, with abilities that when used with some creativity and skill alowed you to do things you couldn't otherwise do. Kiting, fear kiting, root rotting, agro kiting, stun agro, damage sheild stacking, FD pulling, etc.

All EQ2 tightly controlled cookie cutter classes have done is make the game boring, and they still have balance issues. Of couse they don't have to worry nearly as much about any particular class coming up with ways to actually excel in any way beyond the designer's intent. So while X class is still better at it's job that Y class is, they don't have to worry about 6 people getting together and taking out an encounter designed for 24 by using some innovative tactics. In EQ2 the closest thing is exploiting broken game mechanics, like the ability to get a guardian to be untouchable by the mob your fighting. This lack of innovation in game play is probably the #1 reason I don't see myself playing long.

ChrisRay
04-29-05, 07:48 AM
Been meaning to respond to this sooner. But I've been all wrapped up. Ahh ok. Here we go.

HUGE game world, that was spread out enough to make it feel big, and with most zones having a unique feel the reward for just exploring was high(even without cheese XP for doing it). Also, the fact that you could go just about anywhere you wanted, and try anything you wanted, even if it was suicidal. It's one thing to restrict the high level raiding content with access quests or "flagging", but doing so with the low level content just seems like an artificial restriction on your progress and access to content. EQ2's level restrictions on zones and access quests, it feels like your being told when to go here, and when to move to hear, and when to move on to this next zone. It's also terribly limiting to players who don't play every day

You know this is actually a complaint I had about EQ 2 early on. World of Warcraft has this and WoW has a huge world for exploring. And with it only having "2" zones. ((Kalimdor/Azeroth)) The world of WoW is just huge. I never like restricted zones and I think its rather poor implementation on Sony's part.

Giving Sony the benefit of the doubt. Everquest 2 zones are freaken huge. They take forever to explore and get around. ((Assuming you dont use tickets)) I explore nektulos and it takes quite a bit of time to run around. Same with Steppes and Enchanted Lands. ((havent got zek access yet)). But the problem with these large zones is simply this. Alot of the zones are filled with absolutely nothing. No real reason to go there at all. EQ 1 also had this problem as well though.


Each race having it's own starting and newbie area to hunt in. The all in one Qeynos/Freeport in EQ2 really dampens the differences between the races. While there shouldn't be much difference in ability between races, there should be a distinctly different "feel" to the lower levels, otherwise why bother having them. The starting cities and newbie zones in EQ1 did a good job of making it feel as if you were playing an ogre, or a halfling. Starting out as an elf "felt" like you were playing an elf. Starting out as one race in EQ2 is pretty much the same as starting as another, other than your character model.


I'd like to expand upon this. I can appreciate why Sony did this with EQ 2. But I think it was a mistake as well. It actually makes exploring less fun. I remember EQ 1 when I was exploring from Qeynos and found Oggok, Highpass, and Rivervale. I absolutely creamed myself for finding "another" city. It was absolutely fantastic experience for me.

Character classes that were actually distinct from each other. Yes they had some issues with class balance. I played a paladin, and the kunark years were rough, just like warriors and rogue's had it bad at release, but the fact that each class was unique, with abilities that when used with some creativity and skill alowed you to do things you couldn't otherwise do. Kiting, fear kiting, root rotting, agro kiting, stun agro, damage sheild stacking, FD pulling, etc.


I feel Sony did this on purpose. In a way I agree with them. In a way I disagree with them. Sony never intended for fear kiting, Kiting, Feign death pulling to exist. They said so numerous times that it was a poor design decision on their part to implement content so easily trivialized. And really the only thing they could do was make the content hit harder or move faster to stop some of this. They also did a few tricks in velious zones to try and prevent it. Believe it or not the original Verant was far more "strict" about this than SoE was since they felt people were bypassing and exploiting content. Does anyone remember all the kiting nerfs that were originally implemented towards druids at the beginning of game? And later Verant totally made some content "anti" such tactics. ((Note Summoning Mobs, Anti Kiting Dot nerfs, Feign Death aggro nerfs. They actually took great pains to stop these things that we think so highly of in present EQ 1))

But it was actually verant interactive, Brad Mcquaid's team that did alot of these things to prevent the kind of things you listed above. Later SoE came back and changed alot of things. Eventually Sony made balance changes that made monks pullers, removed dot restrictions, Increased Root/Dotting Scenerios ect. So IMO the things that you listed to love in EQ 1 were actually more endorsed by Sony because I think they gave up on ever balancing EQ 1 out.

All EQ2 tightly controlled cookie cutter classes have done is make the game boring, and they still have balance issues. Of couse they don't have to worry nearly as much about any particular class coming up with ways to actually excel in any way beyond the designer's intent. So while X class is still better at it's job that Y class is, they don't have to worry about 6 people getting together and taking out an encounter designed for 24 by using some innovative tactics. In EQ2 the closest thing is exploiting broken game mechanics, like the ability to get a guardian to be untouchable by the mob your fighting. This lack of innovation in game play is probably the #1 reason I don't see myself playing long.

You know the ironic thing is I feel the solo/duo game in EQ 2 is far more interesting than the large scaler group game. I play a Defiler and to really experience what my class has to offer. I find soloing to be far more enjoyable. Same for Inquisitor. But in a group. Both my Inquisitor and Defiler become heal bots with only one purpose. Spamming Heals to heal others and or preventing/mitigating damage. In a group I feel classes lose all there individuality and essentially become their original arche type parent class. I feel the same about fighters/mages/scouts as well. Because in the end. When in a group. You really are just the arche type classes.

In Regards to the Niche MMORPG. I actually have no problem with increasing diversability among classes and making each class a unique and enjoyable experience. (Ala EQ 1). But I really think they need to be careful about this. While EQ 2's arche type system is not perfect. As I mentioned above. It does serve the purpose of making grouping easier. I "never" liked the class reliance issues in EQ 1 where you couldnty hunt without a few key classes. ((Enchanters/Clerics in Kunark for instances)) (Or Slowers in Planes of Power)). Over relying on a few select classes and then having some classes fill the same role over and over again is really a bad idea.



All this remembering has made me want to sign up for the station all access pass. I might as well. They give the best content to these people + I can access EQ 1 and Planetside as well. It seems like a deal I can no longer pass up. Has anyone had good experience with the pass?

Ghosthunter
04-29-05, 07:52 AM
the reasons they did the cities the way they were...is if you look at it in eq1 nowadays...no one ever uses them...they are barren and empty.

In eq2 it brings back the community because crafting and buying from brokering and selling has to be done in the city..i acutally like the way they did it.

It kind of reminds me of NYC...queynos = NYC, and the outer boroughs are all the small little towns connected to it.

spirited1
04-29-05, 02:01 PM
I actually have no problem with increasing diversability among classes and making each class a unique and enjoyable experience. (Ala EQ 1). But I really think they need to be careful about this. While EQ 2's arche type system is not perfect. As I mentioned above. It does serve the purpose of making grouping easier. I "never" liked the class reliance issues in EQ 1 where you couldnty hunt without a few key classes. ((Enchanters/Clerics in Kunark for instances)) (Or Slowers in Planes of Power)). Over relying on a few select classes and then having some classes fill the same role over and over again is really a bad idea.

Some news on the Vanguard class system has just come to light. They will be going for a archetype system similar to the one in EQ2 - ie Fighter archetype, Assasin archetype etc.

This has caused quite a stir on the forums. Half the people fear it will be too similar to Sony's model (and they see that as being flawed ie not enough diversity) while the other half feel they can trust Sigil to ensure the differences between a Warrior and a Paladin (for example) will be solid enough to avoid the whole 'any tank class will do.'

I've not made my mind up on it personally. While I have my reservations, I also feel Sigil know the pitfalls and will try to avoid them. Here's an example of how the class archetype system will work (an idea that's being tossed around atm, NOT confirmed as far as I know.)

Group is nearly formed but needs a Tank. There's three right now all LFG - Paladin, Shadowknight, Warrior. Depending on where the group is hunting will have bearing on what Tank archetype they should choose for optimal efficiency. Perhaps hunting in an area inhabited by Undead? Get the Pally rather than the Warrior. Bear in mind this is only an example but choosing the sub class of a given archetype is supposed to be situational - maybe even crucial.

I only played EQ2 til lv27 (Pally) so I can't really state the EQ2 model was flawed or a success, hence I can't really decide if this is the right path for Sigil to take. The proof of the pudding is in the eating I suppose - gotta wait for beta (rumored to be shortly after E3.)