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Old 05-10-05, 07:18 PM   #1
ChrisRay
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Default My Indepth Comparison of WoW verses EQ2.

Well it been almost 7 months since the release of both of these MMORPGs and I have played each for a total of about 3 months a piece. And have played them extensively. On the World of Warcraft front I have a level 54 Priest, a level 29 Druid, a level 21 Warlock, and a level 32 rogue. On the Everquest 2 front I have a level 32 Defiler, A level 21 defiler, Level 20 Paladin, A level 24 SK, A level 15 summoner, level 27 monk, and a level 23 monk. ((Please note that overlaps occur because my second go at EQ 2 I restarted on a new server)

For those who havent played both I am trying to be as objective in this comparison as possible and I will go over various issues and my opinions.



Combat Gameplay


Everquest 2: Everquest 2 has a fairly dynamic combat system and each individual action can pretty much change the outcome of the game in solo play. While locked in combat all regeneration stops. ((With the exception of varios tradition and item regenerations)) Combo's are imperitive to each class for survival. As they allow you to perform heroic opurtunities(HO). These HO's can make or break a battle. However the downside to these HOS is they are completely archetype based and any subclass will have the same HO of there archetype. Very much limiting diversability. It also has a negative drawback of spamming these HOS to complete the fight most effectively. At the end of the fight your HP/Mana begins accelerated growth.

World of Warcraft: World of Warcraft combat system is somewhat different. Different classes have there own unique ways of generating power for special moves. Rogues use a rapid regeneration technique called "Energy" and this allows them for them to fire off special attacks and combos very quickly doing significant damage. Warriors Generate a skill called "Rage" which generates each time they take damage or do damage. The more they get hit. The more damage a warrior may do. Caster classes have a traditional mana and use mana to cast there spells. Unlike EQ 2 WoW doesnt completely lockout regen in combat, What is known as the 5 second rule for mana means that once you finish casting a spell. Your mana will not regen for 5 seconds. This can create good tactics for eliminating downtime and survivability. PAticularly among classes that are healers as they can stay alive for extended periods of time.


World


Everquest: When you first played Everquest 1 you couldnt but help be impressed with the sheer size of the world. Each race had an individual starting city and it would take hours to traverse it. ((8 plus hours to travel from Odus to Akanon)) This is something EQ 2 does not have. The EQ 2 world starts every race in a beginning City, ((Qeynos, Freeport)) with several suburbs. All these cities are connected to small individual newbie zones and eventually spanning out into commonlands/Antonica. By the time players reach level 20 the 2 city populations begin to converse on zones and begin hunting together. Everquest 2 zones are extremely large. Some of the largest zones I have ever seen in a game and they take can take a long time to run around. The zones however are not connected together as well as EQ 1. And you can still travel around quickly with an "Instant" boat system. At higher levels this costs a bit of money to use for the quick travel but perfectly acceptable prices for the money you make at high levels which will cause for quick transporation around the world. This has a side effect unfortunately of making the world seem small and compact. Unfortunately this is a side of effect of taking 3 large continents ((Found in EQ 1)) and then converting them into 5 tiny continents each representing 5 zones.

World of Warcraft WoW is much like EQ 1 in size and scale. The 2 continents are huge. The best part about WoW is there are only two zones in the entire game. Azeroth And Kalimdor. And each of these land masses are huge. To run across them it would take probably 6-8 hours of your time. Much like the Original EQ 1. Fortunately these long travels have been shortened greatly by a very innovative idea from Blizzard. Introducing Bat Riders and Griffons and allowing players to fly across the world at much more rapid pace. This is actually "extremely" effect way of traveling. The beauty of it is it gives you an opurtunity to truly appreciate the size and scale of World of Warcraft. Travel from Auberdine to Theramore and you will see what I mean. This is a big plus for WoW and immersion factor.



Zones and Population


Everquest 2: EQ 2 is a mixed bag when it comes to zones. There are some really well thought out and carefully crafted zones. Antonica and Thundering Steppes are great in design and offer some very unique challenges. On the contrary theres also Commonlands and Nektulos forest. These zones are poorly concieved with the content and lay out. Nektulos is paticularly the worse. I honestly think the zone was thrown together at a last minute and just placed random high aggro creatures all over. For anyone whos tried to run through nektulos you'll know what I mean. Plus the placement of such creatures is peculiar. In certain spots of Nektulos you will literally find 30 Solo con Skeletons all bunched up together. Or 30 Solo Con owlbears all bunched up. All side by side. It's like picking candy from a candy rack when hunting. Fortunately once I saw Zek and Enchanted Lands the zone layout improved. Sony would do themselves a favor by completely redoing commonlands and nektulos forest as they are just poorly designed zones. ((Content Wise))


World of Warcraft: I really dont have any complaints about WoW when it comes to zone layout. Almost every aspect of each WoW zone has a purpose. If you find a camp of furbolg or murlocs. Theres a 95% chance that there is at least one quest associated with them. And the content is extremely well layed out. Random roaming creatures and then camps of creatures. All layed out in a fashion that was very well thought out. I have to give Blizzard a rather big thumbs up for good content design.


Note: Keep in mind these are primarily outdoor comparisons. I didnt spend enough time in dungeons on either game to really give what I'd call an accurate comparison because I was grouped and really unable to stop smell the roses.


Tradeskilling


Everquest 2: I did not spend much time with Everquest 2's trade skill system. I have never been a big fan of tradeskilling too begin with and I found it too much of a timesink for myself to enjoy. However in retrospect tradeskill items for armor and spells have always been a fairly good business. People want to buy Adept 3 spell versions and Pristine armor every 10 levels. And I used trade skills constantly.

World of Warcraft: WoW tradeskill system was fairly easy for me to pick up and use. My priest is 270 skilled tailor and I create alot of items. But the problem was. I myself have never bothered with tradeskills because they were convenient. But I was able to enjoy trade skilling. However this has its fallbacks. Tradeskill items were constantly overshadowed by drop items and add to the fact that the market is already flooded. I found it very difficult to make any money off tailoring. The biggest problem that occured is the ingredients became more valuable than the created items. It's rather unfortunate since WoW had such a good tradeskill ideas.



Servers and Stability


Everquest 2: Everquest 2 servers are incredibly good. The downtime is minimal. Sony resets the servers every morning at 4:00 AM PDT and the estimated downtime is usually an hour. I found that these estimations were extremely pessimistic and the servers were usually up within 15 minutes. Patch processes go smooth and general server stability is great. This is incredibly strong aspect about EQ 2 and the server stability should teach a lesson to every MMORPG out there right now. If you enjoyed EQ 1 server stability late in the lifetime of the game you will enjoy EQ 2 server stability.

World of Warcraft: *Sigh* I really want to give Blizzard the benefit of the doubt here. I'd really love too. But the horror stories you hear about Blizzard server problems arent exxagerated. Even yesterday morning when I decided to start writing this. I was experiencing zone drops, Broken boats, and server delay. This was not just a me issue either. The same day and time people were experiencing problems connecting to the game. This coupled with numerous problems with Blizzard servers in the past. I really cant give them the benefit of the doubt here. I really hope they fix there servers. Because I find there service fairly unacceptable as of late.


Graphics



Everquest 2: Everquest 2 graphic system is an interesting one. If ((and that is a "Big" if.)) you have the system capable of running EQ 2 at near high detail. The game is absolutely gorgous. Great shader effects, beautiful water. Nice and detailed charactors and just gorgous enviroments. Unfortunately very few people have the system to run this game anywhere near that level and even then it requires massive tweaking. Sony's graphic defaults are anywhere but optimal for any current hardware configuration as well. While the engine itself is scalable. Turning down graphic details will cause the game to essentially turn from beautiful to ugly. Its sad that most people are forced to see EQ 2 in ugly mode because they dont have the system to run it.


World of Warcraft: WoW engine isnt all that scalable. And there's not much you can turn off and on other than graphic enhancing features such as FSAA and AF. You can also fiddle with various shader effects and speculiar lighting effects. However the game may not be as graphically advanced. It is still a graphical masterpiece. The way the world connects and looks is just absolutely beautiful. I literally love riding griffons to see the entire world and its amazing. The default settings and high detail settings dont vary much from each other and perform great on all ranges of computers. 60-90 FPS averages @ 1600x1200 with 4xAA/16xAF sound good enough to you?

Content Updates



Everquest 2: Everquest 2 recieves nightly updates most of the time. Usually done during server resets((The 1 hour resets for server stability). However the content team is always working on new content. Keep in mind upon Everquest 2 release the game had numerous problems. From bugs to poorly implemented content. The Everquest 2 team has done an "Amazing" job of fixing this game up. While there may be some subjective ideas on what are game improvements. Sony continously and actively updates its game. Last month alone we got 2 live updates and a massive overhaul the solo system. Live updates can include anything from content updates such as the addition of new solo zones. ((Such as Lair Of the Necromancer)) Or cosmetic fixes and changes. The important thing to note is EQ 2's team is proactive rather than reactive in their changes and fixes. And this can be seen by their constantly Live Updates.

World of Warcraft: World of Warcraft does not have nearly as many updates. As a matter of fact there have been exactly "Half" the normal updates which would be comparable to EQ 2's Live Updates. And it doesnt recieve anywhere near the updates EQ 2 recieves total.((Daily Updates as a comparison)). To be fair to Blizzard WoW updates are usually far more refined and the content is usually well implemented. Like EQ 2 Blizzard has added new dungeons. However these dungeons are far more refined. ((Such as DireMaul)) and the content seems to be more thoroughly tested. The big difference Blizzard teams have is that the updates can take several months before they are finally implemented. This can cause long standing issues to remain in game for a long time. It does however allow Blizzard more time to thoroughly test it patches.

My Whacky Thoughts


My Conclusion: I think WoW is currently a better game. But both games are good. I dont think anyone should be hesitant to try either. When I have more time I intend to expand upon my little mini review and update it. And while not everyone may agree with me. I tried paticularly hard to judge both games fairly objectively. I will also be adding quest comparisons soon. I simply ran out of time :P
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Last edited by ChrisRay; 05-11-05 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 05-10-05, 08:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: My Indepth Comparison of WoW verses EQ2.

Very nice, well thought-out comparison. Thanks for the great read.
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Old 05-11-05, 04:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: My Indepth Comparison of WoW verses EQ2.

I'd agree with most points though people don't see EQ2 in Ugly mode because of their poor hardware, Rather EQ2's poor graphics engine more like it. If you don't have 6800 Ultra's in SLI and an Athlon XP 4000+ don't bother. Or if low performance is acceptable to you then your golden. Im myself won't accept anything lower then a consistant 35 FPS. Dips to 20 fps and lower are simply not acceptable under any circumstances. EQ2 can't deliver a consistant 40FPS even with my system which is pretty ****ing beefy. (A64@2.5, Geforce 6800 GT at stock, 1GB ram)

Though it has nothing to do with it's performance, im sure my system runs it just as well or better then ChrisRay(Second system), im just not willing to Accept the performance im seeing. Yet it's ok for him.
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Old 05-11-05, 06:23 AM   #4
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Default Re: My Indepth Comparison of WoW verses EQ2.

just a note as a level 50 EQ2 player - some of the best zones are found at higher levels and you may not have seen them yet - zones like lavastorm and solusek's eye really are very cool (well they are pretty hot actually, what with all the lava and eruptions!) - walking across the thin red glass bridges in the heart of solusek's eye, over a hundred foot drop into molten lava.. well it's quite impressive!

2 important areas that you left off your comparison are customer support (which should include balancing/patching) and community.. also would be nice if you could compare the amount of updates each game has received since launch..
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Old 05-11-05, 06:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: My Indepth Comparison of WoW verses EQ2.

Awesome comparison... IS more or less the indeph comparison i was looking to read.. ,just that wanted to see a one with GUildWars in the list with the Big ones.. perhaps if someelse have played enough all 3 games. It will be very helpfull for those people interested to pick their multi online game.

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Old 05-11-05, 06:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: My Indepth Comparison of WoW verses EQ2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pingu2
just a note as a level 50 EQ2 player - some of the best zones are found at higher levels and you may not have seen them yet - zones like lavastorm and solusek's eye really are very cool (well they are pretty hot actually, what with all the lava and eruptions!) - walking across the thin red glass bridges in the heart of solusek's eye, over a hundred foot drop into molten lava.. well it's quite impressive!

2 important areas that you left off your comparison are customer support (which should include balancing/patching) and community.. also would be nice if you could compare the amount of updates each game has received since launch..

I wanted too. And I'll get to that eventually. It needs to be fair though. EQ 2 does a minor update every night and its more fair to comment on the Live Updates verses normal updates.
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Old 05-11-05, 06:54 AM   #7
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Default Re: My Indepth Comparison of WoW verses EQ2.

Quote:
Content Updates



Everquest 2: Everquest 2 recieves nightly updates most of the time. Usually done during server resets((The 1 hour resets for server stability). However the content team is always working on new content. Keep in mind upon Everquest 2 release the game had numerous problems. From bugs to poorly implemented content. The Everquest 2 team has done an "Amazing" job of fixing this game up. While there may be some subjective ideas on what are game improvements. Sony continously and actively updates its game. Last month alone we got 2 live updates and a massive overhaul the solo system. Live updates can include anything from content updates such as the addition of new solo zones. ((Such as Lair Of the Necromancer)) Or cosmetic fixes and changes. The important thing to note is EQ 2's team is proactive rather than reactive in their changes and fixes. And this can be seen by their constantly Live Updates.

World of Warcraft: World of Warcraft does not have nearly as many updates. As a matter of fact there have been exactly "Half" the normal updates which would be comparable to EQ 2's Live Updates. And it doesnt recieve anywhere near the updates EQ2 2 recieves total.((Daily Updates as a comparison)). To be fair to Blizzard WoW updates are usually far more refined and the content is usually well implemented. Like EQ 2 Blizzard has added new dungeons. However these dungeons are far more refined. ((Such as DireMaul)) and the content seems to be more thoroughly tested. The big difference Blizzard teams have is that the updates can take several months before they are finally implemented. This can cause long standing issues to remain in game for a long time. It does however allow Blizzard more time to thoroughly test it patches.
I just updated my comparison. I'll add customer support a bit later
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Old 05-11-05, 07:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: My Indepth Comparison of WoW verses EQ2.

Nice review ChrisRay..

i will like to add something about the "size of the worlds" in those games.. i noticed while seeing a friend playing the game.. repetitive graphics in diferent zones in the game. in everquest1 for example the developers use to copy/paste entire parts of the game in another place. So what will look like 8 hours of "new undiscovered worlds" might be nothing diferent than 1 hour of traveling and later running in circles with lots of empty space, .when it comes to explore new zones.. An EQ1 is not too popular for its graphics just for gameplay. Never played EQ2 ,but perhaps it is possible that EQ2 might look to be a lot "smaller" but in reality it could be a lot more Bigger (since there are more developers in that game that in EQ1) with new worlds with more real content created by their artists for their newest game..

So im a bit skeptic with the "size of the worlds" in games .because there could be some tricks made by their developers to make you believe is Bigger.. FOr example in SIlentHunter3 the best ever submarine simulator ,you can virtually travel to any place is the planet and it could take you months or years without TImecompression going from A to B. and every patrol will take you easily a couple of weeks .Good luck doing a single patrol without Timecompression ,be ready to wait months of your real-life time "playing" the game . the reality is that you are just traveling again and again the same terrain ,the same graphics or this case the same water.. hehe


What will be nice is completely new created Worlds , features like some flight simulators advertise were "you never flight the same place" and that actually they used real satellite data to recreate most of the game terrain . however satelite data is only usefull for sims not MMORPGs games based on imaginary worlds.

So perhaps it could be usefull to add a new area when reviewing a game and its is -How Big is the Game content-.too estimate how much work they have done creating new stuff.. How bigger is the actual game content in the game. but also how many new characters they have in the game. Stalker (if ever released )for example looks impressive here.. because according to their developers it have like 40 big levels conected together to form a very huge land in the game. however the real game content of newest MMORPGs could be higher becuase they update frequently their game with new textures and game data.. you get what you pay

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Old 05-11-05, 07:57 AM   #9
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Default Re: My Indepth Comparison of WoW verses EQ2.

NV40,

you kind of hit it on nail.



ChrisRay,

unfortunately you have not seen any of the high level zones, so your review is kind of not fair IMO Your highest level is 32? 32 IMO is when the game really opens up and when I really started to enjoy my wizard. If you made it to 45+ you would see what I mean.

Also since you are not big into tradeskills...you are missing another half of the game. I am a 50 alchemist, and been one for a while...and yes in the beginning there were a lot of imablances, but I was shcoked they actually did fix tradeskills for the better, though some classes like sage still needs some twinking. I think the tradeskills in EQ2 is one of the best tradeskill system I have ever used in a MMORPG, and I hated the tradeskills in EQ1.
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Old 05-11-05, 07:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: My Indepth Comparison of WoW verses EQ2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elderblaze
I'd agree with most points though people don't see EQ2 in Ugly mode because of their poor hardware, Rather EQ2's poor graphics engine more like it. If you don't have 6800 Ultra's in SLI and an Athlon XP 4000+ don't bother. Or if low performance is acceptable to you then your golden. Im myself won't accept anything lower then a consistant 35 FPS. Dips to 20 fps and lower are simply not acceptable under any circumstances. EQ2 can't deliver a consistant 40FPS even with my system which is pretty ****ing beefy. (A64@2.5, Geforce 6800 GT at stock, 1GB ram)

Though it has nothing to do with it's performance, im sure my system runs it just as well or better then ChrisRay(Second system), im just not willing to Accept the performance im seeing. Yet it's ok for him.
I am playing at 1280x1024 and the game looks beautiful and runs great even in queynos with my system specs, and I have 6800 GT...not sure what your settings are, but you do have to tweak some bit...but most stuff I took off was stuff that made little differences and gave huge FPS..like shadows and flora..both of which annoy me anyhow.
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Old 05-11-05, 08:06 AM   #11
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Default Re: My Indepth Comparison of WoW verses EQ2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghosthunter
NV40,

you kind of hit it on nail.



ChrisRay,

unfortunately you have not seen any of the high level zones, so your review is kind of not fair IMO Your highest level is 32? 32 IMO is when the game really opens up and when I really started to enjoy my wizard. If you made it to 45+ you would see what I mean.

Also since you are not big into tradeskills...you are missing another half of the game. I am a 50 alchemist, and been one for a while...and yes in the beginning there were a lot of imablances, but I was shcoked they actually did fix tradeskills for the better, though some classes like sage still needs some twinking. I think the tradeskills in EQ2 is one of the best tradeskill system I have ever used in a MMORPG, and I hated the tradeskills in EQ1.

I think by seeing up to level 32 I have seen a great deal of content worth mentioning. I have indepth tested the zones I mentioned. While I may have missed content. EQ 2 is a very slow paced experience grind. The areas I mentioned should be perfectly valid for comparison as most people who start the game will see them for a long time. As a matter of fact. Levels 20-30 have usually been deciding factors for people who have stayed and left.

In regards to the tradeskill system. I'd have to disagree. I dont find that EQ 2's tradeskill system very fun at all.. Far too much reliance on harvesting skills. However EQ 2's main benefit to its tradeskill system is alot of the items created a worth using. I would like to point alot does not = All. I feel I have been very been fair in this comparison and the amount of charactors I played game me a unique experience to test multiple aspects of the game and each city/faction.


Quote:
Nice review ChrisRay..

i will like to add something about the "size of the worlds" in those games.. i noticed while seeing a friend playing the game.. repetitive graphics in diferent zones in the game. in everquest1 for example the developers use to copy/paste entire parts of the game in another place. So what will look like 8 hours of "new undiscovered worlds" might be nothing diferent than 1 hour of traveling and later running in circles with lots of empty space, .when it comes to explore new zones.. An EQ1 is not too popular for its graphics just for gameplay. Never played EQ2 ,but perhaps it is possible that EQ2 might look to be a lot "smaller" but in reality it could be a lot more Bigger (since there are more developers in that game that in EQ1) with new worlds with more real content created by their artists for their newest game..

So im a bit skeptic with the "size of the worlds" in games .because there could be some tricks made by their developers to make you believe is Bigger.. FOr example in SIlentHunter3 a sub simulator ,you can virtually travel to any place in the planet and it could take you months or years without TImecompression going from A to B. and every patrol will take you easily a couple of weeks .but the reality is that you are just traveling again and again the same terrain ,the same graphics or this case the same water.. hehe
Neither Wow or EQ 2 really suffer this problem. As a matter of fact. I'd say EQ 2 is "More" likely to suffer this problem than WoW. But that would be nitpicking and It's not something worth complaining about. EQ 2 and WoW offer very unique content around the world. Are textures sometimes reused? Of course both games have that happened. But the actual zone layouts are very well thought out. You cant think of its as a dynamically random generated world with small discrepencies between land masses. Each area is quite unique.
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Old 05-11-05, 08:28 AM   #12
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Default Re: My Indepth Comparison of WoW verses EQ2.

Quote:
I think by seeing up to level 32 I have seen a great deal of content worth mentioning. I have indepth tested the zones I mentioned. While I may have missed content. EQ 2 is a very slow paced experience grind. The areas I mentioned should be perfectly valid for comparison as most people who start the game will see them for a long time. As a matter of fact. Levels 20-30 have usually been deciding factors for people who have stayed and left.

It is nowhere as slow as original EQ1 was. I also dont look at it as a grind like EQ1 becuase I am not just sitting and camping and waiting for mobs to spawn. I am doing quests and or helping my guild out with writs.

To me I just dont see how you can review a game when you have not reached high enough level to experience most of the content. It like reviewing HL2, but only playing the first few levels and leaving out the rest. Were you in a guild? I noticed you dont talk about how the guilds work in EQ2. Being in a guild makes a huge difference in fun IMO.


I also noticed you did not mention grouping aspects...or what about the dungeons like Ruins of Varsoon, or even the instances. What about comparing interfaces? What about how you buy/sell like on a broker? Housing? Furniture..Lore



Quote:
In regards to the tradeskill system. I'd have to disagree. I dont find that EQ 2's tradeskill system very fun at all.. Far too much reliance on harvesting skills. However EQ 2's main benefit to its tradeskill system is alot of the items created a worth using. I would like to point alot does not = All. I feel I have been very been fair in this comparison and the amount of charactors I played game me a unique experience to test multiple aspects of the game and each city/faction.

The thing is you said above you never liked tradeskills, so yeah EQ2 tradeskills wont be fun. Though I have all my harvest skills maxed out..i never harvest..I always buy my resources from other players on the broker. I just dont see how someone can review tradeskills if you are not a tradeskiller. As an alchemist I have made many friends from being an alchemist alone. I have fair prices and I have return customers who will come to me. The Tradeskill community is a community in of itself. What I am trying to get at is if someone reads the reveiw who loves the tradeskills aspect of a MMORPG they wont get a fair opinion.
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