As I played, I came across features and gameplay that tended to look similar. The Aether races in EQII look a lot like the race tracks from DCUO. The upcoming house database, with a ranking system, sounds a lot like what's in Free Realms. I'd wager that the Mercenary system will be modeled on the one that's already in EverQuest. And the on-again-off-again gifting system in EQII resembles the one already in Clone Wars Adventures.
In this week's Tattered Notebook, we'll take a somewhat tongue-in-cheek look at a few other features from SOE games that would be great to see in EverQuest II.
Physics-based gameplay. I could spend an entire evening in DCUO just shooting up cars, throwing oil drums, smashing lamp posts, and running straight up the side of a building. The closest thing we have to that in EQII is being able to stack some boxes and planks (but only in a handful of gnoll-filled caves), being able to climb walls (but pretty much only in desert areas), and some neat Parkour tricks that a select few are able to do. I know many cheered the return of EQ's Beastlord, but I long for the return of the Ogre Wall!
Ships. Vanguard has them, and so does Pirates of the Burning Sea, obviously. One day, I'd love to do what I was able to do in Vanguard: open up my backpack and pull out a massive galleon, complete with sails and crew. I was thrilled to see flying mounts added to EverQuest II, because it completely changes how you view the world of Norrath, and it brought back so many memories of my travels through Telon. How cool would it be to have the ability to sail the open waters of Norrath, perhaps even having the opportunity to join the Far Seas Trading Company? Vanguard always excelled when it came to the freedom to travel, and I'd love to see more of that in EQII.
Vendor diving. I know, I know, this will never happen. But part of me misses the "one man's trash is another man's treasure" philosophy that came from EverQuest. Vendors actually used to sell a set list of items, but also a certain number of recently sold items from other players. The problem, of course, is that some poor guy would accidentally sell his SoD or his FBSS to a vendor, and then be out of luck if someone else was nearby and searched that same vendor fast enough. But it was really fun to be that market-savvy player and basically turn a night of vendor diving into a highlights episode of "Antiques Roadshow." There were tons of ordinary items that players would sell off, which actually turned out to be extremely valuable. And it was a great way for crafters to scoop up resources on the cheap since players didn't have a simple drop down listing of the current "going rate" at auction. It's been almost a decade since the glory days of vendors, and it would be nice to actually see them sell something other than weapons and armor that not even the newbest of newbs would purchase.
Take me there. Free Realms has something that every other MMO should have -- a button that allows you to auto-run to the location of quest updates and turn-ins. So if I'm tasked with traipsing to a nearby field to duel a hooligan, I can click the "take me there" button and pop open another browser window while my pixie travels there on her own. It's not always the most direct route, because she pretty much sticks to roads and paths, but if I'm already burdened with tons of menial tasks, such as harvesting snow or killing giants, I should at least be able to grab a snack while my avatar does the trip. I know that the objection is that it "dumbs down" the game, and I know that the counter to that is "you don't have to use it if you don't want," but going beyond those points of view, it's just not fun to have to stop to look up waypoints and NPC locations in order to do a few simple solo quests.
Stunt Gungan. We haven't seen mini-games in the EQ franchise since good old /gems, but if they ever make a comeback, the one I'd really like to see is Stunt Gungan. You basically have to throw Jar Jar Binks into the air, and then keep him aloft by getting him to smash into droids and bounce off ammo boxes. Of course, my goal is to use my Jedi force powers to direct him right into the nearest pile of dung. If you thought your clerics were distracted in EQ by playing gems during dungeon runs, imagine the deaths caused by the temptation to hurl Jar Jar over and over and over.
What would you like to see in EQII from your favorite SOE games? In particular, are there features that you'd want to see made standard across the board? Share your thoughts below!
From the snow-capped mountains of New Halas to the mysterious waters of the Vasty Deep, Karen Bryan explores the lands of Norrath to share her tales of adventure. Armed with just a scimitar, a quill, and a dented iron stein, she reports on all the latest news from EverQuest II in her weekly column, The Tattered Notebook. You can send feedback or elven spirits to firstname.lastname@example.org.