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Wait, why are they like EverQuest?

Why am I seeing over and over people calling WoW and Rift style games “like EverQuest”?   If you ever played EverQuest you would not be able to make that statement.

EverQuest had…

  • Open World, open and shared dungeons, no instancing
  • Harsh Death Penalty – could lose your entire corpse including everything you had if you could not retrieve it (until they added the necro spell), and you could actually lose levels, even from the max level.
  • Difficult Leveling – It took a really, really long time and yes there was grinding.
  • Almost Forced Grouping, soloing was limited to a couple classes
  • Camping spawns
  • No Bind on Equip, they had soulbound but those were later.  You could twink level 50 dungeon items down to a level 1.
  • Incredible race/class diversity/starting stats
  • No loot pinatas – Gear was not replaced often at all.  Items were cherished.
  • Epic Quests – none of this “go gather me 10 radishes” but quests that took weeks, months
  • Non-linear place, unique racial starting areas or even continents.
  • Faction system that allowed you to become hated by your own people but liked by another.  There was no built in “good guys” and “bad guys” 2-faction system.


So tell me, why are WoW and Rift like EverQuest?  Is it that EQ had levels, a holy trinity, and raids?  Are you really willing to say that these games are “like EverQuest” because of that?  Maybe it’s to psychologically avoiding the fact that in reality these are all the ‘WoW model’ and that by saying they’re like EQ you avoid the WoW stigma.  The games that came before WoW were nothing like WoW.   WoW took a bunch of ideas from everything for a decade before it and polished it up with uber accessibility to form its own model that stands apart completely from EverQuest.

Why does any of this matter?
People today often complain about games being all the same. Then statements like this are made and it makes me question if people really understand what they want or what makes the games play the way they do. My goal is to open even one person’s eyes to the fact that there are differences going unnoticed that are more than inconsequential — they are genre defining differences that need to be understood by both developer and player.

Why did WAR turn out so different from DAOC? These two games did -NOT- turn out to be alike at all, yet by this logic everyone would say they were “like” games. DAOC had clear differences such as the 3 realm system vs 2 realms. DAOC had sequestered PvE and PvP areas. DAOC had persistent battlegrounds instead of instanced. DAOC had an open world. Were they really “like” games? If we stick to the logic that these games are alike then we are doomed to never see a game try to do the DAOC model again. Same applies to EQ, Tribes, and UO. UO fans — is Darkfall like UO? Both are Sandboxes, but true UO players will come out and state these play differently enough that they should not be lumped into the same category. I’d hate for there to never be another UO because of Darkfall. The little details matter and should not be lost in generalizations.

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Comments

  1. Intruder says:

    It is an odd claim as I recall when WoW was in development and beta a lot of their aims was to “remove the pain of EQ and focus on the cool / fun stuff” – something they very much achieved. I remember a couple of little things right away: buffs endured during downtime while debuffs timed out.. a nice touch.

    My EQ experience lasted as long as the absolute starting area – it was simply terrible and I was not prepared to fight with the game to progress even from there.

  2. Lots of fond memories of EQ1 but I’d never want to play it again. I spent FAR too much time in the game, have many great memories, consider it the most fun I’ve ever had playing a video game, yet EQ1 in it’s pure form would not succeed today.

    I’d rather see something take EQ’s core – that is difficulty, forced grouping, and a COMMUNITY atmosphere and apply it to a modern game.

    The closest thing since EQ1 to have a similar feel was Vanguard, but sadly that game had many issues that prevented it from ever achieving what could have been.

    Maybe someday we’ll see another community based open world game, but as long as WoW brings in the money it does I don’t expect to see another company deviate from the current standard formula for some time.

  3. When EQ came out it was the first with the first and third person view point. Pretty much everything since then has copied that portion. They are definately children of EQ but not Everquest.

  4. They are like Everquest because they are all based on the old DikuMUD model. Like doesn’t mean same.

  5. Rodalpho says:

    That’s pretty much incorrect. Like Stropp said, they’re all diku variants.

  6. Grimjakk says:

    I think it’s a fair description to call games like Rift and WoW (and AO, AC, DAOC, WAR, SWG, Vanguard, LotRO, FF, AoC, Darkfall, etc.) “like” Everquest — in that they’re RPG character-levelling games set in persistent environments.

    Of course there are major differences in tone and mechanic, but they’re not as significant to someone who hasn’t been living and breathing this stuff the last 12 years.

    It’s like a hard-core grognard complaining that THIS set of rules for moving little metal soldiers around a tabletop battlefield is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT (!!11!) from THAT set of rules for moving little metal soldiers around a tabletop battlefield….

  7. A lot of the things EQ “pioneered” are truly awful by today’s standards. EQ, in it’s day, was great because it offered a truly immersive experience. However, it also involved a LOT of hassle that was not necessary in the genre. Forced grouping is a bad thing. Communities should be allowed to grow on their own. Not forced to do so. That’s not a community. That’s a, forgive the term, dictatorship. Where you’re governed by the game. Instead of the game being governed by the players.

  8. Well, I would say it is like WoW and EQ2.

  9. Yeah, I have to laugh every time I see someone pop up in a conversation about something being copied from WoW and say “well, WoW is just a copy of EverQuest anyway”. I’m with Stropp, WoW and EverQuest share a common ancestry but took it in very different directions – with a lot of those differences being due to Blizzard deliberately choosing to avoid the route EQ took!

  10. I’m sorry but I just don’t see how the Diku comparison is valid anymore. To claim they are “like” based upon the DikuMud makes absolutely no sense anymore. That’s like saying a motorcycle is like a Model-T.

    Everything had to start somewhere, and that makes them related, but they are not ANYWHERE near enough alike to say that WoW is like EQ just because the DikuMud was (allegedly) an inspiration for EQ.

    Case and point: If they’re so similar why then are people constantly trashing (even in this very topic) the attributes of EQ? If they’re so similar, why could EQ “never be done again” according to some? The reason: They’re not alike. WoW did pop-culture numbers because it was not like EQ.

    Regardless if you like WoW or EQ, they’re not similar games.

  11. Nothing that has come out in the last 13 years or so has been like Everquest.

    All of your points are valid, but you don’t really go far enough with your quest angle. For a game called Ever”quest”, it was almost impossible to quest and hardly anybody did. Because there were no flashing lights over mobs with quests. And even if you managed to stumble on one of these NPCs that had quests, there was no option to pick A, B, or C response.

    The NPC would say (if you were lucky enough to think to start a conversation with it), “Hail brave adventurer might you help me with my Journey?”

    And you would then engage in a typing game to get him to say more…

    /say what brave journey?

    nothing…

    /say trip?

    nothing…

    /say journey?

    nothing…

    /say brave

    nothing…

  12. Oh and while I am here I might as well let you know that I think all the Rift hacking is either server side, Rift message board side, or Twitter/Facebook related. I think it highly likely that credit card data is not secure with this game. I cancelled my credit card I bought this game with today.

    I could be wrong but I have never seen this level of hacking in a game and I don’t believe it’s brute force or a keylogger.

  13. Darkstryke says:

    Some of the people here are reading like a victim support group.

    Forced dictatorship, really? I kind of liked the very abrasive Abashi and his nerf bat style. Our way or the highway tended to weed out 90% of the retards that make up 90% of the playerbase in MMO’s these days.

    Keen, its apparent that the twitter / facebook style attention span generation is what the target MMO audience is in this day and age. Hence the McMMO is born, where you can do everything in 20 minutes, and everyone is by and large the exact same. Don’t dare make things inaccessible to 90% of the playerbase, because at the end of the day all that matters is that little Timmy gets his happymeal toy.

  14. Balthazar says:

    @ Sanz

    Weird. I thought the dang game was one giant quest…I guess they had me fooled…

  15. Informis says:

    “That’s like saying a motorcycle is like a Model-T.”

    EQ1 and WoW are the same in the same way and to the same degree that a 2011 Camaro and a Model-T are both cars. Though there are significant differences, form and function are similar.

  16. Informis says:

    Additionally, if someone from 1999 time warped to 2011 and wanted to know what this WoW thing is all about, you’d probably say it’s like EQ, and NOT like Baldur’s Gate or Diablo. Clearly you demand a higher degree of likeness before you feel comfortable making a comparison.

  17. @Informis: So they’re both MMORPG’s. I concede this point.

    As MMORPG’s, they are extremely different games.

  18. It’s kind of funny how badly MMO’s have digressed over the years. I was never a huge EQ player, but all those things you listed are things I completely loved about Lineage 2. I was a hardcore L2 player and I loved the open no instancing world, world raidbosses, harsh death penalties, etc, etc. L2 had its problems (bots everywhere) but I didn’t realize what I had before I quit and moved on to other MMO’s.

  19. I must concur with Keen on this point. To say that WoW, or almost any game post-WoW is like EverQuest is a fallacy at worst, non sequitur at best. To say EQ is an MMORPG, WoW is an MMORPG, therefore they must be the same, is terrible logic.

    If anything what Keen described (I will admit to not having played EQ) reminds me more of DAoC or FFXI (both of which I did play, to varying degrees). Neither of these games are like World of Warcraft, for all of the reasons Keen has listed, and as others have pointed out – there are surely more (reasons, that is).

    I refuse to get in to the “which is better,” debate, or, “which is more genuine/desirable.” Because that’s an argument you cannot truly win. But suffice to say that, as Keen has pointed out, beyond WoW and EQ both being MMORPGs played largely on Windows machines they have little else in common.

  20. I think what they are trying to say (or at least what I am trying to say) is that, unlike what people who started with WOW think, Blizzard didn’t invent anything,they took a model and “refined” it (or dumbed it down, whatever you prefer). So when people say that games like Rift or LOTRO are “WOW clones” are mostly incorrect (I, myself, see more WAr and EQ2 in Rift)

  21. Keen, if you love EQ they do have a progression server you know?

  22. When WoW first came out it was closer to EQ than it was to other games like DAOC, UO etc. and that’s probably where the comparison comes from.

    It’s also worth remembering that the WoW of 2004 was a lot different to the WoW of today and comparisons with EQ were far more valid then than they are now.

  23. When people give similarities they are talking about a broad outlook not defining mechanics. The GUI was almost exactly the same. The camera angles were the same. The world with zones was the same.

    WoW improved on some aspects (and devolved others) but, over all, was a new game based off of the premise of Everquest. If you can’t see that then there’s nothing I can do for you. It would be similar to saying “There is no way that the Nook is based off of the Kindle”

  24. The Merovingian says:

    * Open World, open and shared dungeons, no instancing

    I think instancing is a great tool that is simply abused. Those “newer” games totally lack open dungeons except a few caves in the landscape. I really wish a game would actually have both, and also open dungeons with only parts (like boss chambers) instanced.
    Why do I think instancing is a great tool? It permits to balance an encounter to make it challenging for a specific group size. In an open dungeon, it’s just zerging.

    * Harsh Death Penalty – could lose your entire corpse including everything you had if you could not retrieve it (until they added the necro spell), and you could actually lose levels, even from the max level.

    Thankfully, MMORPGs are back to being GAMES since then. I don’t miss that even a bit, and that’s possibly because I’m older, with less time to play. I want to spend my time beating content, not running to a corpse naked.

    * Difficult Leveling – It took a really, really long time and yes there was grinding.

    That’s not difficulty in my book, that’s tedium.

    * Almost Forced Grouping, soloing was limited to a couple classes

    God forbid someone with limited play time can still log in and achieve something solo instead of having to waste half of his already short time to find a group…
    Asheron’s Call had a FANTASTIC community, yet you could get to max level and also get the best equipment of the game without ever grouping if you wanted to.

    * Camping spawns

    Talk about boring…

    * No Bind on Equip, they had soulbound but those were later. You could twink level 50 dungeon items down to a level 1.

    This was actually nice, but would be utterly abused by gold farmers nowadays. I don’t like this more than anyone, but I feel it’s a necessity in modern MMORPGs.

    * Incredible race/class diversity/starting stats

    Yeah indeed, when you look at games like Rift, you can only cry, so poor they are (and even poorer on the racial lore side).

    * No loot pinatas – Gear was not replaced often at all. Items were cherished.

    I agree here. Content was actually done for the challenge, and not for shiny trinkets. This is one of the reasons MMORPGs have turned from community games into egoistical “me me me” “stand on top of mailbox with uber gear” games.

    * Epic Quests – none of this “go gather me 10 radishes” but quests that took weeks, months

    I remember quests like Aerfalle in AC1 which took two months just to be figured out. Add this today, and the spoon fed crowd will cry rivers of blood tears.

    * Non-linear place, unique racial starting areas or even continents.

    Wow still has that, LOTRO too, but lately games become more and more cheap, ditching racial lore and content. Rift for instance is VERY bad for this.

    * Faction system that allowed you to become hated by your own people but liked by another. There was no built in “good guys” and “bad guys” 2-faction system.

    Aye, that was also great in UO. I wish there were more complex faction systems than just 2 or even 3 predefined sides.
    ___________________

    Conclusion: yeah, some great things got somehow lost. But some very bad, boring and not fun things got ditched too.

  25. Sadly, I never played EQ. :(

    I’m very curious aobut the “Epic Quest” thing. What exactly are the Epic Quests from EQ? WoW did have some epic quests back in vanilla, such as the quest chain to upgrade your dungeon set gear, or the chain for a pally to get his epic mount. Is that more what you mean?

  26. Weak, weak examples of how EQ differs from WoW. In general you’re picking at the edges of what makes a Diku MMO and trying to claim “They are completely different!”. The reality is, there are a lot of similarities. Such as Stat based game play, role based classes, “dungeons” in a general sense and rarity based loot drops. These are the core of the DikuMUD and they’ve continued to exist till today. The only games I’ve heard about that do this differently are EvE Online, Planetside and maybe Darkfall.

    In general, at the games core, there is a lot of similarities and that remains to be true of even all the next gen MMO’s. Game play video from SWToR suggest it’s still following this model.

  27. This is the first I’ve heard of Rift being “like Everquest.” Everything I’ve read says it’s a polished WoW clone and I haven’t seen anything comparing it to Everquest.

    As for WoW being “like Everquest”, it’s a frame of reference. When WoW came out (in 2004, only 7 years after Ultima Online and 6 after EQ), it was more like Everquest than it was like Ultima Online, which for all intent and purpose were the forefathers of the MMORPGS. WoW was class-based and required a level grind. Therefor, WoW was like Everquest. Whereas, something like Star Wars Galaxies was skill-based and more like Ultima Online.

    If you examine the two games (EQ & UO), it comes down to Sandbox vs Themepark. If you are a sandbox, then your game is more like UO. If you are a themepark, then your game is more like EQ.

  28. The Merovingian says:

    @Sentack “The only games I’ve heard about that do this differently are EvE Online, Planetside and maybe Darkfall.”
    Don’t forget Ultima Online, the “father” of Sandbox MMORPGs. Asheron’s Call 1 was quite different too.

  29. The Merovingian says:

    I guess most people say WoW, Rift, LOTRO, etc… are “like EQ” because they follow the more rigid “class/level” based model instead of the more “sandboxish” skill based one. And in that respect, they are of course totally right.

  30. Basically what I’m reading here is that those who believe EQ and WoW/Rift are like each other are saying so because the UI is the same and they all have classes and levels. Yes, you are correct.

    I’m challenging whether that is enough.

    God of War and Mario. Are they alike? Both platformers.
    Gears of War and Counter Strike. Are they alike? Both shooters.
    Civilization and Warcraft 3. Are they alike? Bother strategy.

    Just like you would not tell someone that God of War is like Mario, you can’t tell someone that Rift is like EverQuest simply because they have a couple of things in common at a very superficial level. Taking the actual games themselves, how they’re played, etc., they diverge beyond any reasonable comparison. I still believe -anyone- saying they’re alike has never played EQ for more than 10 minutes.

    Instead of saying “Rift is like EverQuest”, say “Rift has classes and levels like EverQuest”. There is a HUGE difference between those two statements which I have made abundantly clear by listing core elements of EQ that differ from WoW.

  31. EQ was definitely not a themepark so thats well…wrong.
    I think at the heart of this debate though keen is you are taking your intricate knowledge of most every mmo that has come out in the last 12 years and projecting that on the general game audience.

    Some of us who played everquest have played many mmo’s since, but many people moved from everquest to wow and really only have knowledge of the 2 games, also wow was the first mmo for lots of people seeing as how it has 12 million subs, and like the public in general they are going to use references to games they may or may not have played when trying to compare products.

    That being said I can understand why you’re somewhat touchy about the comparison, but its also nothing worth getting worked up about. There are broad similarities and the games are from the same genre, hence likeness.

    Now if someone tries to tell me Rift is like Frogger then by all means flame on!

  32. But that’s just it, it’s not a superficial level. It’s actually a vast degree of things that match up that show the similarities to the point of showing clear evolution from one to the other. If you claim they aren’t similar on a very deep level, then you can’t trace a very good evolutionary line from one to the other and everyone can who’s played these games for any extended period of time honestly can.

    I think the only people who want to separate these games are those clinging onto some sense of ‘this is special’ sort of viewpoint about some individual game. You’re trying to push it outside the normally accepted lineage of MMO history for reasons I don’t understand. For example, UO was an evolutionary dead end until Darkfall came out, but it still seems like the concept isn’t picked up that heatedly. EQ lead to some other MMO’s (Maybe influenced DAoC, maybe) and then WoW and then later games we see today (Aloids, Rifts, Realms of Magic, etc). It’s a very clear line. You can see how one influenced another and made striking changes along the way but the similarities are very strong.

    And it’s not things like UI and just that it “Has classes”. It’s a very deep level of design and gameplay that matter. Just because the community is different and some of the gameplay aspects are ‘old school’, doesn’t mean they aren’t similar. It’s like you’re associating similar with equal or identical, and that’s not true.

  33. It’s a growing annoyance turning into a pet peeve, that’s all. We could just say that every MMO is the same. The problem with that is these games are already suffering from developers and players not knowing what makes these games what they are and instead just slapping in a few general mechanics and thinking they’ve followed the directions to bake a cake.

    The result is already visible in that most MMO’s released in the past few years -have- all been the same. They’re not following the EQ model, they’re following the WoW model.

    Ignoring what makes them very, very different discredits both sides in this discussion. WoW became what it did because it was not EQ. EQ was what it was because it was not WoW.

    @Sentack: Influencing something doesn’t make them automatically alike, though. I’ve already conceded that WoW evolved from EQ. That is 100% obvious — it’s a fact. However, it evolved to the point that the two are no longer alike as MMORPGs. Are they both MMO’s? Yes, but not any more alike than God of War and Mario.

  34. Oh well that’s a completely different rant, actually. But a rant never the less because, from what I’m reading, your saying that developers have focused on one batch of traits that you find fun but lack soul compared to another set of traits that you think lead to a much more well developed game. Now that’s subjective but I would also argue that what you want is that some Indy developer to take the EQ model and tweak the things you want into a AAA title with the full complement of upgrade graphics/animations and cleaner content that we expect from modern MMO’s.

    Actually, isn’t that Vanguard? I though Vanguard was basically a polished up version of EQ. Lots of races, classes, more hardcore content but with a lot more polish around it. What does Vanguard do that you don’t like?

    As for evolution, the games are still alike as MMO’s. I personally don’t call these games MMORPG’s. Any of them, EQ included because to me, it’s just a silly title. It’s a Marketing word. Really all I care about are “Games I like” vs “Games I don’t like”. Not so much silly marketing words.

  35. EQ was a themepark. Nellie is… wrong.

    But Nellie is right about one thing though. Getting your panties in a wad over semantics is silly. There’s no reason to worry about people comparing your new game of the month to yesteryear’s classic. If you enjoy the game, then have fun.

  36. I think it mostly comes down to non-PVP focused gameplay, but you’re right. These games have more differences than similarities to EQ1.

  37. Informis says:

    I suppose another way of looking at it is that saying “WoW is like EQ” is appropriate, depending on the audience. If I’m trying to educate a non-gamer on what WoW is, that statement might be appropriate. If I were an MMORPG blogger, that statement is naive.

  38. Again, those saying the two are alike are doing so in the most general sense. “They are all MMO’s” or “They are level/class based” are all TRUE.

    Beyond that, they’re just not the same. The audience I am speaking to are all gamers, the same audience those making these statements are speaking to. Think about it… a non gamer has no clue what EverQuest even is but they may have heard of WoW. You would never tell a non gamer that ANYTHING is like EverQuest.

    It’s subjective only to a certain degree. What I am stating is factual. These games are more different than they are alike.

    Here’s a challenge for everyone saying WoW is like EQ. Tell us all right here right now that God of War is like Mario. The same reasons you’d feel silly making that direct statement/comparison are the same reasons why you should feel silly for saying WoW is like EQ. If you have no problem making that comparison then you’re crazy.

    Challenge #2 for those defending that WoW/Rift are like EQ: As I have done for why they are different, I want you to lay out exactly why you feel they are alike. I’m not accepting the current “they are like just because they are” position.

  39. All of these games with the exception of very few are like Everquest. From my perspective – back in 1997 UO started and if you wanted to play a graphical MMO…then UO was your best bet…it had all kinds of players in it which made it a lot of fun.

    However, UO had a harsh (hardcore) environment with the constant fear of PKs (Player Killers…) combined with a full loot system. Many people really didnt enjoy that part…back then…we called these people carebears. Once EQ came out – there was this new game where you couldnt just be randomly killed and many of the carebears left UO and went to EQ…the game where you could play in peace…

    In my opinion, this is the only division that happened back then that may justify calling Rift and WOW an EQ type of game. Content wise, EQ didnt seem easier with the exception of avoiding PKs. Most games follow the EQ model…it just evolved into WOW…

    DAOC was somewhat of a hybrid – for the most part, the game was safe but since people did hunt in the frontiers, there was the risk of being killed by players (but no punishment like full loot). Eve is a game that developed from the original UO type play. Other than that, most successful games followed the old EQ model which by now is pretty much standard (which is why it may not be easy to recognize the old division between UO and EQ).

    If people are saying that WOW is like EQ then the above explanation is the only one that I can come up with that makes sense…if not…then maybe it is just a wrong perception?

  40. Now you put it this way I find it really hard to disagree with you !

    Yes looking from 2011 WoW/Rift seem really far away from EQ. Now when I was looking at wow in 2004 I was comparing the landscape. One one hand there was PvE progression game. EQ. That game was all about pve progression. On the other hand you had UO (sandbox), AC – unique game for its time , seamless world, dynamic events, SWG (sandbox) ,Shadowbane (horribly bugged and badly designed but with player built structures)

    WoW was a game like EQ in a way that it was all about loot and nothing else. In fact WoW was less about loot initially as it had better combat system and largely due to that much better world pvp. As WoW “progressed” (Id say regressed) it became all about loot and raids (just like EQ) sans the grind, with much better interfaces and much more polished

  41. All these MMOs are like Everquest because I like Everquest and I like all these MMOs.

    Or because they are all DIKU-derived.

    Or both.

  42. JJ Robinson says:

    @Argorius He so far has made the best argument surrounding the evolution of MMOs.

    WoW is like EQ, but they are far from identical. In fact, I’d argue over time, WoW is becoming less and less EQish and more its own entity. EQ never had dailies, marks/faction awards farmed for loot, or stupid pvp killing battlegrounds.

    Maybe everyone can agree EQ and WoW were alike initially, and over time WoW has morphed into an accessible individually driven online RPG, where grouping is encouraged but far, far from required.

    SWTOR looks like it will take the new age WoW model, of an individualized online RPG to a whole new extreme. From one’s point of view, this is good or bad. I personally don’t like it. I enjoy one world, one spawns, conflict, challenge and great satisfying rewards.

    Another case-in-point: Getting your first epics in WoW was challenging and rewarding. Getting epics now is grindy, boring and frankly brings little sense of accomplishment. This lack of accomplishment, caused by making items very accessible, created the need for achievements. Achievements suck.

  43. Like fps games were all compared to quake a while ago (and more recently call of duty). They take the genre defining game that really starts things off (aka makes it popular) and compare it to constantly.

    Eq was the first first-person 3d massively multiplayer online RPG. And for many it was their first mmo so the whole Rose tinted specs come in to play. I loved the game to death, but I recently started to try then new progression server with a few friends and it really showing it’s age now, to the point of becoming un-playable. It doesn’t mean they got things wrong (imo), a game that has the same type of concepts would now be niche but I still think it could be a success.

    The biggest and best thing about EQ was the social aspect of it, the fact that you couldn’t change your name or server the good players got noticed and the bad ones got shunned, I remember every time I logged on as my shaman (a support class) I would be invited to at least 2 groups almost instantly. I log into WoW, although I’m in a top guild … no one gives a shit.

  44. ComicRelief says:

    Talk about getting your knickers in a knot Keen. When people say that they refer mostly to the basic characteristics. EQ and the others are MMOs at the most superficial and generic level. Like!=same.

    People sometimes don’t want to be overly specific. I was not aware there was an MMO Term police that came up and clubbed you in the head if you called Wow an MMO vs “Themepark MMO” as and to Xsyon an MMO as opposed to “Sandbox MMO”

    I personally think you are having another bout of severe “good old days” nostalgia and found an excuse to rant about the current state of MMOs…again.

    We forgive you and we love you just the same. :)

    What DOES bother me is that big game designers that have resouces are increasingly coming up with a formula that is more homogenized, disregarding good ideas from previous games (successful or not) to the detriment of all.

    800-pound Wowrilla crits you for 200K damage (Crushing.) You gain enrage. You die. Enrage fades from you. As long as this fear is not dispelled, I predict more posts about the “good old days”…

  45. This has absolutely nothing to do with good old days. What if I were to tell you I loathed EverQuest and thought it was the worst game ever made? WoW was the greatest game ever made. It would have no impact at all on the results of what I am stating.

    Nothing in my entry shows favor to EQ mechanics. I’m stating straight up that these games are -not- alike.

    In fact, I’m not stating opinion here at all about which mechanics are better. I have an opinion, but I am holding that back. I’m simply stating that it’s time to stop saying that WoW is like EverQuest because it is not (I have proven that, unlike those claiming they are alike). I could turn that around and say that EverQuest is not like WoW.

    Make sense? Sure seems like some of you are confused about what this entry is saying.

    Here’s what I see from the people who say EQ and WoW are alike:
    Apples are like Oranges because they are both fruit.
    Cake is like Pie because they are both desert.
    God of War is like Mario because they are both platformers.
    Oreos are like NutterButters because they are both cookies.

    You see the fallacious comparison, right? None of those things are like the other OTHER THAN THE CATEGORY THEY FALL INTO. Take out the category and then explain to me how an apple is like a fruit. Explain how God of War is like Mario. Use the same logic to explain that WoW is like EQ once you remove the category of the game.

  46. Informis says:

    You think they’re too different to be called “alike” and others think they’re too similar to be called “different.” It’s a matter of degrees, not black and white.

  47. You’re right. Playing EQ and WoW… no way anyone would think those games are not alike.

    Oh, wait. That would be insane. On second thought, I’ll go with black and white.

  48. @Keen

    You have great points but could you agree that WoW and EQ are alike in the way that they are both PvE progression focused games? Lotro is eq and wow alike as well. Of course pve progression games are rather large category.

    If we say theme-park games then wow and EQ are not alike (eq was not a theme park).

  49. Sure, PvE progression is something they share. But that was common to The Realm (came out before EQ) as well.

    I’ve conceded three times now that WoW came after EQ, was inspired by EQ, and took many ideas from EQ. However, the game simply does not play like EQ. Aside from being a MMORPG with levels, raids, and hotkeys, they are not alike. The very core of the game, the essence of what makes WoW or EQ what they are, is distinctly unique to each of those styles of games.

    Not everything with four wheels is a car.

  50. Informis says:

    And I’ll go with: It’s as much of an oversimplification to say these games are totally different as it is a generalization to say they are “the same.” And sometimes you need to accept a simplification or generalization to allow the conversation to proceed.

    If the differences are interesting to you, and you want to talk about those differences, fine. Talk about the differences. Insisting your readers accept your final judgment that they are NOT ALIKE PERIOD END OF QUOTES THE END ROLL CREDITS is a strange tree to be barking up.

  51. That’s just it… I listed for you 11 complex differences for discussion and so far all I have gotten back is the typical DikuMUD name drop and a few comments repeating what I have already conceded as inconsequential facts.

    I DO want to talk about the differences. I have issued two challenges which have gone, conveniently, completely ignored. I want you to list for me the similarities that someone playing WoW would say “this is like EQ”. Compare those to the differences and tell me if it makes sense to say they are more alike than they are different.

    This is -entirely- about very clear FACTUAL differences. No generalizations here.

    Challenge #3:
    Go play EQ then go play Rift (or WoW).
    Go play Tribes then Bad Company 2.

    No one who plays those games will say:

    “WoW is the EQ model”
    “Bad Company 2 is the Tribes Model”

    In fact, if you will actually play the games you’ll come back and agree that these games are different enough to be considered more unalike than they are alike. I guarantee it.

  52. Why does any of this matter?
    People today often complain about games being all the same. Then statements like this are made and it makes me question if people really understand what they want or what makes the games play the way they do. My goal is to open even one person’s eyes to the fact that there are differences going unnoticed that are more than inconsequential — they are genre defining differences that need to be understood by both developer and player.

    Why did WAR turn out so different from DAOC? These two games did -NOT- turn out to be alike at all, yet by this logic everyone would say they were “like” games. DAOC had clear differences such as the 3 realm system vs 2 realms. DAOC had sequestered PvE and PvP areas. DAOC had persistent battlegrounds instead of instanced. DAOC had an open world. Were they really “like” games? If we stick to the logic that these games are alike then we are doomed to never see a game try to do the DAOC model again. Same applies to EQ, Tribes, and UO. UO fans — is Darkfall like UO? Both are Sandboxes, but true UO players will come out and state these play differently enough that they should not be lumped into the same category. I’d hate for there to never be another UO because of Darkfall. The little details matter and should not be lost in generalizations.

  53. I think you’re just knit-picking at this point, to be honest. EQ is not in some genre of it’s own. It’s an MMORPG just like WoW is an MMORPG. Mechanics differences do not put a game into it’s own little corner of the world. It either is, or it isn’t. You can’t have it one way or the other. WoW and EQ are alike in that they’re both large, persistant worlds. Where possibly millions of players could interact on a meaningful level. While completing both PvE and PVP content.

    Listing the content difference does not make them different types of games. It makes them different games. So yes, in it’s own way, WoW is similar to EQ. Not because it’s a quest game, whereas EQ is a waste your life being lost game. They’re alike in that they bother offer similar core features.

  54. @Shadrah: You’re just restating what I already said. That’s not at all what this is about. In fact, you’ve just generalized even broader than most here. You’ve just said that WoW is like UO, SWG, and sandbox games now. The WoW model is not the EQ model is not the UO model. They are different — stop lumping them together. I will not repeat myself again.

    I think you guys are smarter than this. Play the games. Do they play the same? No, and if you dare state otherwise you’re a liar or a fool.

  55. @Shadrah: By the way,

    “Listing the content difference does not make them different types of games. It makes them different games.”

    Is EXACTLY the entire point of what I am saying. They’re in the same genre but they are more different than they are similar. That’s the whole point.

  56. I just love you more now cause I realized in the last few weeks you played The Realm with me. If I could go in the wayback machine I would invite you to hang with us at the Balefire Clan tree. No we didn’t technically own the tree…but we were sorta camping it. Every day. Hoping a dude would come by and try to pickpocket us..cough.

    I’m obviously an older gamer…so I try to take this into consideration. There are definitely things like twitter and facebook that I would have been all over 10 years ago that now seem like too much trouble. Just not worth the time. I don’t need to be bleeding edge on updating people on where I am standing right this second. Cause they prolly don’t care…

    Is there some of that carrying over into my MMORPGS too? It’s just too much work for what I know is esssentialy zero return in the end? It’s possible.

  57. Read Tobold’s post today on possibility spaces; zoom right in, and obviously there are differences, but even just restricting it to the MMORPG genre EverQuest, WoW and Rift (and LotRO, WAR, etc etc) are clustered more closely than, say, SWG, ATitD and EVE

  58. The Merovingian says:

    What is annoying anyway in the actual state of the MMORPG industry is that we only get EQ “children” – aka class/level theme park games. We don’t get any quality Ultima Online or Asheron’s Call “children” (please, don’t say Darkfall or Mortal… don’t do it! ;)).
    That’s what people mean when they say EQ clone, or WoW clone. It’s still just more of the same, or at least, of the very similar.
    Give the little guys who are making “Dawntide” the budget they need and then we’ll see something really innovative and different.

  59. Oh someone please give me another UO or AC. I would play them for years.

  60. @Stark: I would never deny they are clustered, but the details matter more than people give them credit. Play EQ and it plays completely different from WoW, regardless of whether or not it can be lumped into the same familial category.

    This topic isn’t about categories or broad generalizations — it’s about debunking those as the measure to prove that the games are in fact quite different despite being called “MMO’s” or even MMO’s of a particular type. So different, in fact, that they should be broken off into their own types rather than being continually related.

    You really don’t have to zoom in that far… you just have to put on your glasses so you can see.

  61. I think I answered your question quite nicely about similarities. It doesn’t matter how generalized they are. To some degree, they ARE similar games. Similar does not mean equal. Or even that they play the same. It means that they share common aspects that can remind you of one or the other. Which is why I said you’re knit-picking. Not because of your question, but because by definition, they are similar games.

  62. The Merovingian says:

    Nit picking, not knit picking… this made me smile actually :)

    Keen is right and wrong at the same time. Right, because a game, even of the same genre, will always have differences compared to another of the same genre. Wrong, because when people use the terms “EQ clone” or “WoW clone”, they refer more to a whole genre. And you can hardly deny that both WoW and EQ are of the level/class theme park progression based MMORPG type. The type of which we get WAY too much games.

  63. @Shadrah: Actually, you stated exactly, without any deviation, my entire point perfectly.

    “Listing the content difference does not make them different types of games. It makes them different games.”

    That’s the only point I was ever trying to make.

  64. @Shadrah

    They are similar. No one denies this. They have several commonalities.

    The point Keen is trying to make is that the differences are important, no matter how slight, and that the differences are what make them totally different games.

    You’re just confirming what he is already saying and going around in a circle about it.

  65. I feel like I’m getting trolled by Keen, but…

    EQ and WoW/Rift/Themepark XYZ from 2004+ are similar because:

    * At the beginning of the game, you pick a race/class combination. This combination determines your potential abilities.

    * Your character increases its power in two ways (really 1 way):
    – Killing mobs (and/or players) to get experience points
    – Killing mobs to get better gear

    * As your character increases in level, you gain more abilities. Also, your current abilities get more powerful.

    * You fight mobs/players by targetting them and activating your abilities. The abilities are typically activated from a hotbar by pressing a number key.

    * Players can “team up” in parties to fight harder mobs. They can also form guilds/clans to organize and identify themselves. The hardest mobs generally require the most players to cooperate.

    * The major point of the game is to increase your power. Typically this involves leveling your character to its maximum level and then obtaining the best possible gear set.

    * Not every character can wear every piece of gear. It is generally restricted by race and class.

    I’m getting bored, so I’m going to stop. Also the OP is wrong about several things concerning EQ:

    >> Open World, open and shared dungeons, no instancing

    EQ introduced instances in LDoN. All raid targets are now instanced.

    >> Harsh Death Penalty

    EQ relented on corpse runs around 2005, iirc.

    >> No Bind on Equip, they had soulbound but those were later.

    EQ had “NO TRADE” items from the very beginning. Almost all of the “end game” items are NO TRADE (ie planar armor/weapons).

    >> You could twink level 50 dungeon items down to a level 1.

    More like level 30-40. See above.

    >> Epic Quests – none of this “go gather me 10 radishes” but quests that took weeks, months

    Epic Quests are awesome. But they are ENTIRELY “go gather me 1 of this type of radish, 1 of this type of flower, and 1 of this kind of watermelon” type quests. They only started introducing interesting quests around Velious, but even those aren’t super interesting.

  66. @Beleg: The things you listed, up until getting bored, are present even in many sandbox games. What makes them unique to the EQ model? Teaming up to fight harder stuff, getting better stuff from harder stuff, gaining abilities as you progress… these are MMO attributes even for some sandbox games.

    EQ being 12 years old (what, today?) it has evolved. They didn’t have instances for at least the first five years. In fact, the corpse runs in 2005 was in response to WoW in order for them to be more “appealing” to the masses. So in a way, EQ copied WoW.

    EQ had No trade, but the vast (and I mean VAST) majority of 1-46’ish items were twinkable. The items from the Planes were not.

    A few of the epic quests were of that “gather me 1 of this, 2 of that, 10 of this, find that” but there were also more complex ones, and even some of those more menial ones still required spawn camping and weeks of effort.

    Bottom line, looks like your list just goes on to prove my point that it’s not me doing the nitpicking.

  67. Although much of this has been a heated debate, I’ve come away from this entry having learned a valuable lesson: People are just not as educated on the finer details of MMO’s as I had thought.

    I was expecting people to say “You know, you’re right!” but instead the reaction was “huh? It has levels and items that means its like EQ”. I’ve also noticed a great deal of confusion and blatant cluelessness (that a word?).

    Only a handful here have recognized that little details matter, the subtle nuances make games that on the surface look similar from a distance (Where most seem to dwell) but when actually played and learned they turn out to be entirely different; even to the point of being worthy of their own genre in many ways.

    Hopefully this raises some doubt. I’d like for people to see the differences that aren’t as obvious as UO is to WoW. The differences between EQ and WoW are so stark, to me, that Rift (a newer “WoW” model) should not be called an “EQ Clone” or “the perfect take on the EQ model” but rather a “WoW clone”. Challenge what a developer tells you. Challenge what you see on the exterior and really dig in to learn what makes a MMO tick — that’s where the meat of this discussion is at.

    They’re all MMO’s, but within that category there are many diverse and untapped potentials waiting to be revisited. I fear that developers have fallen victim to the same mindset seen here, that WoW is like EQ or WAR is like DAOC when in fact they’re not and evidence to the contrary has been brought up time and time again with one game failing after another. Thinking for a moment that WAR is like DAOC means that people think the DAOC model doesn’t work — wrong.

    I’ll hold my ground on this issue and as time goes on hopefully I will make progress instructing people on these differences.

    Here’s more food for thought: Why am I always told that the old days are gone and that EQ or DAOC could never work today? Why do I get told to go back and play these older games if I liked them so much… technically, doesn’t that prove my point that they were very different?

    Note: I’m locking the thread up now. It’s just troll bait for the ignorant.