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Old MMO Mechanics I Love and You Probably Hate (Part 3)

Part 3 of this little series concludes what I think has been a pleasurable look back at mechanics from older MMO’s that I love and the majority of today’s MMO players would probably hate.  Some of them remain as mere shadows of what they once were and some have disappeared entirely.

Classes that filled Unique Roles

Anyone remember Bards from EverQuest?  There are many examples of classes that were really quite original and have disappeared almost entirely.  Certain roles needed to be filled for certain dungeons or adventure groups.  Sometimes you would need a Monk to pull and that’s really all the Monk did.  The CC of an Enchanter was what that class did and no one could compare.  Yeah, some classes were a little worthless and I certainly don’t miss that but I really do miss how unique people felt when in a party compared to the cluster(….) of AoE DPS classes (very apparent in WoW).

Weapons with More Delay than Damage (Itemization)

I had to just throw this one in there.  I remember using a Wurmslayer on my Gnome Warrior (which was bigger than him) but it had more delay than damage or at least felt that way.  I’ll tie this one into itemization and just say that I enjoyed how itemization worked in older games.  There were fewer options and gear was simpler.  Using a sword was sometimes just a sword instead of “Sword of Tiger Swiftness of the Monkey’s Paw” and this whole convoluted itemization in more current games.  This is where Dark Age of Camelot shined most of all in that you really could just use the weapons a vendor sold.  I could buy an Iron Sword of the vendor and it would be really nice but then a crafter could make me one that had been refined and had more damage or something like that.

Pulling and Group Spots

Definitely one of the things that I miss most is the group-centric experience gain from killing mobs.  This mechanic existed as early as level 1 in a game like EverQuest or Dark Age of Camelot; even SWG featured the same feel.   Groups would go out into the wilderness and find a nice centralized location with lots of mob traffic or a spot near a camp of mobs or anywhere that was just a nice spot to sit and pull to and then they would start pulling.  The act of pulling meant that it was one person’s job to go out and find a mob and bring it back to the group.  I remember being in North Ro somewhere just north of the platform and pulling tarantulas, madmen, scarabs, mummies, and other neat creatures to my group.  This was the absolute best way to EXP back then (in my opinion) and the most fun because it allowed me to socialize with people and form a connection with others playing the game.  This was a catalyst for a very, very close-knit community later.  The same stories can be told about DAOC and SWG — especially SWG when we would set up a Ranger camp and pull Krayt Dragons.

Rare Spawn bosses in open-world dungeons.

Rare Spawn Camping

While there were times it made me really angsty, there were also times when I had the most fun ever just hanging out with friends and socializing with other people while waiting on a spawn.  I remember waiting on the Cyclops to spawn for the Jboots ring (in multiple spots) and while it was often an exercise in futility, there is still something about it that I enjoyed while doing it.  I think it definitely worked better when the population was smaller (500k or less) and then compounded by the fact that the game worlds were larger and harder to traverse.  When you killed your rare spawn it gave a feeling of unmatched accomplishment.

Dungeon Crawling

This ties in to rare spawns as well as ‘pulling’ and is a mechanic/feature that is no longer present.  Dungeons were open to everyone at the same time.  It was not something that you instanced into where just your group was there.  Groups would enter a dungeon and attempt to find an uncamped location from which to begin pulling mobs and gaining experience.  Most of the time these dungeons had certain locations that were compartmentalized or where a boss would spawn.  The bosses were the big prize and groups would often form and camp the boss for dozens of hours at a time.  People would come and go from the group if they could not stay but that same group that started could even last for days with a waiting list to get in.  Crawling through dungeons and hunkering down was very similar to the group spots and pulling stories that I told above.

And lastly…


CHOO CHOO!  Train to Zone!

Monsters used to follow you forever until you either zoned, ran them to guards, or died.  This is what sparked kiting, created a big sense of danger as you had to escape a monster that could surely kill you, and also one that created a really dynamic multi-group experience in dungeons and crowded areas.  There was one dungeon in particular called Unrest where a lot of undead monsters could quickly overwhelm a group because of a bad pull.  The group would then have to ‘train’ them to the zone (the word came from a long line of monsters following someone like a train).  People would shout “TRAIN TO ZONE!” because this train wouldn’t just go back to its spawn right away… it would attack anyone unfortunate enough to be near it.

Feel free to share your favorites.  I definitely have not listed them all!  Most of these mechanics or design decisions I’ve gone through in these 3 entries could really be brought back with a little tuning for the current generation and I believe quite strongly that they would make a positive impact.

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Bhagpuss - June 7, 2010

How about “Breaking a Room”?

Long before I ever set foot in a dungeon I spent hours reading the huge guides on how to break rooms in Lower Guk and Kedge. (I still have the printed copies in a file somewhere and I may just go and read them again after I type this).

I was actually petrified of dungeons. Remember when the community was split between “Outdoor” and “Dungeon” players, with the latter feeling all elite and also getting all the best loot? In the end, I came to love dungeoneering and I particularly loved breaking the room and holding it.

Of course, we complained that we couldn’t really “crawl” the dungeons and over time everything changed so that instead of breaking rooms or even crawling, dungeons became a full sprint of the 12-legged threshing machine that kills mobs so fast there’s scarcely time to loot. Be careful, as they say, what you wish for.

Rybnik - June 7, 2010

Finally our opinions differ a little on your old mmo mechanic’s list. I agree that pulling was a lot of fun (mainly for the puller) and required a good bit of timing and strategy to do well. I do sometimes miss those old camping spots. I do not however miss rare spawn camping or mob trains to the zone.

Nils - June 7, 2010

Not a lot I would like about what you described in part 3 😉

But I would love to get dangerous travel back.
I don’t think anyone in the industry still thinks the WoW DF is a truly great feature, so we might even be at a tipping point.

Mala - June 7, 2010

I think the key thing you said was “sometimes it made my angsty and sometimes it was great fun” in regards to rare spawn camping.

Not a direct quote, whatever.

The importance of this is that it is this very key thing that separates you Keen, and people like you and me, from the vast majority of players. Most people have those super angsty moments, and they log off, cancel their subscription, and play a different game.

Maybe they put up with it once, twice or a handful of times, but in the end people don’t want a high risk/reward in terms of how much fun they will have, they want to log into a game knowing that they are going to have a nice, relaxing, fun, or however they define enjoyable time.

I can’t blame them for it, really, but it has led to the reduction of any game mechanic with has the potential of frustration, even if that same mechanic has the potential for absolutely stellar amazing gaming moments. In fact, I’d argue you could apply this line of thought to almost any of the mechanics you mentioned in your 3 part series so far on older mechanics.

Thallis - June 7, 2010

Towards the end of my adventures in DAOC… I’d started piddling around with a Minstrel. Was a deviation from my typical dps roll I was accustomed to but it easily became my favorite toon. Fast, Stealth & CC were it’s high points and it made stealthing groups sooo much fun.

smthin - June 7, 2010

Mob trains were quite awesome, also DAOC weapons were very well done. They looked like actual weapons, were simple to understand and crafters made excellent weapons that were preferred to the loot in most cases

Breaking rooms was quite interesting, personally I despised long hours of named mob camping. Just too boring.

Ferrel - June 7, 2010

Classes that filled Unique Roles…

Yeah, I’ve been harping on this for about two weeks now. I’m really tired of class homogenization. Unfortunately though unique roles means class interdependency which is evidently a swear word these days.

Depend on someone else in an MMORPG? Didn’t you know they’re for soloing? 😛

Asmiroth - June 7, 2010

I rather liked epic weapons but not the days/weeks necessary to camp a single enemy that spawned every 12 hours and was rushed by 50 players at the same chokepoint. The Shadowmourne quest line has the same time sink factor and challenge, yet you’re always doing something…

risk vs reward vs time. Most often it was tiny vs large vs exceedingly large. I don’t miss that part 🙂

moonmonster - June 7, 2010

It sounds like (almost) everything boils down to ‘I like to socialize’. Were these elements really enjoyable from a game perspective, or did they just promote socialization, and thus were imbued with a bunch of good connotations by the people you shared them with and the act of sharing?

Jason - June 7, 2010

soooo basically like myself, you just miss everquest 😛

Trimethicon - June 7, 2010

Great series of articles.

The one thing older MMOs had that todays don’t; fear. I’m not someone that needs/wants harsh death penalties, but with greater risks came greater rewards.

Those late night corpse runs in EQ certainly sucked, but man, I remember my first trek across EQ. What a thrill.

Evalissa - June 7, 2010

following on from my reply in the previous topic, i agree with everything in this one with the exception of rare spawn camping.
I still shudder when i recall my 12 hour camps, and although it was a great social opertunity, and it was nice to see the majority of players respecting camp claims, it was not something I would wish back. Aside from modern gamers being unlikly to respect camp claims, the huge amount of time spent doing very little is betetr replaced by other mechanics, and social mechanics added elsewhere to compensate

JeremyT - June 7, 2010

Camping the same spot in a dungeon for a rare drop? That’s grind in its purest form. Standing around and twiddling one’s thumbs while another player drags mobs behind him does not make for fun.

I *think* I agree on weapon design, but I’m not really sure I understand your point completely. The power delta between rare and common weapons is ridiculously huge in WoW, and if you’re suggesting that it shouldn’t be so I agree. Weapons (and gear as a whole) should only play a small role in a character’s overall effectiveness.

Trains… heh. I can’t even fathom why you’d want that 🙂

Mala - June 7, 2010

I agree with the long treks across the game world thing. The first time across almost any MMO gameworld was great. Heck, even in WoW on my very first day I chose night elf and my friend chose gnome, so since I got the game a few hours before him, had leveled a little already and in the meantime he started doing the beginner quests and I ran as a lowbie from Darnassus to Ironforge. Those memories are just epic. Nowadays its just not the same, and frankly, I’m not sure which has changed more though, me or the games.

Beleg - June 7, 2010

Just thought I’d pop in and say “YES!”. I read the blog post that was the impetus for this series and I was like “What? I LOVE all those things!”

Glad you’re doing this series. I pretty much agree with everything you’ve said thus far, but I love(d) EQ too 😛 Keep it up!

Pedro - June 7, 2010

I did “train to zone” in old WoW. My brother did it also. With the Elite Ogres on the Arathi Highlands (not sure if this is the correct name of the zone anymore – the region above Tarren Mill and Southshore).

It’s curious that vanilla WoW had a bunch of these mechanics but gradually lost them and got dilluted in a easily digestible game…

Anyway, i doubt we will ever see an MMO with the complexity of an old school MMO but with updated graphics and with less frustrating elements.

Joma - June 7, 2010

I have to agree with everything but spawn camping.. that said…

@JeremyT: What all of these points accomplished, besides a few mechanics bits… is made these games feel like a virtual world and not a series of per-level set pieces.

The sense of danger and exploration that games like Asheron’s Call had, that send, even DAoC had this but to a lesser extent. Asheron’s call was simply huge and there were no “zones”.

Crowd Control needs to return… I remember doing the basement in Spindelhalla, ironically those becomes “easy pulls” as the gear changed, despite no increase in level cap. You’d pull 3, mez 2, tank and spank, but have to be on your toes in case of an early pop.

Really awesome groups would go to some snow zone and pull ghosts at the entrance or even more crazy and super skilled groups could go in and grind some of the other camps in the zone (near the milegate…)

And while there were zones, you could run the whole PvE world.

I miss the feeling of being in a world where you were forced to group up, sometimes it really sucked when you couldn’t find a group, but honestly…MMOs are supposed to be a social thing. Long after the game gets boring, I kept logging on to play with my friends, or just chat with them and idly do something.

Other classic memories were the organised level experience somebody setup at the dragon lair in midgard (daoc). There were generally 6-7 groups out there, 24/7, and if you couldn’t get a group, you just AoE spammed. There was 1 or 2 designated pullers pulling werewolves and everyone mass AoEd or meleed or whatever, things died quick but everyone made plenty of easy safe XP. It was a “for the realm” thing. The Realm. Nobody goes “for the horde” or “for the alliance”. Its “for my guild’s tier X raid group” in WoW.

Chris - June 7, 2010

Keen, you should consider giving EQ another shot. Why not? I’m sure its age would show, but it might be a fun experiment and interesting to read about.

Dblade - June 7, 2010

Keen, you missed your dream game in old FFXI. It had most of what you mentioned in this series. In this article alone FFXI had:

-rare mob camping, in the form of notorious monsters
-oldschool FFXI had massive, zone-killing trains.
-pulling and group spots (though rarely in dungeons)
-unique classes (thieves controlled aggro, beastmasters soloed pets, bards buffed and pulled)

New FFXI removed a lot of the oldschool things like mob trains, but FFXI was about as close to classic EQ as any modern game was.

Alurian - June 7, 2010

One thing I miss, not sure if anyone said it yet, are speed classes. Like the skald or minstrel in DAOC. I would say I have many more fond memories of running like lighting across albion then any mount I had in WoW.

Wish they’d bring those back. 🙂

Nyyx - June 7, 2010

DAOC PYGMIES!

Dismantled - June 7, 2010

Huge Flashbacks reading your 3 part series Keen. I thank you. I almost forgot how wonderful and how “addicted” I was to that game. It literally was on my mind 24/7 in or out of game. It’s amazing I’m alive 😉

You mentioned the whole AOE dungeon crawling in WoW and is the main reason I don’t play it anymore. I know a lot of you are enjoying the ride again, but for me like you said, the dynamics are gone from grouping, the challenges. The boredom sunk in so fast with the whole queue for Dungeon, AOE burn it, leave. Repeat. With no reason to get to know the people in your group since they are usually from other servers. Bleh

To quote Mala above.

“Maybe they put up with it once, twice or a handful of times, but in the end people don’t want a high risk/reward in terms of how much fun they will have, they want to log into a game knowing that they are going to have a nice, relaxing, fun, or however they define enjoyable time.”

What made it so fun was the high risk vs reward. It meant something to kill that Cyclops for the Jboots. The feeling of accomplishment was astounding compared to today’s games. Getting an “epic” item now in the current crop has little worth or excitement.

Rog - June 7, 2010

Two that I love that you missed:

Basic (tho complex) Aggro Mechanics – The same standard fight mechanics on all the regular mobs. I’m more entertained by standard aggro because it feels more like AI to me than scripted boss encounters. Once I’ve killed a boss once, it gets tedious the next time, but I can kill regular mobs all day long and still be entertained.

Related to this is the pulling you describe. Using early WoW as an example: Statholme and Scholomance were masterpieces with mob placement. These “trash” mobs never felt like trash to me at all.

Farming for Drops – A rare drop with a low droprate is better IMHO than waiting around for a rare spawn.

Nissl - June 7, 2010

“I don’t think anyone in the industry still thinks the WoW DF is a truly great feature, so we might even be at a tipping point.”

Hmm, have you seen comments by any designers of the up and coming MMO’s to that effect?

Without the DF I probably wouldn’t be playing anything right now. It’s just impossible to put together a whole group at lower levels once the server is more than a year or two old, and I would never bother solo questing. Plus new servers have a terrible population. Tank insta-queues are allowing me to see all the stuff I could never do at level before.

However it does feel wrong, and bland, just sitting in Org and powerleveling by clicking a button. What I do think should happen is a requirement you go touch the meeting stone to queue. Make people get out in the world, heck it could even be a contested resource on PVP servers. Another plus would be to strongly prefer people from the same server, even at the expense of longer queues.

Hund - June 7, 2010

Yeah reading this caused a flood of nostalgia.

I think I miss my swash from early eq2 the most. It was so unique with its utility and damage. Group stealth, a single target mez, a oddly enough a taunt. I am fairly sure more then a fair share of healers were thankful I was a decent swash when I taunted or mez’ed that group mob that was killing them. Sure tells of “can you help with naggy?” got fairly annoying but it was for a good cause so I normally always accepted if I had enough time.

Hah yeah I remember training to zone. I even remember doing it in eq2 which IMO was more fun for the people creating the train. As a scout I would evac then it would chain every mob that did not have agro back to the zone in. Some times it wiped out dozens of afk players or a group that was just very unlucky. Sure it was evil some times but hey some times you had to evac when that raid group x4 mob spawned on top of your group in the middle of your room farming.

Darkstryke - June 7, 2010

Couldn’t have summed it up better then that! The sense and bonds that created communities are vacant in today’s MMO’s, especially WoW.

Perhalps in a few years Everquest “Next” can come along and be something we wanted, or Earthrise pans out and becomes the sleeper we’ve been waiting for, etc.

Kiryn - June 7, 2010

I don’t really understand what you mean by “more delay than damage” and the rest of that paragraph doesn’t really help explain it =(

Malik - June 8, 2010

sorry i could understand alot of what you where saying but i couldn’t stand open instances. even the idea of dungeon crawling as your describe makes me want to cut my wrists :-/

Valdur - June 8, 2010

Thank you Keen,you reminded me what makes me love MMORPG in the first place.Unfortunately,the newer the game,the less we see those mechanics.

I agree with everything you wrote and I also agree with others concerning Vanilla WoW.Running Scholomance and Stratholme was always a pleasure even if you had to be on alert down there.

I do hope 38 Studios & SOE(even if I’ve lost hope in Smedley) read this and make the best of both worlds in their future MMORPG.

Akjosch - June 8, 2010

I’m not quite sure why you’re writing all this under the “Old MMO Mechanics” topic. Most of them are still alive and well in Lineage II (release date: 2003, just one year before WoW), and I for one love dragging “trains” of up to 100(!) mobs at once to a well-working group and then kill them all at once. It’s exciting, because even a small error means the group wipes and loses XP and some time to regroup and rebuff. Very, very nice way of XPing. 🙂

And these “AoE areas” are still being added to the game.

Hudson - June 8, 2010

Weren’t you guys like 5 years old when the older gamers among us were actually playing real MMO’s?

Im not sure you are too qualified to write about any of this what given your massive experience in Allods Online and all

smthin - June 8, 2010

@Jama
Very well put, DAOC “for the real” thing was the best part of the game by far. On my server instead of Dragon Area camp midgard always tried to control DF and then setup massive raids that just plowed the place. You could level from high 30s to 50 in no time. You had people taking over forts and defending them just so that others could XP and that we could attract new players to our side on the server.

Gustavef - June 8, 2010

Most of these I did not mind much. I do prefer good old fashion spawn camping then questing. Fighting to get to a good camp spot, breaking the room and then just having a nice time working with others to slowly gain XP and loot.

Rare spawns and rare loot were a mixed blessing. It was mostly dealing with those that did not want to take turns.

Train to Zones can go away. I really don’t care for someone else’s mistake causing me to have to protect myself.

Fresnel - June 8, 2010

I really liked the way open world worked in EQ breaking camps and the constant danger in the dark. However I despised the way the dungeons worked. I always wanted to start at the beginning and work my way through with a group sitting in the same spot especially if you weren’t the puller was mind numbing boring. Also because when ever I got to dungeons everything was already camped so then I had to find a group that I knew how to get there or who was nice enough to come show me (most wouldn’t they would just go to the next on the waiting list.)

After I while I got so frustrated I went to the dungeon by the Eurodites(?) starting area that no one ever did with a slightly higher level and tried to slowly find a way to solo my way through the entire thing, I was about 90% of the way through I think when they did the patch that made the zone harder to try to appeal to people to come out and actually do it.

I think there were fun elements, pulling was fun, reasons for the community to sit around and socialize. However I hope these things get implemented in a more compelling way. Bring back crowd control and mezzing elements to pre and post pull but put them into instanced dungeons. Have fun camping areas on the surface.

Though I have to say I enjoyed my unique role as a bard with 2 stun whips. did I do a whole lot of damage? No. Did I have fun reducing was amounts of damage to my tank while boosting other peoples damage as i twisted three songs? Yes. However when I had the mana song finally and still had trouble getting useful dungeon groups I gave up on the game.

Xtinct - June 8, 2010

Yeah, todays mmos are mainly dumbed down so anyone can play it. Today’s mmo players want instant gratification without having to work for it. The don’t want any kind of penalties implemented and want it easy mode. It really makes me sad because EQ and DAoC were some of the best games, especially for their time. I still think someone nees to learn that a 3 way/sided pvp/rvr game is the best way to go and not just 2 on 2. This helps prevent the side that will eventually have more people from dominating cause the two other sides can team up.

I don’t believe we will see very many games that require any effort anymore because of the mass of people that want it all easy mode.

JT - June 8, 2010

“pulling and group spots” otherwise known as grinding, is something that i DO NOT miss in MMOs. I dont know why your trying to mask it as something unique or uncommon in MMOs these days when it is very much alive and kicking. Its boring and an unnecessary mechanic that should be removed from all MMOs (or at least any that still have it)

Lineage 2 was the god of this mechanic, if you love that so much you should go check it out.

Keen
Keen - June 8, 2010

@Hudson: If that was directed at me then I guess you’re just trolling or really, really bad at simple arithmetic.

@Kiryn: The “more delay than damage” was just a joke of sorts. Some weapons actually did have more delay listed on the weapon than damage. IE: 5 delay, 3 damage. It was just simpler times, that’s all.

@JT: Grinding or not, the “pull to a spot” mechanic does not exist with the newer generation. Even if I can not put into words the exact feeling, of which others have been able to identify, I can still say with absolute certainty that the grouping and ‘pull to the group spot’ mechanics do not exist anymore.

Northenstar - June 9, 2010

When was the last time you heard “Camp Check ?”…..

Jordan - June 9, 2010

Rare spawn camps…you either love the mechanic or hate it.

I love it. My best memories of playing mmorpgs include having the rare mob spawn and winning a loot roll on an item you’ve been trying to get for a while. Those “epic win” moments are one of the big reasons i play the games.

As with anything, the harder you work for something the more rewarding is the success. And i loved camping anyway…was a lot of fun getting to know the people you play the games with, befriending people you’d recognize in the game for the next couple years and group with on occasion…that is the kind of community that camping those spawns fostered (can argue it was either directly or indirectly or intended or not – but that really doesn’t matter) and I for one really miss that community aspect in most of today’s games.

In fact, one of the final nails in the coffin for me and Vanguard was when they upped the spawn rate on named mobs. It got to almost feel like the named mobs were more common than the regular ones after a while and that really removed a lot of excitement from the game for me.

We Fly Spitfires - June 9, 2010

Classes with unique roles: Hmm, tough one. I really do miss classes like the Bard and Enc but also I can appreciate that requiring them made forming groups a whole lot tougher than it is now.

Pulling & Group spots: Absolutely! In fact, I think that’s linked into Open Dungeons, something which I miss dreadfully. I hate instances.

Rare Spawn Camping: This I can happily live without 😛

Dungeon Crawling: Totally agree. I really miss open dungeons and I dislike this new trend towards instancing everything. EQ2 actually had some great open dungeons too and it’s a real shame that they’ve neglected them in their more recent expansions.

Trains: Ah good old trains 😀 I miss them too! I think they would still happen if we had open dungeons tbh.

Manasword.com - June 9, 2010

The points around group dynamics really hit the nail on the head over what really took EQ to another level. More than any specific aspect of the gameplay, socializing (mostly during downtime) is what brought people together and formed one of the best online communities I’ve ever experienced.

On that note, you could have mentioned “downtime” as a mechanic that doesn’t exist anymore. Rather than have near instant regen outside of combat you had to sit with the spellbook in your face (at low levels at least) and only had the chatlog to stimulate you between fights.

I had forgotten about the “train to zone” calls! Those were awesome, sometimes it would seem almost the entire zone was chasing one guy.

Se7en Tidbits: “My Parents Were MMO Quest-Givers” or “Camping Cyclops” « Are We New At This? - June 10, 2010

[…] “I remember waiting on the Cyclops to spawn for the Jboots ring (in multiple spots) and while it was often an exercise in futility, there is still something about it that I enjoyed while doing it.” Keen talks about his inner masochist. […]

Xenovore - June 10, 2010

Good stuff, Keen! EQ was painful at times, but also could be truly incredible. I don’t think you can have those kind of highs without the lows. With modern MMOs, everything tends to be homogenized and “balanced”, which may woo the mainstream crowd, but it’s kind of dull to me.

@Dismantled: “…Getting an “epic” item now in the current crop has little worth or excitement.”

So true. It used to be that an epic item was epic not only because of quality/damage/special capabilities, but also because it required an epic effort to acquire, thus was far more rewarding, both personally and socially.

@We Fly Spitfires: “Pulling & Group spots: Absolutely! In fact, I think that’s linked into Open Dungeons, something which I miss dreadfully. I hate instances.

Totally, totally agree! Open dungeons can be far more interesting, with many more opportunities to interact with other players. Instances are typically just lazy design and should be used rarely, if at all, in any game claiming to be “Massively Multiplayer”.

But, with that said, open dungeons need to be large enough to support many players at once. With the current crop of MMOs most dungeons are too small and would over-crowd rapidly if not instanced. (But then again, they were designed to be instanced, so…)

jericho - June 15, 2010

Absolutely agree with all of them except your itemization comment.

Unique roles for classes is something more and more games are pushing away from. Homogenization of all classes in MMOs is the new trend. Bard in EQ, hell Bard in FFXI, is the perfect example. Games without PvP can allow themselves to have niche roles, let alone have jobs that fill those niches. Games with PvP tend to push people away from niche roles because the fun is not there when they are forced to encounter another player.

Pulling/Groups is just plain fun. Aion brought this concept back to the “mainstream” in a MMO but the “casual” atmosphere of Blizzards elephant in the room has pushed us away from this concept and more into point to point questing and solo xping.

Dissecting Awful MMO Mechanics – Part 3 « Procrastination Amplification - June 20, 2010

[…] MMO Mechanics – Part 3Welcome back to the third post of me hijacking Keen’s series on “Old MMO Mechanics I Love and You Probably Hate” where I tell you that I do, In fact, hate those mechanics but where I also see whether […]

Sometimes Old is Good Especially in MMO Basics | Basement 51 - July 4, 2010

[…] a read of the series: Old MMO Mechanics I Love and You Probably Hate (Part 1) :    Part 2 :   Part 3 var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname="Sometimes Old IS Good"; […]

Ben - July 9, 2010

I miss everything you said in this article. I’ve often told my friends that if EQ, pre Omens of War, had the same numbers it did back in, I’d load it back up in a heart beat.

I miss the dungeon crawling, the camping, the pulling, chain-pulling, THE SPELLBOOK STARING at 640×480!! Not really on that last one, however, it was your first great sense of accomplishment if you were a caster. Yay level 35!

Unique class roles, miss this to. No greater sense of group accomplishment than a botched pull and coming out on top. I remember times, at the Sarnak fort in Lake of Ill Omen or even Karnor’s Castle, where there would be a botched pull and the fighting would not stop for 10 minutes or more. This was not a raid pull (for you non-EQ players), this was what you’d call trash mobs in today’s terms.

Winning a botched pull was due to the group make up, due to each person knowing his/her class and how they work with other classes. It was great to see a group make up of mezzer, bard (jack of all), tank, healer, dps x2 all switch tactics on the fly, with out typing/saying a word. **Enchanter mezzes all, tank pulls one, group assists, while bard starts to charm one. Charmed mob is used as pet. Pet gets agro cause it has higher dps output than a single player. No healing on charmed pet, group + pet kill another mob. Pet nearly dead, bard breaks charm, tank taunts – gets agro, group kills pet that has 20% hp left. Rinse & repeat.** All this done on the fly.

Another hint of nostalgia for you:
If you raid/play with someone that ALWAYS exits a dungeon to the right, ask them why. Ask them if they had a bad experience once in Karnor’s Castle 😛

I still have this old habit and one that’s hard to break. If I exit left for some reason in these newer games I get a small since of worry that something is on the other side, killing me before my screen loads up.

Two things to remember when raiding, always bring your towel and always exit right –>

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