EQ2 and WoW

Syp asked people to write about things in EQ2 that are better than WoW. And then my esteemed guildmate, Stropp, wrote down all my answers. So while I agree with Stropp on all his points, I want to head off in a slightly different direction here.

Everquest II and World of Warcraft are different games. This is a pretty obvious statement, but it took until I was discussing the comparison this morning with some friends that I really realised how different they are. One of the key aspects of that realisation is that I've been trying, for most of the time I've been playing it, to make WoW do things it can't and isn't intended to do.

I like sandbox games. I like them both in terms of tabletop RPGs, where the possibility of doing new and interesting stuff is a huge draw, and in online games, where EVE ranks supreme. I begin to twitch in tabletop if it appears that I don't have options to do stuff the writer didn't think of, and I get a similar - although admittedly more limited - twitch when the same thing happens online.

WoW has often been described as a theme park. You get on the rides, they go where they're going, you get a prize if you're still on at the end. However, in WoW, that's the whole game. WoW apparently has crafting, PvP, and an economy. However, the crafting is shallow (and tied to the level of your character), the PvP is crude, and the economy is only really interesting because it's unavoidable. The PvE game is the focus.

In EQ2, in contrast, there isn't nearly as clear a path to the raiding endgame. Indeed, I forget for weeks at a time that EQ2 has raids, which is not something you could ever forget in WoW. It isn't quite the sandbox of EVE or Darkfall - but instead, you have a crafting system that's deeper than most short of A Tale In The Desert, an economy that's second only to EVE, an exploration aspect that's genuinely interesting, a collection sub-game that seems to be pretty nearly unique, and the best player housing system in any game currently in existence. PvP is either on or off, depending on your server; there are no half-measures.

I reckon I'll be much happier playing WoW - which won't happen again until the next expansion - if I remember that WoW does not have those other aspects. It has a great PvE game, but there's nothing else there, and trying to play like there is will only cause me pain.

So my thing that's better in EQ2? Everything - except the PvE. WoW just has superlative PvE.

Posted by Drew Shiel at November 26, 2009 1:12 PM

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