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Eric: Can I even do a "you had me and you lost me" essay for video games? And if so, should I be preparing it?

So, it had to happen, eventually. The luster doesn't stay on things forever, and once tarnish begins to kick in, it spreads quickly.

I'm fast falling out of love with City of Heroes.

This, frankly, stuns me. I mean... it's City of Heroes. I joined up before it went live! I have tons of characters! And I loves me the Superhero action! What the Hell's wrong with me?

The answer is multifaceted. First off, the game seems increasingly less interested in players like me -- somewhat casual players who enjoy multiple alts more than a single main pushed to higher and higher levels. I've been playing for over a year and while I have two characters at Level 26, I don't have any characters higher than that. And further, I have little drive to make them. For one, I'm more casual a player than the rest of my team, so they all have significantly passed me by at this point. It's hard to catch up from L26 to the 30's... and to be honest, the mid and high level game just isn't as fun as the low level game. One ends up teaming, and then the fighting starts, and then pyrotechnics are going off in all directions and if you're playing a damager you keep targeting and attacking, and if (like me) you prefer support characters you click through the same buffs and debuffs, barely bothering to target. At this point, when I play Transit, I can usually talk on the phone to someone while I play, because it's not like I really need any focus on the game. So long as I follow someone and wait until someone else attacks, I'm pretty well good. Oh, and speed boost all the people who should be speed boosted.

It's a good thing I don't need to have much focus, of course, because with bubbles and buffs and attack powers in all directions and enemies everywhere, I have absolutely no idea what's going on most of the time. I yearn for the ability to turn allied special effects off. I never want to see that freaking bubble animation again.

Now, the thing I like most about City of Heroes is the Low to Mid game, where every fight is something of a struggle, everything's comprehensible, everyone's on the same team, and you're smiting evil. I love rolling up new characters and trying out new combinations. That's just plain fun.

Of course, the new archetypes rolled out an issue or two back -- the Kheldans -- aren't available for people who don't have a Level 50 character. So, as a player who loves to play with different combinations and who doesn't love grinding out levels... er... I don't get to play with all the combinations. Ah well. C'est la vie. At least each new Issue includes lots of meaty content for me, right?


Well, no. See, the last issue -- Issue #4 -- introduced Player versus Player. And new costume options. But mostly Player versus Player. They made a big deal about Player versus Player. They extol the virtues of Player versus Player. They swear that they're not trying to take away from the Player versus Environment game and PvP will always be optional... and then the latest round of advertisements are all about the action packed excitement of 1-on-1 grudge matches or Supergroup Battles and tournament style rankings and PvP PvP PvP PvP!

I don't have any interest in Player versus Player. None.

I've tried it out a couple of times. I even enjoyed it once (in the 1-5 Level weight class, when everyone's more or less equal and no one's supertuned their character into a PvP monster). Anything above that, though, becomes an exercise in being reminded that I am terrible at Player versus Player. I really, really am. I'm bad at first person shooters. I'm bad at team based competitive games. I'm bad at God Damned Bolo. If someone else is my enemy in an online game, I'm at the bottom of the tote board every single time.

The City of Villains game is about to go into beta. That's going to introduce multiple PvP-only Zones, and reams of content only available if you open yourself up to Player versus Player and Supergroup Base Raids and the like. Well, I'll tell you something right now -- I don't play a superhero game to watch my superhero constantly being defeated and destroyed by the forces of evil, and that's what'll happen any time I step foot in those zones.

They insist, over and over again, that players who don't like PvP won't have to participate. Which would be fine, if they then don't give interviews (such as "Zeb" Cook's recent) where they talk about how the whole CoV/CoH connection is clearly designed to encourage players to fight each other. This is going to take away a lot of focus from the PvE stuff. It pretty much has to. It already has. This is what Issue 4 was about. I suspect that post CoV, there will be heavy PvP content in every issue. They're staking too much of their grubstake on it.

Which would be fine, if the PvPers hadn't all left when it didn't show up at the start of City of Heroes in the first place. They're almost doing a First and Ten Syndrome -- they really want all the people who don't care at all about superheroes or supervillains, but want to fight other human beings and powers are cool, so they're throwing in hard to appeal to them. Meanwhile their existing base -- who were hanging out because they like City of Heroes -- has less attention and, if they're not into PvP, find themselves relegated to a kind of second class citizenship. "Oh. Well... yeah, you're going to miss out on all this cool stuff... but it's okay. You don't have to do PvP."

"No no. If you're not the sort of person who powerlevels to 50 just to make it to fifty, you won't get access to the new archetypes... but that's okay. You don't have to get the new archetypes if you're a casual player or like to play alts instead of a main. That's okay."

And then there's the comic book.

Subscribers get a free comic book every month (unless they opt out -- and it probably tells you how bad the comic was if there's an opt out program for a free comic book.) Now, the comic, produced by Blue King Studios was pretty bad -- chock full of costume choices and powers we weren't allowed to get, along with apartments and secret identities we weren't allowed to have. It was like it was City of Heroes, but with all the cool comic book stuff that City of Heroes doesn't include. So it rankled a touch. And it was badly written, largely.

And yet, it was also goofy fun. There was a real sense of the City of Heroes dynamic in it -- the random pick up teams. The funky changes to voice balloons. The plethora of costume options. The Fifth Column. (Man, do I miss the Fifth Column.) In a way, it caught the true spirit of City of Heroes -- a very Silver Age-to-Eighties DC Comic spirit. Heroes are good things in City of Heroes. People make a difference. The populace is grateful and raises up monumental statues to heroes in thanks for all they do. Heroic sacrifice is appreciated. And things are generally goofy and fun.

Well. They fired this group, because... as goofy as this comic was, it wasn't good. And they hired Top Cow to produce a new comic, and they in turn hired Mark Waid to write it. That's huge. And I've read the first issue. And it's extremely well written and produced. It is.

I hated it.

I hated it because they went completely Marvel Angst on it. Within the first three pages -- oh, I'm spoiling the comic. If you care, stop reading now. If you don't read on -- they depowered all of Paragon City, they had a bunch of heroes killed off, they broke up the Freedom Phalanx -- the preeminent heroes of Paragon City, and they essentially ended everything. They're rebuilding all of the damaged sections of town. They're painting over all the billboards. All the street gangs and the like have apparently been eliminated -- and of course, the populace is really really glad and relieved that the heroes are gone. Because Heroes are bad. Everyone hates heroes.

And the Freedom Phalanx? One is homeless and insane, with a horrific knockoff of classic Rogue Split Personality Syndrome. One has post traumatic stress disorder that somehow his having superpowers kept in check because... um... I guess he could outrun the trauma. One is completely bitter and hateful towards Superman analogue Statesman for "abandoning" them for no real reason. One is sitting in their old headquarters because his powered armor stopped working and so his ANTIMATTER IS LEAKING.

HIS ANTIMATTER IS LEAKING. Okay, somehow the leaking antimatter hasn't blown apart Rhode Island. Accept that. Why is his power and his power alone the only power not to be turned off?

(And for that matter, what about all those martial artists and other Natural heroes? They make the point that Manticore's bow and arrow skills still work just fine -- though an unpowered Synapse is able to catch a freaking shot arrow. Why aren't the naturals still patrolling the city?)

Oh, and all the statues and the like are gone. Because... um... well, heroes bad. I honestly get the feeling the artists don't even play this game, because after page three, nothing in Paragon City looks even slightly like Paragon City.

In other words, it's dark and angstful and all Identity Crisis crap, and it's completely antithetical to the spirit of City of Heroes. It can't possibly have any connection to City of Heroes, since the game isn't going to repair all the crisis zone damage, much less depower all the heroes for six weeks. Heroes bad.

So, it either has nothing at all to do with City of Heroes, in which case why am I reading this... or this is the tone that Cryptic wants for the game, in which case why am I playing this?

I have held to the faith. I know there are two new archetypes and more content scheduled for Issue 5. Maybe it will be targeted to players like me. Or, maybe it won't be available at anything less than level thirty or something, in which case forget it. I'm done.

I'm still in the game for now, but the clock's ticking. They won't care if they lose me, mind. I'm just one guy. But if they lose a lot like me, they might start caring.

Unless, of course, they get all the World of Warcraft players back to play PvP.

Yeah, that's going to happen.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at June 2, 2005 3:40 PM


Comment from: KJToo posted at June 2, 2005 5:05 PM

I got the "account expired" e-mail from PlayNC just a couple of days ago. Like you, I had a good stable of characters (14 of them, to be exact), none of whom had achieved level 30. In fact, my highest level character was a level 21 Psi/Emp Defender who had her first encounter with the Sky Raiders only a day or so before I cancelled my account.

I still think it's a great game, and I love the character creation system (though I never played with the new stuff that issue 4 introduced). I had elaborate backstories worked out for most of my heroes.

Alas, I proved to be too much of a dilletante for the game. Fourteen characters meant fighting legions of Hellions, Skulls, Outcasts and Trolls and unlike you I grew weary of the low-level game. Unfortunately, despite playing each character for hours upon hours, I didn't have the dedication to take any of them into the mid-game (where I'm told things actually get much more interesting).

I also have no interest in the PvP arenas (I never set foot in one.), but the idea of City of Villains intrigued me. I just didn't have the patience to wait for it.

There's always a chance I'll go back, I suppose. Hell, I haven't played Star Wars Galaxies in over a year, but I just got around to uninstalling it last week.

Comment from: KJToo posted at June 2, 2005 5:07 PM

Oh, and one more thing: I do agree with you about the CoH comic. The art is slick and the dialogue isn't riddled with spelling errors, but I wasn't at all impressed with the story.

Comment from: Brian posted at June 2, 2005 5:24 PM

In regards to the subject line of this particular posting:

Dude. You did a "you had me and you lost me" about Garfield. About freaking Garfield.

A "you had me and you lost me" about City of Heroes ought to be a cakewalk in comparison.

I mean, seriously. Dude.


Comment from: elvedril posted at June 2, 2005 5:28 PM

I remember Bolo! That game was a lot of fun in the physics lab back in high school. Those were good times. Putting up minefields and turrets, organizing multiple tanks to raid enemy bases, trying to take out those little human guys who ran out of the tank to chop down trees :)

Comment from: McMartin posted at June 2, 2005 5:50 PM

Hmm. I found the 26-31 range for my first character who got there to be pretty slow, and then the 23-28 range for the next one.

Once you start being able to survive in Brickstown and Founder's Falls at all, though, you're back to the "every battle is pitched" mode you like.

Comment from: UrsulaV posted at June 2, 2005 6:03 PM

I would LOVE the PvP people from WoW to head over to CoH. The notion of being able to fly into Tarren-freakin'-Mill without suddenly being lagged into oblivion because people have been attacking it without a single pause for over a MONTH...well, it'd be nice.

They did not implement the PvP ranking system in such a way as to limit the angst to those of us who aren't really into smiting actual PEOPLE. Shit, I feel wracked with guilt when I kill a collection of dog-shaped pixels, let alone somebody with a brain on the other end of the screen.

Comment from: Will "Scifantasy" Frank posted at June 2, 2005 6:38 PM

Preparing? This _is_ your "You had me and you lost me" entry, though maybe it's "You had me and you're about to lose me."

But you're right, if they're focusing on PvP interaction that much, they're really risking turning CoH into Just Another MMO, instead of one of the more interesting MMO concepts I've heard of.

(I don't play MMOs. I just don't have that kind of time or energy, not to mention I don't run the right OS. But somehow I sort of guessed that if I was ever going to pick one up, it would be CoH. Now...I'm not so sure.)

Comment from: Montykins posted at June 2, 2005 6:54 PM

Yeah, I got to about 24 with my main character (and around 15 with most of my alts) and I just got so tired of streetgrinding. I prefer to do missions, because there's at least some pretense of story there, but there aren't enough to do them exclusively -- I run out and have to go get random xp by beating up thugs. I've been out for the last two Issues, and neither of them seemed like they had content I cared about.

If they finally institute the skills they talked about, like Detective letting you find mission objectives faster, I'll probably turn my account back on for that. I like the idea of not spending twenty minutes running around a cave looking for a glowing barrel.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at June 2, 2005 6:56 PM

I'm hanging on for I5. I will forgive much if they put little barrier between me and having a bow and arrow defender.

Because Dude. Bow and Arrow Defender.

And so long as this game continues to get me to a point where I say "Dude, [whatever]," there is hope.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at June 2, 2005 7:02 PM

Apparently there will be a scrapper class that uses pistols. That's the most interested I've ever been in scrappers, well... *ever*.

But I enjoy CoH a lot.

I'm going to quote myself regarding the comic books:

The Blue King comic started off not too impressive, but it grew on me. I can't say I found the storylines terribly gripping (though I thought the "Jury by Peers" arc was pretty cool) but the characters were fun, and as other people mentioned, you could see this taking place in an actual game world. I mean, I could imagine the trial going on while Regiment and Curveball were out there fighting the good fight, glued to their TV sets at night to pick up on the latest developments in the case.

The new comic has some weird continuity errors that others have pointed out. For the most part I can ignore them, the story is interesting enough... but I can no longer imagine Regiment and Curveball hanging out in Paragon City while these events unfold. It's not really the City of Heroes universe for me... not any more, anyway... because there's no room for the actual game in a storyline where suddenly all the heroes have lost their powers in-city and have moved out to other cities.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at June 2, 2005 7:10 PM

Pistol packing scrappers will be pretty cool, I admit.

And you're absolutely right. We have a certain degree of investment in the city where we play. The CoH comic book clearly doesn't take place there. Ergo, we have no investment in it.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at June 2, 2005 7:24 PM

And as to the arenas... well, I play on Virtue, and the few times I've wandered in there, they've been very, very empty. They don't seem to be what you might call a smashing success. :)

Comment from: coldcut posted at June 2, 2005 8:29 PM

Lot of resonance here as well. I think the biggest downer for me has been the insinuation that the Super Secret Out of Combat System won't really be much in the way of out of combat at all. There was a dev post a while back that seemed to suggest that it would revolve around finding hostages and various glowies more effectively than anything. This is all just vicious rumor-mongering, but I feel like I'm pretty on-point based on recent design decisions.

I think the thing that COH does best is give you ownership over your character. Your character actually feels unique, whether because of powerset or appearance, or whatever else, this is the only MMORPG where you are an individual in a world of individuals, rather than simply a template. The problem is that the gaming experience doesn't indulge that in the least. There's nothing particularly creative about the way most people fight. Usually, it's a one or two trick pony.

I'm still hoping that COV opens up more avenues to help the player "tell his own story", but I'm not holding out a lot of hope.

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at June 2, 2005 8:44 PM

I want someone to make a game system like NWN but with a flexible ruleset, so you can create custom genre-based campaigns. Then I could create my own hero-themed server...

Comment from: Merus posted at June 2, 2005 8:50 PM

I was kinda going to try City of Heroes, but couldn't find it in retail and thus went for WoW instead.

I don't know why City of Heroes is trying for the PvP players from WoW (and Guild Wars) - as I understand it, CoH's strength is that it has interesting and original mechanics, and they should be building on that.

Of course, I'm not really an MMO person, and don't plan to renew WoW. I may keep a live subscription of Puzzle Pirates, but that doesn't entirely count as an MMO, so it'll do.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at June 2, 2005 9:53 PM

A friend who doesn't feel like making a TypeKey ID says:

"This is @Warcabbit, from CoH. I should point out, firstly, there's a new feature in I4 that lets you turn allied special effects off. Or some of them. Secondly, I understand your feelings, there _are_ inherent lulls in the game, though they depend on the character. It really does pick up again around Brickstown. And the high end game is fantastic. But that's not why I'm posting. I'm posting because I'd like to point out you might be missing something. Tried roleplaying? Come look me up."

Comment from: Tangent posted at June 2, 2005 10:22 PM

I know how you feel, Eric. I went through the same thing with Earth and Beyond. It just stopped being fun after a certain point. I was only playing to be with a friend of mine, and she became a Guild Leader and was so busy doing Guild stuff that she didn't have time to do anything with me.

So finally I gave up and quit. I don't miss it. I especially don't miss the expense of it. ;)

Robert A. Howard


Comment from: Eric Burns posted at June 2, 2005 10:29 PM

I have tried roleplaying -- often, in fact. Part of the problem with my group outleveling me is we have both roleplaying arcs and banter that makes the game a thousand times more fun. It's harder when they outstrip me, though. (And when we hit a point of many dozens of enemies we're mowing through.)

What's the I4 allied power F/X shutoff command, if I can ask?

Comment from: Joshua posted at June 2, 2005 10:46 PM

Still enjoying the hell out of it. I'm a total altoholic...my highest level char is 32, then three or four 22s and a couple of 20s, and a couple DOZEN in the 2 to 14 range. I don't care about PvP, never even tried the arena, but I was really happy about the new costume options. Some of my characters (including the 32) had been waiting since launch for some of the options. Tried WoW for a little, couldn't get past how much of a grind it seemed just to get to 14, and how all the characters pretty much looked the same, had all the same powers at the same levels, etc. And the repetitiveness of missions? Yeesh.

My SG friends have all outleveled me by far...but you know what? Once they hit 50, they started playing their alts more, so I'm teaming with them still, just with different characters. Adding the global chat so you could see which of your friends was on, regardless of character or server was a HUGE bonus to me, much bigger than if they added a new zone or some new mid-level contacts.

Anyone who reads Websnark and wants to look me up to team, my global handle is Mysterious J, and I probably already have a toon on your favorite server (though probably pretty low level unless it's Guardian, Pinnacle, or Virtue).

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at June 2, 2005 11:57 PM

I'm told it's Options, Graphics, Suppress Extra Player FX.

Comment from: Kate Sith posted at June 3, 2005 1:02 AM

My account recently expired, but I might boot it back up when I can afford it. But I must say the most fun I had playing CoH of late was definitely a low-level sort of game:

Survival Horror style.

One level 6 scrapper. Atlas Park to King's Row to all the other WAY HIGH LEVEL places in between (Steel Canyon and that other one and maybe another one). I... kinda got lost on my way to the Icon shop. Twice.

I was tempted a few times to 'hire' someone to escort me off the map til I got to a safe zone, but I perservered. I could not land a damn hit on any of these enemies. I couldn't even stand more than one hit from most of 'em. It took a lot of attempts, and a lot of strategy, and a lot of swimming, and a lot of "oh god oh god oh shit oh shit oh SHIT" from point A to point B, but it was so much freakin' fun. I highly reccommend it.

Comment from: Arachnid posted at June 3, 2005 1:40 AM

The luster(sic) doesn't stay on things forever

I guess that's why it's called luster and not lover? ;)

Comment from: BZArcher posted at June 3, 2005 7:07 AM

I wanted to post this last night, but a virus outbreak at work had other ideas. Now that I'm finally home...

Give it to I5. Please. :D And as C.B.Wright said, you might want to try Virtue. We're a pretty hoppin' PvE place, and very little Arena action so far. I play there regularly, and for myself and my SG, the post I3/I4 world has been a pretty good one, especially since a lot of us do have quite a few alts that we're taking through places like Striga.

I think that the guys at Cryptic won't forget about this - they're promising more storyarcs and new PvE zones in I5/6, and I think we'll be able to hold them to it.

Now, if they could just finish the damned Skills system...

Oh, and as to the Mark Waid comic: I think the problem is actually much the same as the Blue King comic. They showed the comic company the characters, concept, and a lot of gameplay, but I have strong doubts that Mark or the writer of the Blue King comic ever actually played the game to get a real feel for things. We'll see - I'm giving him 2 more issues to find his feet, and if he doesn't, I'll probably just start tossing my free issue.

Oh - and if you start an alt on Virtue and want some people to play with, toss a global call to @BZArcher. Worst comes to worst, I'll just start another alt. :D

Comment from: Christopher B. Wright posted at June 3, 2005 8:43 AM

Or @Curveball!

Comment from: Robotech_Master posted at June 3, 2005 1:18 PM

Merus, if you're interested in trying City of Heroes, now's a good time; every current CoH subscriber has been given a free trial CD key that they can give to a friend who's not been hooked on the game yet. It'll get you the software (assuming your bandwidth allows downloading a little over 1 gigabyte in a reasonable timeframe) and a free two-week trial period. I've already given mine away, but a bunch of folks over on the City of Heroes LiveJournal community still have some to hand out.

Comment from: gwalla posted at June 3, 2005 5:36 PM

I have neither played CoH nor read the adaptations, but I find it easy to believe that Mark Waid wrote a lousy comic. It's what he does.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at June 3, 2005 7:05 PM

It seems CoH has finally surpassed the Game Breakage Point.

This is a theory I developed about a dozen years ago, after making up brand new characters for a table-top game yet again. My friends and I were doing this because, quite frankly, things were getting dull with the old campaigns, even once we took care of the Monty Haul problem.

The simple fact is, every single role-playing game (of any stripe) is inherently broken. It should, ideally, take a while for this to manifest. But once you surpass the Game Breakage Point, the game just doesn't hold charm anymore. The actual challenges are either easy or require obscene breaking of the rules (and even sometimes then, they're too easy).

When you hit the GBP, you need to restart with a new character and thus new story. That's just a simple fact - sure, you could spend hours on end building up your uber character one more rank/level/whatever, but what's the point? And if the story is bad, it's not worth it.

For you, CoH has hit its GBP. And the new stories coming out for it aren't to your liking. It was inevitable, really (especially with a super hero game - supers games for various reasons always have a markedly earlier GBP). NCSoft did well, but it might just be time to move on.

Comment from: Meagen Image posted at June 3, 2005 7:05 PM

Since apparently the whole freakin' Internet's been playing MMOs recently (everyone I know has played CoH or WoW), I felt very much left out.

Until I discovered Guild Wars.

Guild Wars is the result of a bunch of game devs looking at MMOs and asking themselves: "Supposing we took out everything bad and annoying in those games and only left the parts that people like. Could this be done? More importantly, could this return a profit?".

Imagine a MMORPG with no griefing. No newbie PKing. No kill-stealing and no loot-nabbing. No grind and no incredibly high levels. No gameplay imbalance.

No monthly fees.

That's Guild Wars.

Comment from: KJToo posted at June 3, 2005 9:40 PM

@Warcabbit said: "Tried roleplaying? Come look me up."

I had eight characters on Virtue (the unoffical role-playing server). I was what I'd call an "on and off" roleplayer with most of them. With Queen's Rook 7 (QR7), though, I was unrelentingly in character, even in the face of comments like, "u don't have 2 use periods after everything". Yes, that's pretty much a direct quote.

After a while, I stopped grouping with QR7 because I was tired of being the only hero in a group of six or eight who was playing in-character.

Comment from: larksilver posted at June 4, 2005 5:01 AM

Sounds like you're feeling about City of Heroes the way I did about EQ1, before the end there. I played for several years.. heck, I met my mate there, in a completely unexpected and quite odd fashion. Over the last two years of the game, however, I experienced many of your frustrations.

See, prior to giving birth to my son, I had all this game time after work, and on the weekends. After all, my mate and I played together, so I didn't even have a jealous hubby to worry about (it's far cheaper to spend Friday night smiting those nasty dark elves in Mistmoore than spending oodles of cash on a movie/dinner thing, and for us, more enjoyable!).

But then, there was the munchkin. Although initially he didn't take much of my gameplay time, he did help me shift my focus a wee bit, and the time absorption increased over the first year (as it should!). Thus, I went from a "several-hour-a-day-with-virtually-no-interruptions" player to a "oops. Be right back, you guys. The baby's too quiet in there.. he's meddling again."

Got to the point where I didn't group much until after the munchkin went to bed. And as I had to work myself, that meant I didn't group much.. at all. It just wasn't fair to the groupmembers for me to take so many afk breaks in their gametime. Not that my friends ever complained... they just left me in their dust. I spent the last 2 years of the game hearing "you're still level 40? Exp-grind it, Larky, we miss playing with you! You're fun!" I hate exp-grind... and thus, got further and further behind. Sony did not design EQ1 paladins for soloing between levels 40-60.

So. We took breaks, we tried running a guild to see if that would rekindle our interest (which worked for nearly a year, with a large membership too), but eventually that was just a job, and we realized we weren't having any fun.

But now.. there's EQII. Gorgeous graphics (even when, on my somewhat lesser system, I have them turned way down, they're still beautifully done), fabulous and plentiful quests which do not require exp-grinding OR 4-hour-per-evening game play, and NO PVP. I've been playing for several months now, and have a paladin (of course) at level 29, and I've not had to exp-grind even once. Not even a little bit. If I can't kill something, I either get a group (seldom my choice, honestly), or I go on to one of the 49 other quests in my journal and play with them.

I love it. Oh, sure, they're talking about introducing PvP in the fall, but they swear they won't let the game become what City of Heroes, and EQ1 before it, became.. all about the power-gamers, the more more more gamers. They swear that they're adding PvP over requests from their existing membership. They swear that they're not going to change the core feel of the game, and that PvP will be handled in very specific ways to avoid such a dreadful occurrence. I'm hoping they don't let me down.

I love that I get experience from wandering around "discovering" new places. That's right, from just seeing something I've not seen before, I get exp. I love that there's very little trash-talk because the EQII has nothing to offer the trash-talkers. I love it that, although I'm several levels (and climbing) past my mate, I can mentor down and effectively be the same level he is. No more "catch up to us!" message. yay! Most of all, I love it that I can log on for 30 minutes and actually accomplish something... even if it's just making 10 maple double beds for a tradeskill quest.

The day EQII becomes about leveling from 1-50 in 2 days and every zone is full of trash-talk in /ooc, I'm done. I honestly hope that EQII continues on course. My experience with EQ1 was wonderful, until it wasn't, and I am left with a sad sense of regret that, mostly out of nostalgia, I continued to pay for a game which had become an obligation for over a year. Never again.. never, never again.

And.. somehow.. it's 4:00 AM and I've written a short book. Sorry, sorry. I would erase it, but darnit, I went to the trouble of typing it all, now. If you don't want to, don't read it. hehe

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