It’s almost like whatever I care about is now off the official channels.
It’s one of our longer term projects. No releasable details yet, but since Smed directly addressed character animations here originally, I’ll say at least this much about it:
What we need to go through to make both armor/wearables and animations for 40-some different race-gender pairs across both US and Alt models isn’t really tenable in the long term. Fixing that is something we’ll be talking more about over the next year.
In the interest of efficiency, this project supercedes making a couple thousand new animations for the existing character system.
Doing that much animation work, just to have to throw it all away when the system itself is fixed (and delaying the system fixes by months in the process), wasn’t really the best option for us.
That’s not to say there won’t be incremental animation improvements in the meanwhile like the tweaks that continue to come out with updates. Just not any massive-scale replacement. Hopefully the reasoning above explains why we think this is the smart call.
Actually what this post says is not encouraging: “It was delayed, don’t expect anything soon”. But at least they could decide to address the problem radically when it will be the right time. And this is good, because the problems definitely aren’t “superficial”.
EQ2 is a game that went totally wrong. But now, step by step, it is adjusting the aim, and it’s becoming a good game. Maybe it is watching WoW too closely and backpedaling on a number of design decisions, but overall improving.
Of course it’s a matter of “priorities”. We usually say “it’s about the gameplay, not about the look”, but client optimizations, better models and animations, better UI features, less memory requirements… these are all features that can have a strong impact on ALL players ALL the time. I think that a mmorpg should have a continued development at all levels (the systemic approach). Instead of just tweaking balance and add some new content preriodically.
Right now EQ2 is a decent game, with plenty of content and zones to explore. It still has significantly high accessibility issues, a clunky client, an heavy UI and varying artistic style and quality. But it is satisfying enough. Still far from being polished and carefully designed as WoW, but it has some richer aspects here and there. Plenty to do. Perfect for someone bored coming from other games.
Perfect for those fond of this kind of gameplay and who desire a whole new, huge world to discover for the first time.
Looking at the future I don’t think it is grim. The biggest competitor for EQ2 is Vanguard, as ironic as it could be. EQ2 isn’t a masterpiece and for many players it is like a “parked” experience. Something to do while they wait for something that can arouse the interest again. I believe that if EQ2 plays well its card and continues to improve in the same way it is doing at the moment (at all levels, not just with “more content”), it could have nothing to fear from Vanguard and easily outclass it. Then it will be the time for Vanguard to chase desperately EQ2 as EQ2 is now doing with WoW.
An aggro train.
In the meantime I continue to play casually with my experiment: combat experience turned off permanently and just getting some of it through quests (54 completed, currently). Since there’s so much content to see I decided to leave behind the desire to “level up” and just do everything I can. I made to level 12 but it starting to feel a bit too redundant and vain. I wish there were more quests directing me to new zones and places and a rebalance of the xp points so that more of them would come from the quest completition and less from kill-a-foozle.