What Should EQ3 Be Like?
What I’d Like to See:
- A huge, open world. This was one of the things EQ did best; there was so much to see and do that I was able to explore and seek new adventures almost continually. I think it’s desirable to add some fast travel options but not enough that it trivializes the distances and makes the world feel smaller. I think they’ve hit a good balance in EQ2 with the carpets, druid ports, and mage ports, plus the in-city teleporters. The huge world allows for a lot of small, hidden treasures… areas that you stumble across without planning to do so, that can provide a half hour to a few hours’ diversion each.
- Diverse languages. I’ve always appreciated the language systems in EQ, though neither iteration has been perfect yet. In EQ, you learned the basics of a language from somebody else who spoke it (good idea) then practiced it by listening to somebody speak in that language (poorly implemented – this led to people spamming macros to teach everyone in their group). In EQ2 you read a book and suddenly master the language. I accept that it’s difficult to create a granular approach to learning language, so it’s typically binary (you don’t speak it at all, then suddenly you speak it fluently). I think a combination of approaches is probably best, such that you learn a language from a PC or NPC, but it requires two or three sittings to master the language (time-restricted, maybe no less than an hour RL between sittings).
- City factions and betrayal. I like being able to earn the right to visit cities that don’t like my characters initially, and I love the ability to betray my existing city, make enemies of them, and change alignment.
- Guild leveling. This is a nifty idea, also implemented pretty well in LotRO.
- Healing out of group. I like to be able to heal anyone, anytime. The most effective and efficient heals can be group-only though.
- Gear that levels with you. This is a nice idea and makes characters feel more realistic; over time you learn to unlock more of the abilities of the magic items you have, rather than replacing literally everything every few levels. A balance should be found such that not every piece of equipment is upgradeable, so there’s still some turnover of equipment.
- Item decay and destruction. I like having items wear down with use, and to take it even further, I like the idea that on occasion an item can break completely, such that repair might not always be possible. This can lead to the need to occasionally replace gear that levels with you, and it’s a nice money sink. This works better in a game where gear isn’t emphasized too much, so players don’t freak out over losing an item they worked long and hard to obtain.
- An auction house with both supply and demand posting.
What I Wouldn’t Like to See:
- Trains. So. Much. Griefing. ‘Nuff said.
- Long rest periods between fights to regain health/mana. I don’t find it fun to sit around waiting for several minutes after a long drawn out fight. Let me get back into the action quickly; sitting around waiting isn’t a desirable part of gaming.
- Static spawns. The camping in EQ was tedious and downright horrid. If there’s a spawn needed for a quest, spawn it based on the presence of a PC on said quest. If the spawn starts a quest of its own or isn’t quest related, make the spawn’s location dynamic so it’s not in the same place every time.
- Forced grouping. Yecch. I appreciate the existence of content that’s designed for groups, but I also want content to scale from solo to a full group. I have no interest in playing a game that won’t allow me to meaningfully progress if I don’t feel like grouping / can’t find anyone to group with / have to go AFK a lot and thus am unsuitable for grouping on a given playsession.
- Buffing out of group. This leads to trivializing content and also to rude demands.
- Many difficult subcombines per crafting product. I don’t honestly want to spend half an hour of my time making one item unless that item is pretty epic (and required hours of material gathering).
- Crafting a lot of worthless items to level up crafting. I prefer to make fewer items instead of grinding out dozens or hundreds of bits and pieces.