Posted Sunday, November 18, 2012
Last week, I left the Guild Wars 2 guild that I’d been in since before launch. There are a number of reasons why, but the primary catalyst was that I just wasn’t playing as often as I used to, or engaging in the community as much as I had been. Prior to release, I was very active on the guild forums, wrote a couple blog posts for the guild’s blog, and was generally very excited for the launch of the game we were so highly anticipating. After release, that level of excitement stayed steady for a little while, then began a slow but steady decline. The “new car smell” had left Guild Wars 2 for me, and while it was still fun, I wasn’t as dedicated to it as I had been. My guild found my level of inactivity unacceptable, and I decided to leave rather than attempt to force myself to spend time in an area I no longer had interest in. As a result, I found myself once again drifting between MMOs. I played Planetside 2’s beta for a bit, Wizardry Online’s beta, DC Universe Online, Star Trek Online, and finally, Everquest 2. It was Everquest 2 that finally brought me back into the fold as a regular player, and the bugs in Guild Wars 2’s Lost Coast event that put the final nail in that game’s coffin for me.
Since I quit playing Everquest 2 in 2010, SOE has quietly added a TON of content to EQ2. They even have technology that lets your avatar’s face mimic your face’s movements, so your character will literally laugh as you laugh, and frown as you frown. While all of that is awesome, it was the player housing that got me to stay. When I played Star Wars: Galaxies, one of the things that always held my interest was the player housing. I loved creating unusual setups in my houses, and the new buildings they started to add in the last couple years of the game really scratched my interior design itch. Unfortunately, SWG folded at the end of 2011. You can view my music video of the last few hours of the game’s life on YouTube. So, I was left to find a new game that offered something similar. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes had promise, but it doesn’t have nearly as robust a system or as active a community as Everquest 2. My characters in EQ2 that I’d abandoned for greener pastures years ago were higher level than my Vanguard characters, and that helped the situation, since I could jump right into affording new furniture and other decorations for my house. The controls for decorating are more user-friendly than SWG’s, allowing me to raise, lower, move, and rotate items. I can’t control pitch and yaw, but I’ve heard those are coming. My dwarf paladin, Himbri, still lives in an acorn. I would trade up for a bigger house with a bind point in Qeynos, but I honestly don’t use all the space in my acorn, so that’d be a bit of a waste at this point.
The other thing that made me choose Everquest 2 is the Player Studio. This awesome feature lets players submit new models and textures for inclusion in the game itself. They are sold in the EQ2 Marketplace for Station Cash, of which the player that made them gets a sizable portion. Since I have some ability in the 3D modeling and texturing arenas, this has me excited for the possibilities. I may not ever get the chance to work on an MMORPG, but this at least lets me contribute to one in a lasting and meaningful way.
Last but not least, my newfound interest in EQ2 is well-timed with the release of Windows 8. I’m an early adopter, and a developer by profession, so it seemed only natural that I’d try and make an app for the game that I’d recently adopted. As it happens, EQ2 offers an API now that’s just as robust as World of Warcraft’s, if not more so. So, I’m in the process of creating an app for Win8 that lets the user find, view, and share guild information for Everquest 2 guilds. I’ll post updates about it occasionally here, so keep coming back!