EverQuest 2 and Guild Wars 2 have somewhat of a special relationship in my head, and definitely have similarities as games. They’re both MMOs, sequels to award-winning games, and take place hundreds of years after the original where catastrophes have caused most of the accessible lands to become blocked off. They both simply took the original name and put a 2 on the end as their title despite the regularity of subtitles in the original games, and both have had massive game mechanic changes from the first. Also, they both made/are making significant changes to the MMO genre, for good or bad.
EverQuest 2 was a significant game for me (as was the predecessor, EverQuest). Despite never really playing it (although the F2P conversion has caused me to begin dabbling in it at times), I was still steeped in knowledge about the lore and mechanics due to my love of the world of Norrath, my in-laws throwing an annual party for their EQ2 guild mates, and my (at times) frighteningly good memory regarding the game to the point where I could read something and remember it weeks, if not months and years later. A significant chunk of my initial MMO knowledge came from my experience and learning about EverQuest 1 and 2, and I met some very special people whom I still know today.
Guild Wars 2 is my obsession though, I’ll admit. I’m sure those close to me are getting rather tired of how focused I am on it, although I feel/hope my enthusiasm may be convincing them to at least try the game out once it launches, or even during the upcoming player betas. The first Guild Wars was a significant change for me from normal MMOs…partially because it was technically just a CORPG (Cooperative Online RPG). It wasn’t a persistent world and more like a single player game designed to be played co-op…kinda like SWTOR (ba dum tishhhh…thank you, I’m here all week). Still, the world and mechanics drew me in, and I returned to playing it time and time again despite having other games. Even now, with pretty much everything done I wanted to get done, it still has a pull.
As we learn more about Guild Wars 2 and its immense number of changes from MMO standard conventions and norms, I cannot help but compare the differences between these two games and what an EQ2 player might experience if they decided to start playing GW2. These thoughts aren’t so much a “which is better?” exercise, but more of a “how different are they?” mental exercise, and a way to work out how to describe this to those I know. After a while I realized these thoughts were relatively extensive, so I figured I might as well do some write-ups (because that’s what normal people do, right?).
I’ll be calling these posts “Norrath to Tyria”. Each post will begin with a quick comparison of a feature or aspect of Guild Wars 2 with its EverQuest 2 counterpart (if it exists), links to official information from the developers (ArenaNet, not NCSoft), and then commentary and exploration of these features with an attempt to describe what an EQ2 player would find different. These posts will not be some sort of “vs” comparison to determine which is a better game, the point is to describe what is different and relate it back to existing knowledge a player may have of EverQuest 2 so they can more quickly understand the change should they decide to play Guild Wars 2. Some posts will be short, some will be long. Pictures of both games will be attempted, but no promises.
A lot of these systems are interconnected and work off each other. An individual piece may be neat yet only partially different, but it is the combination of all of these systems and changes, and how they work together, that make GW2 the innovative and awesome game it is. It may be hard to get a good feeling on how one system affects everything else until I reach those systems (this most specifically refers to the trinity and profession posts, as they are highly connected). It’s also good to remember that this game will not be for everyone. It’s perfectly okay to not like it, or only like parts of it but not others. Hopefully I can convince anyone who reads this that it’s at least worth playing a bit.
First up is going to be a general post regarding social game play, which has a bunch of relatively minor features that combine to help provide a vastly different feeling when playing Guild Wars 2 compared to other traditional MMOs, including EQ2. See you then!
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EverQuest 2 images are © 2004-2012 Sony Online Entertainment LLC. EverQuest is a registered trademark of Sony Online Entertainment LLC in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.