That too. I had to come to the sad conclusion that the Blizzard I was a huge fan of for basically all of my adult life is dead and gone. I liked Diablo III all right, but even that’s pretty crap compared to better ARPGs these days. RIP.
Wait, what ARPGs make Diablo III feel like crap??? I am jonesing for something.
Diablo III doesn’t feel like crap, it has all the Blizzard polish. The game, IMO, is pretty crap compared to its peers. I’m a build junky, though, so YMMV but I always found Path of Exile and Grim Dawn to be much better alternatives. I’m sure you’re already aware of those, though. Wolcen needs more content but I had fun with it as well.
I tried to play Path of Exile a bit on the Xbox and it just felt so janky but maybe I should give it another shot.
It’s a game built for KBM, gamepad on Xbox felt like crap to me too because it’s basically simulating the mouse clicks onto a “tile” (or at least that’s how it felt). If you game on PC I’d try it there, otherwise I’d probably give it a pass.
Game is amazing at building different types of characters, though, if you’re into the “garage” aspect of ARPGs.
I don’t see it as being a business thing at all. EQ was simply a much better game. AC paled in comparison. It also hit all the generic fantasy aspects that people already knew and were familiar with, which should not be understated-- AC was weird.
AC also looked like crap in comparison, at least in my opinion. Not just from a tech perspective but from an art perspective. Granted, it had the open world instead of the restrictive zones like EQ, but still.
How crazy ambitious EQ was. The first game (as far as I can recall) that required a 3D accelerator AND a MMO with a monthly subscription to boot? That is bold and never something that’d get made today. What would the equivalent be, a big-budget AAA game that required a VR headset and a subscription to Field & Stream?
EQ’s budget was only $3 million. It cost nothing to make compared to what games cost today.
I loved AC and never played EQ much. I played AC all the way until DAoC opened.
That’s awesome! On paper it should have been more up my alley. And to be honest, I didn’t stick with EQ very far, I think I got a Shaman up to L20 or so before I couldn’t handle the assault on my time. I tried to get into AC but it was a game that just refused to click for me for whatever reason. I didn’t stick with it long and is probably my loss, unfortunately for me.
I wasn’t in a guild in either AC or EQ, and AC was the much better solo game. That changed forever with DAoC, and I don’t doubt that with a good guild I would have been hooked on EQ.
The legacy of EQ is amazing. To think, it has survived it’s own horrible launch, competition from other games, the juggernaut of WOW, the decision to stay “on” when EQ2 came out, and several ownership changes. I mean, this game is still going 21 years on now. That’s pretty damn good. This was the only game I ever volunteered for as a “remote GM”, which was fun in it’s own right.
I’ve tried going back a few times, but just can’t. I did my time, and will always remember it fondly. Sorry to hear about the current struggles with it.
I’ve played all the MMOs of those days, and AC is the one I bounced off of the hardest. It just never clicked with me. DAoC, AO, SWG, WoW, all occupied my interest for periods of time. Just not AC.
fuck you, discourse!
What I liked most about AC was the open skills trees - there were no classes, just skills that you put together in the way you wanted. Now there were some limiting factors like the number of points you had to spend on those skills, but your build was yours to customize as you wanted. The world was large and open, which was a new idea and I liked the graphics. Monthly events brought big changes to the world as well, like the destruction of towns you had previously gone to regularly, seasons and weather changes, etc that were new to the genre. Combat was dynamic compared to what became the MMO standard.
What wasn’t great was the grouping interface, in that there really wasn’t one. The magic system was very powerful, with the original design that it would be very difficult to use, as each character had their own special reagents needed to make powerful spells, but the code for that got cracked with an easy to use app, and suddenly everyone was able to perform strong magic that imbalanced the game from how the devs had planned it. And the thing that made me stop, in addition to DAoC, was that the devs didn’t mind if the players used exploits, at least until the exploits got patched, which seemed really crappy to those of us who didn’t use them. People got crazy spells and items through exploits, got to keep them after the exploits were patched, and the rest of us who played the game right got father behind the cheaters.
Overall was a great first online rpg experience for me, even if it was mostly played solo.
Asheron’s Call was fantastic, I played from beta through the first couple of years and loved it. AC had the huge open world without zones, the fantastic skill system that allowed for dozens of different builds, the totally new IP that didn’t rely on the old “Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Etc.” fantasy structure, really good crafting, and those GM-hosted events were so much fun.
But all that great design and creativity was wrapped in a fugly presentation and clunky feel that simply couldn’t compete with the sexy graphics and fluid flow that Everquest had, even if Everquest had not had a 9 month head start. Having played both games extensively, there were nights I desperately wished some of the great design elements of AC would have made it into EQ instead, and other nights that I just wanted an area in AC to look half as good as most EQ zones. Both were amazing games, especially for what they were doing at the time, and both had flaws that offset their strengths. Still, it was a glorious time to be a computer gamer with internet access!
I think Anarchy Online is under appreciated, That game innovated in a lot of ways I liked. It didnt actually work of course but that was true of all MMO’s in one way or another back then. Maybe even now.
I remember when that game launched, you would get stuck and lagged out forever really frequently. Some guy on the forum analyzed the network packets and made the argument that they were using straight TCP for everything and that if a packet/message were dropped, the game would wait forever for a response that was never coming.
It’s been far too long to remember the details or whether there were any truth to his claims, but I do remember it matching my experience. Any little lag spike meant I was going to have to restart the game as it would never start responding again.
After that, I unfortunately (fortunately? :)) never went back. I also remember the game feeling weird because I had laser pistols and such but spent my early levels auto-attacking rats at my feet. Repeatedly stabbing vermin outside Freeport in EQ was probably equally absurd but shooting laser guns at my feet really threw me off. :)
Yeah it was a train wreck at launch, but managed to become a semi working rail line after a year or so :) A spectacularly bad launch even by MMO standards :)
I played Anarchy Online, Asherons Call, DaoC, EQ, pretty much all of them, I was a real MMO junky for a long time. I loved all of those games for different reasons, but none of them other than EQ had me going back to them over the years. I’m not 100% sure why that is even, EQ has a certain “feel” to it that I like, I like the timing of everything in that game, it’s one thing I can put my finger on that’s pretty clear, especially vs games like AC and AO, that were pretty janky in terms of feel.
One point about EQ is that you have to run the original character models, as the updated ones are just beyond horrible, and to me ruin the game. The original characters and animations had such great personality to them that was completely destroyed by the rework. As silly as it sounds, if I couldn’t use the original character models, I’d never spend another second in EQ.
As much time as I spent with all of those other games, and as much as I loved my time with them, I really wouldn’t be bothered if/when they closed down. Maybe it’s because EQ was such a huge pain in the ass…it’s like climbing a mountain, or doing anything incredibly difficult, probably some form of Stockholm syndrome lol.
I play with the original models still. The new ones just don’t animate right.
Mounts don’t work well but I dont use them as I don’t really play the game properly, no levelling or raiding etc. I also only have a ranger and bard and they have decent travel spells/songs.