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MMORPGs feel like Pinball machines


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#1 G_Player

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 11:47 PM

It doesn't matter which game I play, nor how beautiful the graphics. They ALL feel like I'm playing a machine. Everything that appens in the world is scripted events, scripted story lines, scripted NPCs, nothing feels alive. Most players (metaphorically) drop endless quarters into the machine and abuse it to get the most out of it. No one takes the world or the dangers seriously. Barely a few try to play in the world as a living, breathing, denizen. And you can literally quit any world, no matter how far up you've climbed, and you will have had zero efect on it.

I really really miss the days of pen & paper DnD, and wish somehow that an MMORPG comes along that combines the beauty of graphical advancements with living breathing game masters who can set up challenges and takes an active role and interest in characters' lives.

Granted, this cannot be done in a game with thousands in it. But surely, there are those who stand above the rest in becoming a part of the world through great role-playing. But as long as developers continue to automate everything in a world, nothing will ever feel real.

And all you & I are, are just cogs in a machine.

What say you?
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#2 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 02:13 AM

View PostG_Player, on 24 March 2017 - 11:47 PM, said:

I really really miss the days of pen & paper DnD, and wish somehow that an MMORPG comes along that combines the beauty of graphical advancements with living breathing game masters who can set up challenges and takes an active role and interest in characters' lives.
D&D is still very much alive, more so than ever I would say.

I think you should look more to something like Neverwinter Nights mods!
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#3 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 02:45 PM

The experience of playing an MMO, problems inherent with the design of these games aside, is what you personally choose to make of it. I would disagree that one leaves any particular virtual world unaffected by your having been there unless you never interacted with others and had shared experiences to take with you and your own impressions left with others.

The above entails a mindset that rises well above the ultimately hollow and worthless pursuit of virtual crap (gear, toys, etc.) that all becomes obsolete every time a new expansion releases. Far too many games have devolved into me centric incredible wastes of time and human life chasing after 1's and 0's which is all that Fiery Sword of Look at Me actually is in reality.

Don't get me wrong. Loot and toys are just fine, until they become primarily what drives someone to play and I certainly saw plenty of that over many years and countless hours in various MMO games.

What made EverQuest such a magic experience aside of the newness of it all at the time was that character development primarily occurred through playtime versus gear and item acquisition which while also important at end game particularly, was of little significant importance in the early going which took a long time. The game had a very strong social focus and group play was pretty much a necessity in the game's early years unless you happened to be a Necromancer or perhaps a skilled Druid. Even then, you were better off in a group and this was where the real fun, adventure and sense of camaraderie came together.

Was EQ perfect? Of course not but the basic design was solid in terms of the resultant experience and friendships made. I still remember people I met (sometimes only once) and talked with, adventured with, overcame challenges with, failed with, tried some more with, helped and was helped by and more. To this day I could share stories for hours on end about so many memorable experiences and most importantly, people. Fear not! I won't do that now but I can say that EverQuest was very much a living, breathing, magical world not only because it is a great game but because of the people I was fortunate (much of the time) to spend time there with.

MMO games have never really gotten the major course correction they have sorely needed since vanilla WoW ended and they all devolved into grind fests for worthless virtual crap and little more far too often. Unfortunately this is what a lot of people seem to want. These are people who don't get the basic idea of there not being an "I" in the word "team." This is a real shame for them because they are missing out on so much and don't seem to realize it. The shinies have blinded them.

All is not doom and gloom though no matter which MMO world might appeal to someone because you can always find kindred souls to have some real fun with-- if you are willing to be proactive and make it happen. This is the biggest mistake many MMO players make, expecting the ideal to come to them. It does not generally work that way. Lots of less ambitious people welcome being recruited to do something in these games but they will sit around complaining about how there is no groups for this or that while never being willing to do something about it.

Lily Tomlin once said, "I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody."
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” — Bertrand Russell

#4 Janichsan

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 12:05 PM

View PostG_Player, on 24 March 2017 - 11:47 PM, said:

It doesn't matter which game I play, nor how beautiful the graphics. They ALL feel like I'm playing a machine. Everything that appens in the world is scripted events, scripted story lines, scripted NPCs, nothing feels alive. Most players (metaphorically) drop endless quarters into the machine and abuse it to get the most out of it. No one takes the world or the dangers seriously. Barely a few try to play in the world as a living, breathing, denizen. And you can literally quit any world, no matter how far up you've climbed, and you will have had zero efect on it.

Granted, this cannot be done in a game with thousands in it. But surely, there are those who stand above the rest in becoming a part of the world through great role-playing. But as long as developers continue to automate everything in a world, nothing will ever feel real.

Yeah, that's your typical themepark MMOs for you. WoW has popularised this type of structure, and most MMOs seem content to ape it. Probably the only example of an MMO where the players have actual significant influence is EVE Online (which is a game I never could get into for various reasons).

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#5 Frost

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 10:30 PM

View PostG_Player, on 24 March 2017 - 11:47 PM, said:

And all you & I are, are just cogs in a machine.

What say you?

After a couple years of dallying with more modern MMOs to one degree or another (much less so over the past year), this is why I'm going back to single-player games. It's been over a decade since I touched an MMO and they're still just skinner boxes.

I will say I like the Division a lot when it's approached mostly as a single-player game with good coop options. It just runs out of things to do too fast once the main story is over.

Destiny I loved at the start and the lore was cool, but Bungie went from a serious space opera to silliness, and their sandbox balancing manages to get worse with almost every update. I went from a super-regular player to not having touched it in several months.
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When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#6 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 10:30 AM

There are a few I may dabble in at some point on my PS4 including Neverwinter, ESO and FFIV which confuses me with its multiple versions concurrently for sale. However, I won't ever do end game again in any of them. I don't have the time or patience for what that entails anymore. I consider it a terrible waste of time given the multitude of excellent alternative entertainment experiences one could pursue instead.

I am likely to revisit EverQuest with a cheap PC laptop which is all I would need to run it at this point. Leveling another of my twinked out alts would be fun. That's what I did last time. I took a baby Mage as far as soloing the infamous Wall of Slaughter and when he hit level 75 some hundreds of hours of fun later, I took another vacation from Norrath.
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#7 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 10:54 AM

By the way, both Destiny and The Division appeal to me and I picked up both for cheap on sales for later although I don't want to put that off too much given the expected lifespan of games like those. For now however, I am working on my inability to hit the broad side of a barn when under pressure in a shooter with a controller in hand. I am slowly starting to get It but I have a tendency to oversteer the aiming reticle as I fumble through firefights. I would not want to play online in this shape.

For now, for some practice and fun I am playing Killzone HD via PS Now on easy difficulty and having a good time learning. Anyway, I expect trying out persistent shooter worlds to be fun for me despite the flaws in them once I feel a little more comfortable mowing down enemies with a controller. I do toss a mean grenade when I have them-- cooked to perfection!
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#8 G_Player

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 03:45 PM

@Thain Esh Kelch
Does Neverwinter Nights still work under the latest MacOS?


@DirtyHarry50
You make good points about getting out what you put in, in the broad sense of in-game social interactions. These are, of course, both valuable and memorable.

I remember long in-character discussions with hundreds of others about threats facing our world and the frustrating fact that there was absolutely nothing we could do. We could take zero proactive measures unless the developers programmed and animated what we needed to do in response to their scenarios. In other words, you can do nothing but helplessly watch as pre-scripted game mechanics unfolded.

Walk into a tavern and, instead of dropping your sword, try leaning it against the chair or setting it on the table. Both acts are completely natural yet utterly impossible. In the world I was in, you couldn't even sit on the provided chairs as they were cosmetic. Everyone had to stand. And I could list a thousand other examples.

This is where I really miss having in-game Game Masters (hidden, of course) because they see, hear, and can respond to players' needs, desires, and what they wish to accomplish. Hell, if they just listen in on them they can get some great ideas.

A living breathing world doesn't mean just "populated". If it does not and cannot respond to what players reasonably want to do, then it's nothing more than a glorified (and very expensive) pinball machine.
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#9 G_Player

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 05:59 PM

Just a bit more info so you know where I'm coming from.

"I remember long in-character discussions with hundreds of others about threats facing our world…"

This consisted of discussing and analysising the threat, planning some kind of fortifications where there were none, shoring up weak areas, augmenting NPC guards, assigning patrols, establishing intelligence gathering, etc. All the things we needed to do to protect ourselves in response to the growing darkness.

That's when someone present at the meeting casually said, "You know, unless you can get the ear of one of the developers (an impossibility), none of this is even remotely possible and you're just wasting your time."

After a stunned silence another piped in, "He's right. They aren't going to devote one minute to developing any of this. What we're doing is useless. What will be is what will be."

We sat for a while as our real selves floated out of our characters and reality sank in.

Everyone kind of shuffled off.

We never had a meeting again and I surrendered to the fact that to truely be "in-character", in any world, was a futile effort.
My computer often beats me in Strip Poker but doesn't stand a chance against my kick-boxing!

#10 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 07:24 PM

Well, naturally you have to make your own fun within the context and framework afforded by any given game. While I think I am understanding the kind of realistic and believable world you are wishing for, the closest thing to that is probably still Ultima Online although I am sure it has its limitations also considering its age. Prior to this I remember it being considered a noteworthy and very cool thing, the way you could interact with objects in the world of the much earlier Ultima VII.

My suspicion is that a lot of technical issues and the expense of overcoming them get in the way of putting together the sort of highly realistic and interactive world you describe somewhat above.

I do think I am at least somewhat getting what you are talking about. The vast majority of online game worlds are just window dressing for the gameplay experiences designed to be enjoyed within them as opposed to truly living and fully interactive worlds. EverQuest Landmark as you may know was one attempt to move beyond this but the game failed and I think technical constraints that would hamstring development probably played a substantial role there.

It is worth keeping in mind when trying to realistically manage expectations that when you play any MMO, you are one client playing what amounts to a very elaborate database tied into other complex software systems and frankly, that this stuff has become as good as it is and as reliable as it is in the timeframe it has evolved over is nothing short of utterly amazing. Modern games are truly technical achievements to marvel at when one considers how incredibly complex they are.

As for scripting, of course things are scripted. Computers are all as dumb as rocks. Ones and zeroes are all they know where the software meets the metal. There is no magic. They must be explicitly told every single instruction they execute. Starting out with this and getting to a place where disbelief is commonly suspended in modern games is truly incredible but I say this as someone who learned to suspend his disbelief playing Call of Duty in the back woods on nice days with a stick in my hand as my only loadout to pick from with friends who did the same and we had a blast playing FFA DM games on the same old map every single time.

I believe the holodeck is coming without any doubt but it's gonna be a while. Until then you have to make the most of the toys at hand. You can do a lot and have a great deal of fun with others in an MMO game if you like the sort of content a particular one offers. You have to be willing to make your own fun though within the limitations of a given game. I think one does need to have realistic expectations as to what is doable both from a technical as well as a business/economic perspective.

I think what you want can and will happen in time but it represents a far greater technical challenge for many reasons than it might appear to be.
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#11 Frost

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 11:24 PM

The Division is actually really a lot of fun as of the last update. In 1.5 (which I played after getting it half off for the Christmas Steam sale) a lot was fixed from what convinced me to steer clear of it at launch, but there was still a lot broken. Namely the ability of a few min-maxed builds to be absolutely unstoppable juggernauts raping everyone to death in the Dark Zone.

1.6 at long last actually fixed the damn game. Most builds are viable to one degree or another, and the game has become a cover shooter as it was always billed as instead of running around with near-infinite health doing a chicken dance while cycling through cascading skills as it was previously. Case in point, you know me and competitive shooters. The Division has no stat tracking, but I'm reasonably sure yours truly had probably 0.1 KDR in the Dark Zone. If I got any higher than that I'd be extremely surprised. The guys with the broken builds just walked on me no matter what I did, and no matter how much I outplayed them tactically or out-aimed them.

1.6 came along, they slashed all the broken popsnizzle down to size, removed all the ways to get absurdly huge health pools and damage resistance, and all of a sudden I'm winning the majority of my 1 on 1 fights, and I've even won several 2-on-1s. Feels like a cover shooter instead of a broken bullpopsnizzle RPG now. Really like it. Again, only problem is just a lack of stuff to do, which really wasn't helped by the underwhelming expansions. Underground was great. Survival and Last Stand... meh.

It's also not helped by Incursions (The Division's equivalent to a raid) being basically a boss fight with a million waves of enemies who take several magazines of ammo being pumped into them to kill. I did each of the Incursions a handful of times and each time by the time I hit about 5 completions I had reached a point when I never wanted to play them again, unlike the missions and Underground, which to me have pretty decent replay value.
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When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#12 Janichsan

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:38 AM

View PostG_Player, on 27 March 2017 - 03:45 PM, said:

@Thain Esh Kelch
Does Neverwinter Nights still work under the latest MacOS?
Since the Mac version never got an Intel update, it doesn't. But it's really easy to get the Windows version (especially the GOG release) to run with Wineskin or CrossOver.

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#13 G_Player

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 02:22 AM

Thank you, Janichsan.

Three questions:

1. Are we talking about NWN or NWN2?

2. Wineskin or CrossOver?

3. I am still on a dial-up modem (no high-speed internet access where I live) but I did play RuneScape for a number of years and it ran well enough despite the "Broadband" requirement. I assumed this was due to most of the heavy lifting being done server-side and the data flow between server and client was light, which made the game playable even on dial-up. If the same is true conerning NWN then it too can be playable (although at a reduced resolution) even on dial-up. Can you enlighten me?

Lennbain!  : )
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#14 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:12 AM

Considering its age, NWN is probably fine with dialup. I would figure NWN 2 probably is as well. GOG probably lists this info in system requirements for each game.

I ran both games using WIneskin and per usual consulted the relevant app DB pages on the WineHQ site for any fine tuning either might have needed. So that should work well I would think. You might look for people playing either one or both games on the GOG forum for the series.

For online, even though the second game has its fans too, I think probably more people would still be playing the first one.
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#15 Janichsan

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:35 AM

View PostG_Player, on 28 March 2017 - 02:22 AM, said:

1. Are we talking about NWN or NWN2?
When writing this post, I had specifically NWN 1 in mind, but it's actually true for both.

Quote

2. Wineskin or CrossOver?
Whatever you prefer. Both are fine.

Quote

3. I am still on a dial-up modem (no high-speed internet access where I live) but I did play RuneScape for a number of years and it ran well enough despite the "Broadband" requirement. I assumed this was due to most of the heavy lifting being done server-side and the data flow between server and client was light, which made the game playable even on dial-up. If the same is true conerning NWN then it too can be playable (although at a reduced resolution) even on dial-up. Can you enlighten me?
I can't really answer that one. I've never played NWN online via dial-up connection, so I can't say how feasible that is.

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#16 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:49 PM

Apparently dialup limits multiplayer to two people for the original NWN unfortunately.

http://nwn.wikia.com...em_requirements


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#17 henryfakesmile

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 02:51 AM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 25 March 2017 - 02:45 PM, said:

The experience of playing an MMO, problems inherent with the design of these games aside, is what you personally choose to make of it. I would disagree that one leaves any particular virtual world unaffected by your having been there unless you never interacted with others and had shared experiences to take with you and your own impressions left with others.

The above entails a mindset that rises well above the ultimately hollow and worthless pursuit of virtual crap (gear, toys, etc.) that all becomes obsolete every time a new expansion releases. Far too many games have devolved into me centric incredible wastes of time and human life chasing after 1's and 0's which is all that Fiery Sword of Look at Me actually is in reality.

Don't get me wrong. Loot and toys are just fine, until they become primarily what drives someone to play and I certainly saw plenty of that over many years and countless hours in various MMO games.

What made EverQuest such a magic experience aside of the newness of it all at the time was that character development primarily occurred through playtime versus gear and item acquisition which while also important at end game particularly, was of little significant importance in the early going which took a long time. The game had a very strong social focus and group play was pretty much a necessity in the game's early years unless you happened to be a Necromancer or perhaps a skilled Druid. Even then, you were better off in a group and this was where the real fun, adventure and sense of camaraderie came together.

Was EQ perfect? Of course not but the basic design was solid in terms of the resultant experience and friendships made. I still remember people I met (sometimes only once) and talked with, adventured with, overcame challenges with, failed with, tried some more with, helped and was helped by and more. To this day I could share stories for hours on end about so many memorable experiences and most importantly, people. Fear not! I won't do that now but I can say that EverQuest was very much a living, breathing, magical world not only because it is a great game but because of the people I was fortunate (much of the time) to spend time there with.

MMO games have never really gotten the major course correction they have sorely needed since vanilla WoW ended and they all devolved into grind fests for worthless virtual crap and little more far too often. Unfortunately this is what a lot of people seem to want. These are people who don't get the basic idea of there not being an "I" in the word "team." This is a real shame for them because they are missing out on so much and don't seem to realize it. The shinies have blinded them.

All is not doom and gloom though no matter which MMO world might appeal to someone because you can always find kindred souls to have some real fun with-- if you are willing to be proactive and make it happen. This is the biggest mistake many MMO players make, expecting the ideal to come to them. It does not generally work that way. Lots of less ambitious people welcome being recruited to do something in these games but they will sit around complaining about how there is no groups for this or that while never being willing to do something about it.

Lily Tomlin once said, "I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody."

you have got the point and i feel you, the gaming experience in everquest are just so organic i dont know how they achieve that

and i am entangled by all the memories i have had in Everquest and feeling how deformed and retarded nowadays MMO has become, everything are just about DPS , who's able to dealt the most damage for using the cookie cutter build , lol :wall:  


if so, you need to check this out , the upcoming MMO currently developing by the original Everquest team, you can feel its soul by just looking at these live stream , i am glad that they are doing well and completed Series A Funding, grew their team again and presented two incredible live streams in the past few weeks!!! :w00t:
part 1
https://www.youtube....28Rkhxk&t=1610s

part 2

https://www.youtube....jADhav8&t=4198s

#18 henryfakesmile

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 12:38 AM

anyone here remember the East commonland tunnel in everquest? @G_player


the "EC Tunnel" was a really interesting dynamic in the original EQ1. It absolutely created an economic microcosm in which its own rules of engagment developed and evolved over time. It was a bit exciting to make the trek there with a big bag of "stuff" to sell or trade in the hopes of procuring something you needed, whether it be cash or something else shiny and new.

also what get me wont get over EQ1 is I really like dungeons that are far from civilization!. god! nowdays 's games are just retarded !

Sometimes the journey to the dungeon is just as much, if not more memorable than the dungeon itself. It also makes you think ahead about not only your destination, but also about the path to get there and make sure you have enough supplies to last the whole trip. Hopefully it's a two-way trip, because once you do arrive, you really feel the need to avoid death even more, as it would take you so long just to get back to your corpse. But of course with great risk comes great reward, so those dungeons also usually hold the best loot!

watching the livestream of Pantheon: rise of the fallen playthrough in the tower of the reckless magician.   I can imagine it being something like a mix between the Plane of Mischief and the Tower of Frozen Shadow in EverQuest. It's so much fun to explore zones where it feels like the dungeon itself is actively trying to trick you and kill you. Memories are made when you have no idea what might happen next and it may take weeks or months to learn the area.

anyone here remember the East commonland tunnel in everquest? the "EC Tunnel" was a really interesting dynamic in the original EQ1. It absolutely created an economic microcosm in which its own rules of engagment developed and evolved over time. It was a bit exciting to make the trek there with a big bag of "stuff" to sell or trade in the hopes of procuring something you needed, whether it be cash or something else shiny and new. also what get me wont get over EQ1 is I really like dungeons that are far from civilization!. god! nowdays 's games are just retarded ! Sometimes the journey to the dungeon is just as much, if not more memorable than the dungeon itself. It also makes you think ahead about not only your destination, but also about the path to get there and make sure you have enough supplies to last the whole trip. Hopefully it's a two-way trip, because once you do arrive, you really feel the need to avoid death even more, as it would take you so long just to get back to your corpse. But of course with great risk comes great reward, so those dungeons also usually hold the best loot! watching the livestream of Pantheon: rise of the fallen playthrough in the tower of the reckless magician I can imagine it being something like a mix between the Plane of Mischief and the Tower of Frozen Shadow in EverQuest. It's so much fun to explore zones where it feels like the dungeon itself is actively trying to trick you and kill you. Memories are made when you have no idea what might happen next and it may take weeks or months to learn the area.

#19 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 07:17 AM

Plane of Fear because I had to get the awesome Amulet of Necropotence. I also had to get epic drops for my SK and Necro there.

Remember "Phylactery Will Get You Nowhere?" My little Necro has all the required drops for "The Robe of the Oracle." Other MMOs don't know what an epic quest is.
“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” — Bertrand Russell

#20 Spike

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 02:20 PM

Everquest was (is?) an amazing game. I was playing it two years ago as I got it working in Wine on my Mac. Amazing game. Pantheon is one of my most anticipated upcoming games. Hopefully it will be awesome and not have the fate of Everquest Next.