It’s that time of the year when thoughts of Christmas dance through our heads. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling so masochistic. That would certainly explain why I’ve been thinking about Everquest.
During Chris Metzen’s “Geek Is…” speech at Blizzcon 2010, he showed the crowd a screenshot from Sony’s very own Everquest, one of the first successful MMORPG’s and the place where many of WoW’s Game Developers came from. Seeing an Everquest screenshot during a Blizzard presentation seemed a little weird. It was kinda like seeing your friend’s Mom naked. You feel awkward because it’s off-limits and something you really shouldn’t be checking out, but it’s still pretty cool to peep.
No? Just me? Fine, prudes.
Metzen was dead on when he said “None of us, and none of this, would be here without Everquest. Respect must be paid.”
Damn rights. World of Warcraft is Everquest done right. Or done better at least. I laugh when I hear players bitch about how WoW is being made too easy, because that was the same gripe EQ players made about WoW back in the “Hardcore, Vanilla” days. Why in EQ, there was no exclamation mark over a quest giver’s head. There was no identifying mark at all. Good luck finding that NPC in the city, Carebear. Still, the fact that Blizzard keeps “borrowing” concepts from Everquest (and yet I say they’re not borrowing enough) shows just how snug the bonds remain between EQ and WoW.
As I’ve said in many previous posts, I used to play Everquest (Or Evercrack, as it was accurately called back in the day). My favorite class was the Berserker, which just goes to show that I played a Fury Warrior before there even WAS a Fury Warrior. I happened to feel a little nostalgic yesterday (and there was nothing worth watching on Television) so I checked out the Berserker boards to see what had been going on with the class. Berserkers being the red-headed stepchild class, I was not surprised to see very little action on their forums.. However, I noticed a post where someone referred to a comment made about the class at the recent Fan Faire.
The SOE Fan Faire? That’s like a Blizzcon, yeah?
Well yes and no. It’s the same in that there’s panels, game demos, and swag to buy.
There’s also the players. EQ and WoW players are very much alike.
It’s also different in a few ways:
First, it’s in Las Vegas. Kinda hard to compare Anaheim attractions –
– with Las Vegas ones –
Unlike Jay Mohr hosting Blizzcon, the Fan Faire host, Jace Hall, actually has serious gamer cred while still being quite entertaining –
To be fair though, Blizzard has the more popular titles and can therefore throw alot more money at their events. Fan Faire is more grassroots in a way (as in poor, cost cutting, or whatever you want to call hanging a banner over a curtain as compared to a multi-monitor background setting), as evident in their costume contest –
However, FF does do something that I wish Blizzard would consider, and it involves the ticket sales.
Cold sweat time – damn those Blizzcon tickets were expensive. They went for $150 per, and what did the ticket buyer get for that price? It gave them access to the Convention Center. That’s pretty impressive. They also received a “Swag Bag” that by most accounts was less amazing than last year, when the price was 25 bones less. Hard to tell where that extra money went.
Fan Faire has many different tiers of tickets. The most expensive one ($135) is their Platinum pass, which grants full access to the event, as well as VIP events (like the Grand Banquet). The next is the Gold pass ($109), giving you everything but the VIP goodness. After that is the Silver pass ($89), yet another step down. But the real gem is in the Friday and Saturday Day pass ($39 per day). You don’t get any swag or frills, but if a person just wanted to catch a few panels it’d be much less painful to spend forty bucks for one day.
Given my Blizzcon experience, if the option would have been available, I could have seen myself getting a Blizzcon day pass. I don’t even know where I put half my Blizzcon giveaway stuff, but I know where all my Wootloot goodies are. I’m not about the frills. I had much more fun after ‘con hours, sharing beers and stories with folks. Besides, it’s not like you can’t see all the convention displays in one day. Or just buy two day passes and forego the useless crap, save some cash that can be spent with friends and guildmates after hours.
That’s what I’d like to see for the next Blizzcon. They raise the price every year, and while I know that people are going to pay, I think they’d get more money if they made Blizzcon a little more like World of Warcraft – accessable to more people.
C’mon Blizz – go back to the Everquest well one more time. Steal that idea.
Respectfully of course.