Battlegrounds for Everquest 2

In one of the more unexpected announcements I’ve ever seen, SOE unveil their next great idea for EQ2. Battlegrounds. Due for release on Feb 16th, there are going to be 3 instanced battlegrounds on offer, a 6v6 capture the flag scenario, a 24v24 hold territory scenario, and a 6v6 kill the dude with the thing scenario.

Now, EQ2 is not really a PvP focussed game, to say the least. There are two factions but they don’t really clash as such. And it doesn’t look as though the new battlegrounds are going to have any effect on the wider game, instead they give special new armour sets.

So my question is, were any players actually asking for this? Assuming the designers have taken a few notes from the best and worst of WoW and WAR, the new battlegrounds could be a great success and introduce some fun new gameplay into an aging MMO. But does the EQ2 playerbase want PvP?

I guess we’ll find out. I do feel it’s a shame that SOE aren’t capitalising more on the strong points of their game, instead rushing around to add features like achievements and battlegrounds in long after the competition.

You can only wonder if the player base wish they’d had their eye on LOTRO skirmishes instead.

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9 thoughts on “Battlegrounds for Everquest 2

  1. You are right there. Various MMORPGs that managed to keep a considerable userbase appealed in a certain way to the userbase that other MMOs could not. Finding out what this special appeal is, the “mix” or some special features, should be of prime importance to the developers.

    For instance, I believe LOTRO prospers because of the IP and the world in the sense of the world – the engine is very good at rendering impressive landscapes at high detail. So I think they should focus on utilizing the world, the Mirkwood is just awesome. But the Mirkwood dungeons? The small caverns one can visit after the epilogue all over the Mirkwood are nice, but the 3 man and 6 man instances of Dol Guldur feel rather weak compared to the many more dungeons that WoW offers.

    I think Sony is again dropping the ball. Just because most games have fallen for achievement systems, which are not always to my liking anyways, does not mean they need one, too. The same applies to battlegrounds, if your description of the general EQ population is correct this is like giving kids a totally wrong present for birthday.

  2. I sort of disagree. With a new MMO, I can see needing to get the shiny stuff right – misreading the expectations of players can be fatal. I give you Champions Online as the latest example of that.

    But for a well-established 5 year old game that is NOT WoW (ie, not fighting to keep a stranglehold on the market) adding in secondary features can hardly be seen as a bad move or ball-dropping. They have the resources, obviously, to spare a little dev time ahead of the latest patch and so this gets in. It’s not skirmishes – but, hey, WoW don’t have those either yet – it’s too soon. LotRO broke ground there and it will take some lag time to see that functionality trickle down to other games.

    This really is NOT like giving kids a totally wrong present for birthday. This is much more like tossing your kid a CD for his music collection just because you had it laying around and like to give them stuff. If this was a big hooplah that delayed other content like the upcoming expansion, fair enough. But it’s a freebie that no-one was looking for that will give some folks some pleasure and others can ignore it with no impact to any part of their game experience.

    I can only wonder if the player base has a sense of entitlement far too much for their own good; not every addition has to be the WoW-killer Uberpatch of Wicked Awesomeness that will make everyone everywhere wish they were playing our game instead of their own.

  3. It’s been years that I played EQ2. But I think some sort of “arena” with capture the flag and stuff was already implemented then. It wasn’t received well though.

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  5. I played EQ2 back when the PvP servers were first implemented, and after a while, world PvP started to wane because, as you noted, EQ2′s not really a PvP game. There was a lot of talk on the forums from players across all servers about how we wanted to have cross-server battlegrounds like WoW so that PvE players could get a PvP fix without having to roll on the PvP realms (since the PvP realms had the most confusing and terribad rule systems ever.) I have to admit I find it pretty ironic that they’re finally implementing the idea since the developer response at the time was something like, “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA….no.”

    The Arenas that Kyff mentions are in the two main cities (and Maj’Dul IIRC) and were really nothing more than server-only instances that followed PvE rulesets on combat. You could join in and fight against the opposing factions (if they knew which instance you were in since you had to create your own), but you were still only fighting people on your server. And since combat followed PvE rules instead of PvP rules, you couldn’t get an accurate idea of how your abilities would hold up in an actual pvP fight.

    “This is much more like tossing your kid a CD for his music collection just because you had it laying around and like to give them stuff.”

    Make it a CD that they begged you for years ago when it was all the rage, only now the band has broken up and the CD is for sale on iTunes for $5.99 and yeah, that’d be a pretty accurate assessment.

  6. well… I dunno. I loved battlegrounds in WoW but I understand how they mess with gear and class balance. Hmm hard decision. I’d prolly rather have them but have the devs make changes that only affect class balance in battlegrounds. (alla lotro’s Ettenmoors) I’d like pvmp skirmishes to be added to lotro and word is they are in the works somewhere but like you said Wilhelm a bunch of people will have a hissy fit if any kind of pvp is amplified in a pve centered game.

  7. I remember the PvP arenas they had at first. It was clunky and not done well. Then the first expansion hit, where you could duel with gladiators that you collected in game. A neat concept, but never reached huge acclaim. I also remember when the first PvP servers were released, and how clunky the rules were at first.

    Since then I know the PvP servers have seen a lot of refinement, and increased in quality overall. SoE also stepped over a major landmine by giving all abilities a PvE affect and a PvP affect which you could read between by a simple toggle. It was brilliant in it’s simplicity.

    That said, the main thing I always found missing from EQ2 when I played it as my primary MMO, was a PvP outlet. I doubt I’ll ever go back to it now, but I can’t help but wonder, if a full robost PvP option had been available for me from the start, would I have stayed there even to this day?

  8. “Kill the dude with the thing scenario” xD LOL

    Well back to the topic… in my opinion games shouldn’t focus on their weaknesses but on their strengths.

    If the devs have little experience with PvP and the players aren’t interested anyway… what’s the point?

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