So, World of Warcraft finally finished patching and I got to play again. Levelled an undead warlock to 7 and then a Tuareen (sp) Shaman to 3 (took like 12 seconds).
Levels 1 to 7 in WoW *are* more fun than in EQ. EQ’s tutorial has come a long way to making the first few levels fun, but every race and every class plays the same tutorial, no variation, which means once you’ve done it once, you’re going to have to repeat the same steps for any other race/class combo. At least with WoW the first few levels vary based on race, although there’s little difference in the grand scheme for classes, but there is some difference at least.
And ok, it basically amounts to ‘finding the first quest giver, bringing back what they asked for and then hunting for more quest givers and killing the stuff they talk about’ for 7 levels, and in some ways EQ’s tutorial is structured better (it explains the game concepts as part of the quests). But the bottom line (look, two sentences one starting with And and one starting with But, sorry grammer) is that starting in WoW is just more fun.
It’s pacier, I never died once, and I had fun completing the quests. It looks prettier, EQ still hasn’t caught up in that regard.
You know what though? WoW *still* has less soul. You can’t talk in channels or in /shout when you’re low level, to stop spam-bots and account-sellers advertising. It also means you can’t talk to yor fellow players in the early stages. I waved at a few folk, but no response. The only time anyone interacted with me was to ask, and I quote,
“r u a mge”
To which I replied, “No my wretched undying friend, I am a warlock”. To which the reply was,
Ah well, so much for immersion. I’m sure it would be the same in the EQ tutorial.
There’s no real need to group for any of the early quests in WoW, where-as in the EQ tutorial unless you’re twinked to the gills some of the tasks are much easier grouped, and I think that probably goes some way to encouraging more interaction. The only time I’ve been in the tutorial recently we grouped with a random stranger to take out one of the task bosses. Other than EQ2 I’ve not played another mmorpg really, and I only played EQ2 in beta, so I can’t really compare other tutorials / new character starting processes.
I’m downloading Star Wars Galaxies at the moment, because I’ve never seen it and it has a free 10 day trial, so we’ll see how that compares.