My experiments with EverQuest 2 have drawn to a close. Despite it being a pretty solid game, it has not hooked me in the way MMORPGs are supposed to in order to keep them siphoning money on a monthly basis. Like some kind of entertaining but nonetheless parasitic lamprey.
Thus, I decided to drop actual cash into the sucking maw of yet another fish in the sea, and resubscribed to City of Heroes. Core impressions of the gameplay follow.
So far, I’m enjoying being reintroduced to City of Heroes, and I’ve partly my new video card to blame for breathing new life into this game. Despite the age of City of Heroes, City of Villains’ release tweaked the engine in such a way that it had a lot of filters and whatnot that made the game very awkward on my older system. Now, the game runs nice and fluid at nearly maximum settings. Another nice thing about this game is I can alt-tab out of it without crashing it, something that EQ2 can’t seem to do for me… but that’s probably the fault of ATI drivers.
The core gameplay in City of Heroes is the combat, and to these ends it’s certain better designed. CoH combat is fast, frantic, and visceral. Basically, it’s comic-book style combat, with all the faster-than-a-speeding-bullet trappings that comes with. You can knock villains off the top of skyscrapers — that is uniquely City of Heroes.
Everquest 2 also has relatively visceral combat in that you can (and should) slam several hotkeys in rapid succession for maximum effectiveness. For many classes, you’ll be firing off more hotkeys in even more rapid succession than your average City of Heroes character. However, the thing about EQ2 is that this was not the original game, and this has largely been retrofitted in.
City of Heroes, in having been designed and balanced from the start to be this sort of game, is considerably more flexible and balanced to handle large engagements of multiple enemies, where “adds” (mobs joining the encounter in progress) in EQ2 I’ve found to be considerably awkward to deal with. In EverQuest 2, people just tend to scoop up mobs of enemies and melt them in ways the game cannot properly render.
But that’s alright – both games have their strengths. In time, I’ve come to realize that EverQuest 2 has a very rich external game in fascets such as trade skills, housing, and overall character growth that City of Heroes doesn’t quite match.
As for me, I’m a gamer at heart, I play games because I enjoy gameplay. The game with the better gameplay tends to interest me longer. The type of game I play is combat. Consequently, City of Heroes – with a more refined combat mechanic – keeps fishing me back.
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