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 Nov 17, 2004 - 03:00 PM - by Michael
* EQ2 going after newbies' throats

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
Wired News has an article on how Everquest II tries to "educate" newbies: they throw them to the wolves and start the boring forced-grouping nonsense early.

In the earliest stage of the game, players can get by without grouping up. But by the fourth level, quests require teamwork to succeed. Attempting to satisfy such missions solo routinely ends with the player surrounded and overmatched, and a "not again" epithet.

What might be surprising, from a newbie's perspective, is how easy it is to find sympathetic fellow players. In EverQuest II, getting assistance with a demanding quest is hardly difficult: A simple request in most cases will result in an eager offer of no-strings-attached help. It is very common to see, in the chat window, shouts from random players asking who is off in search of the orc.

The crucial thing about the orc quest is that it forces new players to figure out how to look for, find and manifest a group. Wallflowers need not apply, as the game would be severely limiting to someone unwilling or unable to find partners from among the total strangers sharing the unfamiliar battlefield.
I left Everquest in the first place because forced-grouping in that one began about level 8. I sure as hell am not joining one where forced grouping is everything to the game starting at level 4.

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