Senior Producer Terry Michaels (@terryjmichaels) and Senior Global Brand Manager Omeed Dariani (@omeeddariani) have put their heads together in another Round Table video discussing the EQNext team’s stance on account wide friends list, indicating that they, along with most of the poll voters would quite like an account wide friends list provided it’s an opt-in thing.
To someone like me who needs long swaths of alone time to recover between socializing, this is excellent news. For kicks you can visit the Friends List forum thread (you may need to log in with your Station account) to see a selection of players declaring however that friends that refuse to service them 24/7 are no friends at all. Happily there are players chiming in with such novel notions as ‘reason’ as well. But you can’t have a story without some tension and everybody agreeing with everybody isn’t a story at all so Terry and Omeed finished by asking:
“What other things would be nice to have account wide?” (My paraphrase)
(On a side note Terry is flashing one of his killer shirts again here :) )
They mentioned reputation gains as an example. This was the first thing I thought of too. I would have loved having to only do those grinds once in World of Warcraft. Especially those dreadful vanilla reputations, remember those? But that’s because most of those rep grinds where eye-stabbingly dull. At least until they got a handle on dailies and offered selections and rotations of quests.
On the other hand, having worked for months to max a rep so you can buy a special mount and then finally flying around on that special mount was priceless. I am very much of the school that prefers: Hard Work = Reward Guaranteed over hard Work = Random Roll = Possibly No Reward Ever. As such would an account wide rep gain cheapen my work? Maybe not if the work to gain the reputation was increased to reflect that. Maybe you could even toggle between personal or account wide reputation gain. Say you gain 1000 reputation points for rolling a stone up a hill. Once you received those points you can either choose to put them into your character’s personal rep points or on the account wide points. One is a shallow kids pool and the other is a lake. There should be a slight advantage in time if you do the account wide rather than the personal one each time and then it becomes a matter of planning and strategizing/managing your characters. I think that could be intriguing.
Tell what I DO want account wide though:
Inventory size! If Aggie the Hook has acquired huge super-bags from her heists, then she would be sharing those with my other characters because otherwise it’s the boot. I despise starting a new character up and being greeted by his/her standard inventory size. In fact anything that can cut into the prep time of getting a new character up and rolling would be a relief! Especially in EQ2 rolling a new character felt like such a chore. 8 New bags, 12 new boxes for the bank (before bags and boxes weighed the same). 9 pieces of armor, weapon(s) and/or shield. A stack of food and drink, I’d usually make 20 each. Some totems, underwater breathing and a power boost at least. Jewelry, hex dolls and by the time you’re done it’s been 6 hours and you haven’t actually started playing yet.
Sure that is all my choice to max out my character and give her the best chance at success as she ventures forth into her new life. But leaving diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorders aside, why would you not want to give you toon the best tools at your disposal? Cutting down on that preparation time can only be partly achieved by an account wide setting on inventory space but at least it’s something.
Mounts and pets could be account wide. Again looking back to years past in WoW, gathering up awesome pets and beautiful mounts on one character and later growing tired with the character and not having all the things you collected on her on your new character, is a kick in bottom. In that case I often felt like the work I’d put in to gain those mounts should have covered all my characters rather than just the one.
Account bound items. The legacy items of SWTOR were an awesome addition to the game and their whole Legacy approach to your character roster really felt right to me. It moved that famous 4th wall out beyond the screen and I loved that. Why should the Awesome Sword of Awesomeness not be passed on among your kin and friends? What total jerk of a hero insists on nailing his Axe of Pixie Decapitation up on the wall if his cousin Jimmy is facing an army of rabid pixies in faraway lands? Besides why should that hero not be able to make an imprint to hang on the wall and send the real thing to his cousin Jimmy?
Some things are not as awesome to have account wide though. The mailbox for example. GW2 felt you should be able to get mail anywhere in the world. I’m less enamored about that idea after experiencing it but let’s leave that aside for the moment. They also made the mailbox account wide and that included npc mail. What a mess! Sure it was a way to get stuff to your other characters but the end result for me was an inbox that rivaled the miscellaneous drawer in a garage!
Changing your mind. One thing I would worry about if I was creating the game is preventing players from repeating content they WANT to repeat. Naturally most players will knee-jerk with “We never want to repeat anything”, but that’s a damn lie or single-player games would be a thing of the past. And really if you only ever play games once I don’t think you got your money’s worth. Then again I re-read books I love re-watch movies I love and some find that odd. Maybe my memory isn’t as good as some and maybe I just like to revisit good dialogue, or acting or stories. Regardless making a rep grind for example account wide prevents players from re-visiting that content. So how about an option (I wouldn’t even mind if it was a micro-transaction from the Station store) to pull your character’s progress out of an account wide progress. Get a clean slate and start over just for the fun of it?
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