EQNext – Account Wide Goodies and a New Round Table

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.

An EQ2 Workbench

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.

Brewday Backpack (image via eq2wire)

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.

Warcraft riding in style, mon!(Image via MMO-Champion)

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?

You can follow Everquest Next on twitter here: @everquest_next

6 thoughts on “EQNext – Account Wide Goodies and a New Round Table

  1. Some thoughts on account perks/features.

    1) Stream lined account wide inventory access (banks, bags, etc etc), where you could just assume open access to anything you have gathered/stored without having to log around on characters mailing/storing things in special access banks etc.

    2) Gear account bound…So old equipment could be passed to alts/new toons instead of just being scrapped for crafting mats or vendered…Maybe through a “family” system? I hate soul binding systems; It’s a cheap trick to form time -sinks and camouflage poorly designed economies…Also it creates a once-removed grinding mechanic for crafting mats.

    3) Account wide (family-ish?) PvP/kill stats. Spreadsheet style sort functions in it’s UI viewing elements. This system could be used for tracking PvE kills, Crafting stats (recipe reqs vs mats on hand etc), market functions etc etc… Basically a full metric tracking system w/i the UI that tracks account wide statistics (think: Eve Online style tools for stats/markets).

    Also….”Aggie the Hook” for president. ~_^ This NEEDS to be a character!

    • I was looking to find somewhere about a shared bank in Landmark but as I recall the point of it was that you could access it from everywhere not that it was necessarily shared over multiple characters. Don’t even know if we get to have multiple characters in Landmark. I assume so but who knows.
      Also haha on Aggie the Hook. It’s especially funny since I’m building a pirate cave in Minecraft atm. Would be cool if I could get a pretty female character in EQN with a prominent hooked nose though!
      Your number 3 would tie in really well with SWTOR’s Legacy system. Which I still think could have been a lot more than it was but still a great system.

  2. I think the reputation account-wide would really only tie in IF there was a legacy system in EQNext. If your characters were all related somehow (weird if you have different races, though) then it would make sense that because another of your characters did something, you’re recognized as being a part of that family.

    Now, I realize sometimes immersion has to take a back seat to mechanics to make the game more enjoyable, so perhaps there’s a bit of leeway here. Maybe, since you’ll be able to have multiple characters of varying races that wouldn’t necessarily fit in to a traditional “family” definition, if you complete the reputation grind on a character, they’re given a symbol by that faction; something to recognize you’re contributions. This could be then reflected as a buff on your subsequent characters (account wide) that would activate a different set of quests when you first talked to the faction on your new character. You’d still have a bit of proving to do in order to show you really are related to the person you carry the sigil of, whether it by blood or by friendship, etc, but it wouldn’t be an entire rep grind all over again.

    • Ooo I like that idea with unlocking a different set of quests! I also wouldn’t mind a “Legacy – like” system but not if it’s a family tree which was my primary beef with SWTOR’s attempt. My stable of characters do all know each other in some way. Being enemies is one way to know each other and I come from a long line of ancestors who loved pinching things off their enemies. Bottom line is it ought not, for roleplayers (as in playing roleplaying games/RPGs not as in being hardcore RPers) be too much to swallow imagining why one character might obtain an item from another character. And such a system would be opt-in anyways so if it is too much to bear you wouldn’t have to do it.
      My biggest worry with account wide options is where it C-blocks us from playing rather than enables us to play more.

      • Instead of a legacy system then, call it an Heir or Heirloom system then. Games these days have taken the meaning of heirlooms to a weird place, but all the same: if one of your characters gets reputation up in a faction, they can then bequeath the item to those they see fit. It wouldn’t be a legacy persay since it’s not family related, just a general passing down of sorts. It’s all semantics really since it achieves the same thing :P

        I agree that account wide unlocks take away a part of the game, but it doesn’t have to feel like they do. The idea that each character is independent of the other is kind of archaic. There’s nothing wrong with throwing bits in the game that show your characters know and even live with each other. Having mounts account wide could be as easy as having a stable in your player housing (and allowing all characters to use one house).

        The thing I’m really bent on having each character experience (even if in a different way) are the factions. I don’t think it’s a good idea for a character to be able to completely circumvent an entire grind just because they’d done it before on someone else. WoW gets around this now with the little tokens you buy / use that give you 200% rep gain on subsequent characters after you reach a certain point. THAT makes me not want to repeat stuff (along with doing faction grinds for things like epics in EQ2) because it’s the SAME thing over and over. But if you could change it somehow as I described before, with a different set of quests, maybe a proving ground or trial based on your class / race combo to actually acknowledge the character instead of the player, that could be fun.

        I”m a big believer in factions and how they can be done in an amazing way (but haven’t yet in any MMO). Developers put them in as a grind / timesink mechanic most of the time without them ever really feeling necessary or even exciting. When was the last time you were proud that you were amiable with the Reet? Faction rep should mean something in a game and with the way EQNext will morph the world around it with the dynamic events and each server possibly being different, I think it’s a great new slate to try new things with factions.

        • Reading your comment I am reminded that I don’t mind the grind (or dailies) – it’s the repetitions that wear me out. Having to work (even hard) for something, makes that something much more valued.
          The pride you mention is much more long lasting than say showing off this epic mount you got through a random roll. As for wording the Legacy, heirloom, account wide thing. I say make them come up with a term that’s theirs alone. Even if it’s a silly word it will be redefined by how this mechanic is implemented in EQN and more easily so than with a term that already has X amount of connotations from other games.

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