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Introduction

Game Basics

 

Survey Basics

Meta-Game

Game Appeal

Gender-Biased Appeal

Annoyances

Dark Side

Hack-and-Slash?

Discussion

Meta-Character

Game Dynamics

Gender Dynamics

Relationships

RPG Comparison

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Meta-Game Results


 

This survey focused on the game itself – its appeal, its annoying features, whether people learn anything from the game etc. Of 326 respondents to this survey:

 

40 have played Diablo

67 have played Ultima Online

24 have played Civilization

24 have played Warcraft

43 have played Starcraft

58 have played Quake

103 have played computer RPG's

12 mention MUD's or MOO's  

 


Game Appeal (Back to Top)

Why does EQ appeal to you?

 

1)    Being Someone Else

Mainly being somthing your not in real life. I always wanted to live in the days of Dragons and Wizards.. Im pretty much addicted, its great to live another identity. For the few hours online, I enjoy being Dynar the Paladin, running around healing and helping others.

 

Over all, I enjoy taking on the roll of a happy/silly little gnome who eats bugs. 

 

2)    Escapism /  World to Explore

It's a form of escape from the real world.  It also provides an avenue to act out childhood dreams of being a  warrior packing plate and smacking dragons around ETC.  It also has near places to explore.

 

Just the escape to Fantasy Land...sometimes I don't even feel like really playing the characters as much as I just want to be in the EQ world.

 

As I said, the world of EQ is huge and beautiful, with lots of  places to explore. Also, I love the concept of a persistent world, of belonging to  a living society.

 

3)    Social Interaction

EQ is good, due to the social interaction.  The challenge is not so much beating up the monsters for me, but rather one of testing my leadership.  I take a group of people, and mold them into a group which is capable of doing things that a nearly identical group would say couldn't be done, through superior tactics and teamwork.

 

As above: the massively-multiplayer aspect.  The game itself is merely tolerable.

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4)    Better Than Predecessors

You feel a lot more inside the world than a normal text-based MUD.  You can actually get lost, it's harder to travel at night for  example.. these things don't really happen on a MUD..

 

In general I think the games appeal is that this is a very new form of game playing. Up until recent years, you were restricted to the PC making decisions rather than human beings. It is human nature to want to interact with others and EQ lets you do that.

 

5)    Power / Achievement

Allows for progression.  You get to see your character change, grow, and make friends and enemies.

 

The game-world, multi-player aspect, and the idea of leveling.  This is what keeps people playing. To build your character and increase in experience and strength.

 

Getting more powerful.  Exploring areas that were previously closed to me.

 


Gender-Biased Appeal (Back to Top)

Do you think that EQ appeals to men more than women? Why might this be so?

 

1)    Goal Driven / Acquisition

Well I think men appeal to the game more.  As in men tend to be more object and goal oriented as women tend to hang around for the company.

 

Men like this game more. Men tend to be more agressive and therefore are driven by item acquisition more than women. My wife has not shown much desire to play EQ even though she has a very simular personality to mine.  She is not driven by the goals within the game.

 

Yes. There's a certain competitiveness in EQ: who can get to level 50 the fastest, who can collect the most loot, who can kill the most monsters, who can hit the hardest, who can duel and win the most, etc, etc, etc.  I have always perceived those motivations to be very male-oriented, because I perceive males to be much more competitive than females

 

2)    Interaction

Again, because PC games in general appeal to men.  But I am a woman and like the game more than my husband.  He gets bored with it because it does require interaction.  I think the interaction aspect is what attracts the 17% of female players.

 

I don't think so, all the girls I know who have seen EQ think it is a totally amazing game and want to play themselves.  I think the level of interaction with other people appeals to them.

 

3)    Old RPG Bias

I think it definately appeals more to men.  First of all, if you go back to traditional role-playing like D&D, you see that 99% of the people you hear about playing the games are men. RPGs have basically appealed to men because most women don't care about slaying dragons or adventuring in dungeons filled with roming undead. 

 

4)    Violence

Yes, I think it appeals to men more because of its violent nature.  I think that women are less likely to be attracted to a game where the only worthwhile activity is killing things.

 

Yeah.  Main overall objective is to kill, kill, kill.  Or be killed.

 


Annoyances (Back to Top)

What pet peeves do you have with EQ? What is the most annoying thing about EQ?

 

1)    Assholes

There are WAY TOO MANY ass holes that play the game. EQ is full of jerks and those who take advantage of other people. Also, it is full of people that complain about the stupidest little things. This makes a bad combination.

 

The childish nature of some of the players. I guess that is just human nature.  Sadly.    Again not getting any exp for playing your character a differant way.  Like not power gaming and actaully having a theme or a reason for running around this large world they have provided for us.

 

2)    Lag / Crowd

Lag and over crowding

 

Overcrowding, jerk-off players, looong downtimes.

 

3)    LD

getting LD (linkdead) in the middle of a trade or battle. this is has to be the most annoying thing about EQ.but its not realy EQ its your ISP so ...if that dosent count..getting KSed(kill stolen)when you take the time and kill something and some one castes a few spells and gets the kill.

 

4)    Time

Ah...massive amount of time needed to complete the smallest tasks. Perhaps this is realistic in that life isn't easy, but it takes SO MUCH TIME. I love/hate being addicted.

 

The times when it is slow. Travel, meditation, healing up, waiting for monsters due to overcrowding. All those slow things are annoying. Too much character death and not making those deaths mean anything.

 

5)    Non-Roleplaying

The most annoying thing in EQ is the large proportion of powergamers or non-roleplayers that ruin the game. I would say that about 20 % of people have their roleplaying tag on, probably less.   I am sick of seeing people systematically killing everything, especially guards, npcs of their own profession...(Druids killing Halfling guards in Misty Thicket or Druids in West Commonlands...the   examples are numerous, people will do anything to gain xp. Swearing on wide chat channels also annoys me.

 

I hate the technical problems and the lack of events. I also hate the lack of permanency. As stated above, if you kill a major character something should happen. The game needs more dynamic action. Sometimes the world seems static. I also hate PvP players who think the game is EverQuake and kill for no reason.

   


Dark Side (Back to Top)

Is there a dark side to EQ?

 

1)    Obsession

Yes, it takes over most pepoles lives.

 

EQ has a bad tendency to distract people from their real life obligations...

 

Yes, being sucked into the game for long hours at a time. To accomplish anything in the game one has to play for periods of time that are way way longer than any other video game I have ever played. It is true that this adds a sense of realism to the game (you can't have a character get to level 50 in a day, so the character has time to mature, and you have to relly earn everything you get), but it is almost like EQ becomes your life. I have friends I've never met. People develop online relationships, get married to people whose gender isn't even entirely assured. Kind of frightrening.

 

2)    Greed and Selfishness

Greed and selfishness.  This has nothing to do with what class they play or what race.  There are players and guilds who want to make life hard for others, they want to just take all they can and say

 

Greed is the dark side of EQ

 

Yes. Greed.

 

3)    eBay

Yes, it's called eBay. I hate seeing dragon/plane loot for sale. Other stuff doesn't bother me as much, but the dragon/plane loot for sale is totally inappropriate because it's so rare and not everyone is going to spend money to have the best stuff.

 

Like I mentioned... many people have started making a significant income on ebay selling in game items.  Of course with over 3,000 eq auctions going on at anytime, Varant can not inforce its rule against this because the it would mean a significant loss of customers if they were to kick people off the game.  People doing this has and will cause people playing the game to find it hard to buy items for platinum in the game.  The play nice rules at least give us regular players a chance to camp an item.

 

4)    Politics

YES, friggin lists to get in on a camp, Blacklisting for PLANE expiditions, i.e. u piss someone off they write down yor name and u dont get to go on any Planes raids...  bah || and SELLING the spots to a grp camping an item.

 

5)    Romance / Affairs

I know of a woman who got romantically involved through the game to some french guy. She divorced her real life husband to be with the french guy. The french guy got word of her actions, got spooked, and cut off his online and offline relationship with her. Now she's alone, family mad at her, husband gone.  There are also Addicts. They let the game have a higher priority than the real world. They suffer from the common syptoms of addiction.

 

i have learned that even the most popular guy in school can become   a loser at anytime, and this game is the cause...ive heard stories  of people getting divorces over this damn game, and the account was   the subject of a custody battle...

                         


Hack-n-Slash? (Back to Top)

Some people say that EQ is really just a dressed-up hack-and-slash game. What do you think?

 

1)    Absolutely

It's a fairly accurate description, since the only way to really move up in status in the game is to kill repeatedly, often in the same place for hours/days at a time.  The quests often yeild minimal experience and worse loot/items so people tend to avoid them.

 

hmm, Its a dressed-up hack-and-slash game melded with ICQ chat. A very potent combo.

 

I agree.  Sure, there is some social environment to it as well, but that can be found in any online game.  But there really is not much to EQ except for the fighting.

 

2)    Absolutely Not

No. Heck no. Do hack-and-slash games have trade in them? Quests? Bartering for goods with NPCs and PCs? A hack and slash game is very one dimensional, EQ is so much more than that.

 

false.  There's plot, quest, meeting people from around the world etc.

 

3)    Virtual Communities

No, I think it's something much more. I think it's the first step to immersive 3D worlds that allow people to escape from reality.

 

Well, yeah. But it's kinda what you make of it too. If you're hanging out in the virtual taverns and making conversation with others, then you're obviously not TOO obsessed about making that next level.

 

I disagree. It's more like a huge chat room that you can fight and do many other things in.

   


Discussion of Meta-Game (Back to Top)

Several respondents describe EQ as a combination of Quake and ICQ, which makes it easier to understand how EQ appeals to men and women differently. You can play EQ without ever communicating with another person, and indeed some people play it as a single-player game since nothing stops you from doing that. On the other hand, you can play EQ without ever killing anything. About equal numbers of men and women cite interaction as part of the appeal (11% and 13% respectively), but given the Quake / ICQ dichotomy and some of the responses given, it feels as if men and women are interacting for different purposes.

 

For women, the appeal lies in the people-people interaction. They would agree with the following response: “The people....plain and simple.  I like chat rooms and I like playing games so this is like a giant virtual chat room.” For them, the chat and interaction is the focus of the game, and the killing is just stuff you can do while chatting.

 

For men, the appeal lies in goals and achievement. It is to this end that interaction is appealing to them. Camping mobs and gaining levels is given the focus, and the interaction is the stuff you have to do to coordinate the team.

 

In a sense, women find chat partners in the game, while men find hunting partners. As one female respondent wrote, “I think girls are more social and aren't in a huge rush to level as much as guys are... Guys actually enjoy spending an entire day just fighting and leveling whereas I get bored after a while and go run around doing quests and talking to people...”

 

As one respondent said, EQ is what you make of it. You don’t ever have to kill anything if you don’t want to . You can wander around in the company of travelers and frequent local taverns to tell or hear stories. EQ can be a dressed up hack-and-slash game if that’s all a player wants to do, but as others point out, it doesn’t have to be.

 

In retrospect, the appeal question should have been phrased as – Why is EQ so addicting?, given the responses I received from the Dark Side question. The following response from a 15 year-old male respondent was very revealing:

 

EverQuest is astronomically more fun.  I could seriously play EverQuest until I died of tire or hunger or thirst.  I once played EverQuest for 10 hours straight.  The only reason I went to sleep is because I had things to do the next day.  Otherwise I would have played without stop.  Plus my mother was waking up soon. [m, 15]

 

One respondent said that part of this was because the mechanics had an inherent random rewards, random punishment factor built into it. In a sense, EQ is like a casino where the slot-machine mobs give you rare loot on good days and kill you on others. This analogy is augmented especially when some rare mobs spawn one out of 5 times their place-holding common mob is killed, and the rare loot is on them one out of 5 times they spawn. But EQ is better than the normal casino because you always walk out with more than you started.

 

I posit another reason for why EQ is so addicting. EQ has many levels of rewards you can work towards simultaneously. At the lowest level is killing the mob in front of you or getting to a place where you can kill mobs. Then there are many intermediate levels that include: starting and completing quests, training and practicing combat and trade skills, getting to the next level, getting the next spell circle, getting enough money to buy a certain item and so on. At the higher levels may be dreams of getting to see Innoruk or Lady Vox, gods who reside in high-level planes. The reason why EQ is addicting is because you’re always close to getting one reward or another. There is very little true downtime in the game because you’re always working towards several goals at the same time. Most computer games have very clearly defined stages, whereas this is usually not the case in EQ, and this constant feeling of progression and achievement is what makes the game addicting.

  


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