Game Balance Conundrum

I’ve played a good bit on Snowilla, who is my lvl 24 Coercer.  To make her a little more interesting to play, I’ve decided that she’s on her own, with little help from her older “siblings”.  So she does not share any money, rares, hand me downs, etc.  The only thing I’ll share are shinies, status loot, and L&L pieces because those things overrun my bank.  And the status loot – I only used enough to get her to 100,000 so she could buy a guild hall door.  I’m all about making poor Snowilla suffer – but I’m not going to suffer – and I’ll be the one holding down the run key to get back to the guild hall 🙂

So far, she has mostly handcrafted or quested gear, plus journeyman spells.  I did sell off some treasured loot and she now has 2 plat to her name.  I’m not sure if I should use some of that for rares for upgraded gear/spells – or if I should seek out better gear through questing and named mobs.  I haven’t yet looked at how far that 2 plat will go.

I have noticed it is much harder to solo mobs in my current spec – even though she has a good amount of AA.  So I can see the problem SOE has in balancing the game play.  A good many lvl 24 players are alts and have abundant supply of rares and money for gearing up – but what happens if you are a brand new player – you don’t have those resources and will likely be in the same place Snowilla is – mostly quested and handcrafted gear and maybe a few journeyman and adept spells.  And probably fairly frustrated.  So, how does SOE make the game fun for the true newbie player and  challenging for the twinked out alt?  I don’t think they can.  So what you get are old timers on the boards complaining that the game is too easy at the lower levels.  Well, it’s not really.

I think SOE has done a fairly good job at making the game fun. Snowilla can kill even and below con things without much sweat – yellow things – she’ll die to without some help, or trying to figure out the best way to go about the job.    I’ve really enjoyed the Qeynos core story.  I actually stopped to read all the quest text instead of just clicking through.  And much of the “hand holding” that SOE does can be turned off for those that don’t want it.  The amount of options you have for the UI is just amazing.   And the simple fact that I can play in first person is a huge deal for me.  I tried the beta of Guild Wars 2 – but because I can’t play in first person, I won’t even try the game.  Hubby is all over that game – and really wants me to play – but being detached from my body is a real game breaker for me.  Yeah, I know, first person players are like 2% of all gamers – but at least EQ2 gives you the choice.  EQ2 really has a lot of choices in the UI – right down to custom UI’s that can do a lot of amazing things.

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