Discussion about tagging/claming monsters in EQN.

Hey everyone, I have been following this game ever since it was first announced. It is safe to say that it was a very long time since last I was this hyped about a game. Partly because it is EQ (yay), but also because more or less everything I have seen has been in line with my own ideas of what an MMORPG should be. It has been sort of the opposite of more or less all games lately where the more I heard the developers ideas of how a game should be and their visions for the game, the less I wanted to play. So far the overall ideas and general philosophies seem to mesh well with my own, even if I of course, just like everyone else will have to realize I have to make some concessions. I feel those have been in the right places for my own taste though.

Now, one thing I have seen in several games as of late is a mechanic where everyone can fight the same monsters no matter who attacked first. Basically I am talking about a situation where even if me and my party attack a monster anyone walking past can also attack the same monster (as opposed to where if a party attacks a monster only that party can do it, the rest will have to wait for the next time it pops or the party wipes). I think most of you understand what I mean.

I have not heard anything official about what EQN will do, but I have heard some people claim it will use the same system as in Landmark where there is no tagging/claiming. I would like to start discussion about this because for the first time I really feel a bit worried.

My own knee-jerk reaction is that not having a tagging/claiming system is a bad thing. However for me, as with anything, I think it is always important with balance. So when I say I want there to be tagging/claiming in the game I am talking about the game in general. I think certain events and certain types of content would benefit from having no tagging/claiming so what I would like to see is a combination of the two.

A city being under siege for example would be a good example of where I think tagging would not be a good thing. Everyone should be able to help defend against the attackers in any way possible. It would be a bit chaotic I think, but it sort of fits the idea of a grander battle where we desperatley try to fend monsters off. I guess the same could be said for a situation where we are the attackers. Situations like that I think would benefit from allowing everyone to fight with anything regardless of who attacked first. It even enhances the experience in a sense. It is the atmosphere and feeling of being in a big chaotic battle and the whole setting that makes it fun in a way.

There are however also situations where I would say the opposite is true. When fighting specific tough bosses out in the wild or even just regular mobs sometimes. The experience here is the actual fight, the mechanics of the battle, the skill and knowledge it requires. Now if anyone can attack a monster regardless of who attacked first, the problem of zerging emerges. This is something that I think completely ruins the fun of the battles. Challenging and fun fights often become mindless spam. It also takes away any sense of competition, which is somethng I think has a place in PvE content too. I am not saying it has to be everywhere or be the main goal in every part of the game, but I definitely think there is room for it too.

For me, some of the most excillerating moments in MMORPGs are when I have competed with another person/persons trying to tag/claim a certain monster that drops a specific rare item we all want. The time when we all run around trying to find it, or pop it (using the different mechanics of making it spawn or just waiting or w/e) is nervracking, but fun. The second when you see it pop and everyone dashes there to be first is one of the few moments where I actually get a freaking adrenaline rush, and it is in a game! It is so fun to finally manage to be the first to get to it and this is even more true when the fight is fun and challenging because then the excitement of not knowing if you will make it or not is there until you finally down the monster. The rarer the monster and drop is the more the excitement because of the importance of it all.

Basically if monsters out in the world generally can’t be tagged/claimed then the fights themselves lose most of their charm because too much of the time they will be zerged. The fact of the matter is that even if they are not zerged sometimes it just requires one or two more people joining the fight to make it less fun. Soloing or lowmanning difficult monsters is amazingly fun. You know you risk losing out on a potential rare drop, but just pushing yourself to see what you can manage is so fun. Not always, but not having the option would be very saddening.

Like I said in the beginning, I don’t know what SOE has planned yet, but personally I really hope they try to find a good balance depending on what type of content there is so that we can get both types of experiences. On the one hand massive battles where everyone fights everything (maybe for most things that are more connected to the overarching story?) and on the other battles where you tag/claim the monsters so that only you/your party/alliance can fight the monster and get more competition, mechanically intricate and challenging battles (and the possibility to challenge ourselves by soloing/lowmannig).

So that is what I am hoping for. I am hoping some agree with me and I am sure some people completely disagree, but if you are against a mix of the two systems, what solutions do you guys think would be good alternatives?
EverQuest Next

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