The critical difference here is between spending and investing and WASTE. Oh, I understand all these time sinks were put in to extend the game \’e2\’80\ldblquote the trick is \’e2\’80\ldblquote does the consumer get anything BACK for the time expended. If not \’e2\’80\ldblquote they are going to resent the process. Whether or not the conversation ever took place inside the walls of Verant one can easily imagine as a player hearing \’e2\’80\’9cBut we don\’e2\’80\’99t have TIME to do enough to keep them busy\’e2\’80\’9d and the response is \’e2\’80\’9cWell, throw in some roadblocks and time sinks \’e2\’80\ldblquote that will slow them down\’e2\’80\’9d.

The argument that these things are \’e2\’80\’98challenging\’e2\’80\’99 only goes so far. MY definition of challenge is something that can be overcome \’e2\’80\ldblquote not something that is going to deliberately set me back, or slow me down so the solution is to throw more of my time at the problem.

Let me list a few of my least favorite things as examples. Yes, I know there are pros and cons, but my biggest gripe about them is time. You see once you don\’e2\’80\’99t have to WORRY about leveling to keep up yadda yadda yadda \’e2\’80\ldblquote there might just be more to EQ than a pretty MUD. EQ had the potential to be much more than just a game. I guess that\’e2\’80\’99s what I\’e2\’80\’99ve been looking for all these years. But as long as DESIGNERS look at it from that perspective only, it\’e2\’80\’99s hard for most players to look beyond that too.

Oh, this list also touches on most of the sacred cows of \’e2\’80\’98never be changed \’e2\’80\ldblquote end of discussion\’e2\’80\’99, well, I ain\’e2\’80\’99t thru discussin yet \’e2\’80\ldblquote deal.

Melee types can\’e2\’80\’99t bind anywhere

Ohhhh, lets start with a biggie. This is arbitrarily at the top of my list but is perhaps a bigger offender in the time wasting list than others because this not only wastes the persons time that dies \’e2\’80\ldblquote it wastes the GROUPS time waiting for them to get back. I can see NO LOGICAL reason for this \’e2\’80\ldblquote other than to slow folks down. I\’e2\’80\’99m not advocating letting everyone bind himself or herself, I can see that interdependency needs to be maintained, but if I can bind MYSELF anywhere \’e2\’80\ldblquote why can\’e2\’80\’99t I bind my melee party members? Never been explained, doesn\’e2\’80\’99t make any sense fictionally, one of those sacred cows. The answer I\’e2\’80\’99ve seen is \’e2\’80\ldblquote well, have a cleric along that can resurrect. Fine and DANDY \’e2\’80\ldblquote once you get to that level you\’e2\’80\’99ll STILL want a cleric that can do that to get some XP back, but it\’e2\’80\’99s a LONG way to that level for a lot of folks. This would neither negate a casters role nor a clerics, it\’e2\’80\’99s a lame excuse. It\’e2\’80\’99s also a big part of the reason that the game is top-heavy with classes that can bind \’e2\’80\ldblquote and one reason I will NEVER EVER play a non-bindable class. This is also a HUGE reason that so many zones are practically empty \’e2\’80\ldblquote it\’e2\’80\’99s just TOO FREAKIN FAR to a bind point. Most people would LOVE to spread out, they however refuse to waste a half hour or better running back (if they make it back in one piece) to their corpse. The whole death should be punished argument is circular. Death can have a price without being PUNISHED. When you punish someone they will avoid that causation. Avoiding death in EQ means taking the easiest path when possible, avoiding risk when possible \’e2\’80\ldblquote which leads to cries of boring and EverCamp. If challenge is the goal \’e2\’80\ldblquote you\’e2\’80\’99ve just defeated your own argument.

Death and Death Penalties

Another sacred cow. And yes, I realize the whole risk reward thingy and I also realize there has to be challenges and that death must have some kind of bite and I even remember when they cut the death penalty in half.

All that said.

Death still sucks a major root \’e2\’80\ldblquote especially later. Yes, it wastes my time to spend hours and hours recovering from one mistake \’e2\’80\ldblquote or more likely in my case \’e2\’80\ldblquote one unfortunate link death and something came by while I COULD NOT get back in to escape or fight. Again, this leads to \’e2\’80\’98safe\’e2\’80\’99 experience just so you CAN afford to loose a bit if you decide to go adventuring like you are ummm, supposed to.

I saw a system not too long ago that kind of used a two tiered system for experience. If you died, you created a deficit in another pool \’e2\’80\ldblquote you had to regain that deficit before you could actually GAIN more XP on your level, but you didn\’e2\’80\’99t actually lose levels or any skills. That looked a lot more preferable to me. I also think they could probably whack the xp penalties in half AGAIN and still do fine with EQ. When you punish anyone this severely \’e2\’80\ldblquote especially when it could be absolutely no fault of their own \’e2\’80\ldblquote you setup a anti-adventuring anti-risk mentality.

Now, looking at the binding issue and this COMBINED \’e2\’80\ldblquote we have a major, major waste of time. One or the other could easily go, both would be great, but the \’e2\’80\’9cVision\’e2\’80\’9d \’e2\’84\’a2 would probably go into an apoplectic fit.

Different classes having different experience ratios

This is a huge can of worms. I know it\’e2\’80\’99s theoretically intended to \’e2\’80\’98balance\’e2\’80\’99 the classes \’e2\’80\ldblquote ummm \’e2\’80\ldblquote it don\’e2\’80\’99t folks. All it does is slow some classes down and keeps friends (even those with similar hours and play time) separated into levels where often they find they can\’e2\’80\’99t group anymore. Again \’e2\’80\ldblquote this puts the focus squarely on level, rinse repeat \’e2\’80\ldblquote instead of being able to kick back and enjoy the journey there with your friends. One might argue that this provides for more difficult characters to play for a challenge \’e2\’80\ldblquote but I\’e2\’80\’99ve played several classes \’e2\’80\ldblquote and dabbled with nearly all of them. Again \’e2\’80\ldblquote difficulty and challenge to me does NOT equal having to invest more time, which is about the only difference (besides that whole KOS to town guards thing).

Teleporting \’e2\’80\ldblquote Travel

Yeah, I know \’e2\’80\ldblquote some folks think in UO instant travel was a problem not a benefit \’e2\’80\ldblquote and in some respects, they are correct.

I know druids and wizards can teleport groups (hell that\’e2\’80\’99s one of the main reasons I play those classes).

All that said, it can still be a major pain in the arse just wasting time in travel.

At the very LEAST \’e2\’80\ldblquote more destinations can be put in for wizards and druids. One thing I never understood was why there was not a druid ring close to Surefall Glade \’e2\’80\ldblquote there is a freaking druid guild there. This also ties in somewhat with travel time back to your corpse. There are also abandoned rings in nearly every zone \’e2\’80\ldblquote WE NEED THEM \’e2\’80\ldblquote who decided to abandon them? This is especially true in Kunark. My PC and Kunark have major disagreements. There are a couple zones I can hunt \’e2\’80\ldblquote provided I can manage to crawl on my hands and knees thru broken glass to get to them \’e2\’80\ldblquote and those are great. Be a whole lot nicer if I had some way there that didn\’e2\’80\’99t involve an hours worth of slow motion running and praying I don\’e2\’80\’99t get disconnected. And before anyone sends a snotty note about upgrading \’e2\’80\ldblquote or turning off all my options in Warslik Woods \’e2\’80\ldblquote I HAVE.

And forget the freakin boats. Yes, they are lovely to look at \’e2\’80\ldblquote especially the new one to Kunark, and yes, the first couple times was nice \’e2\’80\ldblquote but try depending on them to get anywhere. They constantly breakdown and the time spent on them is pretty much a waste. Time waiting for them is a wash as well unless you happen to like fishing. Yes, I use that time to socialize \’e2\’80\ldblquote I\’e2\’80\’99d fish from the boat if it would let me, but it won\’e2\’80\’99t. If you can find the right spot sometimes you can practice begging \’e2\’80\ldblquote I guess I\’e2\’80\’99m lucky it lets me forage. You can\’e2\’80\’99t practice your spells, which is what a LOT of folks could put that time to good use for.

The pots in Timerous Deep were a wonderful idea \’e2\’80\ldblquote but after putting them in they decided not to let anyone bind there \’e2\’80\ldblquote DUH. Either they were \’e2\’80\ldblquote or were not a good idea, make up your minds folks.

Oh, and let\’e2\’80\’99s not forget to all those poor lowbies stuck on foot \’e2\’80\ldblquote they have made Kithicor an instadeath, no trespassing zone at night. My highest level don\’e2\’80\’99t go in there before 9am \’e2\’80\ldblquote woe be unto that real newbie halfling trying to find his way out into the great new world at the wrong time of day. I don\’e2\’80\’99t mind them buffing up a zone \’e2\’80\ldblquote but geesh \’e2\’80\ldblquote couldn\’e2\’80\’99t they have picked one that doesn\’e2\’80\’99t HAVE to be traveled thru to get from one side of the world to the other?

Staring at this stinking spellbook for 35 levels

Ok, so this isn\’e2\’80\’99t necessarily directly time related \’e2\’80\ldblquote but it\’e2\’80\’99s still on my list of MAJOR pet peeves. For a game whose major claim to fame is the eye candy \’e2\’80\ldblquote and where casters have to spend 80% of their time on their asses \’e2\’80\ldblquote and in a world that is caster heavy for obvious reasons, PLEASE tell me whose bright idea it was to make them look at an UGLY desktop for that 80% of their time?

It can be thought of as time related if you look up to death penalties though \’e2\’80\ldblquote it\’e2\’80\’99s like really hard to see that SG marauding in your direction if you have a desktop up. But my biggest bitch of all is not being able to see my connection bar. Nothing like EQ freezing up, or getting disconnected with no warning whatsoever because you had that stupid book open.

Though not necessarily time waste related itself, it does diminish my enjoyment of the eye candy while I spend the time doing it. It\’e2\’80\’99s another uncompensated time spender. After I can med sitting down \’e2\’80\ldblquote at least I can admire the view. Watch my party members fight \’e2\’80\ldblquote SOMETHING. I saw mentioned once that it was to balance out casters power \’e2\’80\ldblquote EXCUSE ME? How does this do this? It was a bad idea they finally took out and claimed was a reward for reaching higher levels. Ask any player \’e2\’80\ldblquote and their perception will be it\’e2\’80\’99s a PUNISHMENT before then, not a reward after. TAKE OUT STARING AT THE STINKIN BOOK ALREADY.