Friday, April 4, 2014

War Never Changes ... Well, Unless You Capture That Keep

I hit level 10 yesterday in Elder Scrolls Online, meaning I was now eligible to queue up for their PVP zone, Cyrodiil.  The zone lies in the heart of the map, equally accessible by all three factions.  Naturally, this means there's lots of war.  But, there's also lots of running.  And waiting.  And wandering.  Luckily, the zone boosts your level so you can compete against the higher level players (albeit at a disadvantage).  And there's also PVE stuff to do there too!  And since it's an entire zone, not just a match or a battleground, you can spend as much time there as you like ... killing, farming, checking out quests ... there's no "MATCH ENDS" waiting for you in 15 minutes.

The Cyrodiil area (known as the Alliance War) is actually pretty amazing.  If any of you played WoW back in the Lich King days, it will vaguely remind you of Wintergrasp ...  but 50 times larger.  There are keeps all over the map that you can capture, as well as resource areas and even Elder Scrolls temples.  Own enough Elder Scrolls and you get special bonuses for combat (no clue what they actually do yet) and you can steal enemy Scrolls just to piss them off (and get more stuff).  The resource areas (farms, lumbermills, mines) provide bonuses to the keep they surround, making it harder to siege.  More keeps you take, the more land you control, the closer you get to the center of the map.  If you take the six keeps around the Ruby Throne (the center of the map and the ostensible objective) then hooray!  Your alliance has won the Ruby Throne an conquered Tamriel and the player with the highest number of Alliance Points becomes Emperor ... for a time.  Until the other two factions get rightly pissed off and smash you to a thousand bits.  The player who becomes Emperor gets a special, permanent skill line on his character and, while Emperor, becomes a juggernaut on the field.  Think Sauron waving that big-ass mace; that's what it's supposedly like (haven't seen it yet, but folks in Cyrodiil seemed to think that was an apt description).

In the Alliance War, not only can you storm keeps but you can also build siege engines like trebuchets, catapults, and ballistae to take out walls and massacre troops (and they feel tremendous).  You can also set fire to opposing siege weapons, which is inordinately fun.  Siege weapons are bought with Alliance Points, the PVP currency you earn during the war.  I believe you can also substitute regular gold for the PVP points as well, though I don't have conversions on that.  I didn't buy any siege weapons, but I did commandeer a couple that had been left behind.  Judging from the number of weapons I saw in my battles, I'd have to say they must be fairly inexpensive.  You can also use your points to buy Forward Bases (basically spawn points) and repair kits (which heal your siege weapons or repair walls).

The feeling of unrelenting combat is pervasive in the Alliance War.  Besieging castles and wiping out the enemy force is a wonderful, visceral rush.  Knocking down walls and watching your comrades pour through the gap to kill everything with a red lifebar is amazing.  Being stuck behind a wall you know is about to fall, with a horde of viscous Dominion troops on the other side ... that's actually genuinely terrifying.  You're looking around at the meager defense force you have, praying wholeheartedly that the reinforcements get to you in time.  And when that wall falls and those enemy troops crest like a tide of angry, well-armed ants over the fallen battlements ... well, there's very little out there in the MMO-sphere that can match the absolute feeling of dread you get.

It's not all peaches and handjobs though.  The PVP zone features a lot of running.  A lot.  Sure, there are transitus shrines in every keep that allow you to dart around the map to any keep your alliance currently holds (hence, the capture of keeps becomes vital to reinforcement and advance), but running from keep to keep to start the siege process is actually a fairly lengthy affair.  Running into an opposing force moving to siege one of your keeps can be a remarkable experience.  Two armies clashing on the open field ... it's a sight to behold.  Unfortunately if your army loses that particular battle, you'll respawn at the closest keep.  Which was generally the one you were just running from ... which can be frustrating.

Rumor has it that the Zenimax team took the entirety of the map of Cyrodiil from Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and plopped it down in ESO.  From the size of the zone, I absolutely believe it.  The scale of Cyrodiil is astounding.  It's so big that it beggars belief.  I can't honestly show you ... it has to be experienced.  And to be so big and have virtually no lag?  Unheard of.  Oh yes, the Alliance War runs butter smooth.  I was in an invading force of about 75 players; we besieged the castle, stormed the walls, slaughtered the 25 or so defenders, mounted, and roared off to another castle.  With no lag.  There wasn't even a stutter, even when the western walls crumbled and we swarmed the hapless Pact defenders, burying them under a tide of iron and hatred.

But, if PVP isn't your thing then there's actually still stuff to do.  There are quest hubs dotted around the map with adventures waiting.  There are resource nodes so you can farm.  There are NPCs ... like the crypt I stumbled across while racing to reinforce our latest attack ... it was full of skeletons and I spent some time there waylaying the undead.  Heck, you could get a Nightblade to 10 and spend the entire time in the zone just sneaking around and ogling the scenery (and providing .

In short, Cyrodiil is everything I've ever wanted in a PVP experience.  Massive zone, full-scale battles, exploration, and a real sense of the ebb and flow of war in Tamriel.  I couldn't be more impressed.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Diversification of My Holdings

As I make my way back into SWTOR, I think about what got me to quit in the first place ... burnout.  With that in mind, I'm going to diversify my MMOs a bit to keep 'em fresh!  Obviously, SWTOR is on the plate.  Currently, so is World of Warcraft.  But wait, what's this?  A new challenger rises?

Elder Scrolls Online launched this Sunday and I pre-ordered that bad boy.  I spent Sunday leveling, deleting, and generally just running around in the online version of Tamriel and I can safely say ... yeah, that was a blast.

Full disclosure here: I participated in four weekend beta events, so I pretty much knew I liked the game.  A lot.  And I pre-ordered the Imperial Edition, so that should tell you something too.  But the betas were always a little choppy/unfinished and the quest bugs were fairly significant, so I was rather unsure of how the final product would look.  Most of my fears were allayed because the launch runs ultra-smooth.  Honeymoon period is in full effect here, so I'll refrain from posting a review/impression until I get some more time with the finished product.  But so far, it's looking good.

SWTOR will take a back seat at the moment; I'm not raiding or doing dungeons at the moment (even though I know that new patch with the Tython/Korriban flashpoints will be out very soon (April 8th actually!) but those can wait.  I'll check them out once I get something cleared up ...

... and that thing would be friggin' World of goddamn Warcraft.  Since Mists of Pandaria (or Mists of Pan-daily-a as it was known at launch), WoW has basically consumed my MMO time.  I've been heavily invested in raiding, doing all the tiers so far (Mogu'shan, Heart of Fear (bleh), Throne of Thunder, and Siege of Orgrimmar).  I've not exactly been pushing the 'bleeding edge' of raiding, but for our pokey little RP server, I do ok.  I'm generally recognized as one of a handful of excellent DPS warriors and I consistently pull my weight every time.  The problem is this: I've yet to kill Garrosh.

How can an orc this awesome not get the satisfaction of a Garry Hellscream kill?
This is a major point for me.  This kill is everything I've been working for in WoW since MoP launched.  This is the ultimate achievement for me.  This will complete a story that I've had in my head for a long time; a running narrative since the anticipation of Pandaria.  The defeat of the Warchief, the orc who sullied Blackhowl's Horde!

Most of the folks I know (except those on my raid team) have all gotten their kills by now.  My team has had to rebuild four times (four!) and is still facing issues on every single pull.  Folks stand in bad.  Folks panic and don't spread.  Folks die, and die, and die.  And die.  It's so incredibly frustrating because I'm so fucking close.  SO CLOSE.  Once I get my Garry kill, I can officially say, 'Fuck off!' to WoW for a while and play other things.  Like SWTOR.  And ESO.  Or maybe go enjoy the damn sun (if it ever decides it wants to show up).  To be frank, raiding in WoW always starts as fun and winds up being a goddamn part-time job.  The mechanics are so insipid and unforgiving.  Granted, this is the final boss of the final tier of Pandaria, but still.  C'mon, throw us a bone.  Nerf it like ICC if you want ... anything to get more people killing this stupid asshole (namely me).  But still, WoW always devolves into a never-ending shit-fest of raid fuckups that I seriously ... SERIOUSLY ... question why I play it.  And I question it constantly.  And I do this every expansion.  So why do I continue to play?

Damn, if I could answer that question I wouldn't need to write page-long whinefests about WoW.

I think in each of my MMOs I look for something different.  In SWTOR, I look for story and plot.  In ESO, I look for exploration and freedom.  And in WoW, I look for raiding and end-game.  It's funny, because I don't plan on doing anything end-game related in ESO.  And I haven't done any end-game stuff in SWTOR since Eternity Vault was relevant.  It's just not something I'm there for.  Maybe because both ESO and SWTOR don't treat end-game as the be-all, end-all?  There's serious gameplay in the leveling aspect and they treat it as a journey, and I respond to that.  Although, it's interesting to note that my response is to love the gameplay and occasionally drift away from the game over time.

With WoW, the 'real game' doesn't start until max level.  Then you start the horrible, never-ending grind of LFGs, LFRs, and raiding.  It's all about increasing your ilvl (item level).  My warrior's ilvl is 564 ... that's about as high as I can get it without doing heroic/hardmode content.  Everything I do in WoW revolves around raiding and boosting my ilvl.  And it's funny to note that while I drift from SWTOR because I enjoy the leveling portion so much, WoW has kept me locked in for years and years.  Even when I'm not actively subbed, I'm still checking into it and seeing what's going on (like I did during Cataclysm).

I guess, in the end it boils down to this: I'm a typical MMO gamer.  I've got a love/hate relationship with the games I choose to play and demands (that are different) for each one.  I love the feeling of achievement (in WoW) ... I love the exploration of new lands (in ESO) ... I love the story and plot (in SWTOR).  I hate the endless grind (in WoW) ... I hate the lack of things to do at max level (in SWTOR) ... and I haven't found anything to hate about ESO.  But gimme time ... I'm sure I'll come up with something.

But lemme tell you ... I can't wait to get this damn Garry kill in WoW so I can step away for a while (maybe until next expansion) and just BREAAAAATHE.  Damn, I hate you WoW.  Stop making me play you.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Why I Quit and Why I'm Back

Look what the bantha dragged in.

Hello Kaliyo.  Been causing any trouble while I was away?

As if I need your permission.  Where ya been, agent?  Been boring around here without you.

I decided to see the sights.  Take some time off.  Become normal.

So, why are you back then?

Kaliyo, I abhor normality.

Well fuck all, look who's back.  I know that I've had a love/hate relationship with this game.  Well, sometimes it's seemed like a hate/torture relationship.  And I think my wild swings on SWTOR are primarily chalked up to my intense fanboyish love of this game in pre-release and the early days.  And ... to be honest ... the soul-crushing decline of the game in the following months.  So many of my friends abandoned SWTOR, my guild imploded, the community dried up (a bit).  It turned me fanatical and bitter all at the same time.  Constantly justifying my love/hatred for this game.  And in the end it just go so damn tiresome.  My attention drifted to other games; WoW, World of Warplanes, hell even MechWarrior Online (what a shitshow that was).

And in the back of my head, SWTOR kept sitting.  Patiently.

After the final disappointment of the Starfighter PVP expansion, it seemed the last straw, really.  The one great hope I had for reigniting this massive fanboyism for SWTOR had been so cruelly snuffed out.  So I went away.

And some funny stuff happened.

As you may or may not know, I raid in WoW.  We're not particularly successful at the moment (13/14 in Siege of Orgrimmar) but hey.  We've rebuilt the team a few times, lost some folks.  And while progressing through this latest raid, I'd hear folks on Vent saying, "Oh wow, the storytelling in this raid is just fantastic."

And I'd snort.  WoW's best "storytelling" is about as cogent and fascinating as watching paint dry.  SWTOR had infinitely better storylines, cohesive and alive.  They tell a unified story in a universe that makes sense.

And I'd hear folks say that the newest expansion is going to be soooo immersive.  They'll have garrisons and crafting from the bank and followers!

And I'd giggle because SWTOR has those too.  Garrisons; your ship.  Crafting from the bank?  Yessir.  Hell, even RIFT had that one.  Followers?  Sounds like companions to me.  You can even send them out on missions, just like SWTOR.

And slowly, slowly it started to dawn on me.  Fuck, I missed SWTOR.  I missed the leisurely appeal to it, the lack of drive to hit endgame as soon as possible to start 'the real game.'  The real game is 1-55 for SWTOR.  Everything else is icing on the cake.  A well-told, beautifully crafted, lovely little MMO.  Raiding?  Sure, it's cool.  My favorite raid instance of all time is Ulduar.  You know why?  Story.  You know what my second is?  Eternity Vault.  Because of story.  And the second to last fight against all the council guys ... that's sorta bad ass.  But raiding isn't the end-all, be-all of SWTOR.  It's just the carrot at the end of the journey.  And hell, you don't even have to take a bite if you don't want!

So I'm back now and I'm really taking my time.  Playing on my own schedule and finally ... finally REALLY learning ... to appreciate this game.  It's a great feeling.

So, hey ya'll.  I'm back.  Yer screwed now.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Official End ... or not.

Well, it's done and done.

I've not logged into SWTOR too much recently as it's just been ... well, SWTOR.  I was excited about the Super Secret Space Project, but sadly, after playing the beta I was less than impressed.  It's a twitchy, min-maxxing nightmare of PVP.  I'm sure loads of folks will like it, but it's simply not for me and that's ok.

I loaded it up today, just to give it another shot; one more chance for SWTOR to shine in my eyes.  It failed.  Miserably.  The space combat just isn't ... it's just not what I was hoping.

So, I've cancelled for real this time.  I'll be uninstalling soon, I think.  I don't even feel like playing it as a free-to-player, to be honest.  SWTOR, for me, has sunsetted.  I'll be eagerly awaiting the next iteration of Star Wars in the gaming space, whether it be the long-gestating DICE Battlefront product, or the rumors of a new EA-produced Star Wars open world game.

Either way, it was fun while it lasted.  Fare thee well, SWTOR.  You made me love you, made me hate you, but ultimately ...

You just made me not care anymore.


See ya'll 'round the bend.

Whatever, I'm back.

- Targeter

Sunday, September 1, 2013


I think we're getting freeform spaceflight, guys.

SWTOR, I've drifted from you lately.  If you do this, I'll be back.  Totally back.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

EverQuest Next Blows Targeter's Mind (Part Deux)

In my previous post, we spoke about destructability, enemy AI, and the lack of leveling (*wink wink*).  But those topics do not encompass all my thoughts and feelings about EQNext.  No, fellow agents, I have many, many feels for this game.  Let's lock and load.

Dave Georgeson spoke of the new art direction that EQN is striving for, a heroic 'rough and tumble' look.  Many, many fans have decried this as 'WoW-cartoony graphics!11!!111eleventyone!'

Ready for tumblin' and/or roughin'.

They point to the Kerran Warrior as the 'WoW-ified' Everquest.  Tell ya what folks ... if my WoW Warrior looked as good as THAT, then I'd be a pretty happy camper.  What most folks miss in this is that Rosie Rappaport, Art Director for EQN, specifically chose this art style so that EQN will remain playable for decades (and has stated so on her twitter).  Let's take a look at the original EQ and the newer EQ2 (which launched basically alongside WoW):

EQ1: We are driving cars in the garden of our minds!  (RIP Mr. Rogers)

EQ2: We'll agree to disagree.
They haven't exactly aged as gracefully as we'd like.  Granted, I'll give EQ1 a pass since it's 14+ years old, but EQ2?  C'mon.  Yer not even tryin'.  EQ2 was trying for an edgier, more realistic approach to character models.  It's not aged as well as it could have; now, EQ2ers, don't think I'm bagging on your game!  In the interest of fairness, I downloaded EQ2 from Steam last weekend and made an Ogre Shadowknight.  He looked pretty decent and the armor he was wearing was actually pretty nice.  So, it's not all bad.  Your environments ... those needed some love.  But the character model wasn't as animated as it could be.  My ogre didn't feel connected to the ground and when I strafed sideways, my character's bottom half didn't rotate to face the proper way ... I ran sideways with while my feet steadily pumped forward, gleefully unaware of this new change in direction.  Compare that to WoW's character design where direction changes are mirrored by the avatar.  Also, a more exaggerated WoW look has lent itself well to the game's longevity.

WoW: Ok, so maybe this doesn't make my point all that well.
But you understand where I'm going with it right?!

Fast forward to Everquest Next and their models.  Holy shit.  There's an exaggerated style there that really pops.  The faces are well-animated and easy to read.  The emotes are fantastically rendered.  This could actually prove that SOEmote was a good idea (remember laughing about it back when it was launched for EQ2 ... yeah, no one's laughing now).

I did have a few problems with the characters and animations, though.  Firstly, that vaulting.  Parkour style 'heroic movement' as Georgeson called it was pretty nifty ... except when the characters got to a vaulting move.  They were gracefully running along, fabric and cloth textures flying!  It was glorious!  Oh no!  A low rise ahead!  Without the player having to prompt the character, they automatically went completely 90 degrees into a static sideways motion and then plopped straight back down.  Graceful running, wtf sideways, graceful running again.  They're gonna need to work on that.

The other problem I had was, honestly, with the armor on the Kerran.  It was way too bulky and large, almost too detailed for a piece that size.  His bracers alone looked like shields.  My fear is this ... most of the armor will follow the same path, and as it gets better and better, and the characters get more and more powerful, we run into the World of Warcraft Orc Shoulder problem.  The problem, WoWOSP as it is known (by me only but whatever it's my blog so shut up) basically turns regular shoulderpads on any other race into ridiculously oversized dining platters fit to serve entire armies.  During Burning Crusade and Lich King, orc shoulders grew so expansive that they were absolutely ridiculous.  I fear the same curve for EQN.  In the quest for providing the coolest armor possible, the elements of the armor will become so comically large that we'll dip into that dreaded 'cartoony' look.  I'm sure the good folks at SOE won't let that happen, but I worry nonetheless.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the style that EQN is using; exaggerated but not WoW-ified, Fable-esque yet familiar.  I think it will service the game well for years.

On the next installment of 'Imperial Intelligence: Norrath Division', Targeter downloads Everquest 2 and plays it.  And doesn't hate it!  Oh, quite the opposite in fact.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

EverQuest Next Blows Targeter's Mind

What the fuck.  It has taken me 6 days to process what I saw last Friday at 3pm Eastern.

Dave Georgeson just dropped a nuclear load on our collective heads, spreading his arms wide afterwards as if to say, "Are you not entertained?!"

Unlike many MMO players, I didn't get my start in EverQuest.  I missed that train by a couple of years (fun fact, my first 'MMO' was Puzzle Pirates!) but got caught up in the WoW juggernaut.  I still log into WoW occasionally, believe it or not ... for all its foibles, there is some solid gameplay there.  Yes, it tends to fade quickly after that initial rush of nostalgia, but it still provides a good experience.

Many of my friends (including many in my SWTOR guild, Vanguard of Norrath) *DID* get their start in EQ though, and when they reminisce about it, I'm enthralled.  Truth is, I've never felt a kinship to an MMO like they do with EQ.  It was more than likely due to a few factors: 

  • EQ was the first game of its type (commercially successful Western MMO)
  • EQ was incredibly social
  • EQ burst onto the scene when the internet really began to take off
  • EQ was a completely different type of experience than RPGs of the day
  • EQ was pretty damn hardcore

They speak with such reverence about EQ that I can't help but want that for myself.  Sure, I'm attached to WoW but there's no real emotion there.  I like the people I play with (mostly) and I like the game (mostly), but if I quit tomorrow ... who cares?  I'd probably log back in at some later point again because WoW's such a sticky drug, but I'd feel no real connection to it.

Same with SWTOR.  It's a fantastic game, and although I'm on a break from it at the moment (only log on once a week when I get time), I can't say I'm all that devoted to it.  If the servers were shut off tomorrow, I'd feel sad but there'd be no real loss.  My friends and I would just move on to the next game.

But when my buddies talk about EQ, they speak as if the actual game world was their friend.  The world was a character and they just happened to live on it.  And it's so fantastically amazing to me.  I want that type of experience!

Friday, August 2nd.  A day that may have well changed ol' Targeter's perceptions about what an MMO is and what it could be.  Everquest Next is the newest iteration of Norrath from the boys and girls at SOE.  Let's just run down what I found interesting about the game:
  • Destructible environments
  • No leveling (seriously, there are no levels in the game)
  • Multi-classing (with no artificial limit on how many classes you can have)
  • Radiant AI for enemies
  • Persistent, player-driven change to the game world
  • Multiple strata of the world (that can all be explored)
  • No button bloat (8 ability slots only)
  • No holy trinity (roles can be played, but aren't required)
  • Crafting that matters
  • Hugely social
  • Free to play
Yeah.  If you need some time to process this, or just need to see it for yourself, I highly recommend seeing the debut video (skip to 26:30 if you want to head straight to the reveal ... but I highly recommend watching the whole thing), the lore panels, and the class panels.  Lots of good info there.  Plus, it'll keep you busy for about four hours.

What the videos cover is an MMO, basically, that I've never seen before.  Ever.  Oh, there have been tidbits here and there, scattered across other MMOs; multiclassing is vaguely like the souls in Rift, static action bar is similar to what Guild Wars 2 has, the lack of a trinity reminds me of the new experiment SWTOR is trying with the Czerka story modes, crafting reminds me of what WoW crafting used to be like back in vanilla and BC.

But when you throw in radiant enemy AI, fully destructible environments with multiple layers of the world that can all be explored, the lack of leveling (although it may just be dressed up and called 'tiers'), player-driven change through world-wide Rallying Calls, the intense social experience that EQN will require, and all of that wrapped up in a free to play package with a subscription option?

Holy shit.

Now, let's put on the practical hat real quick.  Can they really deliver on all this?  Can they really just 'release orcs into the world' and let the enemy AI provide a compelling gameplay experience?  Can mobs really display the behavior in-game that the debut video mentioned?  We'll have to wait and see.  But if they can deliver on only half of what they promise ... well, that'd be a helluva an MMO.

Now, let's get on to stuff that really impressed and/or worries me:

The enemy AI is of particular import.  They say that they will generate enemies and then release them into the world.  When released, they'll follow their own AI paths to determine where the best place to place down stakes and be nuisances.  Now, in theory this sounds AWESOME.  It will be like a living, breathing world where enemies react to their environments and shift strategies appropriately.  My biggest fear is that the AI will not be as smart as they claim, and the enemies will wind up just patting back and forth between two points.  And how will the AI react if there are tons of adventuring groups start pounding on them?  Will they see this as a trigger for releasing a massive attack?  Will better equipped players be able to 'sabotage' new player areas by modifying the attack patterns of mobs?  And will this all even work?  Or will it just be a mish-mash of standard AI constructs that are masquerading as advanced AI?

Destructible environments are absolutely amazing.  In games like Battlefield 3 and Red Faction, you can modify the battlefield by destroying the environment around you.  EQN plans to bring this to MMOs with destructible terrain via voxels.  Furthermore, this destruction can open up brand new areas of gameplay located below the surface world, providing new adventuring opportunities.  This opens a wealth of adventuring that players can take part in, both above- and below-ground.  And the neatest thing is that with destructability comes constructability.  Players will have the option of using server-wide Rallying Calls, basically huge public quests that folks can participate in to create or destroy new cities, forge new empires, attack enemy forces, etc etc.  They will also have access to magic that builds structures around them to prevent attack; the enemy then has to go around (or through) that structure.  This type of gameplay has all sorts of ramifications for players ... what are the opportunities for griefing?  Can this be exploited in PVP?  Can this be exploited in PVE to create an 'ultimate' combo for killing mobs?  And exactly how much of the world can be destroyed before it 'heals back?'  Will the devs have to curtail how much we can blow up in order to keep the world together?  And if they do curtail it, then does destructability then become a gimmick to be used at certain times at certain places in the world?

EQN gets rid of levels.  We won't have to grind to max cap in order to participate in cool stuff.  This, honestly, has been the biggest gripe of mine for a long time.  It takes so long to level up to get to the 'real game' that the leveling experience just becomes an annoyance.  Now, according to Dave Georgeson, EQN will have a horizontal progression as opposed to a vertical progression, represented in multi-classing and tier sets.  You'll gain power as you go all Pokemon on those classes (collect 'em all!) and then you'll have opportunities to power up some of your abilities by completing certain requirements.  So, hooray for no leveling?  Or ... does EQN just very smartly hide its leveling behind tier sets?  They claim to have horizontal, not vertical leveling, but I don't know if this is actually the case.  I see it as more of a hybrid.  You've got a cap for each class, aka the highest tier available in the game (let's say it's five).  So, a cap of five in each class.  Now the goal is to tier cap in each class that you like to play, thereby 'reaching max level' by gaining as much power as you need.  They've not really talked a whole bunch about what this means for gamers, but we can infer a few things:
  • All content will be available for play as soon as you find it
  • You won't be able to do all the content if you are a low tier player
  • You can play with your friends of lower tiers by switching from your high tier classes to a lower tier class
That's very exciting to me.

I've got some other issues, like character models and the graphics in general (very busy combat graphically, and characters have poor vaulting animations/don't seem connected to the ground), the combat demo was over the top and not representative of what you'll see in-game, and other stuff, but we'll save that for another post.

All in all, EQN looks intriguing.  It definitely has ol' Targeter's eye.