Fashion vs. Function

Overloaded. Digitally.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006 | 02:09 AM | by
Now I'm not about to start comparing World of Warcraft and Everquest 2 in any remotely serious manner; that's apples and oranges, people. Goofing off in a comic strip is different, and I actually got the idea when I was listing things I enjoyed about each game over on my journal.

Having now played both with some measure of commitment, I think they're both really good games, and I like them for completely different reasons. They're both MMO's, to be sure. You get online, there are other people there, you kill stuff, you find stuff, you know the drill. But the style of each game is like night and day.

I have no doubt that World of Warcraft is so wildly successful because it nails a perfect balance between accessibility and  substance. On the one hand, anyone can get into World of Warcraft. It's that easy. People who have never played a video game can get into World of Warcraft. And at the same time, there is hardcore end-game content for the more serious player, if that's what you're looking for. And all in a neat and highly polished package.

Everquest offers the same meal, but with different spices, different side-dishes. Where textures in WoW are wild and cartoony, in EQ2 they are gritty and real. WoW has minor penalties for death, EQ2 carries experience debt that makes dying sting all the more. Where WoW features humerous twentieth-century dancing, EQ2 has what appears the product of shoving an electrified carrot up your ass.

Different strokes for different folks.

I think there are things WoW does better than EQ, and I think there are things that EQ does better than WoW. It all comes down to what you're in the mood for. What you're looking for in your MMO. Having played WoW off and on, to sixty twice and back again, since early beta, I've been looking for something new. Right now, Everquest 2 fulfills most of the major requirements for me. Not all, but most.

Who knows how the planets will align when Huxley and Vangaurd arrive.

So Digital Overload is now just a little more than a month away. When did that happen? These things always sneak up on me.

Now that the Animated Series has launched, Digital Overload is the next big thing to undertake here at CAD. Over the next month things will really start coming together as all the details fall into place.

The two biggest developments of late concern hotels and computers.

First of all, a lot of people were having trouble getting a room, because our official hotels had a 21+ checkin policy. Well, we've spoked to the Holiday Inn and they are willing to make an exception for attendees of Digital Overload. So if you are age 18 or older, you are now able to reserve a room for the LAN party. See the website for details.

Second, some people wanted to attend but weren't thrilled about transporting their computer and equipment for a long trip. Well you can now rent a PC just for Digital Overload. The computer will be waiting for you when you arrive, and picked up after the convention is over. All you have to do is get yourself there!

I'm really psyched about this event. We'll be having PC gaming and console gaming galore. We've brought the fine folks at Ni! aboard to help us organize things, to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. They've helped run huge events like QuakeCon, so I'm proud to have their expertise on hand.

We'll even have tabletop gaming. My good friend Matt Daigle will be at the event with a small portion of his massive board game collection, running games for people that want to take a break from the glow of the monitor.

And of course I'll be there, hanging out, playing video games, and goofing off. It's looking like it will be a really fun weekend, and it's coming up fast! There are still some tickets available, but we are capping attendance, so get yours soon. If you need to arrange a carpool or room-share, you can check the forum.

I'm looking forward to seeing many of you there!