EUO vs World or Warcraft, part 1

July 26th, 2005

Warning: nerdy MORPG dissection inside. Reader discretion advised!

As a short intro, for those of you who don’t know, I wrote this silly ORPG called EUO. Starting this endeavour 5 or 6 years ago , I wanted to make a small multiplayer game for bashing dungeons with friends. The idea was to make a roguelike (ie ASCII gfx with keyboard controls) where you slaughtered loads of mobs and hoarded loot within random dungeons. But why not just play Diablo? Well, since I’m an INTP and a programmer, the journey is generally more interesting than the destination.

So six weeks ago roughly I bought WoW, after holding out for however long it has been since its release. I generally don’t last with MORPGS: AO got me for 2 days, DAoC for about 3 days, AC2 for 1 day, and even EQ for about an hour. The RPG I’ve played the most however is UO: clocking in maybe around 2 weeks total since buying it in 1999 or thereabouts. I find these games generally pretty boring. I also find the pretense of paying 10-15$ a month to grind insulting.

However, I’ve managed to play WoW on and off now for the entire 6 weeks; in fact, I think I’ve actually clocked up around 50-60 hours total playtime. I’ve got a lvl 21 tauren hunter (about 24 hrs), a lvl 19 troll rogue (20 hrs) + another half dozen sub lvl 10’s. The idea was to make a whole bunch of chars, using different races and classes, to try everything out and subsequently borrow as many ideas for EUO as possible. Well why not? WoW stole all their ideas from EQ and every other MORPG before them.

The sad thing is, I don’t even have 5 lines worth of notes of ideas to borrow: mostly just stuff to do with tidying up EUO’s quest & party systems. Everything else in EUO seems fine as it is.

So the point of this entry then is to compare a bunch of subsystems in EUO and WoW, without any particular goal other than that of ‘because I feel like it’. I’ll probably compare combat systems, magic, items & loot, quests, partying and whatever else comes to mind.


WoW : generally right click monster and, every 5-10 seconds or so, press a number from 1 to 0 to execute some special attack, cast some offensive spell, heal self with spell or potion, etc. Fights per mob take about 30 seconds each. When solo, usualy fighting more than one mob at a time will get you killed. Mobs have levels, and it is clear cut as to whether you can beat something or not: a mob 2 lvls higher will probably put the hose on you, and anything your level or below you can right click and go back to reading forums. There is no point fighting relatively easy mobs as you won’t get any xp, and there is no point fighting relatively hard mobs since the xp they give isn’t worth the effort.

EUO : hold down CTRL and furiously mash arrow keys, sometimes pressing 1 to 0 to use some bound item (eg pot) or hitting f1-f8 to cast some bound spell. If you suck at keys, or have bad lag, you’ll probably die. Depending on the mob, a fight can take anywhere between 5 seconds and 60 seconds. Groups of different mobs can have interesting effects together, whereas individually, they may be a complete pushover. EUO has it’s combat roots in Diablo: the idea is to fight hoards of mobs at a time, rather than slowly chew on individuals, which seems to be the way modern MORPG’s work. Mobs don’t have levels, so it isn’t clear cut as to what you should be fighting at any particular character level.

Summary : WoW’s combat bores me to tears, but I feel that EUO’s is clumsy and antiquated. At least EUO’s is fast and furious; however, WoW’s can get fast and furious when partying and tackling a few mobs at a time. But then again, that can get a bit tedious too.


WoW : has a massive list of discrete items (ie even crappy items have special names, like ‘Crappy Axe of chopping’, and then ‘Slightly Better axe of Chopping’). Allakhazam has a list of all of WoW’s axes here, among everything else. Every item has a rarity (indicated by colour), and most items are found as loot on dead mobs, tho some are bought and some are crafted (whereby instead, the recipes for the crafted items are found as loot, ironically - and guess what: the recipes have rarities, indicated by colour, too). Most mobs drop useless body parts that you can loot and sell if you can be bothered, and have the backpack space for.

EUO : for starters, EUO weapon/armour system borrowed directly from DnD: vanilla items (eg ’short sword’, ‘long sword’) with enchants (eg +1 to make ’short sword +1′). I then expanded enchants to other effects (eg ’short sword of leeching’), as well as added material types (eg ‘vampyric short sword of leeching’). This adds up for an extreme shitload of items, at the expense of the items having uninteresting names. The current Alpha version of EUO expands on this with artifacts, which is basically a discrete set of WoW style items on top of the oldschool ‘formulaic’ items. ‘Good’ (read: magic) weapons and wearables drop from ‘bosses’; again, an idea from Diablo. In EUO the bosses used to even glow and have names, but that was removed since players, being the natural cheesers that they are, simply end up ‘Boss hunting’ to get items.

Summary : I’ve never particularly liked EUO’s item system, but you gotta give it one thing: it’s simple and it’s always worked. The artifact list is a nice expansion, so currently I’m getting the best of both worlds. I like WoW’s lists of discrete items but there is no way I could come up with a few thousand items like that. It’s been enough work coming up with a few hundered generic items: but combined with a dozen materials and 9 or so effects, there’s a lot of permutations. Again the drawback is boring naming: but artifacts add a little of flavour here.

More to come!

  • notes about WoW’s classes, and how they all seem pretty much the same to me
  • crafting
  • magic
  • merchants & economy
  • travel
  • quests - both WoW’s best and worst feature at the same time!
  • partying - WoW’s saving grace (a bit harsh?)

7 comments to “EUO vs World or Warcraft, part 1”

  1. Also around this time that Adam Maxwell returns from his overseas holiday to inspect the work created at his request in 1998. Looking nothing like his dice roller as originally conceived, he shows no visible interest in EUO whatsoever

  2. Heh [forgot to type this in the comment above]

  3. bro, this is an terrible review. first of all you don’t have the exp to write a review on wow. you havent played enough. mobs 2 lvls above you will kill you? LOL most classes can take mobs 2 lvls higher easy. my shammy can take 4 lvls and same with my rogue if evade is up. “no point in fighting easy mobs” again, i disagree. I usually grind with lower lvl mobs cuz they die much easier and the xp drop isnt that big. as long as the mob is not grey.

  4. Actually Egg is right with regards to WoW.
    I waited ages to get it, and when I got it it was fun for a few hours, but then it generally just got boring. Boring quests, too hard monsters (a few levels above me) etc.
    I think it’s dead on. Grind being the keyword here :)

  5. BAH! Your outlook on WoW is completly bull $hit… I’m one of the weakest classes(Mage) and I can kill elites of any lvl till lvl 60 and not die… at lvl 12 I was fighting lvl 15-16 with little hassle… You just need to know the right moves :P

  6. Weeeeeeee

  7. Noob.
    You have quite accurately described WOW at the sub-level 20 stage. Crappy grey weapons, undifferentiated classes, nearly useless talent tree. Yeah, sure, when you are level 1 through about 25 or so. Try playing to level 60. Or heck even just 40 when you get your mount, if you have a long enough attention span.
    And griding isn’t the only way to get there. Hello, there are two continents with hundereds of quests to fill every bit of xp you would ever need if you would just get out there and find them.
    It’s no wonder you can’t handle mobs more than 2 lvls above you, since your favored tactics are apparently “furiously mashing arrow keys.” There is a bit more finesse to skilled wow combat.
    The talent tree may start out mediocre but about halfway through it you start picking up some extremely powerful ablities, whatever class you choose. As for the classes all being “pretty much the same,” get to 60 and then tell me that a warrior is “pretty much the same” as a preist. Hell, even the caster classes are completely unique at that point. Fighting a high level warlock is NOTHING like fighting a high level mage.
    Warriors and paladins may look like clones for the first 20 levels but you’ll change your tune after a mortal strike or a laying on of hands.
    And gear?? The difference between fighting a new 60 warrior, still in mostly blues, and tackling a long time 60 in full dreadnaught is like the difference from 50 to 60 all over again. Same level but about 10 levels more powerful. At endgame, gear and build is everything.
    If a 12 year old had written your review I would have passed it off as immature yammering, but you are a programmer and should be expected to write something a little more knowledgable.
    Try sticking with a toon a little longer and THEN come back and write a blistering review about the problems that WOW actually DOES have.
    It’s not a perfect game and there are PLENTY of things to critisize, but this is a noob review and really looks painfully amateur-ish coming from a RPG programmer who should know better.