Sprechen Sie High Elf?

Posted: March 9, 2007 by Kendricke in Everquest 2

In Everquest 2, the latest patch news indicates that the Koada’Dal language primer will now be readily available for Freeport citizens.  Considering how easy it was for Kelethin and Qeynos citizens to learn the language, this levels the playing field for evil characters looking to learn the language of the high elves.

What’s the big deal?  Well, for starters, you have to know Koada’Dal if you want to start up the new epic level quest line which was introduced with Update 32.  That put Qeynos and Kelethin players at a distinct advantage over their Freeport counterparts.  Oh sure, there was a bit of a quest that baddies could run to pick up the dialect, but that hardly seemed fair compared to efforts (or lack thereof) required by “good” players, who only had to pay 12 silver to a village merchant and *POOF* instant comprehension of high elven grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. 

I’m happy to see this change going in, but it again highlights one of those nagging issues I’ve had with Everquest 2 since it launched:  it’s just too easy/hard to learn beginning racial languages. 

If you want to learn a PC racial language, you buy a book for 12 silver.  That’s it.  Want to speak with Halflings in their native tongue?  Go to Baubleshire and drop 12 silver.  *POOF*  You now know how to say JumJum in “Stout”.  Want to learn how to curse out a Dark Elf?  Drop by Longshadow Alley and 12 silver later, you’re the talk of the Thexians.

All you need is a handful of coins and you can speak a dozen languages fluently within minutes.  That is, so long as the languages you want to speak are sold on merchants in your city of choice.  Playing a Fae?  Good luck every learning Oggish.  Playing an Iksar?  You better betray if you want to learn Dwarvish. 

Apparantly the brokers and fences can smuggle in virtually anything you can imagine…except language primers.  Oh sure, you can smuggle a case full of  master level spelsl for a shadowknights and assassins out of Qeynos…but a 12 silver language primer on the Fier’Dal language will tip off the customs agents every time, apparantly.

How immersive, right?

On top of that, all language skills are binary.  You either know them or you don’t.  There’s no grey area here.  You don’t occasionally misspeak or tell someone their mustache smells like cabbage.  No embarrassing faux pas to explain when you make disparaging comments about someone’s mother, when you really just wanted to find out where the nearest Tavern was at.

Welcome to Everquest without the questing.   

To be fair, other language quests existed that required questing…Aviak, Draconic, Magic.  I just personally wish that this idea had been applied to all languages.   What if the primer was only there to start a language quest, even something as simple as the racial starting heritage quests. 

But, what we have is what we have, right?  Or is it?

Would it be so unplausible to suggest altering the current system to allow more immersive language acquisitions across the board?  After all, didn’t this just occur with the Enemy Masteries?  It could add a little extra layer of immersion to the game, and at the same time offer up a bit of equality across the board (provided the quests themselves aren’t so impossible to acquire with bad factions).

In the meantime, it’s nice to see a seemingly minor issue like this getting any attention at all. 

  1. Wilhelm2451 says:

    I remember the EQ days of the travelling language courses, where if you had to travel some distance in a group, you’d check to see if anybody had languages you did not know. If they did, they’d start chatting away in that language non-stop and you would get improves in that tongue.

    Not exactly an immersive experience in itself, and easily game’d as you see, but there was some effort involved.

    More so than, “Hallo. I speak Engleesh. I learn it from a book.”

  2. Tallika says:

    I do NOT want to go around bribing newbs so I can sit with them for a half hour plus of my time while i spam a macro back and forth at each other… I got my full share of that back in EQ1 thank you very much.

    If your looking for meaning in your life go join the Scientologists.

    I want to have fun.. not have to slog thru grammer school 17 times.

  3. kendricke says:

    To be fair, I don’t think Wilhelm (or myself for that matter) was suggesting a return to the Everquest way of handling the issue.

    The point is that the system in Everquest 2 is a bit toooo easy. The issue doesn’t have to be black and white, and I think there’s definately more than enough grey area to explore.

  4. Leblanc of the Antonia Bayle server says:

    Perhaps they should have made it so that notrade books drop off mobs in various areas, like a series of 10 or so language primers per language. Notrade so you can’t just buy them all on broker, And also so you have to work for it, without bothering someone else for a long while just to learn their language.

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