It used to be that EverQuest was designed according to some great plan, which they were constantly tweaking but assuring us that they had something in mind. We all realized that what they had in mind was a carefully balanced advancement curve that used carrot-and-stick and random reinforcement methods to increase the addictiveness of the game. That was fine by me, because I like to play games I feel motivated to play. Basically, it was a model of game design meant for the hard core gamer.
Recent changes in the game that are making it easier in unsubtle ways appear to reflect a new policy of carrot-sans-stick and nearly instant gratification. I can’t help but wonder if they’ve sort of written off the hardcore gamer and are now trying to keep the interest of a more mainstream userbase.