2024 is make or break for Darkpaw and EG7

Discussion in 'Time Locked Progression Servers' started by Vicus, Jan 5, 2024.

  1. Vicus Augur

    I was watching the Everquest show earlier tonight and know that Fannin is a huge fan, and his videos are suppose to bring out the best of Everquest. But watching the video made me realize just really how disconnected Darkpaw is from the reality of the current status of the game and the Everquest legacy.

    Lets face it, it has NOT been a great year for Everquest. First, the loss of Holly was big. I wasn't even her greatest fan, but it is clear she was a huge reason new ideas and things were being pushed into the game. Even if she didn't come up with them, she open the gates to get them in the game. She is killing it over at Blizzard. Where as, almost every big "project" slated for this year has been a disappointment.

    -The new UI is a bare bones of what was promised. Many features are not even on or implemented.
    -Vaniki was abandoned. While this released in 2022, 4 months into the server the devs just abandoned it completely. This server actually had a ton of promise and could still of been big news in 2023, but instead of listening to feed back and make some changes so the raiders could actually kill things, they just gave up. Guilds were literally unable to kill anything of challenge because some many level based things were broken, it wasn't doable. Great example is raid bosses having a curse that needs to be cured, but healers not actually having the curse spell for another two expansions.
    -DirectX 11 was just shelved.
    -Oakwynn was promised to be something huge that was never tried before, but FTE was not only not asked for, but you disabled it to make it pointless anyway (again abandoned a server). JChan said "if successful, could be implemented into live servers". How can anything succeed if you never planned to 1) have it work, and 2) quit on it a month after launch?
    -Duplicate city. Not only did this ruin the economy in a ton of places, you went radio silent, and did nothing to correct it.
    -EQ3 tease, then nothing. You talked about EQ3 (the investors, not Darkpaw because they have zero clue what EG7 has planned) but never followed up with any discussion about it's progress since.
    -Done nothing to retain players. The new expansion is not a player retention tool. These expansions are played by a very limited playerbase that have survived because the leaders of these guilds that still push content on new expansions are amazing leaders who are the main reason their guilds have survived. Darkpaw has done NOTHING to maintain player retention. No easy catch up, no casual/smaller raid sizes preventing demand for 54 man raids. No hard mode raids to bring back old players. I mean, has there even been a "returned to Everquest promotion of any kind?" Marketing 101 is absent.

    For 2024 a few things need to happen or in my opinion, Everquest will never be more then it is now.

    EG7 MUST confirm that EQ3 is in production. They stated they were going to "test the waters to see if it was possible to make EQ3", but never confirmed anything. The window for this very tight and here is why. Blizzard, hate them or love them, have given a very clear path on their plans. Classic Season of Discovery is out and will envelop the next year. Holly basically stated that it is being used to create the ruleset for Classic+. That will be announced at the next Blizzcon forsure. Also, live WoW have laid out their plans for the WorldSoul Saga which will span over the next 4-5. These three expansions are going to "wrap" up WoW. They even stated that this Saga will set the stage for the "next generation" of World of Warcraft players. A.K.A, WoW2.

    In my opinion, if Everquest 3 does not release, functioning, fun, and fully supported at least 1 year or more before WoW2, it will be 2004 again, watching Everquest players disappear, or never appearing in the first place.

    The second thing that needs to happen is they need to ensure the 25th anny EXCEEDS everyones expectations. That means the following:

    -Events for TLP and Live that just reward you with more things then you can ever expect. New raids, Tower, new items, new mounts, daily/weekly rewards, GM ran events, theme weeks, ..throw in the kitchen sink. If this event is boring and just gives out a couple of reskinned Rainbow bunnies, you can kiss a good 2024 goodbye.

    -Two new TLP's.
    The first needs to be a Mischief clone with maybe 1-2 small differences to make it "unique" but even if you just did a carbon copy, it needs to be a Free Trade server. I don't even play on the server but I know that is the most populated TLP and there is a thread about making a new one every day on the forums. So if the devs are not smart enough to make another mischief clone TLP, then they can't complain after all the horrible feedback they are going to get after they fail to announced this. Please don't be this stupid to just ignore the very in your face option. Don't think "you know better then the players".

    The second one needs to be a long term support TLP that brings something ACTUALLY new to the game. Some Ideas:
    -Maybe Modified Vaniki rules but supported and tested!
    -Hardmode versions of raid zones/bosses for each final tier of each expansions with new and improved rewards. Doesn't have to be complicated. Maybe put exclusions in that only allow 4 clerics or 3 warriors in the raid tool on bosses that normally require a bunch more. Or just actually give raid bosses new mechanics never seen before that players have to deal with. I would be fine with just putting a time limit on certain bosses or they enrage. This way guilds have to take gearing and prep seriously or will miss timers. Just do something.
    -A TLP with reduced raid size options. 36 man raids (not just LDON). Raid target drops less loot but the challenge is comparable/harder to 72 man raids.
    -TLP that has a leader board and promotes racing, being the first to unlock things, etc. Promotes racing AFTER PoP is the key. Maybe a Selos type server with leader boards and maybe every 2 months release vice one (as that was to fast even for the top guilds).
    -Tlp with housing enables day 1, all race/classes, etc
    -I dunno, how about an everquest TLP Season of Discovery. It is clear that just doing something new to the original core game has brought in MILLIONS of players for blizzard, maybe cheat of their test and do something similar.

    -This is my off the wall TLP. Backwards progression. Start off on the current expansion. 5-6 Months for the first expansion. Level/gear up and and beat the expansions. Then that expansion is unreleased and when you log in, you are capped at the exp level from the previous expansion, naked, max aa still, and no gear is in your inventory (so can't just go farm the previous expansion gear prior). You just lose stuff and that is that. That is one way to ensure everyone is always on the same playing field and the playerbase actually see expansions they never touched. If they don't like it, they still got the new Mischief (unless Darkpaw ignores common sense).

    I love Everquest and want to continue playing, but the rinse in repeat is wearing on even the saltiest of old dogs at this point. It is time for something "more". Heres to 2024...
  2. magikarp Augur

    its been said before, but…

    a mischief redo, as much as id play it, would hurt current mischief and might risk it joining the list of abandoned servers you mention. its a tough spot because as far as ive heard from interviews, they have an internal goal to increase retention in the later xpacs when they design these rulesets. theyve managed to hit that mark for a substantial amount of players. sure, most likely even more raw numbers would come back for a rehash but id personally do that next year, or the year after, or so on whenever they decide to pull the trigger. it could be, but it really doesnt *have* to be 2024
  3. NImxat Elder

    Including the free trade and Mischief loot features in the 2024 server(s) may pull some players from Mischief but it would definitely bring other returning and new players to the start. The availability of raid level items to non-raiders and alts is what has sustained Mischief.
    I also agree with the OP that DPG needs to add something new to the 2024 server. It doesn't have to be a super complicated feature, but it needs to function correctly and be supported if issues are found.
    Crabman and Vicus like this.
  4. Fanra https://everquest.fanra.info

    This is a work in progress. While the timetable has slipped, it's still (as far as I know) under development.

    They never, as far as I know, planned for DirectX 12.

    DirectX 11 is currently on Test server. It isn't ready for prime time. It is still being worked on.

    Like the new UI, the timetable has slipped but is still under development. I hope that it will not be released until it is at the point of at least as good (performance and stability wise) as the current DirectX 9.

    I don't want EQ 3. I want EQ to be better. I've invested far too much time and energy to abandon EQ for the "next great thing". If I wanted to play another game I would. There are plenty of other games out there.


    While I worry about the future of EQ (when during "prime time" on my server I see very few players in a Laurion's Song zone), I do see they are working on it.

    Laurion's Song was disappointing as far as the amount of content (two missions, one less raid than previously). The framerate in Laurion's Inn is very poor. Some bugs that seem to show a lack of development time. Personas are disappointing in the current state. No Guild Tradeskill Depot yet (not that I care but others do). No comment (that I've seen) on Luminous Restless Ice.

    Laurion's Song is encouraging as far as nice artwork. Decent content (if not enough). And above all, we got 30 expansions! Nothing stands out as far as LS goes but it is a competent effort that filled the need.

    Darkpaw lost several developers and this shows. But the game is still alive and we can hope that continues. If only it had the revenue that WoW does, we could have so much more. But we will always have Paris EQ.

    The Year of Darkpaw is starting out well. I can only hope the Anniversary Tower is good and, most importantly, stays in the game year round. Other content may be coming, which is good, we always need more. The upcoming AMA (ask me anything) is a good step for us to get some answers to where EQ is going.

    EQ. Still alive.

    <and yes, I realize I said nothing about TLP in the TLP forum. But I was addressing the non-TLP points made>
  5. ibc93 Elder

    Great post OP. I 100% agree. Server #1 needs to be a mischief clone. It's the most successful ruleset ever as far as I know. It would make Daybreak so much money if they just gave people what they're begging for.

    There's a lot of ideas for server #2. But the next most profitable & simplest to do would be a rerolling agnarr clone. Does Classic -> PoP then merges with agnarr, & starts all over again. This would steal from the large P99 & quarm playerbases that only want early EQ. It's another huge source of potential income with little staff effort needed to make it.

    -Ion Blaze
    Crabman, Appren and Vicus like this.
  6. Vicus Augur

    Just to be upfront, Due to my previous profession (retired now), I think of everything in terms of "profit over feelings". While I understand why you as a player feel this way, Darkpaw should NEVER think this way unless their actions are going to upset so many people, that it ends up hurting their bottom line. Mischief, if left untouched, while slowly lose people that will never come back. It will get smaller, and the playbase and subs will shrink. This is a negative in terms of profit. If a Mischief clone is made, sure some players from the server will jump ship, but for Darkpaw, this means zero change in subs. The people who are committed to Mischief will stay, and many players who feel they "missed out" will return for the new server. This is a net positive in subs for Darkpaw. This is a simple win and as a business, should be how they are thinking. If they are thinking any other way, as an investor I would believe I have the wrong people in position of power. You can give the people what they want and be profitable.

    100% my error, meant Directx 11. Corrected. But I am sorry, it is now 2024 and this game has been out for nearly 25 years. It's still "being developed" is not an option or excuse at this point in EQ history. If you put out a roadmap, it should be of goals you can realistically accomplish, and if there is a delay it should be small, not completely off the radar for the following year. Direct 11 was introduced by Microsoft in 2009. 2-0-0-9! These are projects that should of just been completed in silence behind the scenes and released as a "surprise, look what we accomplished", not as a roadmap item to prove you are being productive for the year, and end up showing you are anything but. Infrastructure, bug fixing, etc you do in silence and surprise people. CONTENT should be advertised and shown to players, because that is what they expect, new content.

    Honestly the star of the show for 2023 was the new expansion and persona's and that should of been their marketing focal point all year, but it came as an end of the year afterthought. In fact, it was not even on the 2023 roadmap. Their biggest "content" addition of the year, wasn't even on the roadmap. They have to do better.
  7. Yinla Ye Ol' Dragon

    TLP wise for 2024 it would be nice to do something different I'm thinking 3 servers.

    Mischief clone and TSS starting servers launching March - June (I'm sure they already have a date set)
    Merge Mischief & Thorneblade in July to free up another server
    Agnarr clone to launch in the Winter, which after 3 moths in POP/LDON mergers with Agnarr.

    We have had lots asking recently for a Winter launching TLP server and giving them a simple Agnarr clone seems to be a good way to give players what they want without taking too much dev time away from the 2024 expansion time.

    I'm looking forward to playing with Personas on the next TLP so excited for the next one already.

    And for the love of all things fluffy bring back some of the vaulted illusions, pet illusions, mounts and clickies to the marketplace.
  8. Vicus Augur

    Nice reply. I agree with many things you said, and can't be mad you didn't talk about TLP's, Live is important and no matter what people think, if new expansions didn't come out each year, and all they did were TLP's, then this game would be nothing more then a glorified supported player ran server game at that point.

    But I do have two points-
    I understand you do not want an EQ3, but I am focusing on reality because EG7, while they didn't fully pull the trigger on a EQ3 development promise, they DID fully promise during their presentation that they had decided to not pursue any type of remake or HD overhaul of original EQ. This means that development for EQ will be limited and they wanted to focus new games on their IP's. (LOTRO/Everquest). Since this is what they announced and promise, I still stand by my statement that in 2024 they must confirm EQ3 development and start the process, because if it is not launched at least 1 year prior to WoW2 and supported strongly during that first year of launch, then the Everquest name will be damaged beyond repair. At that point it will be known more for it's failures then it's successes. Just my opinion because I believe no investor at that point would ever touch the I.P. again outside of maybe Amazon because they have money to waste. But if EQ3 is not successful, you can bet EG7 sells the I.P within two years of launch.
  9. Vicus Augur

    Sup Ion:) Been awhile, haven't chatted with you since Rizlona days. You need to release more Youtube videos!

    I agree that at this point an Agnarr restart server should have already been created and into it's 2nd or third year of restarting. There are so many examples out there by other games, even some that Daybreak owns of doing these things successfully, but they always seem to think they know better and just come up with these off the wall idea's. Sure they hit a high point once every 3-4 years with a winner, but this isn't baseball, you can't bat .300 in the gaming business and expect success.

    Look at WoW and their classic servers. Ever expansion (Classic, TBC, Wrath, and upcoming Cata), these will bring in millions of players because it's what people want and Blizzard knows this. So they do it. Crazy concept. Sure at first they thought they knew better and that no one would play, but after they did it they realized they were wrong...way wrong, and capitalized off of it. Daybreak and Darkpaw have the king of classic server MMO's and they are just not capitalizing off it as much as they could.

    Look at Dungeons and Dragons Online. Their most successful content each year is the release of a hardcore season server. They do basically the same thing once a year, release a server with Hardcore rules for a limited time, and just change the awards each season so players can use some of these items on their live accounts. But people who don't even play DDO live, come JUST for the hardcore season (which requires a sub). So players get what they want and Daybreak makes profit.

    So why there is not a revolving "Season" server or an Agnarr restart server as suggest above is beyond me. It is content you make once, and then it basically manages itself each year. All you have to do is make a few seasonal reward changes and hit restart.
  10. Eetra1 New Member

    The EQ team is very small and with a game this massive and with so many different issues floating around I'm really surprised they even get as much as they do out the door.

    This probably isn't really possible but I would really like to see EQ devs get a break from pushing out an expansion every single year. They need more breathing room to have some time to fix all the little issues that plague this game without having to immediately start work on a new expansion as soon as the last is finished. I think the devs would probably like to do more cool TLP stuff or fix long standing issues, but they literally just do not have the time to do it with as small of a team as they have.

    Then you have stuff like the new UI that seems to be Jchan's pet project that no one seemed to ask for. Sure EQ could probably use a new UI, but the majority of us already are used to or are comfortable with the UI as it is. That just seems to be like time lost when other things could have been more priority. I can certainly appreciate the desire to modernize EQ's backend and current systems but that was at least for me a "If it aint broke, don't fix it" sort of thing.
    Yinla and Vicus like this.
  11. Vicus Augur

    If Everquest wasn't recently purchased by EG7, I would agree that a break for expansions yearly would need to happen. Have the dev team work on an larger expansions with one more tier of raids for 13-14 months and then let it run for 2 years, and then use 8 months to have the team work on other side projects, TLP's but ....

    Since EG7 purchased Everquest and stated they have plans to push their major franchises, they just need to pony up and start expanding the Dev team, review current members to ensure they are producing and living up to their salary, and find ways to improve performance/hold people accountable. Just pushing money to EQ3's newly hired Dev team (because it appears to be a seperate team from the shareholders meeting) is not enough. Boosting the longevity of EQ1 and bring back old players will pay dividends for the future EQ3 expansion as well, as it will keep EQ in peoples minds.

    The current Dev team has some very long long standing members that have higher salaries just due to pay increases, state laws, etc. They are based out of California so you know that salaries are very high, holding people accountable is VERY hard, and many employees get paid for 8-10 hours of work a day, but produce 1-3 hours of actual productive work. (not all but you know there are always a few that do this, and that is enough to hold everyone back).

    Personally, I believe it is time to hire a new person in charge (promote Jchan to another position/but still consults on EQ) and inject some new ideas, new views on things, and honestly just disrupt the status quo a bit. Change is not always bad and EG7 as an investor/owner have now been on campus long enough, that it is time to show that EG7 have standards and that another 10 years of the same old same old is not going to be the future of Everquest.
  12. Fanra https://everquest.fanra.info

    The issue with the current UI is that it does not scale properly with newer super large monitors and super high resolutions. In order to continue to attract new gamers, or older gamers with cash to buy these hardware items, EQ's UI needs to scale.

    So, it's not really a "new" UI as much as making the current one work on more resolutions.
    Rijacki and Herf like this.
  13. Aiona Augur


    I have been gone for a few months due to medical issues, but AFAIK, nothings changed or disabled concerning the FTE system? Sure, it has been adjusted/corrected a few times, but it's still the same concept in effect.

    I would be happy to be updated without misinformation on Oakwynd's FTE situation, including links/sources.

    I also think DG is doing just fine, they have several games queud up for planning, developing and budgeting over the next few years (EverQuest franchise included.)

    I wouldn't invest too highly in speculation and heresay, but as always, we're free to cram our opinions onto the forums.:D

    P.S. - Holly was a monster and I am glad she's not on the DG team anymore. Blizzard can keep her as far as I'm concerned (WoW is the perfect game for her to work on).
    Rijacki and Herf like this.
  14. uberkingkong Augur

    Yeah I agree with a lot of those things.
    Smaller raidforce is good, get to know people more. Can still be a big guild, just raiding is optional.
    Events,
    thats meta events, all the modern MMORPGs have them, EQ, 30 expansions and still lacking many features of other MMORPGs that only have like 5 expansions.
    30 expansion having less features than a 5 expansion MMORPG. Thats sad.
    dodge
    meta events
    world bosses (in live servers, modern day EQ, no world bosses)
    gliding
    jumping puzzles
    breakbars
    etc etc etc etc etc

    hence we do need EQ3, because EQ is very far behind feature wise compared to modern day MMORPGs even though it has 30 expansions continuously being updated, but still so far behind feature wise.

    TLP, sounds competitive the ones you mention.
    EQ players are competitive players, thats pretty why people TLPs its competitive in the beginning.

    Why do people leave PoP? probably because a new TLP starts and the competitive run starts run starts all over again.

    Regardless of the Live server, current/modern EQ, everything easy (but group game/group missions), raids easy, everyone be able to beat them, no competition, its fun when everyone can beat them day 1, not just eventually, day 1.

    EQ is competitive, it has competitive players. Thats why TLP is high volume everytime regardless of ruleset.
    High volume active and unique players, not high because a couple people running 6 boxes making the population appear high.

    The best way to tell if population is good.
    /LFG

    Is there a lotta people showing up?

    If your high pop and 0 LFG, its just boxes making the high pop.
    If your high or medium pop and theres like 10+ people LFG, thats good, thats healthy.
  15. Risiko Augur

    I'd be willing to bet that they came up with their concept for the upcoming TLP season about a half a year ago. Just saying...

    As for Holly leaving DBG for Blizzard, I think the likelihood of an EQ1-like new MMORPG being announced by her at Blizzard is higher than an actual EQ3 being announced by DBG. Blizzard has the money and the customer base to justify a new MMORPG. With any hope, she could drive them to make a modern day EQ clone (with out the EQ in it of course).

    As for the future of EQ... who knows. People have been predicting it's demise for over two decades now. Will it ever die? Eventually. Enjoy it while it lasts.
  16. uberkingkong Augur

    Well you have to think of it as EG7 wanting to do it.
    Darkpaw might be tiny, but EG7 is the one with the resources to make it happen.

    Usually its 1 or 2 games that are big hits with a company too.
    Arenanet they just do Guild Wars, they don't mess around and mess around.
    Square Enix is basically Dragonquest and Final Fantasy

    EG7, planetside meh, mech warrior meh, EQ meh, EQ2 meh, DC universe meh

    It's like EQ, 30 expansions. Thats a lot lot.
    WoW only has like 8 expansions.

    You'd assume the company with tons of games is better
    You'd assume the game with tons of expansions is better

    ex. xth expansion, main feature is tradeskill depot!!!!
    ex. xth expansion, main feature is keyring!!!! Every other game has this, been had it.
    every modern MMORPG has this, its already in the store or whatever. tradeskill depot should be a store feature not no expansion feature

    WRONG

    Honestly EG7 best game right now is probably Overcooked2
    [IMG]

    The Game Awards 2018Best Family Game
    Won
    Develop:Star AwardsGame of the Year
    Won

    Looks like restaruant city facebook game.
    At its peak, Restaurant City had more than 18 million monthly active users.
    Restaurant City for "Social Networking Game of the Year"
    [IMG]


    Thing is with EQ they can do all this, there is tons of recipes in the game.
    EQ doesn't have any minigames.

    Could have could have could have
    30 expansions later
    Could do this, has potential
    30 expansions later
    Several TLPs later

    Roleplaying focused TLP.
    Food consumed a lot faster, negative effects from being hungry and thirsty.

    Being at some place, doing some thing, can improve stats. Not doing them lowers stats over time.


    Next TLP,
    living homecities (or neighborhood 5 second cast clicky to neighborhood, neighborhoods unlocked day 1), have jobs, chef, blacksmith. As in for roleplaying focused.
    More roleplaying focused.

    Killing stuff isn't the way to get rich and get stuff.
    Being a master chef, you can get just as rich.
    Owning the best restaurant, can be just as rich.

    Freeport NPCs, I want a lemonade. I want a bristlebane platter.
  17. Slasher Augur

    You're right DX 11 should of been added 10+ years ago but it wasn't and I don't think you grasp the work required to transition to it. This is a 25 year old game it will not be easy or quick to add dx11 support and its better they take time to do it right.

    DX12 will likely never be an option for EQ btw
    Fanra likes this.
  18. Waring_McMarrin Augur

    They did post that they chose DX11 over DX12 because DX11 has wider support which is also why I don't think they would ever move to a new DX version when it is newer as the amount of hardware that could support it would be smaller.
  19. uberkingkong Augur

    The next TLP honestly, it needs a DM GM factor.
    Dungeon Master Game Master.

    corky.

    food is consumed faster
    being hungry or thirsty you have negative hp regen like 5% hp loss tick, and if you die, you cannot rez this xp back.
    If your raiding food is consumed x10 faster. In a certain zone food is consumed x5 faster.
    x5 times the x10, food is gonna get consumed very fast.
    If its a vendor bought food it has x5 faster consumed rate.
    So x5 times x5 times x10 your food is gonna go away fast.
    You gotta get in and get out quickly.
    this happens more often
    non ph'er repops are very quick in lower guk so its very dangerous now.
    when the ancient cyclopes spawn and hes attacked all the cyclopes runs to his aide
    mobs move around, free move around the zone, no more static standing mobs.

    every zone, crushone korafax karnors castle or whatever the mobs walking around everywhere, you need tracker.
    mob get stuck too bad, petition to fix it.

    gear despawns in certain limit, every 2 days your despawns. gear has a despawn timer. 2 days worth.
    So you have to maintain or get blacksmithing your gear.
    Exceptions are epics.

    If you corpse summon, you get no experience from rez.

    Rez sickness effects are even more dangerous you have good chance to be 1shot.

    Needs someone to go corky on the ruleset, so people actually read up on the ruleset because its so corky.
  20. Hekkthebank Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds

    No one playing another random loot goofball server.