A new EQ in the works??

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Darktide, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Jumbur Improved Familiar

    If Darkpaw develops a new EQ3 from scratch with modern gameplay/technology, they will have to compete with all the other MMOs that are being developed right now, it is expensive and risky, and they can't afford to maintain EQ1/EQ2 at the same time(at least not in a way that will secure the games for the duration a potential EQ3-development will need).
    They may be able to do well in the competition, but it is not certain at all. It is not certain they will win a new playerbase with that strategy, and it is not certain their current playerbase will migrate to EQ3 either. There is a significant possibility that Darkpaw will crash it they take this gamble.

    If Darkpaw sticks with EQ1/EQ2 and continue to maintain/upgrade as needed, they can be fairly sure that they will keep their current playerbase and stay afloat for a while longer.
    If they just let their current games waste away, they are certain they will crash in a few years.
    Investing money in a game that already has a significant playerbase, is in my opinion a no-brainer. It is a safe bet.

    Why risk a playerbase you already have, for a small chance to get a new bigger playerbase?
    Darkpaw can afford to not take that risk.
  2. Skuz I am become Wrath, the Destroyer of Worlds.

    Nobody knows if the TLP concept is long term "sustainable" or not, EverQuest was the first to do it and while individual TLP do inevitably wither & die there has been a steady annual stream of successful TLP launches with a few mis-fires like Coirnav & Miragul - but it absolutely is overall successful and absolutely has brought former players back, I see no reason why it cannot continue to launch successful TLP servers but they do have a limited number of ways to modify rulesets to make them interesting for prior TLP players. Random Loot is an entirely new concept that they made for TLP, so were AoC - so TLP have driven innovation.

    People "Quit EQ" for a massive range of reasons, the obvious Real Life changes like career, marriage, kids, illness, success, friends playing something else, but the number one biggest reason is "because they are gamers" - the average gamer is NOT an MMO player, and average gamers crave novelty that they only find from playing a new game every month or so.
    MMO Gamers are a far smaller part of the overall gaming community, MMO gaming is a niche activity & yet even within that niche you have MMO Gamers who flit from MMO to MMO looking for novelty.
    Quitting because of things like "The Grind(tm)" are actually among the lower-tier of reasons people stop playing an individual game.
    Your point about finding groups is a valid concern, only way to solve that is making sure server populations are healthy, merging if needed, and providing multiple reasons to group.
    Also there need to be better catching up to max level options that do not require powerlevelling or a marketplace purchase. I cover that later on in this post & while Overseer certainly helps 85+ that's too passive to be a core gameplay mechanic for actively catching up.

    Some truth to this, and it boils down to understanding your current players & what they want & understanding what the players who left wanted and finding the middle-ground, it is not always as black & white as you seem to be portraying here, there is plenty of overlap in what both current and former players would like to see from EQ.

    I would say they go something like this:

    1. Develop a solo/molo path through the games levels (probably only needed from level 65/70 onwards) so that returning players can catch up to max level players under their own steam and not rely on powerlevelling and also to make the game more accessible to players who really enjoy the game world & it's lore but dont have a consistent play schedule or a desire to group for the majority of their play time.

    2. Overhaul the UI

    3. Overhaul the model graphics
    (high res textures on classic & luclin models & a set of new player & npc models using an up to date 64 bit & dx 12 engine that allows them to swap between classic view, luclin view & *new engine* view)

    4. Revamp existing zones keeping the aesthetics of the originals - AKA Nektulos 3.0 not Freeport 2.0

    5. Improve spell use & reduce the hotbar whack a mole combat some
    A smaller number of more impactful abilities by combining some combat abilties into each other along with smarter dual or multi effect spells - some of this has been done in recent years.
    The "Target of target heals" done in the latest test patch notes is a great example of modernising gameplay for hybrids. Adding "smarter" group & ae heals and smarter damage abilities will be a further improvement.
    Gyurika Godofwar and Stymie like this.
  3. Strawberry Augur

    I don't think they can.

    When Swedish company EG7 bought Darkpaw Games for $300 million a few months ago, they bought the IP. They were quite specific about that, their statement said they now own all the Everquest universe IP.

    Go to the site of EG7 and it is clear they are an investment firm, they try to attract investment themselves and have a stock ticker on their front page.

    EG7 wants a return on that $300 million they paid, they want to leverage that IP. You don't pay $300 million for a dwindling game where a few thousand players pay $15 a month.
    Stymie likes this.
  4. Strawberry Augur

    I can not relate to someone buying one of those "marketplace hero characters", since I know EQ too well.

    BUT, I remember doing that with Tera Online where you could get a free high-level character during a promotion. I was so utterly confused and overwhelmed. I can only imagine how overwhelmed new players must be in Everquest to suddenly have access to hundreds of AA, zones and abilities.

    Now I had this lvl 70 character, without any friends, no clue where to go, and not understanding any of my abilities.

    These marketplace characters likely work well for seasoned players wanting a quick way to make an alt, but for me in Tera Online, it was a disaster as a new player.
    Stymie likes this.
  5. Nennius Curmudgeon

    To quote another poster, "EQ1 according to the presentation has 82k Monthly Active Users, with 66k of those being members." 66k (I assume this this rounded off from the actual figure) multiplied by $14.95 comes out to $986,700 a month.

    According to reports over the last few years the number of subscribers has been increasing.


    I don't think your phrases of "a few thousand players" or "dwindling" really apply well here.


    The EQ portion of it begins on page 11.

    Having said that, EG7 is an investment firm and has a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to try and improve the value of that investment. With that in mind, I would expect efforts to make this happen. That might include a new game engine. It might not. It might include something new or investments in other parts of the company than EQ.

    If I were an investor in EG7 I would look at the overall increase in the value of the investment and likely not at which game gets the cash. When I invest, and I do own a fair bit of stock, I look at the bottom line and which way the stock trends. I hope that EQ gets a cash infusion and is around for a long time.
    Gyurika Godofwar, Stymie and Skuz like this.
  6. Jumbur Improved Familiar

    EG7's first action was to announce the revival of "H1Z1 Just Survive", and declare that they were ready to take over development of games and help out, if the current dev-team was not doing well(in the case of Just Survive, it meant finding a new dev-team for it).
    They also said that Darkpaw needed no direct intervention from EG7, likely because everyone felt Darkpaw was already on the right track. That doesn't mean EG7 doesn't support Darkpaw, but that they were satisfied with the way it is currently being managed under Jchan.

    I take that as a confirmation that EQ1 is doing well, seen from an investors viewpoint.
    Gyurika Godofwar, Nennius and Skuz like this.
  7. Skuz I am become Wrath, the Destroyer of Worlds.

    EG7's CEO Robin Flodin is a gamer, and former game maker
    EG7 has built itself up from a small gaming company and Daybreak was the moment they made a huge change in their profile and standing in the industry it was a bold move and I don't see them as the usual shark-infested buy 'em cheap then tear them into chunks and sell them off for a profit type of predatory "vulture capitalist".
    Everything seen coming out of EG7 is they are currently still in a building revenue & profit through M&A phase, while they fully intend to support, grow & invest into a stable of own IP & licensed IP games that are predominantly MMO.
    For them MMO represent a way to build a growing company upon the long term fan bases that MMO foster and the long term income that such titles can provide them while acknowledging that these titles require a long term development plan if they are to remain successful investments.

    I've not seen anything thus far that has given me any reason to be pessimistic about their overall approach, either for an investor or as an owner of EQ, their strategy seems based on logic & long term planning and an understanding of how to actually oversee a GaaS eco-system that many companies simply lack.
    Gyurika Godofwar and Nennius like this.
  8. KrakenReality Augur

    Whatever, they decide to do I wish the staff and company continued professional and financial success.
    Skuz likes this.
  9. Jumbur Improved Familiar

    If you look at page 19 in https://www.enadglobal7.com/wp-cont...entation-Dec-2020-Acquires-Daybreak-Games.pdf
    you can see that 3 daybreak titles under "growth opportunities", DCUO, Lotro and "unannounced project". 2 of them are "visual upgrades".
    It is unclear if it means a new title or if they consider "visual upgrades" a project in itself. If they mean a new title(like that Marvel MMO rumor), then it means that there are no more planned visual upgrades for existing daybreak titles.

    If they are not hinting at a new title, but are hinting of a yet unannounced visual upgrade for an existing title, then you will notice that both DCUO and Lotro are in their top3 earning titles (going by page 16), the third title in that top3 is EQ1...:cool:

    If I ignore my unfounded wishful thinking, then Im guessing that EQ1 will not receive a "visual upgrade". Lets face it, replacing ALL "old-looking" assets in a 22 year old MMO, is most likely too expensive. I would like to see them try though...

    This says nothing about an updated client though...
  10. Strawberry Augur

    Investment firms do ruthless cost/benefit analysis. The cost of upgrading an engine that is decades old will never generate enough benefits to offset it.

    Almost all games nowadays use premade engines so they can focus on content instead. Making a new engine for each new game is like reinventing Adobe Premiere each time you make a movie, it makes no sense.
    Stymie likes this.
  11. Skuz I am become Wrath, the Destroyer of Worlds.

    Upgrades are indicated in later presentations, I commented on that in the post linked below.

    Gyurika Godofwar and Jumbur like this.
  12. Strawberry Augur

    People asked for EQ to be visually upgraded.

    When they upgraded to Luclin models, players complained.

    When they further upgraded Human models, players complained.

    When they upgraded Freeport, players complained.

    When the new Freeport was shown in EQ Next slides, players complained.

  13. Strawberry Augur

    The biggest visual upgrades came a few years into EQ, due to the increasing availability of powerful GPU accelerators. We suddenly had lighting and much higher polygon models.

    But ironically, the game's population plumetted during that time. And even now in this thread, people claim the Karanas were one of the best zones. Not the zones in OOW, DoN, DoD, that had way high polygons and way better lighting. No, Karana, a zone that might as well be made out of a single polygon.

    Nostalgia is a crazy drug.

    Gyurika Godofwar, Stymie and Jumbur like this.
  14. Jumbur Improved Familiar

    Personally, I think Omens was the beginning of the genuinely good-looking expansions. :)
    And I liked most of the revamps/new models too!

    I actually don't play EQ because of nostalgia(I have other games for that) and prefer the newer expansions.

    I think the dwindling numbers during Omens were more a result of tight competition from Blizzard with WoW and not a fault of the direction EQ took.

    I moved to WoW around that time, because my friends did, and I liked that there was less downtime in WoW. When they released TSS and fixed the downtime-issue in EQ, I returned to EQ. :cool:
    Gyurika Godofwar, Skuz and Nennius like this.
  15. Atomos Augur

    Is this really how it works though? 2 things come to mind to me here, one is the amount of people who use Krono to be in that 66k member count, and also that Krono is a $18 sub, not $15. It would be interesting to know how many people use Krono each month. A Krono someone uses this month could be one someone purchased last month or even years ago. I mean if someone has been taking advantage of all of these TLPs every year it would be pretty easy to have a whole lot of Krono and never have to "pay" for the game again. So in a way, a great (GREAT) deal of future subscriptions are already paid for, and at the +$3 price tag. I know the few Krono I had on my account were the ones I got from playing Phinigel during Kunark. That was a long time ago lol.

    Let's not forget the cash shop, EXP pots, cosmetics, the bundles, the bags people love on TLP, different editions of expansions.

    It reminds me of a post I saw on the MMORPG Reddit a while back asking what people thought about increasing subscription costs of sub based MMOs. In the MUD days, games cost like $5 a month, the early MMOs cost $10 a month and they eventually got up to $15. It's been stuck at $15 for a long time and feels due for an increase (every thing else is going up...). I wondered how people would react, but I also thought about EQ and WoW. EQ's Krono are $18 and WoW Tokens are $20, so these 2 games have already been banking on increased subscription costs for a while.
  16. Nennius Curmudgeon

    As you correctly point out, the truth of things in EQ is quite a bit more complicated than my admittedly simplistic calculation would indicate. Absent additional information I can only estimate from the figures I have. My purpose in posting to was to point out that there are more than just a few thousand players and that the income that Darkpaw derives from those players is pretty substantial. At the time of the report that I cited, the game had pulled in about 11.5 million USD. 11.5 million divided by 12 months gives an approximate monthly revenue to Darkpaw of $958.333 USD per month just from EQ1.

    In terms of income, the games seems to be growing and that would seem to bode well for the future of this game. And that comes from a dyed-in-the-wool pessimist.
    Gyurika Godofwar and Skuz like this.
  17. Skuz I am become Wrath, the Destroyer of Worlds.

    Oh the direction EQ took absolutely did have an affect on numbers but there was a whole bunch of things going on that year Besides EQ2 & WoW launching.

    An engine re-write to DX 9.0 and the complete rewrite of the collision detection engine meant there were issues around targetting, hitting things, things hitting you that you could not hit back & things aggroing you from stupidly far distances or not being able to be aggroed at all - that went on for several months.

    The push to launch EQ 2 had taken a chunk of developers away from EQ and along with that there was a sizeable departure of staff from the company as a whole - so the team actually working on the expansion was badly depleted.

    GoD launched in a terrible state (partly attributed to the tuning was unable to be tested much and that in turn was due to the engine re-write) and that was a bigger issue than the content originally having been made with a level raise in mind they ended up not doing.

    GoD was a massive departure from the D&D style lore that had featured so heavily in prior expansions - it felt, looked & sounded very alien & strange, the unpronouncable zone names were despised & ridiculed a lot, many players at the time hated it and stepping in there without raid geared characters & getting brutally ripped apart made it an incredibly hostile expansion to regular group players.

    Expansions were being launched every 6 months at that point so the expansion staff were under a massive amount of pressure to release on time rather than to have the time to launch it in a better state - they even tore up what they had originally put together for OoW and redesigned it from the ground up after the infamous "guild summit" that SoE held to address the many concerns being brought up, amid the backdrop of entire guilds quitting the game in protest at the state GoD was delivered in and that was on top of losses to WoW.
    I know the team back then worked a lot of overtime to get OoW done right & to retune GoD. And that was one of the major factors in moving back to annual expansion releases.

    It was several years later that the GoD expansion began to be looked upon favorably in the wider vista of EverQuest's content but by the time OoW launched a lot of damage had already been done and the game continued to lose players for years after.
    Gyurika Godofwar and Stymie like this.
  18. Numiko Augur

    I just want to see the EQ engine upgraded to a 64 Bit version, that alone would open up so many possibilities.....
  19. Jumbur Improved Familiar

    We will likely get a rough engine transition again(that stuff is never easy! :eek: ), but in the end I hope that it hasn't scared them away from ever trying again. I think it was worth it in the long run.

    I vaguely remember daring to set foot in Natimbi at level 52'ish and getting totally creamed by everything. So yeah, GoD was overtuned!
    I might not always like it when the devs are taking chances and are experimenting, but I believe it is one of the reasons the game is still alive. I vastly prefer visiting new corners of Norrath, instead of rehashing the same continents over and over again. :)
  20. Stymie Pendragon

    I'm with you on this for sure. They need to start catering to people with modern resolutions. A deep dive into the UI is needed at a minimum. The game stopped advancing UI wise back when 1080x1024 was the norm. That was a really long time ago in computer technology improvements as well as a really long time in general.