EverQuest Producer's Letter July 2022

Discussion in 'News and Announcements' started by Angeliana, Jul 21, 2022.

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  1. Sivion New Member

    I also do this...100%
  2. Sivion New Member

    To put my 2 cents. I would appreciate an overall look at re-balancing all classes to current content. And, yes, we need better network resources and server management. I realize this is all driven by profit margins, and overall network cost, but please let's keep it alive. You can expand on the everquest universe all you want, but without sustainability for resource, and equal gameplay-ability. It continues to have an impact on playability and affects enjoyment of the product.
    Hobitses likes this.
  3. Godshall New Member

    Just a idea...
    $14 US is not = to $14 Au or Pound or Euro or $14 NZ now add on exchange rate, taxes and you will find that for example
    $14 NZ to US is now $22:43 + tax of 15% now makes it $25:49 so now $14 US = $25:49.
    For example instead of paying $168 for a year if you pay monthly they will pay $305:88 that's $107:88 more than a US player.
    Now this can be done for every currency in the world and during a recession where inflation is on the way up almost as fast as the fuel prices how about you look at trying to make it so $14 is $14 no matter where you live or your currency.
    More Players would be able to go off free play (after all no one wants to be there).
    This would put more player able to pay for expansion's, more all access players must = more money to fix more bugs, and pay for better content and the snow ball result should be less of this thread where there is comments about the lag etc. in new zones or toon imbalance and other 1st world problems.
    Just a idea
  4. Brontus EQ Player Activist

    Dear Jen,

    Thanks for the producer's letter. As a person with AAA game dev experience and who's worked in the MMO genre, I would like to share some observations and recommendations. With all due respect and I really mean that as I appreciate your hard work, this producer's letter seems a bit underwhelming to me. It is long on performative things and short on substance.

    If I was the studio head I would be mainly concerned about the following:

    1. Existing Player retention
    2. Attract new players to compensate for churn (players who leave)

    Both of these issues are about ensuring the current and future profitability of EverQuest which still brings in the lion's share of revenues for Daybreak Games. Both of these issues apply to EverQuest Live and EverQuest TLP.

    Since Daybreak has yet to keep their promises about creating a future for the EQ franchise i.e. announcement of EverQuest 3, EQ players who love the classic EQ MMORPG experience are left to keep playing the original EQ.

    For what it is worth, here's what I would do if I was studio head:

    1. Improve the EQ User Interface -- Nothing else matters if players can't understand how to play the game. The user interface is outdated and neglected. You, yourself have admitted that the current user interface is terrible and is confusing to new players. One can only wonder how many new players quit in frustration when they are confronted with the horrifically bad current user interface. Fixing this should be priority #1 and this will help to bring in more revenues. Without new players, EQ will die as existing players pass away in the real world. Let's get the UX revamped ASAP and help ensure the continuing success and future of EQ.

    2. Improve the EQ Player Experience with Quality of Life Enhancements -- There are many outstanding problems in EQ that could easily be fixed with quality of life enhancements. These fixes would benefit both live and TLP players. One example is the Advanced Looting mechanic which is overly complex and over engineered. Your predecessor Holly Longdale wanted to overhaul this system before she left. Her wishes need to be respected and it needs to be get done. Every day when I play EQ I find at least one or two things that come up that could easily improved with minimal effort and I'd be happy to share with the devs.

    3. Bring Back a Dynamic Norrath -- One of the most incredible and magical things with EverQuest was that you were part of a fantasy virtual world that was unpredictable and always changing. I remember live GM events where the gods and dragons would show up announced. I remember undead invasions and more. Some amazing loot dropped too. A dynamic Norrath is 100% classic EverQuest and you and ever EQ dev should be proud of this. So play to your strengths as they say! These are the things that create lasting memories. By committing to more of a live dynamic Norrath, you could distinguish EQ from all other MMOs that don't do this and get this venerable fantasy virtual world back on the map again.

    4. Start Promoting EQ with a Modern Social Media Strategy -- EverQuest is the MMORPG that started everything. The street cred of EQ is off the charts but DarkPaw seems more interested in promoting and investing in EQ2 as it has "better" shiny graphics. You should be promoting EQ! I never see any web ads for EverQuest. I don't see any influencers or streamers playing EQ. I've got a Google alert for EverQuest and my Google alert for Elvis sightings gets more action. There is no buzz about EQ these days. We need to see devs livestreaming as well. You can do better!

    5. Require Devs to Play Both on live and TLP servers on Company Time -- There is nothing more important for a dev to understand what players are going through. The old saying: "walk a mile in my shoes" applies here. If devs used this one weird trick, I guarantee you the EQ experience would be vastly improved. The best time ever spent by a developer is when they are playing their own game as they will gain unique insights and perspectives that are impossible to get otherwise. Devs should be playing as many classes as possible with as much regularity as possible. A couple of hours per week would be sufficient, who knows, they may even fall in love with EQ again.

    6. Commit to Fixing Existing Bugs Before Releasing More Expansions -- There are hundreds if not thousands of bugs that are legitimate bugs but have not been deemed important enough to be fixed. Stop what you are doing and create a dev strike team to fix every bug. I'm serious. All hands on deck. This is what happens at most AAA studios. Only when all bugs are fixed, then start working on the new expansion.

    7. Communicate Regularly with Your Players -- Produce a monthly Developer Update on YouTube where devs can report to the players what they are doing. Look to Amazon Games's New World MMO for examples of monthly video updates from devs. Devs should be visible and the devs should be heard. Both the players and devs need each other. By doing this you are build trust and transparency with the players.

    8. More Dev Forum Interaction Please -- The devs rarely communicate on the forums, which erodes trust and makes players feel they are being ignored. Many of the class forums have no communication from the devs at all. Devs should be given company time each week to communicate with their players on the forums in their respective areas of expertise and authority. Again, this would build trust and help to make the forums less contentious. Happy players = happy forums = happy moderators. :)

    9. Expand the Forums with Sub-Forums -- The players have been requesting a Suggestions sub-forum for many years. It still has not been implemented and no reason has been given. Also, there should be a separate forum for each class. Please visit the Lord of the Rings Online forum (owned by Daybreak) for a great example of how forums should be set up.

    10. Start Using In-Game Polls -- There is a polls feature in the game that is rarely used. Let's start using it where applicable. Asking the players what they think occasionally, would facilitate more trust between players and developers. Players are flattered when they are asked their opinions and it makes them feel they are part of an inclusive relationship. It also shows that Darkpaw cares. There's nothing wrong with building goodwill between devs and players. Player feedback is vital.

    11. Hire More Devs -- As Sancus has clearly shown some of his posts, EQ brings in the most money for Daybreak Games. From a business point of view, if one product is earning more money than your other products, you should increase investment in that product by hiring more devs to increase profits. EQ needs more devs. Period. You can easily make the business case to Enad Global 7 that this is the case.

    It may sound corny but it's true: we're all a family here, both the players and the devs. We really need each other. All I'm asking, please put some trust in the players too. There's a lot of collective wisdom available to Darkpaw here on the forums from passionate players both veterans and new. We're here for you and we want the EverQuest Experience to be the very best it can be. Thanks for listening Jen.
    Dsuna, Fenthen, Skuz and 3 others like this.
  5. Yinla Ye Ol' Dragon

    For me my top 3 issues are.

    1. Lag
    2. Class Balance
    3. Fixing the mess they made with the body type changes. For example VT is now impossible to join an established group unless they have CoH, Specs in Feerrott now see both see invis and IVU, there are many more zones with similar problems effecting both live and TLP servers.
    code-zero, Nennius and Barton like this.
  6. Andarriel Everquest player since 2000

    Im more happy with the overseer stuff myself class balance lol and raid lag who cares i dont raid. I tell you there's alot more casuals eq players than there are raiders and thats just a plain fact its just most of the raiders are vocal and come on here.
    CatsPaws likes this.
  7. tsiawdroi TittyGOAT

    Hire sancus to balance the classes!!
    Metanis likes this.
  8. tsiawdroi TittyGOAT

    In all seriousness though, I think the issue of class balance should be looked at and considered well before beta goes live. This year some of the AA's were not even available til weeks into beta. I would think having these ready to go to be tested by the players and then being able to make adjustments before the expansion is launched rather than having to do stuff ex post facto or implementing big changes without knowing the true implications to the new changes being implemented. If major changes were introduced on beta you would have raids with devs to see firsthand rather than make educated guesses that results in future nerfs or have to wait for a future patch to fix the underlying issue. The community is more than willing to give feedback and suggestions. The timeline to actually listen and communicate before it's too late to make major changes to an expansion launch should be taken into consideration if said feedback may actually find its way into improving the game.

    An area to perhaps consider for class balance might be creating new disciplines or making modifications to existing ones.(ie: Multiple classes are using discs from cotf or get a version that is just copy and pasted every other year with a small increase to its power.) If not creating new discs then perhaps looking at the cool down timers might be a way to bridge the gap currently between melee and casters, especially with the length of events in TOL. A 20+ minute refresh on some of these disciplines might have made sense 5-7+ years ago but maybe need to be looked at with the current state of gameplay. This is especially true for classes whose sustained dps is significantly less when you take out their big burns for a given raid event or stretch of time in group content. The game is not in a great place for balance when for efficiency and less downtime it is clear which classes are preferred and which are not. For example, if I only have an hour to play and my goal is to get as many aa's as possible, there are certain classes i'd prefer to group with to maximize my kill rate based on dps and down time to get out of combat to med. I try to look at the bigger picture to what the class brings in regards to individual dps, adps, and other utility or benefits to the group at large. However, there are some classes without the right group composition that are severely lacking. I won't name names but if your classes role brings little utility and is suppose to make up that lack of utility with high levels of dps; I am firm believer that these classes should be doing MORE dps than classes who DO provide utility and other benefits to the groups overall dps. And that sadly is not currently the case.

    With that said, as hopeful as I want to be for class balance, I am also worried the pendulum may swing the other way causing other imbalances. Hopefully some process to get feedback or suggestions from the community that won't fall on deaf ears or regardless how sound and constructive will never be considered due to time constraints or lack of manpower.

    P.S. Still waiting for that new evolving item with timeline for "New year, like February or March." As was stated then, it would be good practice for the new dev's to see the work behind such a quest/item! Here's to hoping it comes true eventually!
    Hobitses likes this.
  9. Fcseven XIII Journeyman

    Just logging in to add support for this comment.
    Stymie and Grove like this.
  10. Jumbur Improved Familiar

    I actually think bug-fixing needs to be prioritized higher than social media advertising. Otherwise the game will just go viral for being so old-school that it kept the bugs from 1999.
    Having a successful "retro-game" only works if it lives up to the "good old days", and that means fixing the bugs from the "bad old days". Just imagine some famous streamer going viral commenting how the boats still don't work, even after 20+ years of debugging... I fear it will backfire for DBG, if they start advertising too early...

    Make EQ1 a polished game to be proud of, only THEN can they get away with advertising...
  11. Waring_McMarrin Augur

    That isn't how currency exchanges work and both players are still paying the same amount. Think of it in another way. If you are paying in Euro you would be paying 164.78 which looks like you are paying less but you are actually paying the same.
  12. yepmetoo Abazzagorath

    I'm sorry, this is a cop out response.

    There are swift solutions. Non-swift solutions are related more to system and mechanics issues that would need to be addressed to allow differentiation in class abilities that wouldn't create further imbalances. Like system lag for example.

    But when the current developers are completely incapable of understanding what the issues are due to 1) lack of manpower 2) lack of devs that "really" play the game anymore 3) lack of a willingness to do anything, it comes out extremely hollow.

    DPS imbalances show this quite clearly.

    If class A and class B are supposed to be roughly equivalent, but class A does 30% more burn dps and 15% more sustained dps, well that is a simple mathematical problem that needs nothing more than ONE aa to be created or modified. Something that either reduces class A or something that raises class B, and is balanced in value as to the impact between burn synergy and sustained impact so you don't add 25% to both and while class B is now only 5% behind class A in burns, its now 10% ahead in sustained (which wouldn't necessarily be awful, but lends itself to future imbalances as numbers go up).

    Ideally, when talking about CORE balance issues:

    1) DPS
    2) Tanking/aggro
    3) Healing

    The developers should be having free reign to create the new expansion, create new abilities. Use the beta period to deal with any overt obvious imbalances created, and put in a HARD DEADLINE of say, 3 months post release for any more subtle or untested/unexpected major imbalances to be addressed quickly. This is where the "community council" thing would come in. Ask those trusted source what the issue is, get suggestions on solutions, and get some testing on implementation.

    But what do we see? We see nothing done in beta to deal with all the justified complaints. We see no feedback and we test for 6-8 weeks under a set of parameters, than a week before or AT design lock things get changed with result in major imbalances, because the AA and spells are AFTERTHOUGHTS to the current dev team or leadership and they get put in late and balanced too late.

    Saying "it takes time" when classes go THREE YEARS without major issues addressed that every player knows about is insulting.

    As to lag, there should be real experimentation to find out what is going on. But here's the reality with that, and with all the nerfs done to limit "calculations". Sometimes a DZ runs fine. Sometimes its lagged to heck and back. That doesn't indicate ANY problems with the calculations, our computers, or the programming. It is entirely a function of YOUR hardware OR your network that we are connecting to. That's it. We have gone over this territory for years now, and the bottom line is you need to invest more in your hardware or your systems or nothing is going to change.

    There is a limit to what you can do to reduce calculations and spell effects and graphics and whatnot, unless you just sunset the game into nothing but a TLP game with no new content and no new abilities and graphics and upgrades. Because every expansion gives more things to deal with in the data pipeline, and that won't change.

    Can we lag out any instance if we go ham on every ability? Sure, but if that was the problem at its core, we would have that issue every...single...time. And we don't.
    Dsuna, Fenthen, Skuz and 3 others like this.
  13. Highwizard Augur

    You have any data to back that "fact" up?
    Koshk likes this.
  14. CatsPaws No response to your post cause your on ignore

    Where would one get data? Most of the casuals are the silent majority. Its just the raiders and hardcore TLP players that monopolize the forums that make the biggest noise.

    Casuals do not get invited to pre beta like the big guilds nor will you find a casual whose input is considered valid. Because they don't force their opinions on anyone.

    I would bet that 80% of the casuals are older players who used to raid 5 nights a week in top raiding guilds in the past when character status, raid set ups, classes etc really mattered. Top guild, top class etc. Now its just not important as it once was so we have fun just playing the game. Not acting like we own it. Or stressing over class balances, raid lag etc.
    Stymie, Rikantiz, Marton and 2 others like this.
  15. TheAgenda Augur

    I'm not challenging this assertion, I'm genuinely curious what data you have that substantiates the claim. I personally think it would be really neat if it were true.
    Koshk likes this.
  16. Highwizard Augur

    So raiders do not enjoy group content, or advocate for better things game wide? We are the smallest population? We act like we own the game because we want to see balance, less lag and better content?

    I forced my opinion on you?

    Skuz likes this.
  17. tsiawdroi TittyGOAT

    Pretty sure anyone could access beta by pre-ordering the new expansion.

    I am curious if you consider yourself a casual? I only ask because the statement:

    "I would bet that 80% of the casuals are older players who used to raid 5 nights a week in top raiding guilds in the past when character status, raid set ups, classes etc really mattered. Top guild, top class etc. Now its just not important as it once was so we have fun just playing the game. Not acting like we own it. Or stressing over class balances, raid lag etc"

    seems to me like you are forcing your opinion on me. But, I guess if you are not a casual that would make sense?

    ps: raiding 5 nights a week sounds like a job
  18. Angeliana Senior Community Manager

    *pushes the topic back onto the rails* Feel free to make a new topic with the discussion and not derail the Producer's Letter with it!
  19. Oakenblade Former ForumQuest Champion

    Which topic are we supposed to discuss here specifically?
    Fenthen likes this.
  20. Angeliana Senior Community Manager

    The Producer's Letter (hence the topic at the top of the page), not a discussion/debate about casual players versus raiders.
    Stymie and code-zero like this.
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