EverQuest Producer's Letter July 2022

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

  1. Sancus Augur

    I know you're not entirely serious, but if they want to go for a nuclear option, the obvious one is to roll back the 7/22/15 change that allowed procs to cast concurrently:
    While there are important benefits of the change (and potential solutions to preserve those benefits), it set the stage for a significant increase in the number of spells occurring in raid instances.
    Fenthen, Skuz, kizant and 1 other person like this.
  2. Benito EQ player since 2001.

    The funny thing is Darkpaw has had open positions over the last 1-2 years.

    If people think that they could do a better job, they really should apply. Wrel went from a player-streamer to lead dev for Planetside 2.

    I suspect that any "waving [of] the magic wand" type of solutions being thrown around here are deeply embedded in assumptions (i.e. lacking of understanding of the resource cost or game limitations).
    zleski likes this.
  3. Waring_McMarrin Augur

    That would only work for people in the San Diego area or who could move there as it is my understanding that they don't offer remote work opportunities.
    Skuz and zleski like this.
  4. zleski Augur


    That is my assumption as well. It is extremely difficult to craft a balanced game rule engine (eg class balance) with 16 classes and hundreds of spells and abilities. People may clamour for nerfs to their hated class, or buffs to their favourite class and all too often these are made in a complete vacuum, ignoring the rest of the other classes, and, most importantly, the design vision for the game.

    That even bypasses the technical limitations of the software game engine and server hardware. I do not envy Daybreak engineers at all. The amount of technical debt that has piled up over 25 years is unfathomable! We have stuff at work that's challenging to work around that is less than two years old.
    Benito likes this.
  5. zleski Augur


    No remote opportunities? In the current year? With the current circumstances? Wow! There's a whole world of talent out there, why limit to those who happen to be centred around one city?
  6. Benito EQ player since 2001.

    Niente wrote that remote work opportunities was possible for a handful of states:

    https://forums.daybreakgames.com/eq/index.php?threads/darkpaw-games-is-hiring.281488/page-3

    (Though, admittedly, this may have changed or been limited in scope).
    zleski likes this.
  7. Waring_McMarrin Augur

    Koshk and Skuz like this.
  8. Benito EQ player since 2001.

    California (11.9% of US pop) and Texas (8.74%) are very large states. Washington (2.29%) and Colorado (1.74%) hold decent populations.

    (I'm going to stop to avoid a derail. I'm just stating that there are opportunities).
  9. Waring_McMarrin Augur

    I never said that there wasn't, just that not everyone is able to take up the position because they don't live in the area or can't move to it. It is easy to point to a website and say a company is hiring but that doesn't actually mean that someone can take up that position.
    Koshk and Skuz like this.
  10. The Dude Abides New Member

    I have left and come back a few times. The thing that I have noticed since coming back for Luclin is that everything seems to be just rebooted. The same zones, the same skills just boosted, the same mobs just harder, the items even seem to be better copies of older things. I loved back in the day when you got a new AA or skill and had to figure out how to use it most effectively. Now, they mostly seem to be just an upgraded form of an old idea. It just seems to be not fresh. I love the game and love playing but some more originality would make it more intriguing.
    Skuz and Metanis like this.
  11. kizant Augur

    That would be perfectly fine. What's your point exactly?

    This game didn't die when they added the global cool down for spells or when they made dozens of other changes people thought would be the end of the world. Fix lag first and then re-balance the classes. If they make enough significant changes it may even make balancing easier.
  12. Sebbina Augur

    Well, I use 3 social media--- EQ, if you can find me. Doing some refresh time on TLP atm, so Game mail my main, or send me a tell if I am on. Call my phone and leave a message, or just send a letter. Those other things like FB etc just seem to be spies out to profit off folk and or addict people to their services. Instant gratification will just fry the mind (ice cream exempted), always connected is okay if necessary on the job, but not in life.
    My 2 cents is that lead time to build an expansion is probably 2 years, with one year more at least to road map (think blockbuster movie). If we were to get say a new world in EQ to begin adventures, it would take time. Meanwhile of course this living in a fast advancing tech with computers capable of super fast game play, tends to encourage us to think that we can have fixes just as fast. I do not see the game owners wanting to let things stagnate, but, even the best developers/programmers need time to get stuff done.
    Okay, time to get back to EQ, maybe a stop for a meal.
  13. Drakah UI Designer

    Keep me in the loop with any UI updates please, thanks.
    Stymie, Metanis and Brontus like this.
  14. Brontus Forum Goblin

    Most of the original EQ dev crew adored Dungeons & Dragons tabletop experience and the MUDs that followed. Consequently, EverQuest was designed to be a living breathing virtual world with active participation from Gamemasters would would spawn deities and dragons and play roles as well. Their goal was to bring that experience to life in a 3D world.

    Gamemasters back then were critical and had an important role in each server to bring the world to life via GM/Guide controlled mobs, spawning mobs, changing sky colors, unique event loot drops and more. Today, a gamemaster is just glorified customer service rep.

    Live dynamic events were very common up until the post Planes of Power era. Producer Jeff Butler was mostly responsible for this amazing vision so he created a Guide Program, a Quest Troupe and other RP organizations that would bring Norrath to life but he and Brad left to form Sigil. That was the golden age of EverQuest.

    Why did this not continue? A change of leadership is the most likely reason. New leaders bring new priorities and new philosophies.

    I don't use Facebook. I haven't seen any ads anywhere. What's the yearly marketing ad spend for EverQuest? I bet it's nominal.

    Streamers aren't hired or paid by studios, streamers play they chose to play. However, that doesn't prevent the Daybreak Games from approaching a streamer to get them interested. Fly them out to San Diego, give them a tour of the studio, etc. Streamers are a fact of life in the video game world of 2022. Failure to acknowledge and leverage their importance in promoting a video game in today's video game landscape is inexplicable.

    I don't disagree with your assessment of the general lack of quality emanating from AAA studios. However, fixing existing bugs is still a top priority for most studios. No studio, no programmer, no designer, no producer wants to release a video game or expansion with known bugs. It's embarrassing and unprofessional to release a game with bugs and even worse to know they exist but do nothing to fix them. Bug filled video games are a surefire way to depress revenues and anger your customers.

    Why not monthly? It's time for Daybreak to lead by example. When you can actually SEE the devs in a video, it breeds more trust and established good will. It puts faces behind the forum dev handles and helps to humanize the devs. This is all basic company customer outreach strategy 101 here that takes a modicum of effort. A few years go, Daybreak had frequent livestreams, now that Enad Global 7 has taken over, they are almost non-existent.

    I read the patch notes every month. Not everyone reads text these days. We are living in the age of video. Most people get their news and information from YouTube.

    While patch notes are fine, having a video where the devs actually discuss why the changes were made and explain things would be helpful for the players. Many times, things are changed in EQ and the playerbase is stunned, shocked and out of the loop.

    That's irrelevant. Despite some of their failures, at least Amazon Games is trying and shows that the care about their players. At least they are showing up and making those important video updates.

    That's called democracy. Please let me know when you figure out a better system.;)
    Fenthen likes this.
  15. Tanacious Lorekeeper

    *rises from a coffin, and stares in disbelief* This isn't my castle... where's the blood altar.... oh nm I get it now.

    Hey every one, long time no see. I will start by saying that yup, I agree that the first post is the most relevant answer to this PR letter.

    As for the next 4 pages or so before my comment.... Some good, some bad, some get a WTF?

    Having played every character on here for 23 years off and on, I can concur that all of it is just essentially broken. It's not even really fun, you just do the things you need to do, to do the other things you need to do, and at some point you have to get with others to do more things. After a while of that, then you need to get with multiple groups of other people to do the "restricted" things. (Or just multi-box it all if you're that talented)

    EQ's fundamentals has been lost for a while now. You can't regurgitate most original content for nearly 10 years and say it's "new". Sure, some of it was fun to see with the new mechanics, but ultimately it's TOO complex, which is why classes are breaking/unbalancing and many other things because of a very simple rule in mathematics of any RPGs.... the higher the calculations and numbers you deal with, the more ridiculous they become.

    You can deal with this in any number of ways, but all of them are either subtractive or divisive. It is a necessary reduction in order to keep things from getting out of hand.

    In this case, the reduction needs to be on the mobs, and has needed to be for some time. If we are at the point where lag is destroying a raid force, rather than superior or elusive mechanics, that means it needs to be simplified in some manner. Whether that's an adjustment to the combat, a quest buff system that removes certain mechanics, or whatever. More on this in a bit.

    Regarding a boost to level 100.... This is the point they can advance players to and no further. 85-100 is mostly meaningless, and if you are already 100, you can go back and do certain content that gives your special advancements, and it can be done efficiently. It cannot be like EQ2 because there are presently certain mechanics and pre requisites that prevent that in EQ1. (Imagine going into ToFS with a new 115 hero character group, you'd die instantly.)

    AA's. Most long term players know what these are. A time sink slog that corrects issues client side rather than server side, because recoding an ancient game is messy. However, since someone mentioned bringing new players in and keeping them, the amount of AA you should be given as a F2P account should be increased to 25% of the maximum AA of the class you are playing. 1000 isn't enough to do anything. I know, I recently tried to do it with a Paladin, and I kept falling asleep about level 55 due to it taking soooo long to do anything without those AAs with defiant gear that is far superior to anything that ever previously existed at that level. By lvl 58, I just went ahead and resubbed as was my original intent anyway. Magically, I went from 58 to 59 in a matter of 10 minutes, after having just a few AA in the various categories.

    Were I a new player, I would have quit and said I am just about halfway to max and this royally blows and is boring. Even with putting in 1000 AA by level 65-70 or so, you now have those abilities and nothing else that doesn't even unlock until later. 25% of the class max would keep F2P players interested, and maybe even auto grant them AA until level 60 in certain areas, like base stats and base attack that doesn't count towards the 25% maximum.

    All of that is assuming it hasn't been modified already, I am just coming back from a 9 month break, so I am not 100% up to speed on everything.

    Raid lag: I have been out of the raiding game for a long while, but if you still need 54 players to do anything in a raid, ya, it's not really surprising that lag is happening. You can only send so many simultaneous packets of data between server and clients before you hit your cache max, and then get lag because it is forced to wait until syncing with all other client entities. Duh. That's computing 101. So you need to either compress or reduce this process. Lag will then be no more.

    My suggestion is reduce raid requirements to 3 groups max, and have the raid mob's hp/dmg/abilities reduced by 50-60% to account for this. You can do a trial run of that in a special PTU shard, and see if it works. You may have to change multi group mechanics on certain mobs or eliminate them completely, but otherwise it shouldn't be to difficult to implement. To compensate for lockouts, so you can still get all 54 people done but accounting for different classes:

    Change it to a 3 strike debuff/lockout system. After the first time a soft lockout timer starts with a counter. So after the first success it says 7d lockout and 1/3. If you go in for a second run within this period, you have a 5% permanent debuff on your character, reducing the effectiveness of everything you do or can do by 5%. (Procs, Haste, Dmg, HP, Mana, End, Stats, etc. ALL OF IT) Going in for a 3rd run with 2/3 is a 10% reduction, and if you succeed the 3rd time you are locked out for the remainder of the timer. This is to balance out exploitation, but to account for helping out the other 36 and 18 people that couldn't go with because of the types of classes they play.

    I always thought anything requiring 4.5 dozen players to accomplish anything was silly anyway when usually a single group of players can't agree on anything, other than they want the mob dead and the loot it drops.

    Finally, casters vs. melee balancing. This is an argument as old as the game itself. As my main is a rogue, I can tell you that rogues have been primarily left alone because with the exception of a cleric, any other class in the game can beat them in just about any department. (Cleric just stalemates if they were to PvP)

    Over the last 2+ decades I have found that it's not the classes that have changed, it is the desire of the people that has. MMORPG's REQUIRE other players to be along with you. Since 1999, the mentality of getting on and getting with other players has faded to where we are present day, that it we don't want our money and time being wasted because Billy's necro and Timmy's Chanter couldn't make it so the group isn't powerful enough to do anything. Most people don't want to hinge their play time on whether or not the right classes are on to do something, and EQ has tried to accommodate that over the years in various ways. Mercs, AA's, Pets, Swarm Pets, Evolving items, etc. etc.

    Instead of trying to balance the classes, which at this point would be a fool's errand..... How about just create solo and duo instances that you can take Mercs into, but still have a reduced chance to get the normal group drop/reward that would drop in a full group or raid? Granted full group reward would be a slightly reduced chance, and raid would be infinitesimally small. You could use de-buff and reduction mechanics as mentioned above in this.

    This is not a true fix to balancing when it comes to full raids, but I think would give the game some new life, and keep newer players interested because they don't really know anyone, and todays world is not a walk up and introduce yourself and "I wanna join your party/guild/raid" world for the majority of things.

    I have met some newbie players and they are so lost, and so hesitant to get involved, and don't know what to do or where to go, and all of it is so overwhelming, but they all have one thing in common:

    They feel like there is a big part of the game they are missing because they aren't 10 year + veteran players.

    Thanks for reading, sorry for the novel. Hope my insight helps some!
    Brontus likes this.
  16. ryokoryu Journeyman

    Considering that half the income comes from classic through PoP TLP servers bringing in a fresh bump in subs without which we would have an even smaller dev team improvements and enhancements to the classic stuff seems a good place to put resources and considering that half your xp post 110 is going to come from overseer if not significantly more unless you box using cheat programs or are part of the 2% of EQ that has regular groups than this also seems a wise investment, now they need to use this to address the gear disparities while leveling up solo
    Brontus likes this.
  17. Brontus Forum Goblin

    I do not doubt there is a lot of code and technical debt as you say. But consider the fact that Blizzard started work on World of Warcraft in 1999. That's just 3 years after work started on EverQuest in 1996. It's not like were comparing the Flintstones to the Jetsons.

    Given that 3 year gap, presumably WoW has close to the same code and technical debt as well. I never hear complaints about how Blizzard has to deal with spaghetti code. Of course, by then Blizzard was an established video game studio with more resources than Sony 989 Studios. There were differences in the studio culture as well which explain the differences in the quality of the respective codes of both studios.
  18. Brontus Forum Goblin


    Good point! Just because a player has suggestions that would improve EverQuest doesn't mean you can quit your job and move to greater San Diego. There are many things to consider such as your spouse, your family and more.

    As far as remote work, the pandemic showed the world that workers can still get the job done even at home. I run an indie studio and all my staff work remotely in various parts of the globe. It's becoming more typical these days.

    Incidentally there are no current EQ design positions available in San Diego as per their careers website. I believe that many design positions are filled internally and never get advertised to the public. I saw a quality assurance person just get promoted to an associate design position a week at Darkpaw. The QA people are the unsung heroes of the video game industry. They work very hard and its good to see them rewarded with a promotion.
  19. Arkanny Augur

    Make wizards good again and less Raid lag please.
  20. MacDubh TABLES!!!

    I didn't see it mentioned here but in the roadmap there was a note of Ui improvements in the future. I am hoping the recent patch to start in windowed mode was an early step in that process.

    TBH raid lag and class balance doesn't have much if any impact to me as a group content only player, but the UI could be a huge QOL improvement if done well.
    Loup Garou likes this.