Future Content: A Letter from Director of Development Dave Georgeson

Discussion in 'News and Announcements' started by Piestro, Jan 31, 2014.

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  1. Piestro Augur

    Hail, Fellow Norrathians!

    We’d like to talk to you about how we’re delivering new adventures and new features into your worlds in both EQ and EQII.

    We’ve listened to you on the forums, across social media, and face-to-face at our many events. There have been some common topics that come up about the things you like and don’t like with what we’ve been doing, and we’re using that information to customize our new direction.

    Our approach so far:

    · Up until now, we’ve been focusing on major content releases all year round in both games.
    o Essentially we have planned four big updates a year, with one of those updates being super-sized as the expansion.
    o Plus, bunches of little updates scattered throughout the year.

    Your reaction to that approach:

    · Mostly “meh”. The quarterly updates were high quality and cool, but not big enough to really feel expansion-ish. Plus, casual players often fell behind and felt disconnected from their friends.
    · Generally negative on the consequence that had on expansion sizes. Because we were releasing large chunks of content quarterly, the expansion got compressed into a shorter time schedule, which meant that its features had to fit within a shorter cycle also. We were often able to create many, many hours of gameplay in those expansions, but that didn’t really substitute for the feeling of sheer zone quantity. (And zones take a loooong time to make, so they were a natural victim of the shorter expansion schedule.)
    o NOTE: This was a “good intentions” change. Lots of content spread around the year seemed like a really good idea. It even seemed that it was at first as players got excited with the big pushes. The negatives didn’t start to show until we’d been doing it for a year or so.

    So how are we fixing that? Basically, we’ve decided to release regular improvements every week, then every month we’ll push something cool to you. Beyond that, we’re focusing the rest of our efforts into making great expansions!

    Here’s a bit more detail:

    · What sorts of things will come out weekly?
    o These will be things like straight-up feature refinements, holiday events, short adventures, or pretty much anything that doesn’t merit being in the expansion or being a big monthly highlight. But something of this sort comes every week.
    · What sorts of things will you deliver monthly?
    o Each month, we’re going to do something interesting and fun, like aging a cool existing dungeon up to end-game levels and itemization, or adding a series of quests for players to find and explore. Maybe even a new zone sweeper or random world event, or that sort of thing. Something new and fun to experience with friends and guildies.
    · How will this impact the quality of the expansion?
    o We’re putting a huge emphasis on how important the expansion pack is to you. The feedback on that has been almost universal. “Make Our Expansion Matter.” So that’s what we intend to do.
    · Is SOE locked into this schedule? Do we mean EVERY week and EVERY month?
    o Answer: Yes, we mean it. We’re going to work hard to make it happen regularly and dependably.

    We like this new strategy as a whole. The EQ and EQII team Producers (Thom and Holly) have created detailed schedules of how the rhythm of this stuff will play out across the coming months. And my reaction, as a player of these games, is that it all sounds pretty fantastic.

    Again, this doesn’t reduce the amount of content we’re delivering to you. The EQ and EQII dev teams are robust in size and are constantly overhauling tools so that higher quality content can be created in even less time, so we can deliver even more. They work tirelessly throughout the year making our Norraths better because we (the dev teams and SOE) all love these worlds.

    But what do you think? Does this sound like fun to you too?

    · Weekly and monthly improvements and adventures
    · Major focus on the annual expansion content and story

    Let us know! Thanks!

    Dave Georgeson
    Director of Development
    EverQuest Franchise
  2. Trajet D'Or Augur

    Will Dave have an AMA on Reddit to answer questions or will he consider registering for this message board?
    Geroblue, Edrick, Axxius and 4 others like this.
  3. Darzag Elder

    I love the fact that EQ has SO much more content than other MMOs. It is the most basic difference between EQ and it's would be competitors. I do feel, however, that EQ has gotten caught up in the "more is better" cycle. PLEASE...yes, more content...more quests...but please no more new levels that only satisfy the one or two top raid guilds. The rest of us would like some time to catch up. The one-a-year expansion sounds like a good Idea. But limit the wild growth of the level cap if you can please.
    Leerah, Cazmac and Geroblue like this.
  4. smash Augur

    Honestly I dont like release an expansion in parts, I want the cake at once.

    I also dont like that the HA takes 2/3 of expansion. Personally I strongly dislike the HA. I only do those to get the named in them, then I will NEVER set my foot into them Again.

    When part 1B was released I HAD expected there to come more zones out, instead there only came 3 missions, 4 raids, and some HA. That was MAJOR disappointment.

    I also expected that there would come more spells / AA at that time, but there did not.

    When I buy an expansion I REALLY expect that I will have around 10-12 zones from the start, now low number like 4.

    The weekly thing, the monthly Things, they really dont matter for me.

    About those there already those kind of Things, so I honestly dont think you will bring a lot of those thing in.
    And why do I doubt that. Reason, because you dont have the resources because you have layed off people. So you lacking resources.

    So what I WANT is what MATTER for me. A BIG expansion.

    You said that there 4 be four big updates a year, sorry to say that for me the 1b was tiny, there was really not a lot of content, due to lack of new zones and all was based on HA
  5. smash Augur

    Do everyone a favor and release 2a + 2b at same time.

    Also dont mix mercenary HA tasks into partisan tasks like you did in BW/DH

    2a + 2b need to be at least 7-8 zones.
  6. Yaldin Journeyman

    I like this approach better - the big guilds will of course blow through it all fairly quickly but they will almost no matter what you release - it's a game to be first to the kill on the Rathe.

    On the average raider/grouper - these xpacs take time and knowing the path ahead of you and not artificially bottlenecking it doesn't create a great sense of excitement.

    Heck, with CotF I still don't see why I bought it - it just feels too tiny with 4 zones, half the gear released at a time for the tier, and you can get through the missions quickly. The world feels more complete when you're selecting where to spend your time from a long menu - not a short one.

    I know the zone updates to end-game level with likely chase items and monthly events are likely going to be very small compared to the releases - but I think people prefer spending time on these micro things and enjoying the macro when they can get a group together - you get bored much quicker when there's less to consume and choose from.

    I'm glad for this change - thank you for listening!! An xpac doesn't feel complete without several new zones, new spells, and new AAs - so far I've been underwhelmed as a wizard on all 3 fronts - I pray the next CotF update is better.

    What's the timeline to possibly implement this strategy? How can you plan for the next xpac to match the grand goal set here while still developing CotF content? I'm intrigued - but the approval will lie in the execution.
    Gyurika Godofwar likes this.
  7. genaro44 Lorekeeper

    Sounds like fun. With the massive amount of old content out there, I haven't run out of stuff to do as a casual player, but events as you describe (in particular the promise of revamps) seem like a great way of saying "Hey, you may have missed this!" PS. New and more frequent rotation of hotzones please!
    Cazmac and Gyurika Godofwar like this.
  8. Yinla Ye Ol' Dragon

    Permanent or temporary additions?

    I'd prefer to see the zone aged content in instances or alongside the original zone and not the actual zone itself, changing the normal zones to higher level zones disrupts lower level chars play.

    Does this mean we will have patches every week?

    World events are nice as long as they aren't one time things, something like the EK halloween events of 2001 are a good example, bad guys taking over Firiona Vie is bad example, if you weren't playing at the right time you missed out on something cool.

    I'm hoping there will be something for everyone for completing the new stuff, not just groupers or those which aren't max level and AA.

    When are they planning to start rolling this stuff out and will we get any previews of what is up and coming?
    Geroblue and Gyurika Godofwar like this.
  9. Gyurika Godofwar Augur

    This is certainly an interesting idea but with the recent shortage of devs dedicated to EQ it might be very hard to implement & sustain. I am going to reserve judgement for now & wait to see how it works out. I hope that they are able to do this like he is saying & that it will be beneficial to players, we'll just have to wait & see.
    Quatr likes this.
  10. Zugbuzz Journeyman

    For the monthly events that happen to be zone revamps. Would it be possible to make them HAs with the zones upgraded gear in a chest at the end?

    Zone revamps always seem to turn into a big mess with lots of drama and end up being perma-camped by a small group of people with the actual content being seen by a limited number of people. Not to mention any zone revamp usually blocks an epic or other quest/drop that some people will still need.
    Dexar and Gyurika Godofwar like this.
  11. Yaldin Journeyman

    I think Heroic Characters and basically bringing the base level up to 85 is the answer as hot zones overly compact people who are just leveling up and those who want to PL. If you want to gather people into zones that they fit in together, the raising the base level up (since everyone tries to skip them now) makes a lot of sense.
  12. Falos Augur

    This sounds like an overwhelming amount of content, which could be a good or bad thing depending on how it is handled. I most certainly would love to see larger style expansions released all at once, Secrets of Faydwer is what comes to mind here because it added a lot to the game and also had some really unique quests with some truly awesome rewards for its time so I WOULD like seeing annual expansion releases come out that are more like that expansion (minus all the factioning that expansion required).

    Depending on of this weekly content / monthly content will be limited time and then never able to be completed again that could create a lot of pressure in a lot of players to feel the need to complete it all before it goes away forever (which would burn a lot of people out). I also worry that if content is released with such frequency that it will become cookie cutter copy / paste design at its worst. The dev team already does seem spread pretty thin, forcing them to revamp and pump out new content on a weekly / monthly basis on top of normal expansion duties could lead to some boring design.

    An example that comes to mind on cookie cutter copy /pasting is the ethernere tier 1b heroic adventure "A helping hand" It is an heroic adventure that has multiple routes but essentially almost every route is a copy / paste of the other routes. For example one of the early steps will have you kill 8 mudman and collect dirt to put out the fire OR the alternate route will require you to kill 8 mephits to collect water to put out the fire. It's essentially the same exact copy / paste experience for that step except you're simply fighting a different mob skin and looting a different item icon.

    People do want more content but they don't want copy / paste content, they want unique experiences, It's too early to say for sure but I am skeptical that the EQ team has enough resources to put out unique experiences so frequently as things are now (and I do not blame a single member of the dev team for this, it's merely a matter of business based resources that is beyond their control)
    Leerah, Quatr and Gyurika Godofwar like this.
  13. Dandin Augur

    I just want more content for the price I already paid. I don't care how you do it.
    Geroblue likes this.
  14. Fizbit New Member

    Quality over quantity.
    Leerah and Geroblue like this.
  15. Samatman Augur

    This sounds pretty nice for the people hitting the content wall at 100. I generally assume when you make announcements about content or events, or release expansions that you are only talking to the people at max level and that's fine. They need something new to do.

    It'll be a few years before I make it through the 50-80 range with the characters that I play. Are there any plans for any dungeon revamps or events that might be appropriate for people not at max level?
    Geroblue likes this.
  16. Zaph Augur

    So, the shorter content releasing didn't work out as it took away resources from the content that needed a longer timeframe to develop.
    Your answer to this is weekly and monthly content !
    Uhh, something doesn't sound quite right here.

    Amusing to see that some of the weekly content will be "things like straight-up feature refinements.." - are not these what we already have, called bug fixes and patches, hardly a selling point.
    beryon, Geroblue and Gyurika Godofwar like this.
  17. Ronak Augur

    A couple questions, I'd like to ask, if I may:

    1. Will the revamped (aged) zones each month be left in their revamped state, going forward? Or will it be a limited time only thing?
    2. Will new world events include raid encounters? If so, will they be left in for good, or only be a limited time thing?
    3. If the new world events include raid encounters, what will be done to ensure everyone gets a shot at it, and not just those who log on first in force?
    4. Will the monthly quests be limited time only, or be left in for good?
    5. Does this mean that Tier 2a + tier 2b will now be one release, instead of 2?
    6. If so, does this mean T2 will be a winter release, instead of summer?

    Thank you.
    Gyurika Godofwar likes this.
  18. Punchknight New Member

    What I think is far more important for most players than the staggered content release is your balancing.

    Alot of class balancing have been so much off the mark that it has at times created inferior classes. I know most probably wont openly agree to that, because they love the lore of their class and other things.

    I know my own love for the game has taken a hit from bad balancing.

    Both between Tanks, hybrids and DPS, between pure DPS classes, basically all around.
    I could mention alot of things that most people find wrong, but the list is long. I dont think people expect every aspect of the game to be 100% balanced (thats impossible), but it can get to a point where the need for certain classess is purely based on someone playing their class exceptionally well instead of the merits of the class.

    Overall I would say that the less "pure" classess have gained too much ground to a point where some pure classess are inferior.

    For tanks that would in many aspects be the warrior, for melee that would be the berserker and for casters that would be the enchanter.

    this is generally speaking, but I read alot of posts on this forum with classes that genuinely want to change things for a better balance and their suggestions are being ignored

    Hope you will pay more attention to balances!
    Cazmac likes this.
  19. Makavien Augur

    I hope this works well we really need a way to group with any levels based on flags we have from the past instead of the heroic characters thing in my opinion we need that and a stable lfg /lfr cross server solution.

    Being able to drop to any level we want as ourselves with the gear set based off raid flags or group flags. We could experience and help each other gain some kind of reward worthy of doing such a thing. While also helping form a better community .
    Gyurika Godofwar likes this.
  20. ZinjinAzhura New Member

    I absolutely agree. I'm thinking that content rushed to fulfill a monthly or weekly deadline would not be that great, and not be anything that merits keeping in game long beyond the release. Perhaps a montly update and a quarterly bigger release, with the expansion not involved in the quarterlies but be its own large release.
    Agreed: the retuned zones should not destroy the content for newbies and lowbies, but be instanced or have a separate entrance, that's worked just fine with the Rain of Fear zone having the shards parked outside the original zone.
    Gyurika Godofwar, Cazmac and Geroblue like this.
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