Is EQ small potatoes and not worth developing?

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Vizier, Nov 30, 2021.

  1. Vizier Augur

    New expansion drop Dec 7th. There has been no class development (cut and paste expansion). The cut and paste content isn't close to finished, and you can expect huge content gaps on day 1.

    My question is why? Is EQ a "small potatoes" game that only warrants a crew of 6-8 people to work on it? Isn't there enough profit to hire more people so we have more than just cut and paste content? Where does all the money go?
    Duder likes this.
  2. Andarriel Everquest player since 2000

    Its been cut and paste for many many expansions what you expecting?

    Shindius likes this.
  3. Vizier Augur

    The stopped developing class and game features about 4 years ago. I am expecting them to develop class and game features.
    Duder and Waitwhat like this.
  4. Vumad Augur

    I think there's a plateau in what can be accomplished in a game without fundamentally changing the game. The addition of class abilities has caused most classes to have a substantial amount of overlap. Tank belts overlap with slows, everyone gets a fade now, most classes get a punt, numerous classes can mez even monks, mercs can sub out any player, etc. Call of Duty fundamentally never changes but people buy millions of copies of a new release every year, and you don't even get to roll your progress over, where EQ needs to keep harmony between versions.

    There's really a limit to what they can do. They have added new things like dragons hoard and key rings and they are just background noise. Even if they didn't take DBC to expand they are still not significant features. Overseer is a new feature that can help people catch up and there are tons of complaints about it and about how its not related to EQ and is a waste of time.

    I am sure I would like to see new features but I just don't know what those are. They did move us over to a 64-bit client so maybe they are working in the background on future projects we just don't know about.

    It's very easy to say we should get new features, it's an incredibly easy sentence, but what are those features....???

    I'd like to see them add a tradeskill vault that is automatically accessed from any stationary tradeskill location (like a loom) but even something as impactful on gameplay as that wouldn't solve your complaint and really has nothing to do with an expansion launch.
    Wdor, Goranothos, Qelil and 4 others like this.
  5. Tarvas Augur

    The people who have the power to provide that answer probably don't work at DPG nor do they read these forums.
    Wdor, Andarriel and Qelil like this.
  6. Gnomeland Augur

    Based on last reported numbers I could find, the number of subscribers is ~60,000 players and the revenue per year is ~$11 million. This is probably lower now since those numbers were from 2020, and counts both expansions and subscriptions.

    How big of a team can you support with $11 million? The rule is multiply an employee's salary by 1.35 to get their actual cost to the company. Say Everquest developers make $100,000 a year, on average. That means $135,000 per employee. You can support a team of 80 people with that, but that's not counting server and administrative costs, and of course, no profits.

    Servers don't cost a lot - an estimate puts it at $20,000 a year to support a player base of 50,000 - but rent on office spaces and pay for administrative employees do. Assuming a profit margin of 20%, and administrative + server costs double that of the employees' salaries alone, we'd go to a team of 30. Cut the number of players by another 25% since 2020 because the latest expansion was bad, and we'd go to a team of 20.

    Does it feel like the game's got a team of 20 working on it full-time? Not really.

    So profit margin's a lot higher than that. Conclusion: business is following a strategy of using Everquest to fund its other projects. Very different from, say, Runescape where the focus is on building the classic game back up.

    In my view, this isn't a great strategy for a company with an old school reputation as Everquest - it could easily build a dedicated "old school trend" like Runescape and grow through that. But as it is, with its poor free to play model, its decline in quality content, and its lack of marketing and advertisement, a couple more bad expansions and the game is likely done.
    Shindius likes this.
  7. HeatherPurrs Augur

    It's a 23 year old game. The only reason they are moving to 64 bit is because it makes server mergers easier.

    You're literally watching a game company move a game to the incredibly unlikely to happen spot called cash cow until we shut it down position in the companies portfolio.

    The expansions copy and paste will continue but don't expect anything new other than some art.
  8. Benito Sword of Truth Bombs

    1. EQ1 is limited by its age (engine, base code).

    2. They hired several new employees (devs, QA) at the studio. I suspect that it may take time to get into rhythm.

    3. EQ is in a better place than MMORPG vaporware. We actually receive a product and service.
    IblisTheMage, Barton, Wdor and 8 others like this.
  9. I_Love_My_Bandwidth Mercslayer

    Moving to 64-bit client is because they have to. Not necessarily because they want to. 32-bit OS support is going away - move or die, says Microsoft.
  10. Rexa Ask someone else for buffs

    I have no problem with cut and paste. In fact it's expected from a 20+ year game, but that means one person can sit there cut and pasting (which seems to have been the case). So there is little excuse for the rest of the team to not make fixes and improvements on a few things for certain classes... after all, most of everything else is cut and paste?
    Coagagin likes this.
  11. Brontus Black Knight

    Under the right leadership, the EverQuest franchise could have been as big as the World of Warcraft franchise. But thanks to two decades of inept owners and managers, EverQuest devs are more like hospice nurses who are barely keeping this beloved MMORPG alive.

    If companies like Daybreak purchased the Star Wars franchise and let it atrophy and die, you can bet the fans would not tolerate it. But for some reason, the EQ community is okay with its current decrepit state. This is all thanks to years of white knights, and groveling apologists who never missed an opportunity to excuse the sorry state of this franchise. These very same people still cajole and hector anyone that dares to hold Darkpaw accountable.

    Let's be honest. We got the EverQuest we deserved. We allowed it to happen by our apathy and our sloth.

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    ― Dylan Thomas
    Coagagin and Vizier like this.
  12. Biltene Kingslayer

    Ahh yes. Hold them accountable! How exactly? The only way to do that realistically would be to stop paying for the game, at which point they probably just sunset it and call it a day. It's not like they're going to go "Hey they stopped subbing, we should make better stuff!"

    You can't just come to the forums and say "Be better!" People that you call white knights understand the limitations of an old game, and a leadership that is more interested in milking the cash cow for what they can get, than making improvements we'd like to see. If the leadership isn't willing to do what we'd like them to do, there's not much we can do about it.
    Wdor and Benito like this.
  13. I_Love_My_Bandwidth Mercslayer

    "Though vitriol and contempt might appear to be suitable guidons for a crusade against a dictator, it is our actions through which we speak against the very tenets we hold virtuous. For we cannot see the fortune that is already ours, as we have buried it amongst our malice." - ILMB

    You're welcome.
    Qelil and Benito like this.
  14. I_Love_My_Bandwidth Mercslayer

    They're trying to be trendy. Leave them alone! :mad::rolleyes::p
    Benito likes this.
  15. Vizier Augur

    You sir are correct. Correct about EQ, and maybe correct about the nightmare of the real world events. That is why I keep harping on this. I am sick and tired of just accepting the scraps they brush our their table year after year. Guys we really need to stop white knighting and unite on this issue. This is about the health of the game we ALL love.
    Brontus likes this.
  16. Benito Sword of Truth Bombs

    How many games have been around as long as EQ (with new content and not just maintenance mode)?

    Could've, Should've, Would've.

    I wish I bought more real estate, Tesla stock, and Bitcoin. Those darn market forecasters! By gosh, I would be a billionaire!
    Coagagin and Shindius like this.
  17. Benito Sword of Truth Bombs

    WoW is not a good example, by the way. You may want to follow the saga on MassivelyOP (and not just the personnel scandals but also game design in recent years).

    I actually prefer SOE/Daybreak's record on their treatment of female (and male) employees/fans.
    Wdor, Shindius, Qelil and 2 others like this.
  18. Qelil Augur

    God grant me the serenity
    To accept the things I cannot change;
    Courage to change the things I can;
    And wisdom to know the difference.

    Whether or not one believes in God, there is undeniable wisdom in this simple and timeless prayer.

    It seems reasonable to me to give the new owners more time before forming any dire conclusions based on management decisions made prior to their taking ownership. All the folks who own all those decisions are gone now. What I see happening so far is new hires, announcement of the move to a 64 bit client and good news that it solves memory problems now, reduces existing crashes and offers opportunities for the future.

    You might want to try seeing the glass as half full versus half empty or worse is my suggestion. Both of the things I just mentioned cost money and the new management decided to spend it on EverQuest. Can we agree that is good news?
  19. Gnomeland Augur

    As much as it sounds annoying, making noise is the first step towards getting heard. Voting silent with your wallet is the worst thing you can do - it serves neither party - yet it's what most people do when they're not satisfied with a game.

    If everyone on these forums, Reddit, and other social media sites spoke up about an issue, it's far more likely to be addressed than if everyone just decided to not say anything. This is also why progression servers have much more influence than live - because they are more visible.

    Leadership responds to financial incentives, but those incentives have to be explained. Just calling it doesn't do anything, because for all they know, people are leaving "just" because it's an old game.
  20. Deckerd Smeckerd Augur

    They seem to be working on the infrastructure of the program. The upcoming upgrade from 32 bit to 64 bit seems significant to me. Not only does that make the program code more modern but the developers that did that probably know the code now as well as anyone ever did. I think that they can modernize EQ even if they keep its style. I think the EQ graphics would look great in higher resolution and with only a smart upscaling of the existing textures. At their current resolution, the graphics are considered dated. The same graphics with some sharpening and other upscaling tech, those dated graphics would appear a unique style. It’s all about graphical clarity. Granted, I am only assuming that can be done based on other projects in the computing world, since I have not actually done it myself. I don’t know if that is what they will do but, if they do, it would be nice to see the world with greater graphical clarity.

    I think the move to 64 bit means the studio is betting on the franchise and by doing this they are enabling a brighter development future that might be better than copy paste. When I consider the work they have been doing over the long course, it seems to me that they are constantly working to apply ideas and concepts about what makes an mmo fun and enjoyable to play from what has been learned from the wider mmo world since they were invented, but they seem to tailor those new ideas and concepts to a player base that has become accustomed to the game over many years.